Wednesday, 12 November 2014

November Wine Shop of the Month: Satchells, Burnham Market

Since we launched the Wine Shop of the Month series in September, the weekly recommendations have been some of our most popular posts, and it's so exciting to see more people developing an enthusiasm for the great work that local, independent wine merchants do. It's time to introduce you to another merchant...

This month's Wine Shop of the Month is Satchells in Burnham Market and is a personal fave of Sam and I because we've been visiting here on our holidays for the past few years.

It was established in 1990 by Maxwell Graham-Wood - a fellow life-long wine geek who inherited his Dad's fan of vino so strongly he actually spent a couple of years working his way around France's major wine regions when he was younger - and his enthusiasm is clear from his gorgeous shop.

You'll find a huge range of exciting, exquisitely-made wines on the shelves at Satchells - from small, artisan producers that really know what they're doing - and we've never been disappointed by a bottle. They even do things like Maury - a rich, sweet red dessert wine from the south of France that you can't often find anywhere else (and a huge favourite of ours.)

To top that, the shop even does its own range of wines, which they have a hand in blending to suit their customers' taste. It includes a single-varietal sauvignon and a merlot, both from the Cotes de Duras, and a merlot rosé  too. The Satchells Grande Reserve Champagne is quite stunning, and has rightly won a silver medal at this year’s International Wine Challenge.

And I haven't even started on the spirits room - an Aladdin's cave of quite literally EVERY spirit and liqueur you can think of, to mead to the very Christmassy Creme de Figue (£21.99), the charming Liqueur de Rose (£19.99) and Evan Williams Cinnamon Reserve, (£22.99) a smooth Kentucky Bourbon with a fiery cinnamon kick.

We also often spend far too much time staring longingly at the dusty bottles in Satchells' small vintage area - think decades-old Bordeaux and delicious vintage Port...

We champion wine merchants because the people behind them really care, and Maxwell is a great example of this, always ready to impart genuine, helpful, friendly advice to anyone that needs it. He even says himself: "Through paying careful attention to my customers' tastes, I can make honest and savvy recommendations, so that when a customer asks, "Shall I have a case of this?" I can say, "No, save yourself ten bob and have this's much nicer!" - a fair outcome for us both."

We're lucky enough to have Maxwell giving us a weekly recommendation every week for November, and here's his first suggestion:

"My first choice is (rather unashamedly) my Satchells Champagne. Often, inexpensive Champagne can be a little “green” and fizzy, but this is matured a bit longer to give a softer, more elegant flavour. As we mentioned before, it's silver medal winner at the IWC 2014, but it's only £19.99. Fill your boots!"

Such a tasty Champagne at this price really is a bargain, and the fact it's been carefully crafted with Maxwell's input means I can really rely on the quality - how amazing that a tiny wine shop in a Norfolk village is going to such lengths to bring the best possible wines at reasonable prices! This is exactly why I love indie wine merchants.

Join us next week for another recommendation from Satchells!

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