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'This is London' from the Evening Standard
The strong euro and a rise in the duty on wine has meant that dropping into the Charles Lamb for a restorative glass of Grenache, or a soothing Sauvignon has inevitably become more expensive over the last year. We believe, however, that in these credit crunch times a glass of good wine is more essential than ever and we were determined to find a way to keep our prices down. The Charles Lamb pub has always had a policy of stocking European wines, and in spite of the price rises we had no intention of swapping to cheaper New World vintages. There had to be another way...
So we contacted one of our favorite vineyards, Domaine Saint Hilaire in the Languedoc, to discuss the possibility of sourcing directly from them and buying in bulk. Not only has this enabled us to cut the price of each bottle by 20 % (bringing the price back to where it was before the euro price hikes and duty rises) but it also enables us to sell the wine under our own name – and so the Charles Lamb label has been born!
The label is a reproduction of the silhouette created by acclaimed artist Rob Ryan that hangs from the swing sign outside the pub. We now offer own-label Red, White and Rose, all retailing at £16.50 per bottle (£8 takeout). These will become our 'house wines', although we will still keep cheaper bottles on our constantly evolving wine list, along with much-loved classics and some more unusual varieties.