Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wine, the Selfridges Way; the Oxford Street Store Is Set to Take on Specialist Shops and Vintners by Offering a Whole New Food and Wine Experience

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wine, the Selfridges Way; the Oxford Street Store Is Set to Take on Specialist Shops and Vintners by Offering a Whole New Food and Wine Experience

Article excerpt

SELFRIDGES has become the latest West End retailer to enhance its food and dining experience by officially launching its new Wonder Bar on Tuesday.

Hot on the heels of Fortnum and Mason's new 1707 wine bar and the revamped John Lewis restaurants, the bar is an addition to Selfridges' 19 cafes, bars and restaurants.

While shoppers will be enticed to relax with a drink, it will also be a destination bar for wine aficionados.

At the heart of this stimulating twolevel space is a "wine jukebox" an enomatic system with more than 50 types of wine and vintages that people can serve themselves by the glass, at prices from [pounds sterling]5 to [pounds sterling]150.

Selfridges' head sommelier Dawn Davies hails the system as a breakthrough in how wine can be served.

"The use of new technology means a bottle of the rarest vintage can be opened and then stored for up to three weeks without the quality being tainted in any way.

"Customers can charge their cards and be much more adventurous in the choices and we can serve them without fearing that we won' t be able to sell the rest of the bottle before it corks. We had our soft launch 10 days ago and already we've got through a bottle and half of Petrus." Technically, the enomatic wine system works using automatic nitrogen (or Argon) gas preservation, which prevents the wine's qualities from being altered by oxygen and protects the organoleptic integrity (taste, aroma, body and colour) of the wine.

The machine's pouring spouts also automatically self-clean after every use, to ensure the highest hygiene and wine quality..

For those who prefer, there will be table service from a team of expert wine waiters, headed by Dawn. Alongside the Wonder Bar will be a 3,000sq ft wine, champagne and spirits shop featuring a new personal shopping service.

And customers can drink any of the wines on sale on the shop floor in the bar for its retail price plus [pounds sterling]10 corkage.

The bar is the first stage in its Wonder scheme, the biggest in-store project Selfridges has ever undertaken. It will include the development of the Wonder Room, pitched as London's ultimate jewellery, watches and luxury gift destination, scheduled to open in early autumn. …

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