It has been just over a month since the Hounds moved to Frome, Somerset from Seaton, Devon & we still have piles of exploring to do. One of the several drawbacks of Seaton was the overshadowing of the town by a massive Tescos, which did what it normally does to town centre business – squashes it flat. Seaton used to have an independent wine merchant with the operative words being ‘used to’ as it is gone. The only logical thing to do in Seaton was order from a variety of online retailers, mostly the nice folks @ Naked Wines. Naked Wines not only sell very decent drops but they plow a good chunk of their profits into supporting small, independent wine makers – sweet.
So it is with wonderous pleasure that in near proximity to Frome we have access to several respectable independent wine merchants including the awesome Yapp Brothers in Mere. They are a wine merchant after our own hearts as they specialise in wines of the French Rhone and Loire region – yippee!
Yapp Brothers was founded in 1969 (birth year of Hound #3) and epitomises what you’d want in your local independent wine merchant and pretty much the antithesis to the supermarket experience. Here you will find a very knowledgeable wine merchant who is generous with their advice & guidance and carries a pleasantly idiosyncratic line of vino to tickle your palate. Much different to the huge informational vacuum found in the supermarket wine section. If you can find anyone at all they are most likely there to just stack shelves and it might as well be baked beans as wine.
They have certainly been accorded the accolades, widely recognised as the UK’s leading importer of French regional wines, Yapp Brothers were recently named both Specialist Wine Merchant of the Year for Regional France and Specialist Wine Merchant of the Year for the Loire at the International Wine Challenge. And The Times placed them in the ‘Top Ten Wine Shops in the UK’ while The Independent gave them the nod for one of the ‘Top Ten Online Wine Merchants’. Phew!
You can visit the shop in person Monday through Saturday 9AM to 6PM and you are welcome to browse & order from the shop or take a wander over to the cellar to see what you might find. And as mentioned, they do a decent online & delivery service too.