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Archive for the ‘Competitions’ Category

We Have Our Very Own Critic!

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Over the past few months we have been on the hunt for our very own wine critic. We wanted someone who wasn’t going to confuse our customers with ridiculous simile and metaphor. Someone who was going to say it straight, keep it simple and keep it fun!

Unfortunately Alan Sugar was not available to work as our wine critic so instead we decided to launch a competition amongst our customers to find one. With the promise that they would receive all our new wines for free for review. It is truly remarkable how many more people read my my emails when it involves giving out free wine!

As mentioned in the previous blog, they were each to receive bottle of The Opportunist Shiraz, share it with some friends and review it as if their life depended on it! Some of the results are posted on our Facebook Fan Page wall ( did I mention, if you ¬†“like” us you get chance to win a free case a month!). Click here to read some of the reviews and see how attractive our customers are! It is also remarkable how many of our customers seem have their own wine blogs!

After some painful deliberations we have finally chosen our winner…. Richard Saxton from Birmingham, a lawyer by day and demon wine reviewer by night!

You will have plenty of chance to read his work over the next 3 months as he sets about reviewing our latest offerings on this blog. In the mean time you can check out his stuff on his own blog here

So there it is, our experiment is underway, is a wine consumer far capable of successfully recommending wine than a professional critic. The proof will be in the pudding or the writing! You will be his judges!!!

Watch this space to see him at work.

Wine Writing

Monday, January 17th, 2011

I have been thinking about wine writing a lot recently. Now Christmas has calmed down and we actually have time to think and discuss developments we have been considering our tasting notes, how we can improve them and what customers actually want to read about. Our constant mission that we have mentioned on numerous occasions is that we want to make wine accessible, easy to understand and most of all FUN!

However the challenge with writing about wine, even if it is just a 50 word tasting note for the website is to avoid using terminology that is too generic but also not to too abstract that nobody has a clue what on earth you are up to. Also it seems all too easy with wine to get geeky and technical without ever talking about what the stuff actually tastes like. Whereas some customers will understand the significance of steep slopes, gravel etc the reality is that most really don’t care as long as it tastes good.

So somewhere between “jammy, red fruits and heavy” and “Harvested on a full moon from a vineyard based on chalk, where the weather is hot during the day and cold at night. On the ay of blending the wine makers dog had a mild headache”. It sounds easy, it is not!

However some do make a career out of it, some are highly successful from a lifetime of drinking and writing but do they give a fair reflection of what you want from a wine? There are some that argue that tastes and preferences of highly trained wine writers are simply too sophisticated to write about everyday drinking wines. I would disagree with this to some extent, I do believe if someone has got a good palette then they can pick out better wines, irrelevant of price…It might just be that they are not so interested in drinking those wines when they get home after a long day tasting.

However tastes of course vary enormously and even the most highly trained wine buff cannot know what your personal tastes and preferences are, unfortunately mind reading is not on the MW course! So should we listen to our friends when it comes to wine. Even friends with know formal wine knowledge would more likely suggest something far more suitable for you than Robert Parker.

Wine is so wonderfully varied and can be looked at in so many ways, someone who knows nothing can just as easily recommend and enjoy wine as someone who has spent a lifetime learning about it.

This forms the basis of our new competition. We want to find a wine writer who can make wine writing fun and creative, a consumer who can talk to other consumers! We will be giving away 25 bottles for free to our customers. The deal is they must enjoy the wine with 5 friends each and everyone must write a 50 word review of the wine. The funniest and most creative will become the Find Wine Writer for 3 months and receive a free bottle of every new wine we add to the website so that they can review it for other customers.

For your chance to get your hands on 1 of the 25 bottles be ready, be very ready to enter!

Naked VS Find Wine

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

So we have set ourselves a small challenge! Do we have better wine than the mighty Naked Wine?

We are having a head to head taste off with Naked on the evening of the 10th of  November at One Alfred Place in London.

Each company will produce 16 wines across two price categories and 8 styles. Each wine will then be judged head to head by a group of journalists, bloggers and customers to decide who has the finest range of wines online!

Get in touch with if you are interested in being included. Or tweet either @findwine or @nakedwines

Bring it on!

The Quest for The Ultimate Dinner Guest. Part Deux

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

After my two failed attempts to find a great dinner guest for our prize I was feeling a little bit down about the whole thing. However just as I was about to give up and result to calling Jilly, I received a phone call from Stephen Fry’s people…well in truth it was not a phone call but a Tweet, Stephen only ever deals in Tweets.

Stephen wouldn’t actually meet me in person as he was too busy being Quite Interesting, however he was willing to meet me via Twitter and discuss the idea of being our Ultimate Dinner Party Guest.

I will be honest I was slightly nervous as I do find it quite hard to limit myself to 140 characters and I wouldn’t want Stephen to get to wrong end of the stick simply because I had not managed to complete a sentence. Then it came, the email saying that Stephen Fry had just sent me a direct message! What excitement, one of the most famous Tweeters had just landed in my inbox!

