The wine bug first took hold at the end of the nineties whilst living on the southern outskirts of Vienna in Austria. Some 15 years after the scandal that rocked the Austrian wine industry the Austrian government had introduced perhaps the strictest rules regulating wine production in the world, a new generation of young Austrian winemakers was in place, there was an optimism that the old industry, largely supplying cheap, wine to Germany, had been swept away by a new Austrian wine industry based instead on quality and typicity.
Small scale, family-owned producers form the majority of the Austrian wine industry and on our return to the UK it was frustrating to realise how few of these great Austrian wines were available for us in the UK, partly due to strong local demand but also because most are produced on too small a scale to be of interest to our multiple retailers here in the UK. We have however, managed to find excellent Austrian producers from the Wachau, Carnuntum and Neusiedlersee who are as excited as we are about bringing their classic Austrian wines to the UK via our online shop.
See our current range of Austrian wines here.
EclecticTastes was founded by me, Roger Sleigh, in response to the mostly mass-produced characterless wines and beers on offer in the UK’s large retail outlets. During the last 15 years my wife, Alison, and I have been lucky enough to have had spells working abroad, in the USA, Austria and Belgium. These have exposed us to fantastic, high quality, locally produced food and drink which is much less freely available here in the UK.
Craft brewing in Belgium is a thriving industry. Beer styles are fantastically varied and some are unlike anything available anywhere else in the world. During our stay in the USA micro-brewed beer was undergoing a resurgence in popularity. Happily UK craft brewers are enjoying a similar revival and we can now source from breweries in all corners of the country offering a tasty, diverse range of beers, as an antidote to the bland, anonymous offerings of industrial brewers. We offer a range of beers not only from the UK but also classics from the continent.
Eclectictastes online wine warehouse was probably conceived sometime in the late-nineties but planning only started to get more serious around 2005. I studied with Sybille Troubelyn at Winewise in Brussels, taking internationally recognised wine and spirits qualifications offered by the Wine & Spirits Education Trust. Part-time work with a local independent wine merchant gave me the necessary retail experience and confidence to take the next step, EclecticTastes Online Wine, Beer and Spirit Warehouse.
From our premises in Tayside our online shop aims to provide all customers, whatever the budget, with a range of interesting wines, beers and spirits from around the world which reflect the traditions of the area of production. Rather than selling deals on multiple bottle purchases we aim to offer all single bottles at competitive prices.