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Q&A with Carlos De Haan and Jamie Graham of Brunswick Fine Wines and Spirits



Jamie Graham and Carlos De Haan of Brunswick Fine Wines and Spirits on New Road, Brighton

After being awarded ‘Best Wine Shop in the South East’ at the prestigious Decanter Retailer Awards 2023, Nick Mosley catches up with Carlos De Haan and Jamie Graham of Brunswick Fine Wines and Spirits in New Road, Brighton.


Tell us a bit about yourselves


Carlos: I’ve been working in wine since 2002, but haven’t had a shop before, it’s great to be able to talk to customers and share our passion for wine with them.


Jamie: I’ve always been involved in the wine business, I’ve found it more fascinating the more I’ve learned.


What is the story of Brunswick? Before opening the store you had an online business?


Carlos: Jamie and I knew each other from London, so when we both moved to Brighton we joined forces to set up our own wine business here. We started as a two-man team in 2016, buying and selling wine directly to customers by phone and email, and via our website.


When and why did you decide to open a physical store?


Jamie: We wanted to allow customers to see the wines and interact with us face-to-face. We also wanted to offer Brighton and Hove something a bit different, so we bought and restored a Georgian building in New Road in 2021, creating a unique environment for our fine wines and spirits. We also discovered our shop was a wine merchant in the early 1800s.


What is the offering of Brunswick Fine Wines and Spirits?


Jamie: We specialise in buying, selling and broking fine wines and spirits, with over 2500 lines in stock. Our shop serves locals and tourists alike, while local, national and international clients buy, store and sell their wine online or through private account managers. We appeal to customers whether they’re drinking the wine, or interested in collecting or investing in wine.


Carlos: We want to make fine wine accessible to as many people as possible, so we sell aged fine wines that are drinking well now as single bottles, while other merchants typically only sell them by the case. Our fine wines start at about £18 a bottle. We’re here to help customers who just want to learn more and understand why and how some wines are better than others, and those who are already wine and spirits connoisseurs. As people turn away from quantity and towards drinking better, we wanted to ensure we catered for that but at reasonable starting prices for fine wines.


Are there any wine regions – or spirit categories – that you particularly champion?


Jamie: Europe is always our first port of call, and in particular Bordeaux, Burgundy, Piedmont, Champagne, and Scotland, but we trade and supply wines and spirits from around the globe.


You have a fantastic tasting room in the store. How can people join a tasting, what can they expect and do you have any consumer events planned for January?


Carlos: We host monthly tasting events to introduce customers to new wines and spirits, ensuring a range of styles and ticket prices are available. Often led by winemakers or brand ambassadors, they’re fun, informal events for up to 15 people. It’s an opportunity to learn and to try something new. The next event is a whisky tasting around Burns Night in January. Follow us on Instagram @brunswickfinewines or sign up on our website to receive tasting details.


Which Sussex vineyards and distilleries are you particular fans of?


Jamie: We support buying local, so we stock a wide range of Sussex sparkling and spirits. We’re particular fans of Dermot Sugrue from Sugrue South Downs, a renowned winemaker who started at Nyetimber, put Wiston on the map, and now makes his own excellent sparkling wine. We also love Roebuck sparkling wine and Madame Jennifer gins from Hove.


Sustainability is an important part of your business model?


Carlos: We’re always looking for ways to reduce environmental impact. We use sustainable packaging materials wherever possible, and we use local company Zedify to offer emissions-free deliveries to Brighton and Hove. We recycle all bottles and packaging, we even upcycle our wooden cases.


Thinking ahead to Christmas, what drinks would you recommend for the big day?


Carlos: Pierre Moncuit Delos Grand Cru Champagne delivers top quality, rivalling many of the ‘named champagnes’. It offers great value for a Grand Cru at £37 per bottle, and you won’t find it in supermarkets.


Brunswick Fine Wines and Spirits, 15 New Road, Brighton BN1 1UF

01273 054 690 • www.brunswickfinewines.com

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