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Great Western partners to offer wine and vinyl subscription service

Published:  04 November, 2016

A Bath-based wine merchant is by teaming up with two craft businesses which will see their wines paired, not with cheese or olives, but with chocolates and vinyl records.

A Bath-based wine merchant is by teaming up with two craft businesses which will see their wines paired - not with cheese or olives - but with chocolates and vinyl records.

Great Western Wine is diversifying its offering and "thinking outside the box" by collaborating with artisan chocolate specialist Cocoa Runners and Stylus Vinyl to offer monthly subscriptions where customers receive a vinyl classic to enjoy with a bottle of wine.

Trying to offer customers a point of difference is Richard Lecoche, retail manager at Great Western Wine.

"We are constantly looking to improve our offer to our customers, and trying to think outside the box," he said.

"There are many parallels in the craft and provenance of wine, chocolate and also music. The end result is simple; wonderful wine, picked by us to complement great music played in its best format, and unique craft chocolate from across the world. It establishes a point of difference, and adds to the experience we are offering our customers."

Stylus Vinyl is an online record company set up by musician and journalist Russ Cook.

The company is now set to offer a £35 a month subscription service where fans of music and wine can receive a vinyl classic with a bottle of wine paired by the Great Western team.

"There are layers of stories behind every album an artist creates," Cook said.

"In the same way, there are stories behind wines, so the team and I've tried to match them together, to create a harmonious and enjoyable experience.'

The online site has just launched its first month's subscription, featuring Prince's Purple Rain, paired with the vivid D'Arenberg The Love Grass, produced by equally flamboyant Australian winemaker Chester Osborn.

"Prince was a ground-breaker, a true maverick in the music world and Chester Osborn is similarly colourful, and unique in the wine world. It's a perfect match," Cook added.

Cocoa Runners brings in artisan chocolate from all over the world, focussing on small batch, specialist, top quality bean producers and chocolate makers.

Drawing parallels between wine and chocolate, Spencer Hyman, co-founder of Cocoa Runners, highlighted how cocoa also has its own form of terroir.

"Just like wine, chocolate varies greatly, depending on soil, location and climate. If you want to sell great wine, you need to customers to try it. It's no different with chocolate," he said.

Ten of the bars are now listed in the Western Wine shop, including TCHO made from Peruvian beans by a San-Francisco based artisan producer and Marou Dong Nai, produced in Saigon from beans from the Dong Nai province.

Each of the chocolate bars has been matched to a specific wine, from Carmenere to Pedro Ximenez.

The partnership will include a series of chocolate and wine matching evenings, beginning in December.

Both partnerships are in addition to their existing association with local cheese company Pong Cheese.

These initiatives follow a makeover of the Bath shop, which features a spirits section recently been increased by 300 spirits.