It’s the last of the sumptuous wine.
For the owner of a town’s only exclusive wine shop is making the grape escape into retirement.
Brian Wilding, 70, is selling Chordale Wine Merchants in Eaves Lane, Chorley. It is being taken over by a couple that ran a similar business in Moss Lane, Leyland. He is due to close either at the end of this month or early December.
“Over the years I calculate I’ve sold almost 500,000 bottles,” said Brian, who lives on Park Road, Chorley, with his wife Ann.
“The most expensive was a cognac rather than a wine – a Remy Martin Louis XIII for £950. That went to a motor dealership in Manchester for one of their directors who was retiring.
“That was 10 or 15 years ago. That bottle would be worth £1,500 now.”
Brian’s shop, patronised by professional footballers, business people, hoteliers and restaurateurs, as well as the many individuals who enjoy quality wine individually selected by an expert, has been a landmark on the region’s retail landscape over the last 27 years.
Originally The Select Wine Company, it was opened by Brian in November 1988. The name changed when he briefly joined forces with another wine merchant some 15 years ago but has been run independently by Brian since 2000.
Brian said the time was right to leave the cellar.
“I’m 70 years old,” he said. “I think I’ve done enough, I think I’ve done my share.
“My wife retired five years ago and I carried on for another five years.
“It doesn’t get any easier. I’m running out of gears.”
Brian plans to spend more time fly fishing and accepting some of the numerous invitations he’s received to visit wine producers around the world.