Our Story

Welcome to Novel Wines. We’re the UK’s most exciting wine retailer, specialising in the truly unique and wonderful.

In April 2016, award-winning wine journalist Ben Franks teamed up with Hungarian wine importer Gyorgy Zsiga to make the wine market a more exciting place to shop.

Kardos Tundermese "Fairytale" Dessert Wine

It all started with a bottle of Hungarian late harvest dessert wine, Kardos Fairytale….

Ben had been showcasing this wine at all his tastings and it had quickly become “everyone’s favourite dessert wine”. He was frustrated that no-one was selling delicious Eastern European wines like this and making them more widely available.

Novel Wines pioneer of truly unique wine

Gyorgy was the man importing this amazing wine, so Ben asked him if he wanted to go for a drink.

Once they got talking they soon realised they were the guys to make things happen. So that evening they decided to launch Novel Wines. A place where people could find incredible wines they hadn’t heard of before – wines from passionate small producers and community co-operatives, often from regions that aren’t even known for their wines (but should be).

The Novel Wines team: Marina Pellegrini, Ben Franks and Gyorgy Zsiga

To see if the idea had legs, Ben and Gyorgy started a crowdfunder that raised over £5,000 in just 28 days. That was all the proof they needed.

After months of tasting and pulling together a truly ‘novel’ list of wines, sourced from Japan, Croatia, Lebanon, Thailand and beyond, as well as drawing on their own specialisms in Hungarian and English wines, Novel Wines was born on 24 September 2016.

White wines by Novel Wines

Since its launch, Novel Wines has continued to find and share the highest quality wines from the most unexpected places. You don’t need to be a wine specialist to taste something fantastic and unusual; all you need is a little curiosity and a desire to try something new. We’re ready to raise a glass of something different, how about you?

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