Island Life Magazine Ltd February/March 2007 - Page 88

life - FOOD & DRINK World’s wines pour into the Island Friends and family thought Tim Flint was mad when he took voluntary redundancy from a secure, well-paid job with BP to turn his wine tasting hobby into a business. But Tim’s vision certainly won the day – because almost 15 years on, he and his wife Evelyn run the thriving wholesale and retail wine business Eurovines, at Nettlestone Hill in Seaview. They travel far and wide to discover little-known quality wines from dedicated small-scale producers, in order to offer their customers on the Island a range that they would never find in the average supermarket. For Tim – who has been wheelchair-bound since suffering a motorcycle accident at the age of 17 – it’s been a case of turning a passion into a way of life. “Looking back, I guess it was a mad move to make at the time, but Evelyn and I have really enjoyed building up our business from nothing” he says. “We love the travelling and studying that goes into finding independent one-man vineyards. These are the kind of growers who put in real love and dedication to produce wines they can be really proud of”. Over the years, Eurovines has established itself as the Island’s 88 premier wine wholesaler, supplying many of the local hotels and restaurants – but in recent years it has also started to build its retail side, offering customers a huge choice of Old and New World wines at prices that are extremely competitive with the multiples. In fact, prices for their party-type wines start at around £3.50, not much more than the supermarket price tag. But whilst the supermarket’s typical range is in the £3-£10 price bracket, Eurovines runs from £3.50 right up to over £100 for a good vintage. And of course what this Island business also offers is a unique, expert personal service from Tim and Evelyn and their staff. They’re on hand with advice and information for any requirement – and their approach is refreshingly down-to-earth. “The wine business can be a bit stuffy but I’ve no time for that,” says Tim. “Our job is to find what people like, and if somebody wants a good red to go with their fish, then we can certainly suggest one. In my view, wine is there to be enjoyed, not to be subject to lots of rules and regulations”. Having built its reputation, Eurovines now receives at least 35 bottles of new wine a week to sample – so there’s always going to be something new on offer. They don’t ignore local producers either, and stock some of the excellent whites from Rossiters vineyard at Wellow. And thanks to the warmer Island temperatures of recent years, Tim is excited at the prospect of some good reds and roses coming soon from this local source. Sponsored by - www.holidays2remember.co.uk