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Hayley Taylor

Why we’re drinking better in lockdown

If lockdown has taught us anything, it’s the importance of shopping local.

Peter Watts Wines Pretty in Pink case
Peter Watts Wines ‘Pretty in Pink’ case

The initial panic for stockpiling saw supermarket shelves stripped bare and customers turn to online retailers. This unprecedented demand meant that many online retailers had to pause their services to catch up. Now the dust has settled and we’re in need of another restock, Jo Page at The Wine Word has rounded up who is open for business.

Jo says: “Now, more than ever, is the time to support your local wine merchant, so that they survive for the long term. Local retailers have been the quickest to adapt to change in trade, providing no contact and quick delivery. And because they know their stock, they’re always on hand to provide advice or offer alternatives if your favourite isn’t available.”

Local to The Green Apron is Peter Watts Wines. Family run for nearly 40 years, its priority is to source quality wines from smaller producers. It has an extensive selection as well as a number of ready-mixed cases available – the ‘Brave New World’ (12 bottles, £115) and ‘Pretty in Pink’ (12 bottles, £117) cases are on our shopping list. With free same-day or next-day local delivery (within 20 miles) and no minimum order, there’s every excuse to treat yourself this weekend.

If you’re a fan of English wine (and we are), there are great local options available.

Martin’s Lane Vineyard is on the River Crouch estuary – it’s almost a neighbour. It grows and produces its own wines locally, both still and sparkling and offers free delivery in Essex with a minimum order of six bottles. On our shopping list is the Chardonnay (£16.99 per bottle), which we often serve with our lunches during our The Green Apron classes. We’re also fans of the Pinot Noir ‘blanc de noirs’, a white wine made from red grapes often seen in champagne but much rarer as a still wine. Think red berry flavours and the luxury of champagne but in a still wine (£21.99 per bottle).

Further afield?

Chapel Down is now offering free delivery on all orders UK-wide. Based in Kent, it sources its fruit from across the south of England – including Essex. It has a number of good value mixed cases – the ‘Chapel Down Intro’ case will also cover your gin and beer needs (12 bottles, £150 or 6 bottles, £80) or the ‘2018 Vintage Still Wine’ case showcases the best of English still wine (6 bottles, £80). If you’ve got room, we’d also add a case of the Chardonnay 2015 (6 bottles, £90).

About The Green Apron

You’ll find The Green Apron cooking school in Coggeshall, Essex. We’re focused on creating simple and seasonal dishes that are as natural as they are delicious, so our cooking classes are fun and hands-on and feature no hard-to-get ingredients or complicated equipment. If you’re interested in Baking, Thai, Indian and Italian dishes to match your wines, our cooking courses have all the inspiration you need.