We had one of the most fascinating and inspiring exchanges in 140 character blasts. We covered everything from aardvarks to ancient Rome, from zoology to xenophobia. Each exchange with Wodehousian wit and skilful semantics. We were getting on like a dry wooden house on fire and so I broached the subject…”Would you like to be the prize in my ultimate dinner guest competition?”…The response…”I would enjoy nothing more, we will have wine and women, mirth and laughter, sermons and soda water the morning after”. Success at last!! I had a great prize for a great competition.

We continued our 140 character exchange for a few more minutes until it was time for Stephen to go. It was then that disaster struck! I thought I would try to compete with his intellect and bid my farewell with a joke in ancient Greek…a sure fire way to impress Fry…however it backfired. I should have listened to my Greek teacher at school, who told me I was useless at grammar! Somehow instead of making a wistful and witty remark about eating sausages for dinner, I managed to convey something entirely different, yet still involving a sausage!!

Understandably Stephen flew off the handle and refused to continue our twittering, in fact he has now blocked me as a user. Alas I can no longer read his various adverts for his new iphone App.

This incident was enough to put me off Twitter forever, plus it resulted in Fry warning the rest of the people on my celeb list that I was to be avoided. It was all over, I would be able to persuade no one to be the prize. There was nothing left to do but call Jilly Goolden!

That night I wandered into a pub in Fulham to drown my sorrows, I ordered a large whisky, sat at the bar and pondered on how I managed to end up in this situation. Then from a distant corner I heard laughter, loud laughter, the sort of laughter that comes from the belly and reverberates around every single corner of the room. I looked to see who this was and in my desperation whether they would be suitable as a prize in my competition. This was the moment I met Hans Joachim Wadsack!

After introductions and initial drinks, the evening that ensued was perhaps one of the most debauched and enjoyable I have had for some time. Plus Joe knew everything there was to know about wine, it sounded like he could cook as well as any man. Then I found out that he was a genuine celebrity…well he might not be spotted on the cover of Heat however, but he has appeared on Richard and Judy…that was good enough for me!

This was it, my quest was over, I had found my Ultimate Dinner Guest.

And now you have the very very special chance to win an evening with this man, he will bring all the food, cook it, he will bring all the wine and teach you about it…but most of all he will provide you with one of the most entertaining evening of your life!

For more info and to enter click here.

The Quest for Our Ultimate Dinner Guest Part 1.

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Find Wine will very shortly be launching the chance to win Our Ultimate Dinner Guest!

It was a few months ago now that we sat down and came up with the idea for The Ultimate Dinner Guest. We thought it would be a great way to get a bunch of people, some of which may never have tried our wine round a table, trying our wine with suitable food. We thought, this would be even better if we could supply someone fun and engaging to teach the assembled party a little about what they were drinking and be entertaining too.

The big question was, who on earth would be a suitable Ultimate Dinner Guest?! They must be, entertaining, erudite, interested in food and wine, someone our customers would want in their houses and of course they would have to have the X- factor!

Therefore this summer I was given the difficult task of finding the Ultimate Dinner Guest. It was a journey that took me from New York to Cape Town, from Hong Kong to Cuba and from Fulham to Chelsea, via some/many pubs!

I was sure that at some point in my life I have been asked, “which 5 people would you most like to have supper with?” So that was the list I started with. P.G. Wodehouse, Harry Flashman, Billy Connelly, Scarlett Johanssen and Stephen Fry. Now considering that Mr. Wodehouse is sadly no longer with us, that ruled him out. Plus, as much as I would love Flashy to be there, he is regrettably fictional (although I do know people who would think they are him!) so that left me with only 3 people. I needed more so I emailed a bunch of friends and asked who they would put on their list, the most popular people were, Nelson Mandela, Jeremy Clarkson, David Gandy (apparently a male model), Jessica Alba (plus a long list of very attractive women) and bizarrely Bill Gates.

There was nothing else to do but to go and meet everyone on my list and have dinner with them to see whether they would be suitable for the job.

First up was Nelson. I could very easily dedicate an entire post to this dinner, it was fascinating and hugely enjoyable. He even offered to fly the winners out to South Africa to dine with him. However there was one downside…Nelson doesn’t know anything about wine, I mean it was embarrassing. He said to the sommelier, he didn’t like Chardonnay then proceeded to order Chablis. He thought Shiraz was a character in Star Wars and Falanghina was something unrepeatable! So that was him out of the question entirely.

So onto my next candidate or should i say candidates, Scarlett Johanssen and Jessica Alba. I only had limited time free this summer and so thought I would kill two birds with one stone because I only had chance for 1 LA trip. The two girls were fantastic company, everything you would hope two young Hollywood starlets to be. Plus the food we ate in a small place called Cube was sensational but the highlight was the pudding!! It was Chocolate sauce with what can only be described as a threesome ( if my business ever goes under the photos and video will certainly pay off any debts!). We eventually got round to talking about the competition prize over breakfast the next morning and they were both ever so keen.

However on my second day in LA, whilst shopping I bumped into a very sweet young Brazilian girl, I think her name Giesele or something like that…what can I say, it was love at first sight. What I didn’t realise however was that Jessica and Scarlett were following me and saw me kissing the Brazilian. Despite my pleas that it I was in love, it was too late, they went completely off the idea of being the main prize in my competition!

I was beginning to panic that we would have no Ultimate Dinner Guest and we might have to resort to ringing Jilly Goolden.

Then my luck picked up… To be continued….