One To Wine

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Interview by Blasting News: How One To Wine innovates during Covid-19

Blasting News, a French Media, has interviewed us about the consequences of Covid-19. Please find below the Interview by Blasting News: How One To Wine innovates during Covid-19 !

French article from Blasting News here and the English translation below!

To avoid losing their entire revenue, some businesses have preferred to diversify their activity. This is the case of One to Wine.

Interview by Yassine Khelfa from Blasting News

For the past four years, One to Wine has been giving the English the opportunity to taste the very best of French and Italian wines. With its tailor-made ranges, this start-up company, which has less than ten employees, has established itself on the British market at small and large London events. Unfortunately, as their activity is essentially centred on events, the arrival of Covid-19 has brought them to a complete halt.

But these young French people quickly rolled up their sleeves to remotely propose alternative solutions to their customers. All this while formally avoiding encouraging gatherings in the English capital.

One to Wine’s Events & Communication Coordinator, Margaux Fassi, answers questions from Blasting News:

The Coronavirus epidemic has had a major worldwide impact on the hotel, restaurant and retail sector like yours. At the beginning of the epidemic, how did you experience it?

Our activity is composed of 70% by events, 30% by specialised distribution to restaurants, cafes etc. Events were booked until May (200 to 500 people) and they were cancelled one by one. We then decided, before the lockdown was effective, to stop our event activity in order to limit the gatherings and avoid the spread of the virus.

With the containment and social distancing measures, consumption habits were strongly disrupted. Have you experienced a significant drop in your activity?

When the lockdown was announced, sales to restaurants obviously stopped as well. Within three weeks, we faced a total lack of income. That’s why we launched an e-shop for wine delivery, at the beginning of March.

We had originally set it up to survive.

But we didn’t want to become only alcohol sellers, so we came up with the idea of creating Starter-packs. These are mixed cases created by us, allowing customers to discover several wines at the same time. We accompany these tastings with online tastings with our founder Maxime Maiano, and recipes available on our Blog and social networks: Facebook and Instagram.

You are known to hold meetings with winemakers at events such as trade fairs but gatherings have been banned, so have you been strongly affected by this crisis?

It’s true that before Covid-19, we proposed different types of events. Some of them were directly aimed at private individuals with tastings and winemaking courses. We also organised events for companies, like teambuilding workshops (competitions, blind tastings etc). Finally, there is a last branch of our activity: our catering service on events. This is our largest share of income.

These changes have certainly pushed you to change the way you communicate. Can we say that with social networks, your business has been able to survive?

In order to remain present in our community and share our new services, we have set up a more dynamic communication on social networks, consisting of sharing recipes, pairings, tasting tips or advice around the world of wine. You can find all of them on our Booklet (free download here)
I think it will still take more than a year to get back to normal activity. When things gradually get back on track, we will resume our distribution activity to restaurants and continue this delivery system with e-shop.

Home office has become a common method in many countries to keep employees connected. Was this also the case for you? Your sector of activity is nevertheless asking for a lot of advice, face-to-face contact with the customer?

We are very close to our customers and in this wine sector, the sharing of passion is really important. So we wanted to keep in touch with our consumers via our new individual delivery offers and these famous Starter packs, in addition to strengthening our presence on social networks.
At the beginning, our aim was to really simplify the readability of French wines with our own labels on the bottles, easier to read for the British, because they are used to choose a wine according to its grape variety (and not its geographical origin as in France): the British buy a Chardonnay and not a Chablis.
We have therefore created our range by selecting our own wines in France, wines that are environmentally friendly, by labelling them more clearly and by importing them to the UK with the exclusivity.

In France, an agreement on the reopening of restaurants is being refined. But in Germany or Austria, for example, coffee shops and brasseries have been open for a long time. In the United Kingdom, do you know what’s shaping up for you?

In the UK, lockdown is certainly effective, but it is less regulated than in France. People can go out on the street without a certificate. If in France the containment has ended, here in the UK it hasn’t. We have had some information on the reopening of shops that are not essential.

But nothing for restaurants. There are rumours about July and August, but it is not certain yet. Of course, we are waiting impatiently for the restaurants to reopen so that we can gradually resume our distribution activity.

Brexit was already a big news in your area. For a start-up company made up entirely of young French people, your activities have probably been shaken up by an announcement like that?

Yes, in June 2016, when we had just launched our business, the drastic fall in the pound has caused us to lose a lot of margin.

That’s when we decided to launch our events activity in order to make up for this lack of income, while continuing our environmentally friendly approach and taking only sustainable start-ups as partners for our events (Elysia, Bisou les Madeleines, Cheezelo…).

