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New retailer offers 'try before buy' on 100 wines

Published:  20 September, 2010

A new wine retailer in London is offering customers the chance to try all 100 of its wines before they buy.

Vagabond claims to be the first UK firm to allow customers to buy 35ml samples, for 50p, of all 100 wines it stocks.

The wines can be tasted through a custom-made wine serving system, which is similar to those used in some New York outlets.

Vagabond, located off Fulham Broadway, worked closely with wine system company By The Glass to design their in-store 20-bottle sampling machines. BTG's nitrogen refrigeration system preserves opened bottles against oxidation for up to two to three weeks.

The company was founded by Stephen Finch, who said: "We have created Vagabond Wines because there was definitely a gap in the market between fine wine retailers which, as good as they are, can be a bit intimidating, and supermarkets that are great for price."

"But more importantly, it's just crazy that in this day and age customers should have to part with a good sum of money on a bottle of wine without knowing what it is they're buying. That's why we're allowing customers to taste 100% of our red, white and rosé wines before they buy anything".

Vagabond organises wine by style grouping "crisp" whites or "bold" reds, and purchase occasions like "Pairs with Thai Food" or "Friday Night In".