3 top Hertfordshire wine producers

03rd July 2018

Laura Vickers chooses three of her favourite independent wine merchants in Herts

For a wine lover, finding a good local wine merchant can be one of those kid in a sweet shop moments. There’s a treasure trove of bottles, most of which you can’t find in supermarkets, from top examples of recognisable regions to quirky styles that show it’s worth going off the beaten track. You’ll also find enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff who can help you explore and find new favourites. Here are my three picks from the county’s independent wine merchants:

• Blue Otter Wines, Hitchin

This shop’s ever-changing selection from all over the world makes it irresistible to revisit regularly. There’s also a quirky range of spirits, from craft gins to high-end tequila – and regular gin tastings.

blueotterwines.co.uk

• Cellar Door Wines, St Albans

As well as a tempting range of fine wine for special occasions – particularly Champagne and Italian reds – Cellar Door has plenty of under-£10 treats for everyday drinking, including Rioja and lesser-known gems like Fiano. It’s a haven for wine geeks, with finds from Bulgaria, Austria and Lebanon that you rarely find in larger retailers. And there’s plenty of opportunities to learn more at their tastings – this month, there’s both a Champagne (July 5) and South African (July 20) masterclass.

cellardoorwines.co.uk

• Cambridge Wine, Royston

One of this popular merchant’s six shops is hidden away by Royston train station. It has an enthusiastic local customer base. They’re also behind the yearly Royston Wine and Spirits festival (returning in September) and hold a diverse range of tastings. This month, it’s Cava on July 7 and a rare chance to sample Brazilian wine on July 18.

cambridgewine.com

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Glass of Herts: Laura Vickers’ picks from the county’s drink scene

Contact: ljvickers@gmail.com, www.twitter.com/LaRainbow