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MARLO MEETS: SARAH NEWTON

For the latest edition of Marlo Meets we meet Sarah Newton, a renowned wine blogger (@Wine90) and now founder of the new wine accessories shop, CoolerSomm
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Created by wine lovers for wine lovers, CoolerSomm is a super cool wine accessories shop, selling a range of top quality wine coolers, glassware, corkscrews and much, much more! Plus, if you sign up for a free membership, you'll get £50 off wine coolers, a free month of Somm TV and 10% off all products online. Click here to get your free membership.
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We speak to Sarah about Wine90, why she started CoolerSomm as well as finding out which Marlo bottle of Wine would be the first in one of her coolers. 
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1. Tell us a bit about Wine90 and how it all started?
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It started back in 2008 when I first got into wine when living in Italy, it was a WordPress blog on which to write (to myself at the time) about my wine experiences. The company I was working for wanted to start an online wine retailer and I thought I better learn something about wine if I were to market it. Back in 2008 actual blogging with words (can you imagine) instead of pictures was big and that blog stretches right the way back through my wine history, before the WSET diploma, before Naked Wines, before VinItaly, before Twitter and Instagram, when I knew absolutely nothing about wine, except that I liked it! It was a personal wine diary of sorts. 

2. You've recently launched CoolerSomm - How's it been since launching? 

Surprisingly easy thus far and relatively successful. I think it helped that we launched officially just as summer hit and the demand for wine coolers in the UK is at its highest ever point. We've been surprised in the other items that sell well, we're getting lots of orders for the Jancis Robinson X Richard Brendon range of glassware and the Le Nez du Vin aroma kits as well as selling several wine coolers a day. We're quite happy if the sun just keeps on shining and this post Covid boom for wine carries on when things return to normal. 

3. Which Marlo bottle would be first in one of your wine coolers?

1982 Leoville Poyferre. LP was one of the first Bordeaux wines I tried all those years ago, the 2004 vintage, and it really turned me onto Bordeaux as a region. I tried the 1982 at Noble Rot a couple of years back and loved it. As far as any second growth Bordeaux is a bargain, for me, Poyferre is the best value for money for my palate and I'd like to keep at the perfect temperature and humidity in a Swisscave ;) 

4. Is there a book by your bedside at the moment?

This speaks volumes to my geekery. Jasper Morris, The Wines of the Loire from 1990! If you check out CoolerSomm you'll notice our wine of the week post on Insta always sits atop a small stack of books about the region. Last post was a Sancerre and the book it accompanies was this (among others), everyone knows Jasper for Burgundy so I thought it would be interesting to read about his take on the Loire.... from thirty years ago. It's a page turner alright. 

5. Classic French or New World wine?

Sacre Bleu - With a French partner, cat and child I couldn't possibly say anything else! 

6. What is your favourite wine glass and why?

I was on the Zalto kick for a while but there can be such a thing as too fine and delicate. I've moved onto the JR x RB Universal wine glass, seems to work well for so many wines. 

7. If you were on Desert Island Discs, what would your luxury be?

So, my other passion is hiking and I've trekked the Camino de Santiago seven times so I know what it is to whittle down life's 'necessities' to the bare minimum as you don't want to carry them 1000 miles on your back. Toothbrush! Every time.

8. What ambitions do you still have?

I am an avid hiker. I'd like to do the trinity of pilgrimages, from my home in London to Santiago de Compostela, then from there to Rome and then onto Jerusalem... and so many great wines along the route, Rioja, Bierzo, Albarino etc. With a new business and a 1 year old, I think that ambition may be a retirement hike! 

9. What does the rest of 2021 hold, both for Wine90 and for CoolerSomm? 

Adding more products to our range for CoolerSomm members, continuing to develop the brand reputation and proposition and for Wine90, I need to get my act together and do more Insta video, this format was what got me into WineFolly and Jancis, top influencer list for 2020 so I need to refocus on putting out that type of content!