Look at the colour, give the wine a twirl and take a full whiff. Then it is time to taste. Make sure to get a mouthful and take in all the different flavours. You do not need to be a connoisseur to enjoy wine but it helps to have one by your side.
Nick Chadwick is the owner of Winearray, a hidden gem of a shop tucked away in Boroughbridge which has become a weekend pilgrimage for many in the Harrogate district since it opened its doors 16 years ago.
Winearray stocks more than 400 wines from the likes of France, Italy, Portugal and a little closer to home in England. The shop describes itself as a cornucopia and while the shop certainly has plenty of choice, Nick’s mind is the real horn of plenty.
Mr Chadwick loves nothing more than to visit the people and places where the wines are created to learn more of its story and, importantly, the taste.
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While a weekend away of wine tasting in northern Italy sounds like an ideal holiday for just about anybody, Nick who is ever the professional finds that wines tend to stick in his mind all the more when he is enjoying them at the source.
Coronavirus has meant that Nick has had to change the way he runs his shop. He does miss the trips but more than anything he misses the wine tasting classes that he holds in Boroughbridge with some of the suppliers and customers.
Over the last year, Nick has reduced his shop opening hours so that he can spend half the day working on deliveries which have become increasingly popular. He has also adapted to hold wine tasting classes online.
When asked about how he competes with online shops and supermarkets, Nick Chadwick, who also stocks some select spirits and Cuban cigars, told the Stray Ferret:
“I think that people do come here for my guidance. If people do come in they come here to talk and to engage with me, it’s not just about looking around the shop.
“There are the regular customers, maybe regular is not a nice word in a wine shop, but there’s quite a lot of conversation either about wines or things connected to wine.
“Winearray has got a good customer base, most of whom are very loyal. A lot of people come to Boroughbridge for a more social shopping experience.
“I take a lot of pride in the wines that I stock, these bottles are all on my shelves for a reason.
“The shop has a set amount of space. It is quite difficult to always have new products, it needs to be interesting and good enough to knock another off.”
This is part of the Stray Ferret’s ‘hidden gem’ series. We are trying to highlight small independent businesses. They need to be tucked away but growing in popularity with an eye-catching and unique product or approach. Send us an email with your nominations.