We’ve long been fond of the York Beer and Wine Shop, a specialist shop tucked away off Fishergate that does what it says and more.
Jim Helsby is the man behind it and a bit of a York legend. There’s been his long-standing beer column in the York Press and he’s been running this precious little shop since 1985.
Today it stocks 250 bottled beers from home and abroad with the likes of Cropton’s ‘Monkman’s Slaughter’, Hambleton’s ‘Nightmare’ as well as scores of German and Belgian beers and Timothy Taylor’s on draught. Then there are ciders, both draught and bottled, and some of the loveliest well-cared for cheeses anywhere: Berkswell, Stinking Bishop, unpasteurised Brie de Meaux.
Wine, though, is a relatively new addition. An interesting selection, particularly strong on Spanish wines that led to the collaboration in 1995 with wine merchant Terry Herbert and together they run The Wine Club.
Once a month they email you with the offer of one or two mixed cases of good value wines from growers you don’t find in supermarkets. You can collect or – within reason – they’ll deliver. Click here for this month’s offer. It’s a fair indication of the range, value and unfussy style of the club.
Terry will also organise a personal wine tasting for groups of 8-12 and every few months he organises wine tastings with supper. In April it was at Melton’s, on 11th July it is the Dawnay Arms at Newton on Ouse, for a tutored tasting of Langeudoc wines, a three course supper, plenty of wine, all for £35. Not surprisingly at such prices, these events are usually a sell-out so book now. We’ve booked our table, so watch this space, we’ll be reporting back.