When it comes to wine, not many of us know the difference between a burgundy and a Beaujolais or a chardonnay and a Chablis and because the price of wine can vary so much, many are wary of paying for an expensive bottle of wine, only to find they don’t like it, writes Tracy Hargreaves
Some supermarkets have a limited range, whilst online retailers require you to order the same wine by the case, making it difficult to find a wine you like.
But one man who wants to change all that is Kevin Thomas from Cottam.
Kevin’s passion for wine has grown over the years. For the last eight years he has been attending wine tastings to build up his knowledge and that’s where he met the previous owner of Silver Fox Wines.
“My father had worked in the catering industry for many years and he was always looking at food and wine pairings. I learnt a lot from him, and I guess that’s where my interest started,” said Kevin.
“I was coming up to retirement in January 2018, after spending 41 years working for BT and I thought it was time to hang up my working tools and think of an engaging alternative,” said Kevin. “When I met the previous owner and there was an opportunity to do something different, I didn’t hesitate to buy the business. My wife Lesley has also recently retired from her job as an administrator and is also now working alongside me, which is perfect, as we had always wanted to do something together.”
Silver Fox Wines Ltd offers great wines to people all over the UK through its website. Its wines are from classic and boutique wineries, which you won’t find anywhere else. The wines are not industrially produced, and you won’t find them in supermarkets. With prices starting from as low as £8 they are great value. There’s also a range of Organic, Vegetarian, Vegan and Biodynamic wines you can choose from. In addition, Kevin also offers home wine tastings in people’s homes which is based on what people want to taste. It’s a great way to get family and friends together for a casual wine focused event and also support local organisations and charities who wish to run larger styled wine tasting events as fundraisers. Finally, he also helps bars and restaurants when they are looking at their wine menu, wanting to offer something different for their customers.
Some of the popular wines Kevin stocks are from Romania. “Not many people know that Romania makes wine and that it’s actually very good.”
Although Romania still has plenty of international grape varieties planted, it is with its many indigenous grapes that wine lovers can get genuinely excited. “Legendary Dracula is a Romanian brand that aims at empowering some of the finest local products by associating them with one of the most powerful and notorious European myth – Dracula,” says Kevin. “This wine has been popular especially around Halloween with restaurants stocking it for various Dracula inspired themes.”
Kevin is so passionate about what he does that he and Lesley stopped off at a number of vineyards on a recent round the world trip. “Whilst we were in Sydney and Melbourne, we visited several wineries, as well as in New Zealand. In fact, we are now stocking wines from the Esk Valley winery in the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand. We also travelled to the Napa Valley region in San Francisco. It really was a great opportunity to taste the wines from different regions and learn so much more about them. This helps when I’m doing my wine tastings as I can genuinely say I’ve seen the wine being produced.”
The website now lists more than 170 different wines on the website including English wines. “We’ve got a wine from Leventhorpe across the border in Yorkshire. Leventhorpe Vineyard is a long-established vineyard situated in Leeds and founded in 1985. It was the first to re-introduce commercial wine growing back into Yorkshire. It’s an ideal site for wine growing and one of the very few vineyards that lie within a large city boundary anywhere in the world.”
If you are looking for something different or want to try before you buy, then why not give a wine tasting a go. You might find a new favourite.