Bunch of Fives become Bunch of Sixes


News just announced that The Bunch has expanded from five merchants to six, with the existing quintet of Berry Bros. & Rudd, Yapp Brothers, Adnams, Corney & Barrow and Tanners being joined by Lea & Sandeman. Not much of a surprise really. Both Charles Lea & Patrick Sandeman are – like the existing Bunchers – passionate about good wine, and are pretty good at truffling out new and interesting stuff, but even though they’re the youngest company of the six members, there’s still an old-school wine trade feel about them.

To be honest, I’d like to see a rival group spring up to show the dirtier, grittier face of the UK trade. If I had to pick 6  off the top of my head, maybe they’d be Ballantynes, Noel Young, WoodWinters, Gauntleys, Theatre of Wine and Caves de Pyrene. And whereas the members of The Bunch would spend the evening of their AGM poring over several interesting and venerable bottles in a private dining room, I’d expect this lot – The Crushers? The Hens & Chickens? The Wild Yeasts? – to have their meeting in a slightly seedy pub and then go on to create mischief. There’d be tears, there’d be scars and there’d be stories. And there’d definitely be hangovers…

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