Master of wine raises glass to new shop venture
A TOWN is to get its first specialist wine shop.
Expert wine merchant Richard Ballantyne is opening a new shop – and the doors to the Noble Grape should open in the next few days.
The latest venture by Richard Ballantyne, formerly of Ballantynes Wine Merchants in Pontcanna, will be on High Street, Cowbridge.
Richard, who has 26 years of experience, became a master of wine in 2016.
There are only 369 in the world and Richard is the only person with the accolade in Wales.
But as well as helping seasoned wine drinkers find their perfect plonk, he wants to help those who hope to learn more about wine. Prices will start at £7.
He said: “It will be the kind of shop people can come into midweek and pick up a bottle for £7 but then if they’re having a dinner party or want something fancier, they can get that too.
“People can be intimidated by wine shops because they don’t think they have enough knowledge to go in but that’s the point – we have enough and we’re experienced.
“I can find you a better wine than you can find yourself.”
He will stock wines from 13 different countries including less well-known wines from Uruguay and Slovenia.
Uruguayan wines have plenty of Italian influence while the Slovenia wines will be priced at about £10.
He’s chosen Cowbridge partly because he has lived there for almost all of his life, but also the strong sense of support for independent businesses.
Richard said: “It’s a great town and fantastic place.
“We have got a great range of shops and independent retailers and a great community of people who appreciate good wine and good living.”
He says he also plans to hold tasting events and team up with restaurants and other local businesses.
“It’s going to be a real community,” he added.