An interview with Rowan Gormley of (@NakedWines)

I stumbled across Naked Wines (set up by Rowan in December 2008) last year and have since become an Angel, and recently an “Archangel”. Naked Wines’ system of encouraging people to pay a monthly amount into their accounts (therefore becoming “Angels”) allows Naked Wines to support small winemakers and bring their wines to a market that they might not otherwise reach. They are the perfect antidote to the sea of bland and predictable wines filling supermarket shelves in the UK!

(1) How did you get into the world of wine originally?

Seduced, like everyone else!  I went to uni in Cape Town, and spent every spare weekend in the wine country. This is actually my third wine business…I set up a wine importer for expat South Africans, Virgin Wines and now Naked Wines. Like a moth to a candle!

(2) With Oddbins having just entered administration do you think the future of wine retail (besides supermarkets) will be purely online retailers like Naked Wines?

No I don’t. Good independent merchants who can really get to know their customers provide a great service and people should make sure they survive.

(3) You’ve recently announced free delivery (with a few exclusions) for your “Angels”.  With the existing cashback offer to Angels you must be expecting even more Angels to sign up soon. Is there ever a risk of you having too many Angels?

The more Angels we have, the deeper we can finance our winemakers, the better wines for us all…for example…

- If we can fund a wine before the grapes are picked, we can get them to crop low, increasing concentration and intensity

- If we can fund a winemaker to work exclusively for us, we can get more of their time and attention

(4) Which country’s wines do you drink most of?

Oh dear….the honest answer is that it changes all the time. I really follow wineamkers rather than countries.

(5) And finally, if you were to be any wine, what wine would you be and why? 

Probably a Southern Rhone white… slightly fat, an acquired taste, but with redeeming features for the patient!

To find out more about Naked Wines and their excellent range of wines visit