A Farmers’ Market for Quality Wine

Selecting the wines to list on Honest Grapes has been fun, and a challenge. Contrary to the image that most of us have about wine, you don’t necessarily have to pay more to get a better wine of a particular type, you just have to choose more selectively. We brought together a group of over 50 people and tested a number of styles, to see what people would enjoy most. Across New World Chardonnays, Côtes du Rhône and regional Burgundy Pinot Noirs, we ‘blind tasted’ numerous wines and found some common characteristics:

  • Wines from independent family producers cost the same as those offered by big bulk wineries but taste better

  • Many of us want to know about where our food comes from. We want a connection with the grower and his land, not a faceless corporation

  • A pretty label and gushing reviews from wine merchants is no substitute for a bit of honesty and independent advice about what to expect from a glass

  • ‘Quaffability’ is vital: we sometimes want a drink that’s instantly fruity and approachable, and at other times a more complex wine, especially when drinking with food

  • ‘Organic’, ‘Biodynamic’ and ‘natural’ are fads – most of us want good quality wine at a decent price which is made with minimal chemical intervention and maximum care

So we set out to find a range of great growers from around the world, the wines from many of which are only to be found in restaurants in the UK at present. We’re working with knowledge of the wine world, and with Partners who hunt out the best wines at fair prices to list for our Friends. Every grower on our list cares for his land, and the quality and character of his wines. Honest Grapes lists the wines, but we don’t have a big warehouse of stock to sell; as an independent marketplace we can just delist any wine that our Friends don’t like!