With an event as outstanding and unprecedented as the one we have just experienced, certain public figures such as Robert de Niro or Juliette Binoche are calling on citizens to slow down consumerism and their way of life. Is your company sensitive to new perspectives for the future?

We reject mass consumption at One to Wine. We prefer to go through small producers and we don’t sell in supermarkets. With the lockdown, people have rediscovered home consumption and aperitifs.
In London, which is a dense urban centre with a high level of land ownership, people are pushed to live in small apartments, or even in shared flats, and so they’re used to meet outside their homes.
Before Covid-19, we were not intended to reach people in their homes, but today with this crisis, we are “fortunate” that consumption habits are changing and people are getting used to spending convivial moments at home. That is why we will keep our delivery business. One of our plans for the future is to open a wine bar, but this is more likely to happen in a year or two.

You describe on your site a certain awareness of the preservation of the environment. How is this action really taking shape?

Indeed, this is the origin of the One To Wine project, we only select wines that are 100% environmentally friendly and only work with partners who have the same approach.

We are very careful about how we choose our producers and how we distribute our wines in the UK.

In many cases, even if their wines have the organic certification, the winemakers use copper in their production in France, which is a nonsense as this metal is extremely polluting for the soil. (More info about Organic labels here)
That’s why One To Wine has created its own charter and we control each of our winemakers’ viticultural and winemaking practices. Every year we visit them to check that everything is really produced with respect for the environment.

Furthermore, to take our approach further, we have made calculations and determined the quantities of CO2 emitted for the import, transport and (minimum) packaging of our wines.

Thanks to this calculation, we now compensate these emissions by planting an equivalent number of trees!

In the UK, more than 37,000 people died as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic. In the country, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was also contaminated and his hospitalisation has been the subject of a European-wide web tour. He has since regained his position as head of the British government.

We recall that alcohol abuse is dangerous to health and should be consumed with moderation.


What is it?

The CoViD-19 is a new zoonotic virus, which means it’s transmitted from animals to people.

The most common signs of infection include fever and breathing difficulties.

The standard recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus include washing your hands regularly, covering mouth and nose when coughing/sneezing, avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of flu.

What are the countries doing?

The first country affected by CoViD-19 was China and more specifically the city of Wuhan.

Very quickly, the government closed everything and told the citizens to stay home to prevent the further spread.

Today, China seems to be recovering and there are currently more cases of CoViD-19 outside of the country.

We can currently count 164 countries, areas and territories infected and a total of more than 194,000 registered sick people. If you’re looking for a specific country :

The virus is spreading fast and one of the most impacted country is Italy, where the number of registered cases has exceeded 28000, and the number of deaths is around 2500.

The Italian government took strict precautions to avoid the further spreading and the overcrowding of the hospitals.

President Giuseppe Conte, on the 11th of March, said on tv to “stay apart today, to hug tomorrow” (Restiamo lontani oggi, per abbracciarci domani) to incite people to follow the rules but also to spread a message of hope that was truly needed.

More countries like Spain, France, Germany and the USA are copying the guidelines used by both Italy and China: closing of schools and of most of public transports, home-office (except for a few workplaces), regulations for going out and penalties for those who don’t respect them.

However, some countries like the United Kingdom, don’t apply such strict measures.

This is one of the latest report from CNN, dated 17 March 2020:

How is One To Wine coping?

For now, One To Wine has postponed or cancelled its upcoming events, mainly because we care about you and because your health is our priority.

We prefer not encouraging people to meet and risking the spread of CoViD-19.

For now, the situation is a bit blurry in the UK because it’s quite new, but we don’t have to worry. The only thing to do:


On our side, we are developing a new way to keep our costumers (all of you!) happy and drinking good wine while waiting for this period to end.

We’ll soon offer a new delivery service for online purchases!

You can book your wines here :

You can find more specific information here:

Take care of yourselves!

What about Brexit?

What Happened?

The first time we started worrying about Brexit was during the vote in 2016.

Four years ago, the majority of those who voted, chose to leave the EU: it was unprecedented.

Brexit means leaving the European Union, which induces many problematic issues, such as the citizenship, the Irish border and the divorce bill.

As a result the UK had a hard time finding a deal that suited both the EU and the UK parliament.

It took years of votes, deadlines, resignations and extensions between the EU and the UK, while the UK kept risking a ‘No-Deal Brexit’; which we’re convinced would’ve meant drastic and unpleasant consequences for the UK.

After Theresa May, on the 24th of July of 2019 Boris Johnson took upon himself to ‘get Brexit done’ and did it: on the 31st of January 2020 the UK exited the EU.

However, there will be serious consequences for the UK and there are changes and deals yet to be made. The process should be completed with the end of 2020.

