Solihull News, 13th August, 2010
The world of wine underneath the arches.
The wine trade might be a rapidly changing one but one Birmingham specialist provides a very reassuring constant.
Connolly's Fine Wine and Spirit Merchants continues a family tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. These days the firm in Livery Street is headed by Chris Connolly, who was 'born and bred' in Solihull and still lives in the Borough.
The firm was orginally set up by Chris' great-grandfather Lewis Connolly in 1870 after he emigrated from Ireland and though the original outfit was bought out by Harvey's of Bristol, Chris father Pat re-established a family firm.
Chris initially went to work with his father to 'help him out' while he decided what he was going to do with himself but several decades on he is still there and clearly enjoying it. "The rest as they say is history", said Chris.
Taking a quick glance around Connolly's retail premises under a railway arch close to Snowhill Station I spotted everything from bargain bin-ends at £3 to a fine Bordeaux at £250 a bottle.
I reluctantly admitted to Chris that I bought most of my wine at supermarkets but genuinely like the idea of going to a specialist such as Connolly's.
And Connolly's is equally keen to appeal to the Individual wine enthusiast as to the many wholesale customers.
Chris is urging those who might normally settle for the supermarket option to try something different.
"Here you can savour the shelves and there's a story behind almost every single bottle of wine. If you buy a bottle at £3.99 then the amount spent on the wine is only 10p but if you buy a bottle costing £5.99 there's probably £1 worth of wine there"
By Edna Mullen
If you would like to learn more about the world of wine and how to taste and identify different wines then why not come along to our Introduction to wine tasting event in October:
This tasting is due to take place on Thursday 14th October in our Livery Street shop.
For further information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 236 9269