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Interview with Morrish and Banham

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Interview with new Brewery Square Wine Merchants Morrish and Banham

A new wine merchants has opened up in Brewery Square this month. Morrish and Banham Wine Merchant and Tasting Room has set up shop opposite Dorchester South train station. Co-founder of the business is Mark Banham, who will be well known to local wine enthusiasts after running Palmer’s Wine Store in Bridport for 13 years. We caught up with owner Mark to find out more about the latest addition to the ever growing Brewery Square development.

Shelfs of wine at Morrish & Banham Wine Merchants

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you became interested in wine.
I joined the wine trade when I was 16. My school offered work experience placements and I found myself at the local Wine Merchant in my home town of Great Dunmow in Essex. I have been in the trade ever since.


How did you end up owning a wine shop?
I have always wanted to work for myself and have always loved buying and selling wine!


Why Dorchester and specifically Brewery Square?
I think Brewery Square will become the new heart of Dorchester and the affinity and history that the Square has with the drinks trade made it a natural fit for our new venture.


Which wines would you suggest to someone who is just beginning to enjoy wine?
Good value, good example single varietal wines is a great way to start. Once you understand the character of the main grape varieties you can build your knowledge from there.


Mark Banham from Morrish & Banham Wine Merchants
Mark Banham from Morrish & Banham Wine Merchants

How do you keep up with the ever-changing wine trends?
Taste, taste and taste again! I taste hundreds of wines to make sure that I know which wines are fashionable. However, experience has taught me that good winemakers make good wine even in bad vintages.

Please complete this sentence: A good wine is…
well made, well priced and suits the needs of the person to drink it!


Italy, Spain, and France are the three “Wine Super Powers.” Outside of these three countries, which wine region would you say is underrated or undiscovered?
Chile is well known but there is still so much more to come. As the main regions expand toward to the extremes of the country (the Pacific, Patagonia and the Atacama Desert) the real character and quality of Chilean wine will be revealed.


Which wine regions or varieties are you most excited about right now?
English wine continues to amaze me, Dorset particularly is pushing the standard of English Fizz higher and higher. Italian varietals such as Garganega, Corvina, Fiano and Nerello Mascellese are all very exciting. Wines for Virginia, particularly those of Viognier, will have a great future.

What makes your wine shop unique?

Accessibility and informality. We have great wines and great knowledge, we want to share this with all our customers but in a way where all are relaxed and comfortable. Wine Merchants can be intimidating, this is the last word that I would like us to be described as!


What was the last wine you opened for a special occasion?
Furleigh Estate Classic Reserve 2010 from West Dorset! An incredible wine… with citrus fruit and layers of delicious creamy notes!


What are the some of the types of wine that you stock and what is the price range?
Our prices start at £6.99 and rise to £50 at the moment. We have great value wine from all of the world great wine regions.

Morrish and Banham are now open at 1 Pope Street, Brewery Square, Dorchester DT1 1GW. Their Opening times are Monday to Thursday 10am – 6pm. Friday & Saturday 10am – 8pm.

Inside Morrish & Banham Wine Merchants

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