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Oakham wine merchant Ben Robson from the Bat and Bottle celebrates 25 years in business with a place on The Decanter World Wine Awards judging panel and a prize at the London Wine Fair Awards

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A wine merchant is celebrating 25 years in the industry with an enviable task - seven days of judging Tuscan wines.

Despite the challenges presented by Covid-19, this year is shaping up to be one of the best yet for Bat and Bottle owner Ben Robson.

He has just been named chairman for Tuscany in The Decanter World Wine Awards.

Emma and Ben Robson
Emma and Ben Robson

The role will see him taste every Tuscan wine entered into the competition over the course of a week.

His wife Emma said: “Usually this position is taken by a Master of Wine or a senior critic. It is very unusual that a self-taught wine merchant is trusted to be totally impartial and reliable.

"It turns out Ben’s good humour and his pure passion for wine has served him well.”

Ben and Emma launched their artisan wine business 25 years ago from the kitchen table. It is now based at Ashwell.

They import sustainable Italian wines direct from the farm or cellar and deliver to their customers' doors.

Ben said: "The past 25 years have been an incredible journey of discovery, teamwork, love of wine and a dash of good fortune.

"We do not buy wines for our customers – we find customers for our wines."

Ben has just won the online specialist wine buyer award at the London Wine Fair Awards.

He added: "We are humbled, honoured and thankful to have reached this 25 year landmark with the industry endorsements that the London Wine Fair and Decanter World Wine Awards have brought.”

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