Events Manager, Alix Chidley-Uttley, gives us a round-up of Tanners Christmas Tastings, one of the highlights in the year’s events.

We’ve been easing ourselves into the Christmas Spirit here at Tanners – or perhaps I should be saying into the Christmas Wine? Our run of annual Christmas tastings hosted across six of our seven branches, these tastings are as good an introduction to the seasonal merriment as any. I shall give our festive and sagacious readers a succinct briefing about these merry-making evenings, so as that middle ghost once requested of that famed Christmas miser, ‘come in, come in and know me better man’ …

Each tasting featured no fewer than 30+ wines from across the wine-growing map these events are the perfect opportunity to stock up for the season ahead. Among the wines featured are some of the new vintages of Tanners own label bottlings, and of course our Christmas feast-ready Fizz, be it Champagne, Australian, English and a little more, we have something to charge your glass to.

We also showed a wonderful array of pudding and fortified wines, so whether you wanted something to complement your Christmas pudding or a tot of something to send your mince pie down with, we had a plethora of choice.

Mark Carter and the team at our Bridgnorth branch held the opening night, this pretty and beamed old building showcases its fair share of events throughout the year and their Christmas tasting is always the great climax to their calendar. This year saw this picturesque branch hosting two consecutive nights. Guests piled into the old rooms of this most delightful spot on Bridgnorth high street and were shown a warm welcome and a glass of something rather tasty. There are worse ways to spend your evening!

We moved along county to Welshpool for the second branch tasting and found ourselves out in the border country where guests were well adjusted to bracing the weather and found something to warm the cockles in this our smallest of branches, attached to Tanners large warehouse and customer reserves storage. Branch Manager Matthew Bevan and his team know to how to host an informal and interesting evening and their tasting was a delight to attend, it’s the various nature of the branches and customers I enjoy most of all at these events and the Welshpool customers are as friendly as they are characterful and fantastic.

The third branch tasting was Chester, into our neighbouring county. This branch is housed in a former (though never used as such) art deco cinema, the exterior requires little imagination to picture (see what I did there!) this past purpose. Branch Manager Mat Evans and his colleagues know how to put on a good evening, this was a crowd eager to taste champagnes and the varied treats the Chester team had to show. A good night all round!

Our next event found us back in Shrewsbury at 26 Wyle Cop, in the capable hands of Rob Crosland and Aaran Eccles. It would be fair to say this is our most famous branch and with its dormer windows, Elizabethan façade and ancient rooms, this building is straight-out of a Dickens novel and we are very proud of it. Here we host two nights, on the trot, with some two hundred guests at each evening. Glass in hand, our customers sauntered the many rooms of this famed Shrewsbury building, at the very heart of Tanners and we are always glad to greet them. Year upon year, long may the hospitable welcome and wine appreciating guests remain in this festive union!

Rolling the weeks of November out to the end, we find ourselves in another neighbouring county, the rather lovely and bucolic Hereford. This easy on the eye branch is headed up by the very experienced Neil Clarke and his team know how to choose wine. Two consecutive nights were held here and I can say if you looking for an evening of good (very good) wine and lively conversation, I would hop on the train and get thee to Hereford Branch Christmas tasting – although you’ll now have to wait for their 2020 dates!

I hope as a summary this was somewhat interesting, the customers are at the core of what we do. We are endlessly grateful for their loyalty and so let’s raise a glass to 2019 and here’s to all the 2020 brings. Thank you for your custom and a very happy Christmas. And as another Dickens character once remarked, ‘A Merry Christmas everybody, and a Happy New Year to all the world’!