Design Wine, Italian wine the next day…

Tim and his Chiantis

Do you know The Onion? If not, it’s a satirical newspaper that started at the Univ. of Wisconsin back in the 90’s. Now you might be wondering what The Onion has to do with wine. Well, I’ll tell ya. A friend of one of the original founders left, moved to Italy and decided after a long circuitous route that there’s nothing he’d like more then to do then find the best Italian wines out there and sell them online. And that’s how we get to Design Wine.

I found all this out while talking to Tim O’Connell, at the recent Taste of London in Regent’s Park. Tim was on hand to get the word out about Design Wine. I had come across DW when I was in Italy recently but hadn’t had the chance to try their wines. At Taste, Tim had a nice selection of wines on hand and I got to try some of their sampler packs.

The concept behind DW is quality Italian wine from artisan producers and, here’s their USP, NEXT DAY DELIVERY! Yes, believe it or not, you can get Italian wine the very next day in the UK! Now those of you in the States might not be impressed by next day delivery but believe me in Europe, next day delivery isn’t very common and for Italian wines? HA! Tim and co. have a warehouse in London which enables them to get around the logistical nightmare that delivery inter-Europe can be.

Another unique selling point is their 3 and 6 bottle cases of wine. Each case is specially selected at various price points so you don’t have to blow your budget to get good wines. Of course, if you want to push out the boat, there’s nothing wrong with that and they do have some of the greats from Tuscany and Piedmont on their books.

Design Wine have become the biggest innovators of Italian wine online in Italy with this concept and now they’re here in the UK. They’ve conquered the Italian online wine scene by not overstretching themselves, having only 100  producers on their books. They search out the hidden gems and little known producers that they feel deserve more recognition. It’s not easy to do and they do it all by themselves. Each wine is personally vetted and they go through a lot of leather to bring their customers not only the most interesting wines around but also the best value for money.

At Taste, I sampled their Chianti 3 pack which included  2 Chianti classicos. The wines were classic chianti, as the name implies, and I’d be happy to have these arrive at my door. I also tried their selection of Italian sparkling wines, the La vigne di Alice, prosecco superiore, being one of my favourites. Made by 4 sisters, Tim says they are a typical Italian family of women, always “discussing” issues but at the end of the day,making some very good prosecco superior. I really liked the bottle as well, it reminded me of the Ruinart blanc de blanc, fabulous design.

Which brings me to the name Design Wine. Tim pre-empted my question about the name by explaining that in Italy so many products are from small producers, artisans who not only take care of what’s in the package but also the design of it. He thought why should wine be any different? Most of their producers are small and wine can be just as designer as a leather bag, so if you can have designer clothes, why  not designer wine? And that’s how we get Design wine, wine made by small, artisan producers which might be a bit more expensive then your supermarket wine but ones in which plenty of time and attention has been put into their production.

Design Wine are now delivering in the UK so have a look at their website. They’ve got plenty of quality Italian wines to choose from and if you’re in a quandry about what to choose, take advantage of their online guided search to help you find the perfect Italian wine.

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