Berry Brothers and Rudd are the oldest wine merchant in the UK. Based out of St James’s in London’s trendy Mayfair area, this is where they’ve been operating in one guise or another since 1698. When I was coming through in the banking world all those years ago, all the senior lads and lasses had Berry Brothers accounts. It’s almost a right of passage for fine wine buyers in London and the wider UK. Last week I made my first purchase from there, and it was pretty bloody impressive.
I wasn’t exactly going mental. I wasn’t buying ’83 Petrus or anything like that. For the month of August they’re running their summer sale, which is a way for them to clear the decks before the new vintages come into stock. Anthing with the world “sale” in it appeals to my northern roots, so I tucked in buying a few bits and pieces from the Northern Rhone and Burgundy, which is usually way out of my price range.
But more than the wines on show, the customer experience was epic. Everything was just so spot on. Ordering was easy, invoicing was easy, you got daily updates on where your delivery was up to. Just so efficient.
Berry Brothers is said to be the first wine merchant to open up online, back in 1995. Now its online presence is supplemented by the BBR phone app to keep tabs on your wines in storage and for any purchases you’re after.
I have a small private sales gig on the go, and I know I can’t compete with that. I’ll stick to the “local wine guy” card. The volume and margin (not a criticism, just an observation) that BBR command allows investment into both staff skills (including 5 masters of wine) and clearly the technology.
These guys and girls are pretty bloody slick. Fair play.
The Berry Brothers sale is on until 31stAugust 2018, with up to 50% off certain lines