Auld Lang Syne – the annual report

Fellow Wine Lovers,

It’s the Thirty First day of December, the last day of 2015,the last day of the festive season. There’s plenty of news but we didn’t want to talk about Lemmy, Bill Cosby or flooding disasters.  We didn’t even want talk about the cricket, or Leicester City, or FIFA.  We wanted to try and keep sport and news out of our newsletter for once and as you can see, it’s worked a treat.

For many it is a time of reflection and review and this will include a number of high street wine merchants who will publish a splendid selection of spurious figures relating to double digit growth in wines beginning with the letter M, or some other such irrelevance.

This growth, we will read with tingles of excitement, comes from renewed emphasis on strengthening these wines position at the centre of the alphabet, the go-to letter, the letter of the MoMent. Hidden behind tales of this growth will be some trifling small print relating to a 17% decline in earnings and a subsequent share price drop blah, blah, blah – but that is not what the papers want to hear, not now, not at the end of the year, not on the last day of 2015, not with everybody in such a good Mood – with a capital M.

With review in mind I thought I might look at some of our stats for the year, with appropriate analysis.

Calendar performance

The Quietest day of the year was Monday 9th February, which should be noted, was Wayne’s day off.  Further poor performers that followed up were a couple of days in January and lots in August.  Alex was on holiday in August.

Busiest day – Saturday 19th December – we were both here…

Product performance

Top selling products was a disappointment in some respects. Sales of English sparkling wine, Romanian Pinot Noir and Rivaner from Luxembourg, whilst strong, were not enough to promote them to the top ten; however we did see 5 new entries this year, which is great news:

Lunetta Prosecco and Chateau de L’Aumerade Provence Rose took the top two spots, unsurprising considering their enduring popularity and the fact we have had some very pleasant weather this year.

Camden Town Brewery Hells Lager, Paulaner Munchner Hell Munich Lager and Sambrooks Wandle Ale took 3rd, 4th and 8th places – beer always ranks well as people usually buy numerous bottles and interestingly the appeal of lager still outweighs the rise of Pale Ale.

Leveret IQ Brut, Cuvee JP Jean Paul Rose, Gavi di Gavi Sarotto and Macon Charnay Reserve Personelle were all new entries and further bolster the supposition that the weather had a very positive impact.

The last member of our top ten is a perennial favourite, Champagne Moutard Grand Cuvee, our house Champagne and the one we’ll be opening today to help it push up the rankings even more.

Interestingly, we sold almost double the amount of red wine than white wine from a value point of view, yet not a single red wine appears in the top ten!

Staff performance

For the fifth year running Wayne was star performer, he now gets to keep the medal and his till number, #1, will be retired with him but not too soon we hope!

Alex claimed second position, again for the fifth year running. Could do better.

Mention must be made of Rufus, the downstairs-dwelling dog, who turned up for work everyday at 11am for 38 weeks of the year and still failed to sell a single product or catch a mouse.

Finally, this computer deserves a mention for sheer graft: for, when not being used for work it is either playing Spotify, Sky Sports or Channel 4 racing – making it undoubtedly our most valuable member of staff!


Thanks to much valued support over the years, we’ve now just completed our sixth Christmas on Arthur Road. We can’t thank everyone individually but you know who you are and we know who you are, and we also know what wines you like, what wines you don’t like and whether you’d like us to deliver – it’s a perfect relationship which we hope will see us well into next year and beyond!


We will have wine open today as is our custom – Moutard Grande Cuvee (£28.99) will do it’s best to compete with last week’s Bollinger, Pieropan Soave Calvarino (£20.99) will represent the delicious white wine side, whilst the red representative has to be the out-of-this-world, Joan Giné Priorat 2009 (£22.19).

And that’s it from us for 2015 – Ben Kingsley, Val Kilmer, Richie McCaw, Anthony Hopkins, Alex Ferguson and anyone else who is celebrating a birthday today – here’s looking at you, kid!

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