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Striking it rich
If you’re the buy canada goose parka uk owner of an under-performing garage in Truro, Tim How, CEO of Majestic Wine Warehouses, would like to hear from you. Come to think if it, he’d probably consider an abattoir, cinema, church, tram shed, restaurant, pub or water-pumping station. All eight have been turned into successful Majestics in the past and, ever keen to extend the company’s reach, How is looking for the right site in Cornwall.
There are 120 Majestics in the UK, stretching from Inverness to Exeter, but the City’s favourite wine company is still in expansion mode.
Majestic, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, is a palate-pleasing success story. In a business that generally conforms to the adage that the only way to create a small fortune out of wine is to start buying canada goose jacket online off with an even larger one, Majestic makes money. In 2004, its profit was a healthy £10.63m; in March this year can i wash my canada goose coat it is expected to declare even better figures.
The most impressive thing about Majestic is that it has chosen to take the high road, rather than the discount-strewn underpass pursued by most retailers. Its average bottle spend is £5.48, some £1.50 above the market mean. It generally eschews the cheap and nasty as well as the best place to buy a canada goose jacket in toronto heavily branded. Blossom Hill, for example, is a don’t – or rather won’t – stock at Majestic.
How does Majestic do it? Good staff, tastings, free delivery and, most importantly, range, are all part of the answer. The standard, French-focused list of 800 wines has its weaknesses – Italy, Spain, Australia and bits of regional France are not as exciting as they should be – but there are a lot of gems, too. Bordeaux, Champagne, Beaujolais, the Rhône, the Languedoc and the Loire are obvious strengths, as are the excellent German wines under £6. The one-off parcel culture makes the stores an exciting place to shop.
Talking of which, Majestic’s customers are a loyal bunch. Even when the chain went through some arduous times – it was close to going under in 1991 and was so unpopular with suppliers that it almost run out of red wine – Majestic’s customers kept coming. They liked – and still like – the fact that they could park the car and buy a few cases of Sancerre in one hit.
The company’s 700 employees are some of buy canada goose jacket winnipeg the best-trained and most enthusiastic in the business. I’m not sure how Majestic attracts so many bright graduates to work for the low kids salaries that are a feature of the wine trade, but the chance to be part of a dynamic and successful company is clearly part of it.
If you’ve never shopped at a Majestic before, you may be put off by the fact that the minimum purchase is 12 bottles. (This helps to explain the average customer spend of £112.) How says it enables Majestic to ‘achieve sales density in stores’, which means that, rather than wasting five minutes serving someone a tub of Pringles, Majestic can focus on serious punters.
Best cellars Four great bottles from Majestic’s warehouses
2004 Casillero del Diablo Malbec Rapel Valley (£5.49)
You’d be more likely to find great Malbec in Argentina than Chile at the moment, but this juicy, deeply coloured, vanilla-scented red, with its supple tannins and sweet plum and bramble fruit is a rule-proving exception.
2003 Beaujolais Villages can you wash a canada goose jacket in the washer Domaine de Nugues (£6.99, save 20 per cent if you buy two, until 14 March)
When Gamay is as vibrant as this, it’s one of the most gluggable wines in the world. This supple, forward, strawberry and cherry fruity Beaujolais is further proof that the 2003 vintage was something very special in the region.
2002 Kangarilla average cost canada goose jacket Road Cabernet Sauvignon McLaren Vale (£9.99; £8.99 if you buy two)
I’ve written about this winery’s excellent Shiraz in the canada goose coat – kensington past, can someone check if this canada goose outlet website is authentic but this is just as good. It’s a full-flavoured power house of an Aussie Cabernet with lashings of cassis and blackberry fruit, good acidity and judiciously judged oak.
2003 Chablis La Maladière, William Fèvre (£9.99; £8.99 if you buy two)
2003 wasn’t the best recent vintage for white Burgundy, but more northerly Chablis fared better than the Côte d’Or. I love the minerality and steely focus of this unoaked, crisply defined Chardonnay.
· Tim Atkin has won the inaugural Wines of Portugal Award for his articles in OM email@example.com
Bar of the week: Matilda
Matilda 74-76 Battersea Bridge Road, London SW11 (020 7228 6482)
Perhaps London’s first Italian gastro-pub, Matilda, is an exciting addition to the scene as a whole and certainly a boon for the residents of Battersea. anyone has got canada goose coat The large ground-floor space has been tastefully decorated in white and pastels. A moose’s head surveys locals and the occasional Chelsea refugee as they enjoy well-kept ales, a largely Italian wine list and seriously good bar snacks (meats and cheeses are imported from Italy). Try a glass of Montepulciano with Lardo di Colonnata, slices of unctuous fat melted on to grilled bread. Eliot Sandiford