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Over the past few months we have been receiving a number of tempting invitations to join qualified wine expert, Simon Hardy of Fitting Wines, at a series of Wine Tasting Adventures to discover great-tasting wines from around the world.

Each wine-tasting event, which is open to the general public, has a special theme covering anything from “Revealing Red with a Difference” and “The Diverse World of Chardonnay” through to “Great Sparkling Wines of the World” and “Exceptional Wines to Distinguish your Cellar”. Venues at each end of the lake vary from the intimate Caveau Orpheus in Lutry and the striking wine cellar at the Mercedes-Benz / Bentley Garage Beau-Rivage in Lausanne to a private vaulted cellar beneath the bastions in Geneva. Each event lasts for three hours and includes a guided tasting of all the wines lasting at least one hour. Guests have the opportunity to learn more about each of the wines, the regions and the grape varieties as well as to find out which wines make the best match for which foods. What’s more, you can keep trying any of the wines as often and as much as you like!

We decided to find out more about Simon’s business. When Simon talks about Fitting Wines, he clearly believes that enjoying wine should be one of life’s pleasures, and that discovering unfamiliar wines and new tastes should be part of the experience. But with a greater choice of wine-producing regions and grape varieties than ever before, today’s wine drinkers could do with a helping hand.

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With the increasing diversity of wines now available for purchase in chain stores and specialist wine stores, not to mention the vast array of producers on our own doorstep, it has now become too easy to make poor choices based on a lack of knowledge or even time.  According to Simon, there is still too much disappointment, frustration and money wasted by people choosing wines that are not right for their tastes (and, in some cases, that are not worth their price). All too often this leads to them playing it safe and sticking to just a few wines they know and trust.

It is for this reason that Simon started Fitting Wines, especially with the international community in Switzerland in mind. In setting up his business, he has created a range of personalised wine services to help people discover and enjoy quality wines from all over the world as well as learn more about the wonderful world of wine. He is on a clear mission to broaden our wine horizons.

Following a long career in marketing, it was only recently that Simon decided to pursue his passion for wine in business. In 2009, he went off to learn more about the wine business and gain a professional qualification. He was awarded the Diploma in Wines & Spirits by the leading industry-training body in the UK, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, and has since become an Associate Member of the Institute of Wines and Spirits in London.

Asked what makes Fitting Wines so unique compared to other wine businesses, Simon told us “I add value to each person’s wine experience by tailoring my services to the needs of the individual, whether a wine novice or a wine connoisseur. One big difference is that I have no wines to sell as I buy every wine to order based on each client’s needs. Therefore I can be truly objective in my selection of wines and remain totally independent. The services on offer range from Wine Selections to Wine Adventures and from Wine Events to Wine Travels. The format for each service is fully flexible and tailor-made to the requirements of each client”.

It all started with the Personal Wine Selection service. “Think of Fitting Wines as your personal wine shopper. I act as your Personal Wine Consultant and handpick wines of the world for you based on a “Personal Taste Profile”™ that I specially compile for you, according to a budget that you set. This profiling approach is not only innovative, but also exclusive to Fitting Wines and recognises that you, your tastes and your lifestyle are all unique. This means that your “Personal Taste Profile”™ is as distinct as you are.”

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Anyone considering the services of Fitting Wines is first invited to meet Simon for a free consultation – without obligation - that takes one hour, during which they are invited to respond to various questions regarding their tastes and preferences in terms of wine and food. Using the information gathered during this consultation, Simon will then build their very own “Personal Taste Profile”™ including:

•    A mapping of their preferred styles of cuisine,
•    Recommended types of wine that suit each style of cuisine,
•    An analysis of the styles of wine that match their preferences in wine as well as food,
•    A shortlist of recommended wines by style, country and region that suit their taste preferences

Simon explained, “Since no two people are alike, each profile I create is unique too. What suits one discerning wine drinker will almost certainly not suit another, especially if they have different preferences for food. Once a potential client has seen their profile, they can then choose to sign up for the Personal Wine Selection service, joining me for a year of wine adventure and discovery”.

For a fixed annual fee Simon compiles and delivers every two months a mixed selection of wines for each client based on their unique ‘Personal Taste Profile’™. Clients can decide in advance on the types of wine they require for each delivery or they can let Simon surprise them. At any time they can alter the quantity of bottles (minimum 6) as well as the budget to suit their varying needs throughout the year, without any change in the service fee.

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Simon handpicks wines of the world from specialist suppliers and wine shops dotted all over the country – so clients have instant access to many wines that they would not otherwise find available close to home, and at the best prices on the market. There is no mark-up on the wines themselves as they are invoiced to customers at the same retail price published by the Swiss stockist. Every wine is assessed in advance according to quality and price, rather than ratings or brand names which provide no guarantee of satisfaction – so clients can be certain of getting only great-tasting wines that provide great value-for-money.

To find out more about Simon’s services, we recommend you go along to one of his regular Wine Tasting Adventures, and see him in action! The next event we have featured on our calendar is the Wine ‘Tour de France’, taking place at the Caveau Orpheus in Lutry on Saturday, 15 June from 6pm to 9pm. Click here for more information.

If you are unable to make it then, look out for Simon’s Wine Adventures that will resume in September 2013. To stay informed about all the Fitting Wines events and services just add your name to the Fitting Wines mailing list by writing “Subscribe” to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Simon Hardy
Fitting Wines - Hardy Wine Services
www.fittingwines.com
Mobile: +41(0)79 223 60 65
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A Wine Tour de France
Caveau Orpheus
Rue des Terreaux 16
1095 Lutry
Limited to 12 places, price Fr. 50.- per person
Saturday, 15 June, 6pm to 9pm
Click here to register