NEW Ben’s Wine & Tapas, High Street, Totnes

Ben’s Wine and Tapas bar is the latest addition to the Ben’s Farm Shop umbrella. We’ve always taken our wine seriously but being a farm shop, steeped in all things local, it’s hard to show our full credentials. We want to introduce you to new and exciting wines from around the world at fair prices that represent the wines real value. The quality of what you get in your bottle makes exponential leaps from supermarket entry level prices but once you get to a certain point it seems as though you’re paying for a name and not much else. So we’ll be concentrating on mid-range, £8-£15 wines because that’s where the value is. They’ll be for sale to takeaway or, with a £6 corkage charge, to drink in. That way you can enjoy a fantastic bottle of wine for the price of a few pints in the pub. We’d also like to tell you about the wine. Most of it will be from farmer/winemakers so it’s a true farm product. As much as possible, we buy straight from the producer so although not local in geographic terms, in spirit and ethos it definitely is.

When we say tapas, I admit we’re generalising. What we mean are small plates of tasty but simle food served quickly, with, or just after you get your drink – as in a traditional tapas bar that doesn’t have pretentions to be a restaurant. Much will be Spanish themed, with a bit of North African, Mexican and Middle Eastern. There will even be a bit of the best of British – one of our bangers with a dollop of Tracklements mustard takes a lot of beating. There’ll be local, seasonal and dietary variations and with organics, the sourcing will be the same as the rest of the business – i.e. the vast majority will be organic but most of the recipes won’t be certified. Last year, at our kitchen on the farm, 98% of the ingredients were organic but only 65% of what we produced was.

We’d be the first to admit that the whole thing is a bit self-indulgent. Over thirty years plus in the food business, I’ve come across so many things, both food and drink, that I really like. Many we sell in the shops but, for one reason or another, some we don’t. So Ben’s Wine & Tapas is about the things we want to eat and drink. We hope you do too and we’ll see you there!

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