Hurrah for Majestic. They’ve just won the Decanter World Wine Award as the best High Street Retailer. It’s an award I’d have given them!
Majestic are a strange wine retailing concept, they are small warehouses with wine piled up in its boxes, with price information balancing on top. You have to buy a minimum of 6 bottles of wine so they can keep their ‘wholesaler’ designation, making life easier for them, but not the casual wine shopper.
Despite the stripped down approach they always have an interesting selection of wines available to taste and you can pour yourself a glass without upsetting the employees. A glass, not a nasty plastic specimen cup.
The staff are very helpful though and always seem happy to chat about your wine selections, and overjoyed when asked for help in choosing wine. It could even be a minor downside that if you pop in midweek it can be a little like visiting an elderly aunt, it seems rude to rush off and you end up staying far too long chatting.
The wine selections are good too, there’s reliable favourites that seem to be available all year round, but they’re supplemented by a regularly changing set of interesting wines, which the staff have always got something to say about. A curious set of multi-buy permutations encourage you to try wines that maybe you wouldn’t have experimented with, but I’ve yet to have a duff recommendation (That reminds me, they sell beer too, but again only in cases).
You can order on line and your local store will deliver, useful if you don’t drive as 12 bottles is tricky to get home without a wheelbarrow. I don’t use this option as I enjoy the browsing experience.
The twelve bottle limit may be too high a barrier to a non-wine drinker and you can’t guarantee that they’ll always have your chosen wines in stock, but these quirks don’t outweigh the great Majestic selection, reasonable pricing and enthusiastic team.