My Yorkshire weekend - Peter Fawcett, Field & Fawcett, York


York wine merchant and bon viveur Peter Fawcett raises his glass to relaxing family Sundays

Weekends are short in our household. As we own a wine merchants and gourmet deli, Saturday is one of our busiest days so Sundays are especially precious. My wife Cathryn and I genuinely enjoy our Saturdays at work. We like to give everyone the attention they need to make the right decision on buying wine. I really enjoy talking about wine and catching up with our regular customers, many of whom have become good friends.

You’d think we’d be horizontal from 6.30pm, but usually we have a table full of guests for dinner. I love to hear other people’s thoughts on the wines I’ve chosen, or what they have tried recently. At the moment, a good bottle of heavy red Biferno Rosso Riserva from southern Italy is one of my favourites, but for spring I’m looking forward to trying a fresh, lively white Alvarino from Galicia in the north west of Spain.

After my family and good wine, my third love is the outdoors. A perfect weekend usually involves a long walk with our lurcher, Joey. Cathryn took him on after visiting a dogs home (without my knowledge). She fell in love and, despite my initial protestations, I’m now pretty much under his paw too.

He’s very much an outdoor dog, but I have noticed recently that he seems to have his very own armchair – something I’m not terrifically thrilled about but can’t find it in my heart to turf him out.

This fresh air malarkey seems to be in the genes. My daughter Annabel is a hockey enthusiast, and my son Benedict, a keen rugby player. He and I are usually immersed in all things rugby on Sunday. I regularly referee the junior team on Sunday morning. I enjoy their company and the routine that gets me out and about.

I also try and see as many international games as I can throughout the season and my favourite weekend often includes a trip to Twickenham or Murrayfield.

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This weekend I’m going a bit further afield – Chile.We were absolutely delighted to win the Wines of Chile 2012 Independent Wine Merchants Award, and even more thrilled that the prize was a trip to an exciting country that provides us with some really interesting and unique wines.

I’m always encouraging our customers to try something new and, for now, that’s all about food matching. If someone tells me their dinner menu, I can find the perfect accompanying wine – apparently I’m ‘useful’ that way.An understanding of different regions, soils, grapes and methods of production is vital in gathering knowledge on this extraordinary industry and, after more than 20 years in the business, I’m still learning.

Field & Fawcett is based at Bingley House Farm, Grimston Bar, York, YO19 5LA. It’s open Monday to Saturday 9am to 6pm. For further details, call 01904 489073 or visit

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