LIVE FROM 1PM: Lunch with a Buyer: Freddy Bulmer, Tuesday 14th April, 1-2pm

While our buyers are currently stuck at home, unable to traverse the world looking for great new wines for us, this seems like a perfect opportunity to get to know them a bit better! So we’re hosting some informal lunchtime Q&A sessions!

Thank you to everyone who attended our Buyer’s Lunch with the wonderful Jo Locke MW - if you missed it and would like to catch up, please have a read of the thread here: LIVE FROM 1PM: Lunch with a Buyer: Jo Locke MW, Tuesday 7th April 1-2pm

For our next Buyer’s Lunch, we are very pleased to announce that we will be joined by our buyer @Freddy Bulmer!

Lunch with a Buyer: Freddy Bulmer, Tuesday 14th April 1-2pm

Freddy joined The Society in 2013, joining our Buying Department in 2015 and his buying responsibilities include Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Eastern Europe and beers.

On Tuesday lunchtime, Freddy’s joining us for a Q&A - perhaps you’d like to ask about some of the growers from Freddy’s buying regions, or maybe you’d like to know more about Freddy’s journey from working for a small wine merchant in Yorkshire to becoming the youngest Wine Society buyer? Join us for an hour - maybe even bring a glass of something along - for a fun discussion about all things wine!

How to take part

There’s no need to send questions in advance - although you’re welcome to, by replying to this topic - just log in to the Community before 1pm on Tuesday and there’ll be a ‘ LIVE: Lunch with a Buyer ’ topic where the event will take place. The chat will be in written format - like a regular topic here.

We hope you can make it along! Who’s planning on joining us for lunch?

  • I’ll be there!
  • I can’t make it, but I’ll send a question in advance.

0 voters


And this time I’ve put an “appointment” in my calendar, so I don’t have to duck out half way through!


I’ll be back at work by then after my ‘leave’ (the weirdest leave I’ve ever had!) - but as will be working from home, I consider this a valuable moment of ‘rest’.

Here is my question to Freddy: Freddy, you started in members services… could you chart your progress from your first role in TWS to being a buyer? Thanks :slight_smile:


Are you planning any future beer tie-ups with Northern Monk or similar?

Are you planning on any more uber-premium NZ reds - Something like Coleraine or the Block 5 etc? It’d be amazing to get these en primeur as it’s so difficult to get them when they are on regular sales at the society as you often only get notification of an offer a week after they have gone on sale and they are out of stock by then. I think there is a strong case for en primeur type allocations with these particular wines.


Sorry @Nowt_in_my_glass, but I don’t agree with this idea at all. Selling en primeur will not increase the supply and if it always sells out, then it will sell out en primeur too. The only difference would be a shift towards buyers who are happy to pay in advance from buyers who are quick off the mark. I don’t see it as any fairer.
As is probably apparent, I am not an en primeur fan and would be happy to see the practice waste away. I guess this is a minority view in this community but I really don’t like the idea of trying to encourage it in more areas.

I think the theory behind @Nowt_in_my_glass’s question is more that there’s always a huge rush on these wines when they’re sold first come first serve, where as TWS sells its en primeur wines by ballot, so it doesn’t rely on you being in the group that gets the email at the right time and being online at the right time to actually get the wine. There’s still an expectation that it’ll completely sell out and not everyone will get it, but people will at least get a chance to throw their hat in the ring before it sells out entirely. Even if it’s not an actual advanced/in bond EP offering, having a more ballot type way of selling in demand wines might be a fairer way?


A ballot is a different matter, and I agree a fairer one. What I dislike is a system favouring those who can spare money in advance and afford to have it tied up for long periods.

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Thanks @Andy999, much better put - Yes some sort of interest pool to then have a raffle of names. It just seems a bit fairer than the super high in demand wines are always sold out before you even know about them. I do appreciate this subject has been discussed ad nauseum so apologies for making it rear its head again. I know some of these bottles are available elsewhere, it’s just that I’d rather give my money to the society and seeing as though they do sell these types of wines it seems the cooperative thing to fairly distribute these wines where they are in low supply/high demand.


Freddy. Last year I had lunch at the Fenchurch restaurant and had a wine Bock Cuvee, Villany from Hungary It was a lovely wine that both myself and my friend enjoyed a funny mix of Bordeaux blend as well as a passimento style of winemaking. My question is have you had any experience with this wine or similar wines from these lesser known regions (this was the 1st and only Hungarian red I have had) and are there any recommendations you can offer from the wine society which are similar. Finally as an add-on if there isn’t any do you think there will be in the future?


Hi @Freddy,

Are we going to see any of the Xinomavro rosé (that I have just found out about) appear this summer? While I’m nagging about Greek wine, what about an Assyrtiko?



I think this was something of a ‘cult’ wine from Santorini; WS used to stock it but it got very expensive, It would be nice to see the variety back on the list.

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Yes, the Hatzidakis was available at some point last year. You’re right - quite expensive, would be nice to find one a little cheaper.

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It would, especially Estate Argyros Monsignori

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I was going to suggest the Artemis Karamolegos Santorini. However, on checking, it’s retailing at £23 in the UK. I’m pretty certain we paid significantly less in Greece for it. Something TWS could use it’s buying power for?


A question to Freddy:

How likely is it that we see other native Austrian varietals being added to the list, beyond the delicious Grüner Veltliner? I’m thinking Rotgipfler, Zierfandler, the combination of the two (Gumpoldskirschen) and maybe even Roter Veltliner? There are some stunning examples of these out there - especially from the Thermenregion- and I’d love to see them on the list.

Same goes for Austrian Riesling (especially from Wachau)… any chance of seeing some in the future?

Thank you :slight_smile:


And red cuvee’s from Burgenland please, for example pannobile’s from Gols.
And peccatum from Leberl would also be very nice to have. Or some Umathum’s. More Austrian reds please especially cuvee’s!


Hi Freddy, Can you tell us what your defining moment with wine was? What got you interested and how that interest got you started in the wine world?
We are seeing more and more English wine coming to the market including now an increase in still wine and charmat fizz. If you could pick from some of the "newer"estates, which ones would you say are the ones to watch going forward?


I was literally about to ask the same.

Any chance of getting some Bock on the society site.

Hello all, we will be starting this event at 1pm today, so do check in and let us know you’re attending! Thank you for your questions so far, @Freddy will be online at 1pm to start answering them for you.

Please feel free to ask Freddy any other questions you might have - we’re very pleased to take this time to have a proper chat with him!


I’ll be here! Although may have to duck in and out if students need some answers I don’t have! :smiley:

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