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Oddbins Past & Present




Have you got what it takes to be crowned the nation's best amateur wine-taster?

The Palate 2015

In 1963

Johnny Depp, Elle Macpherson, Michael Jordan, Brad Pitt and Emmanuelle Béart were all born, The Beatles released their first album, JFK announced that he was a doughnut, Martin Luther King Jr had a dream, Lamborghinis went into production and it was a great year for Port. It was also the year entrepreneur Ahmed Pochee starts up a small business delivering bin-ends and oddments of wine (hence our name!) to the restaurants and clubs of London's West End.

In the Seventies

Oddbins introduces Britain to the wines of Portugal and the South of France. The company expands into Scotland, the West Country and the North West with wooden floors and wacky blackboards.

In the Eighties

Oddbins, now sporting 100 stores, becomes the first company to bring Australian wine and Ralph Steadman onto the UK high street. Oddbins is awarded Wine Merchant of the Year at the International Wine Challenge for the first time in 1988, the first of 12 such awards.

In the Nineties

Oddbins holds its first consumer Wine Fair in London. It's such a success we decide to hold two each year, with one in London and one in Edinburgh.

Into the 21st Century

And we start the new millennium as we mean to continue by winning the Wine Merchant of the Year again in 2000 and 2001. We celebrate our trend-setting agenda by rediscovering Greek wine.

In the Noughties

Oddbins continues to win awards and launches www.oddbins.com to the nation. The estate expands to almost 300 stores in 2006 through acquisition. Oddbins launch their own brand wine "Oddbins Own" which sells over 1 million bottles in 9 months.

In April 2011

Oddbins’ huge value is recognised immediately by European Food Brokers, one of the largest drinks distributors in Europe. They promptly snap up 35 high performing stores with plans to grow the iconic business both on the high street and online. The strategy has three simple steps. Firstly, adoption of honest and consistent pricing, this was revealed by the Everyone has a Price campaign in which customers were asked to choose the price they were willing to pay for wines and us selling the wines at the customer recommended price. Secondly, an increased focus on customer engagement, which has seen Oddbins launch a number of daring campaigns, customers matching songs to wines and the launch of The Palate in 2012, a competition to find the UK’s finest amateur wine taster.  And finally, to maintain the high quality of wines that Oddbins’ customers have grown to expect, which has been achieved under the watchful eye of Wine Buyer Ana Sapungiu, who, fingers crossed, is close to becoming a Master of Wine.

2013 - now

In our 50th year Oddbins is back on winning form again - we are voted ‘Best Specialist Chain’ at the Portuguese Wine Awards, see a huge increase in entrants for The Palate 2013, cause mischief with some cheeky discounts in January and launch this beautiful new eCommerce website. And the fun doesn’t stop there; watch this space as we have more tricks up our sleeve…

In 2014 we open a raft of new shops and win both Portuguese Specialist Merchant of the Year and High Street Chain of the Year at the International Wine Challenge, Best Specialist Chain at the Portuguese wine awards; and Chain of the Year at Off-Licence News’ Celebrate British Beer awards. The Palate, for which Oddbins wins Innovation of the Year 2014 at the Drinks Retailing Awards, is bigger than ever and, this year, not only do we continue to open new shops, but we also open a specialist Beer Shops for the first time. Watch this space.