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New wine shop is just the tipple for Cirencester

Cirencester has an independent wine retailer once again thanks to the opening of Phoenix Wines.

Picture: L2R Dean Griffiths, Simon Griffiths, Mike Hobday

Wine expert Simon Griffiths has taken the helm of the new shop in Castle Street, made possible by investments from friend and neighbour Mike Hirst and father Dean Griffiths.

Phoenix Wines, next to the Black Horse pub, is Cirencester's only town centre wine retailer, also stocking spirits and beers, many of them from local producers.

Mr Griffiths said: "There is big demand in Cirencester for an independent wine store and the proof of this is that we opened a few days earlier than planned because customers wanted us to start trading.

"The demand in this area is very classics-led, so we have a great selection from France, Italy and Spain. I have quite an esoteric interest in Eastern European wines, so these are also represented, and of course New World wines.

"We are also keen to stock local producers, so for example we have Sibling Gin from Cheltenham, Cotswold Hills wine and Corinium Ales beer, but what is important for us is quality."

Simon, who is helped in the store by colleague Mike Hobday, is on hand to advise customers on wine choices and he also plans to run wine tasting events.

"We have a room upstairs for wine tasting in the evening and in the daytime, without having to close the shop. We are also waiting to be accredited to run WSET - that's Wine & Spirit Education Trust - courses. The basic levels are ideal for the amateur wine taster and we can run higher level courses for people who want to work in hospitality, for example."

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