Tom I’Anson Wines
- Credit: Archant
Established in 2012, Tom I’Anson Wines is an independent wine merchant with a difference.
There is no high street presence, no comprehensively shelved shop-front with rows and rows of fine wines on display. Instead, what you will find at their rural Colesbourne premises is piles of wine boxes, a few display bottles here and there and a very beautiful whippet. This is because company owner, Tom I’Anson, doesn’t want his customers to be intimidated by the usual complexities of trying to select a bottle of wine. Tom believes he can best serve his customers by welcoming them and talking to them and guiding them to the right choice. There are some other benefits to this ‘informal’ style of showing his wines, his overheads are significantly lower than his competitors, allowing him to be very competitive on price.
Tom I’Anson arrived on the wine scene by a slightly different route to most. Originally studying Architecture in Edinburgh, he quickly realized that Architecture wasn’t for him, so whilst finishing his degree he went to work for the prestigious Justerini & Brooks. This was where he first learnt about the wine trade and the wines of the world. After two years with J&B, he fell sideways into Property development, staying in Edinburgh for another 10 years. Whilst developing properties throughout Scotland though, he always kept his palate in attending regular tasting with many of his friends he had made from the wine world.
A change of circumstances in 2011 lead Tom to relocate back to Gloucestershire, the county of his childhood and the opportunity to get back to the trade he loved, the wine trade.
Tom I’Anson Wines was set up in a small factory unit just outside Cirencester with the simple ethos of offering honest service, the best value wine possible across a wide price range and from around the world. Business quickly grew, necessitating the move a year later to the current premises next to a Cookery School in the village of Colesbourne.
Tom I’Anson Wines has always maintained the original ethos of the company, developing and growing to keep up with an ever-growing customer base. As always, the main aims of the company are to offer a wine range of the best wines from around the world, with competitive prices, honest and comprehensive customer service, professional and knowledgeable advice and an easy way for customers to buy wine. The company trades on many different fronts, selling online and in person, over the phone or email and to wholesale customers across the country.
Tom is particularly proud of how he selects his wine. Whilst many merchants stick to a few main suppliers, often selling many wines to fill gaps and fill shelves, Tom I’Anson Wines works slightly differently. The range of wines comes from many different suppliers, giving them great choice when selecting a wine to sell. When they look for a Chablis to sell for example, they might try 15-20 different examples next to each other, allowing them to then select what they think is the very best choice for the customer. This attention to detail is imperative when competing against the supermarkets, big name merchants and well-known online retailers. Tom I’Anson Wines trades on the quality and value of its wines so to be able to say that each wine is individually selected for sale, following specifically the company ethos, gives Tom a strong credibility with his customers. You wont find a wine in his stock that he is selling, merely for profit margin alone. If Tom doesn’t think it is good enough for his customers he won’t sell it.
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Further to sales, Tom I’Anson Wines offers tastings. Regularly hosting intimate and informative tastings at their premises, the ‘Cheese and Wine’ tasting is always popular. So much so that Tom rarely advertises this or any of his tastings, tickets sales often coming from his client list and as spaces are limited, these tickets can sell out very quickly. Luckily Tom can come to you and host a private tasting for the customer, working to any theme and budget and at any location. Tom is often booked 6 months in advance for private tastings as they make a great event for someone’s birthday or special occasion. These tastings are great fun for the customer, adding another dimension to a special occasion.
When Tom is hosting a tasting, or attending one, he has two very capable colleagues to step in for him. Natalie and Alice are both based locally and are very good with longstanding and new customers. Usually though, you’ll find Tom ready to welcome you, with his Whippet Mabel in attendance most of the time as well.
Tom I’Anson Wines
Unit 1 Homefarm Worskhops