Mas­ter of wine raises glass to new shop ven­ture

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

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.

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