Chin-Chin At The Wine Stand!
by Ruth Lawrence
With Christmas just around the corner, stocking up on top quality drink for parties and presents is a must for the festive season. Time to head to The Wine Stand!
Colin Bates and his father Roy both worked for Threshers and when the firm collapsed, they decided to set up their own shop six years ago. Now The Wine Stand in Burgess Hill stocks one of the largest selections of wines, spirits and beers in Sussex. With 170 varieties of beer to choose from, there’s something for every taste and local ales are a speciality. Craft beers are very popular now; often made by hand in smaller quantities, they can contain exotic hops or unusual ingredients and come from all over the world.
Recently Colin has noticed an increased demand for local wines. Here in Sussex we have the same chalky soil as the Champagne region of France and warmer summers are helping to make our award winning wines highly desirable. Court Garden wine from Ditchling, Plumpton College wines and those from Biddenden in Kent are among those to enjoy this winter. There’s also a great range of ports and spirits including extremely rare 17-year old smoky flavoured Japanese whisky, which is not available outside London and Macallan, and an 18-year old Single malt Scottish whisky with a sobering price tag. A great selection of gins includes Colombian and Japanese gins and the smooth, mellow local Brighton Gin which is best enjoyed neat.
If you’re hosting a party, glass rental is available and Colin can obtain any drink you request. The Wine Stand also functions as a handy UPS postage drop-off station where you can leave parcels for delivery, and has plentiful off-road parking. Wine tasting sessions take place every month with details on the website and Colin told me that they “are the most inexpensive specialist wine stockists in Sussex.” Next summer, customers will be able to bring their own bottles to fill up with Italian wine from the barrel; prices are kept low because shipping charges are cheaper and Colin can offer a top quality product at a better price.
“We enjoy being here, talking to customers and sampling products,” said Colin. It certainly seemed the ideal place to be on a chilly winter afternoon and customers are guaranteed a warm and knowledgeable welcome. With the shop open seven days a week from 11am to 10pm including Christmas Day, it looks set to be another busy season for Colin, Roy and assistants Mike, Simon and Aimee. Whether you enjoy fine local wine, flavoursome real ales or aged whiskies, there’s plenty to whet your taste buds in this brim-full shop with the friendliest of welcomes.
The Wine Stand
Address: 1 Valebridge Road, Burgess Hill, West Susex RH15 0RA
Telephone: 01444 616950