Bath’s Novel Wines co-founder to judge prestigious international awards

January 3, 2019

The CEO of Bath-based online mail order firm Novel Wines, Ben Franks, has been chosen to be one of the judges for the 2019 edition of the London Wine Competition (LWC).

Award-winning wine journalist Ben, pictured, co-founded the firm nearly three years ago to make the wine market a more exciting place to shop

The business’s ethos reflects that of the LWC, which is staged by the Beverage Trade Network. The contest aims to recognise and award wines that the consumer – rather than a wine expert – could happily enjoy on a daily basis. Wines are judged on three core areas: quality, value for quality and packaging.

The LWC aims to make the wine trade increasingly consumer driven, as wine is ultimately for the consumer to enjoy.

Novel Wines itself is no stranger to awards. It won the Best Wine Merchant 2018 title from lifestyle blog Muddy Stilettos after thousands of customers voted online early last year and was also recently voted the best for Hen and Stag Do’s in the UK. It also boasts a raft of five-star reviews on both Google and Facebook.

Ben, who launched the business with Hungarian wine importer Gyorgy Zsiga, attributes its success to attentive customer service and creating a wine list, events and services tailored to the customer’s needs and always delivering a high-quality experience.

He said: “We take great pride in what we do and always look to understand what the client is looking for in terms of price, experience and taste. It took me and Gyorgy nearly three years to perfect our wine list, and we strongly believe in each of our wines.

“It is an honour to know that LWC believes in my taste and ethos too. It will be a fantastic experience.”

Ben will be among some illustrious wine experts on the LWC judging panel, including the deputy head sommelier of the Ritz in London, the head sommelier at the Gordon Ramsay Group and several Masters of Wine.

The competition takes place on March 21-22 at the Worx in London with entries from around the globe. During the 2018 edition, the 30 judges tested hundreds of wines for each category – red, white, sparkling, rosé, dessert.

Novel Wines specialises in undiscovered wines from around the world. It sells mainly through its website and also holds regular wine tastings in Bath, Bristol, London, Oxford and Salisbury.


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