On another spectacular summer's evening Saturday 26 June - eve of England vs Germany in the World Cup - the courtyard at Eynsham Emporium stayed open late for a free summer bash arranged by the new boys over the road.
Oliver Gauntlett and Iain Boyce are the partners behind Eynsham Cellars who have taken over the old Wine Rack shop. They invited suppliers of local wines and ales to showcase their products and cracked open plenty of bottles for us to try. Ad hoc wine tasting tutorials were available for the enthusiast, with nibbles, a prize draw etc. before a quick coffee to carry us into the evening.
Don't worry if you missed the event - Oli and Iain run wine tastings every Saturday afternoon from 15:00.
Oli, originally a Yorkshire lad, moved to the area seven years ago while for Iain the journey to Eynsham has been a little further and led by the heart:
“Four years ago I left my native Australia to follow a girl to the UK. I eventually made her my wife and we’ve lived in Oxfordshire ever since.”
A focus on quality products, particularly wine, is Oli's and Iain's not-so secret weapon against larger, more established outlets; and as it turns out good wine is a passion for them both.
“My father told me to trust my palate and that’s the secret to what we put on the shelf. They’re wines we’ve tasted and think will go down well in Eynsham. It’s a balancing act between getting the best products in and still offering value for money. Of course, many people just want the big well-advertised brands and we cater for them too,” said Boyce.
OUR FAVOURITE TIPPLE
Further Reading: Summer Tasting #2 on Saturday 18 June 2011 - starting around 13:30 at the same place.