How will Brexit affect us?

Recently, One To Wine has been interviewed by French TV: l’Info du Vrai, broadcasted on Canal+ on January 30th.

Here is a retranscription of what is said in the video.

Maxime Maiano (One To Wine’s Founder): “We arrived in London in 2016, just before the Brexit referendum. The first and direct effect that we felt, as a company, was the fall of the pound.”

Indeed, for a start-up, Brexit means a price increase of import and stocks taxes.

“Unfortunately, we don’t know what will come next, but we make sure to follow the development of the Brexit and make sure to be reactive and ready to adapt to any change that may affect our company or the services we offer to our clients.”

The main threats would be the suppression of the bonded warehouses with suspended taxes, that allows us to pay the excise taxes only when our wines are sold; if it was to be suppressed tomorrow, we wouldn’t have the cash to pay all the taxes in once.

Moreover, the time of good treatments by the customs.

UK has only a few custom agents; treating all the goods entering the UK could take weeks or months before we could receive our wines, which would affect our rotations scheme.

The interview :

Here’s the translation of the interview for those who don’t speak French:

Commentator: “Historic day for the UK: it’s the last time the country was officially part of the European Union.
An exit that is still hard to digest for Londoners, who in 2016 had, by a large majority, said no to Brexit.

So, what will be the impact of Brexit on London’s entrepreneurs?
Maxime Maiano is a French person arrived in London in January 2016. As wine merchant, he settled here just before the Brexit referendum.
It was without counting on the majority of ‘yes’ votes.”

Maxime: “The direct effect we felt from Brexit was the fall of the pound.”

Commentator: “As a result, import taxes increased and stocks became more expensive.

To compensate, Maxime had the idea of diversifying his business by turning to corporate events in particular.

Indeed, today the main activity of One To Wine is the catering service, the organisation of tastings or cheese and wine pairings, for individuals and businesses. »

Maxime: “Today we remain attentive to the evolution of the market and to the various publications concerning the exit of the UK from the European Union in order to be reactive and adapt to it”

Commentator: “Uncertainty hangs over England, a leap into the unknown which in any case will remain in history”.

Here we are with this blog post a bit different; we have been asked this question so many times that we thought our community deserved to know how we might be affected.

Dry January

Dry January is the UK’s one-month alcohol-free challenge that allows people to begin the year with new drinking habits.

Alcohol Change UK, the charity behind this project, launched the campaign in 2013 because a quarter of the British population was drinking above the NHS recommended daily allowance, causing an average of 20 deaths a day from related illness.

What are the medical benefits from dry-january?

According to Richard de Visser, a scientist leading his researches at the University of Sussex, an alcohol-free month would have many benefits on your body which knows no hangover, dehydration, or sorehead anymore.

Your liver and your digestive health would be improved.

71% of participants would sleep better, 67% have more energy, 58% lose weight and 54% have a better skin.

Participating to this abstinence month would also reduce diabetes and cancer risks and lowers cholesterol.

However, Dry January has some limits and isn’t the solution to all the alcoholism problems.

It is more fitted for those who want to take care of them, or should cut back a bit with overconsuming alcohol but have relatively low health risks.

Even considering only the volunteers in this experiment, the benefits are biased because the participants often make other lifestyle changes at the beginning of the year such as eating better or exercising again…

What about the social point of view? 

Alcohol has a significant role in our lives and represents a way to celebrate, socialise or relax.

But nowaday, people are more and more willing to take care of themselves, by better consuming and limiting the excesses.

Dry January has become a real trend; this year more than 4 million people are taking part in the UK movement.

In addition to health benefits, people can make financial savings and realise they don’t need to drink liters and liters of alcohol to have fun.

In the long term, 80% of the participants succeed to keep their good habits; they reduced their alcohol consumption during more than 6 months.

They’ll improve their consumption by consuming less alcohol but with a better quality.

What is One To Wine point of view?

You can find alcohol-free reds, whites, rosés or sparklings on the market, but unfortunately the process that takes alcohol out from a regular wine is very aggressive and damages the wine.

The result is often too bland or sweety.

Dry January is part of a current of action whose goal is to think about consuming better.

That doesn’t only mean to consume less, it is above all to consume sustainable products.

Sustainability is one of the most important current issues and One To Wine is very implicated in it.

We promote French and Italian small and independent winemakers all applying a sustainable approach that respects soils and biodiversity.

Drinking selected good wines is a way to better consume and to protect the planet and ourselves.

You can trust our expertise on this.

Please, feel free to use our Wine Searcher on our website to find the wine that will best suit you.

Conception & development : Cereal Concept