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Winos

Philip Hamer is jealous of Oldham’s fantastic wine shop

Published on March 4th 2008.


Winos

Wine and Oldham do not seem instantly compatible but for 25 years now Phil Garratt at Winos has run one of the finest wine, spirits and beer shops not just in central Oldham but in the North of England. Unique and idiosyncratic are two adjectives that also come to mind when you enter this small, heavily stocked vinous Aladdin’s Cave.

More and more of my customers have been introduced to wine by the supermarkets but they are seeking something a little different perhaps so they wander in here.

Phil began in the wine business by directly importing wine into the UK from the producers and recently he has returned to this initiative. Several wines, individual to Winos contain label information referring to ‘Vins de Bordeaux’, Phil’s original company.

When you suggest to Phil that wine and the town of Oldham aren’t a predictable pairing he reluctantly agrees: “Though I don’t want to knock Oldham in any way at all I suppose that’s true but there’s a lot of affluent pub and restaurant trade around this town and the outlying areas. My trade tends to break down 50 /50 between public and corporate custom. We are central here and parking, including our own car park, is near and that is an advantage we have over central Manchester for example where there is no free standing independent wine shop.”

And before I get shouted at by Love Saves the Day or Gastros then Phil is talking about a wine specialist, not a range as part of a deli. Phil sees his independence status as a wine shop flourishing. He cites a supermarket’s illusion of choice in offering 700 wines whilst as an independent he can offer 3,000: “More and more of my customers have been introduced to wine by the supermarkets but they are seeking something a little different perhaps so they wander in here.”

At Winos customers will certainly find a warm welcome with Phil often bottle in hand offering them a glass.

Phil’s bonhomie is rooted quite properly in the realisation that wine is to be drunk and enjoyed and not retentively revered. His regular wine-tastings are legendary and the next will be held at the famous White Heart at Lydgate on Thursday 20 March 20. Tickets are available from the shop.

France, Spain and Italy are well represented here but Winos also prides itself on anticipating wine trends. Argentina they cite as a country to watch for both bold reds and aromatic whites, with South African reds currently offering fantastic value for money.

Theses are two great value Winos wines worth seeking out. Honore le Berticot Sauvignon. Cotes du Duras 2006 (£4 75). France wins over the New World here with a delicious, instantly gratifying white. Perfect with most foods. Rauol’s Old Basket Press 2006. (£4 95) From South Africa this is a brilliant blend of red wine grape varieties that would still seem to be a bargain at twice the price.

If you get chance get up to Oldham and try Winos. Hey you can even park at the shop, which cocks-a-snoop at Manchester’s parking policies.

Winos
63 George St
Oldham
0161 652 9396
www.winoswineshop.com

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Snook cocky doggMarch 4th 2008.

You wait ages to see Phil Hamer and then you get two along at once. I agree with the 'Raoul's Old Basket Press' recommendation - it's one of my regular buys (also available at Cheshire Smokehouse, for those south of the City centre).

PaulMarch 4th 2008.

Went to a tasting of his in Rochdale recently I was absolutely bladderd when I left ....GOOD MAN

logical johnMarch 4th 2008.

See, no rants whatsoever. The readership have been soothed by reading about Phil's lovely wines. How can it be that a race which invented this wonderful stuff (wine) is also responsible for the Blackberry handheld pc and the AK47? Its the human condition I guess.

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