I love wine. It’s my Friday night treat, and the perfect partner for my Sunday dinner. It transforms a great steak dinner to a superb one, and unlocks hidden flavours and depths in my favourite cheeses and chocolates. I really do love wine – and these days, I buy all of mine from a fantastic local business, run by people who really love it too. That passion is clear to see in everything they do at Handpicked Wine Box.
Becky Hewes has been in the wine business for 25 years. The knowledge she has of wines, their production, import and sale is combined with actual practical experiences – she’s worked at the Champagne region grape harvest, judged the International Wine Challenge, and she’s travelled the world meeting wine producers in every corner of it, and tasting their wares. She lives and breathes it, and her expertise is second to none – so she decided in 2021 that she would start her own business, selling wine that she loves to customers who love it too, and Handpicked Wine Box began.
Before I found Becky (and her husband Dunc, who also works in the business), I was a customer of a large international wine merchant with a famous founder. But when I met her networking, I decided instantly to change – because I knew I would get so much more than just the bottles. That’s been absolutely true.
Now my quarterly case of 12 – all chosen by Becky – arrives with beautifully-presented and helpful tasting notes to accompany each wine, with sustainable packaging. Delivery is included, so in total I’m getting my wine treat for less than £9 a bottle – plus all of Becky’s knowledge, excellent personal service, and a customer-supplier relationship that grows over time as well. I have learned so much about wine that I didn’t know before, which means that I enjoy it all the more.
The wines I would consider from a supermarket all cost £9 a bottle at least – and with Handpicked Wine Box, I know that each bottle is going to be excellent, because Becky has done all that research and legwork for me. I also know that her expertise is just a click or a phone call away: she is so happy to share what she knows, and select the perfect bottles, whether they’re for me or as a gift.
The Handpicked Customer Service
There’s a stunning array of wines available, and so many occasions and budgets catered for as well. You can make one-off purchases or sign up for a regular delivery, at whatever frequency you wish. Choose one colour for your box, or any ratio of red-white-rose-sparkling that suits you – and if you can’t book what you want on the website, you can contact Becky directly to set up your custom requirement. You can even hand-write your own messages, so that the gifts you send have a truly personal touch.
There is also an excellent Handpicked Wine Box blog, full of brilliant guides and explainers that are perfect for people like me who love wine, but don’t always know why! Did you know what tannins taste like, and a wine can make your mouth shrivel up? I didn’t, but I do now and it makes so much sense! And just out is a brilliant Christmas gift guide, with something to suit everyone, from your 20-something niece to your long-suffering, hard-working teacher: https://www.handpickedwinebox.com/blog/christmas-gift-guide/
The Handpicked Experience
My experience of buying wine is so much richer than it was before. There was nothing especially wrong with the large company, but I couldn’t have called them up and asked them what would go best with a special dinner – not without waiting on hold in a queue for 15 minutes. And I certainly couldn’t handwrite a gift card for someone dear, to accompany their individually-chosen Christmas wines. Before, I felt like one of many; whereas now, I feel like a valued customer, for whom nothing is too much trouble.
Becky founded the business on three core values: Happy Customers, Quality Wine, and Ethical and Sustainable Practices. I’m so pleased to be one of those happy customers, and I highly recommend Handpicked Wine Box for any occasion that calls for wine!