Rutland wine merchant pops the cork to celebrate 30 years - and you're invited

Oakham Nub News 3 November 2023



Decanter Retailer Awards
HighlightsMagazine: October 2023 
Our go-to guide for the finest wine shops, online retailers, wine specialists, subscriptions, cellar doors and wine services across the UK.

Wine is about people, and this year we wanted to bring increased recognition of this into these awards, hence introducing gongs for wine buyers and buying teams.
...Browse through these names, glass of wine in hand, and it’s hard not to feel a genuine sense of excitement, pride and awe at what these outstanding people are doing for wine in the UK. We should all raise a glass to them.

Decanter Retailer Awards: The 2023 winners

Italy Specialist Retailer of the Year
Winner: Bat & Bottle Wine Merchants
Runner-up: Justerini & Brooks
‘With Bat and Bottle you just feel the love for what they do, the passion for the wines,’ enthused one judge. ‘It’s a very broad range from the head to heel of Italy,’ commented another, noting the extensive events, courses, updated website, vintage reports, and adding: ‘You wonder where the hell they get the time to do all that and offer such a personable service.'

        Bat and Bottle are best Italian Wine Merchant in the UK 2023 and Runner Up Best Wine club           

Oct 2022 Oakham Up Close article on Bat and Bottle



Retailer Awards October 2022

             Decanter Retailer Awards 2022 Bat and Bottle Runner Up Best Specialist Retailer Italy      Decanter Retailer Awards 2022 Bat and Bottle Runner Up Best Subscription Wine Club

Retailer Awards October 2021

Bat and Bottle awarded Best Italy Specialist Retailer 2021 and Runner Up in Best Subscription WIne Club

Decanter Retailer Awards 2021 - Bat and Bottle wine Italy Specialist Retailer of the Year 




Bat and Bottle celebrates 25years, judging at DWWA and Best Online Specialist Buyer

Rutland Mercury July 2020 Bat and Bottle celebrate 25 years, judging on DWWA and awarded Best Online Specialist Wine Buyer at London Wine Fair





Small Business Saturday by Brightpearl, October 5th 2016

October 2016 Bat and Bottle feature in Brightpearl's article on SmallBusiness Saturday






"The New Statesman", January 2004
Bat and Bottle by Roger Scruton

The true love of wine is a love of people, cultures, landscapes and their history. It is a desire to drink the inner meaning of things, and to do so without damaging the planet. Good merchants understand this and help us to subsidize reputable people, living in settled ways, in places that they love, without troubling them with a visit. This was what Ben and Emma Robson had in mind, when they dropped everything and went with their two small daughters to Italy, there to explore the by-ways of the Colli Euganee to the west of Padua, and to acquire the expertise required to run their mail-order business back home. If, like me, you appreciate the wonderful volcanic landscapes of North East Italy, while having not the slightest intention to visit them except in the glass, then you should make contact with the Bat and Bottle, situated in Oakham (

            Italian wine is of two kinds: that prepared for foreign morons and distributed through chain stores, and that which must be hunted down by those with love in their hearts and time on their hands. The wines discovered by the Robsons are of the second kind. Their labels are written in Italian, their flavours are Italian, and their quality fully explains why their growers are so reluctant to release them onto the global market. Our encounter with the Robsons’ list helped us through the horror of Christmas, until the thankyou letters had been written and the toys were all on the fire.

            Inevitably attracted to an estate with the name of Le Volpi, we opened the 1999 Cabernet Franc-Carmenère blend half expecting a musky whiff of fox-scent. We were at once surrounded and captivated by a fruity claret-like aroma, as the dark damson-coloured liquid filled the glass. At £9.50 a bottle this is a match for any claret at that price. A catalogue photograph of the vineyards of Le Volpi, with a view across to the Arqua’ Petrarca, shows conclusively that it would be such a crime to open this place to the tourist trade that we are under an obligation to drink its spirit at home.

            One of the Robsons’ greatest discoveries comes from a region that we associate with plonk: the Valpolicella. Most Valpolicella is made from the grapes that are left over after the best have been set aside for drying, before being made into Amarone. The Robsons’ Casel Vegri 1998 is from an old family estate that makes real Valpolicella from the very best grapes, and the result is an extraordinary revelation of how wonderful this wine can be.

            If you think that champagne is an over-rated drink for over-rated people, you should celebrate your next divorce with an Italian Prosecco, of which the Robsons have excellent examples. Rather than describe all the wonders that these serendipitous travellers have brought home with them, however, I urge you to visit them yourself.




Rutland Living,  November 2004:

Rutland Living November 2004