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Averys Wine Merchant

Muddy says: Bored of supermarket plonk and feel like you’re grown-up enough to get a bit more knowledgeable about what you’re filling your wine o’clock with? Follow us…

We’re quite excited here at Muddy Towers because we have stumbled on a proper treasure trove in the shape of storied wine merchants Averys, which has been plying its trade from cellars that tunnel under Park Street for 225 years. Yes, that is a long time! And what cellars they are! Exuding history, charm and atmosphere, it’s the kind of place you could imagine Ross Poldark circa 1793 imbibing some grape delights. And, equally heart-warming in this world of corporate takeovers, it’s still a family affair with the fifth generation of Averys now running the show with a warmth, enthusiasm and knowledge you won’t find in the off-licence.

The service is second to none with personal wine advisors on hand to help you choose just the right tipple for that dinner party, special occasion celebration or quotidian sundowner. There are more than 1,000 wines to choose from in all price ranges, with a comprehensively global selection from across Europe and the New World – John Avery, a master of wine and father to Mimi who is currently helming the family business, was one of the pioneers of Californian, Oz and Kiwi imports in the 1960s, while Mimi’s grandfather, Ronald, was the first champion in the late 1940s of the now eye-wateringly expensive Pomerol, Château Pétrus. (So if you’re thinking of laying down bottles, this is the definitely the place to come for advice.)

The cellars also host fab tasting events where you can come on your own or as part of a group. We at Muddy particularly enjoyed a Burgundy en primeur evening imbibing the first batches of the new vintage, scoffing yummy cheese and chatting to the producers about terroir. The cellars are for hire, too, and private tasting events for 25 to 70 people can be arranged around different grape varieties, regions or countries, or, for the more competitive, you can have blind tasting competitions. That’s the next Muddy office party sorted then!

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Somerset