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Lunch with a Buyer: Tim Sykes, Tuesday 19th May, 1-2pm

While our Buyers are currently stuck at home, unable to traverse the world looking for great new wines for us, we’ve been enjoying the opportunity to get to know them a bit better! This is the seventh of our informal lunchtime Q&A sessions.

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

Lunch with a Buyer: Tim Sykes, Tuesday 19th May, 1-2pm

Tim Sykes is our Wine Society Buyer for Bordeaux, Beaujolais and Sherry, having joined our Buying department in 2012.

On Tuesday lunchtime, Tim’s joining us for a Q&A - maybe you’d like to know Tim’s thoughts on the new grape varieties now permitted in Bordeaux, or perhaps you’d like to ask which Bordeaux vintages are ready for drinking now and which shouldn’t be touched just yet? 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

Please send us your questions in advance, by replying to this topic - or just log in to the Community before 1pm on Tuesday and there’ll be a ‘ LIVE FROM 1PM: 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 over a question in advance.

0 voters


Is there any plan to upscale the Beaujolais Cru EP?

I took part in the previous one with the mixed case but would love to see a bit more variety. Older vintages seem exceptionally good value compared to Burgundy - The 2011 moulin a vent I tried from the society for abour £22 put the equivalent pinot to shame!

What new fashions and trends do you see happening in the world of sherry and what the plans for this range?

Oh and where would you go to on your hols in Jerez if you were wanting to live your best sherry life? (post lockdown :grinning:)


I tried sherry a few years ago and have to be honest as much as I tried I couldn’t get into it. I would like to give it another go where would you recommend to start?


Just giving this a little bump - there’s still time to send your questions to Tim! :smiley:


I love Amontillado and Palo Cortado sherry. The mix of biological and oxidative ageing works for me. There are so many contradictory pieces of information about what each of them actually is and what the difference is. What is your take on this? Do you have any favourites in either of these categories?


While this has been touched on in another thread on here that you’ve taken part in: 2019 Bordeaux EP: What on earth are they thinking? What are your thoughts on this? Will TWS be taking part? WTF?!?


Hi Tim, I’d love to plan a trip to Beaujolais next year, virus permitting. Which are your favourite Crus to visit and why? Are there any winemakers who currently supply TWS that might welcome a wandering wino pay them a visit?


You included Segla (Rauzan-Segla second wine) for the first time in last year’s EP. Is there any plan to include Segla in the normal list? Or maybe it has been included and I just missed it. [I do so wish we could search the Historic products as well as the in stock products online].

ETA: It seems I must have misread last years offer and it was not, as I thought, the first time TWS have done Segla EP! However My question regarding it appearing in the normal list still stands!


Is there any chance of having a screwcap option on some of the wines issued En Primeur. I have read about numerous tastings which have tried mature bordeaux under screwcap vs under cork and would love to give it a go.


Dry sherry, as we know deteriorates from the moment it is bottled. Some sherries (eg Tio Pepe) stamp the date (and time) of bottling. Can The Wine Society insist that all their sherries are so stamped?
For many years, Garvey’s San Patricio was my favourite fino, but I have not seen any for sale for some years. Do you know why?
My favourite sweet wines, both for flavour and excellent value, are Loupiac and Cadillac, neither of which you sell. Could they be featured, please?

Best regards,Andrew Gibson


Further to this, (and assuming the EP campaign proceeds remotely at some point this year) do you anticipate challenges around assessing the wine - sample bottle sizes / samples bottled too early / different tasting environment/ samples affected by transit etc? Will have you have to adjust your baseline or take these factors into account when judging what wine you’d like to offer us?

Will the range of the offer be affected by these factors and do you anticipate a lower take-up, particularly given the economic conditions we find ourselves in?

I saw you touched on this with @Freddy on Friday, but so many questions


I’m glad someone who’s better at wordsing than I am picked this up, thank you!


Hello Tim
Any thoughts on dry white Bordeaux? Are there any plans to expand this part of the portfolio? I think the Depagne wines are excellent (Bel Air is my ‘house white’) is there a chance of getting any Tour de Mirambeau? I tasted the cuvee prestige a while ago, but not seen it in recent years.


Thank you for sending your questions over in advance! This event will start at 1pm today, when @SykoWino will be online to give his answers! See you all at 1pm!


Hi Tim, I was wondering whether the Wine Society has ever stocked Montilla-Moriles alongside sherry - and if not, whether there’d be any possibility of doing so in future?

I also second @PaulM’s question about dry white Bordeaux, I’ve very much enjoyed those I’ve tried and would like to be able to explore further!

Thanks so much!


I’m a big fan of dry white Bordeaux which is seriously underrated in my view. I particularly like the wines with some Semillon in them.
We won’t be doing the Tour de Mirambeau wines because other UK importers have the distribution of the wines, but the top wines from Bel Air Perponcher (their Grand Vin blanc) is similar. I buy it occasionally - 2019 is a great vintage for white so I’ll hopefully taste it soon.


Trying and enjoying La Tour Martillac, in my spotty youth in a local restaurant, was my first sneak peak at how good wine could me. At that time, South Wales was not littered with good restaurants. I looked for it, but only with the 2015 EP offer at the Society, was I able to buy at opening prices. Might I sincerely thank you for making this wine available to the membership, I remembered it for the distinctive diagonal coloured label and the name of Kressman written there .
On it’s day, excellent value and a lovely bottle!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :+1: :wink: :grinning:


Every other year in Bordeaux seems to be Vintage of the Century ( said in booming gallic tones). What’s your favourite vintage?