In a Bordeaux bistro called La Tupina, we (Ryan Quinn and Alastair Pope) hatched a plan. It was our first ever buying trip to France and we were going to need a pretty good plan if we ever wanted to pay off the credit card bill. We may have been staying in the worst hotel in Bordeaux but that doesn't mean it was cheap, and the bill for La Tupina's legendary Côte de Boeuf is not to be taken lightly (nor had we realised that much beef would require multiple bottles of Ch Branaire Ducru).
But like all good plans, ours was simple: take a good thing and make it better. For well over twenty five years now, wine-loving customers have enjoyed dropping into Wine Direct for some quality browsing, some good advice, and walking out with armfuls of tasty wine. The kind of wine that can’t be bought at a supermarket or a chain liquor store - what we call Real Wine.
Now we just needed to find more good wine and more happy customers. So over the last few years we've grown our wine selection dramatically. We can't seem to help ourselves, whenever we find really great new wines, we just have to import them. Because that's what happens when you find something really great — you want to share it with others. But anyway, that first ever buying trip to France wasn’t all Steak Frites, we also discovered some of the finest wine producers we’ve ever come across, like Francois Chidaine, Clos Marie and Domaine Grand Veneur, absolutely sensational wine producers that we are proud to have introduced to New Zealand.
We used to have to drag people off the street to get them to shop with us but these days it's all a bit more civilised. We keep in touch with our thirsty customers by email, website, phone and regular wine tastings and events. And we love the chance of a chat and a catch up with customers who pop in to any of our three (yes, three) Auckland stores. By the way, if you're not already on our email list, you can sign up now by clicking here. Things have come a long way since we moved out of our beloved shop at 16 St Marks Rd in Newmarket. It was an unlikely spot, tucked away almost underneath the motorway but man we got through a lot of wine there. In more ways than one.
Today we can boast what is perhaps NZ's largest selection of imported wine (yeehaa!). From the fabulous and rare, right down to those essential gluggable, everyday cheapies. But the Wine Direct idea is still basically the same as it was back when it all began in the 1980's: To many people, imported wine often seems complicated, but it doesn't have to be that way. All you need is a quality wine merchant and some good advice. That's what we strive for every day. In fact we'd like to be the most accessible, relevant and interesting wine company in the country.