Star Hotels’ Retail Manager of the Year - Pete Tamblyn

Success is rarely achieved single-handedly, and Sense of Taste Portside manager Pete Tamblyn was quick to acknowledge this after being named Star Hotels’ Retail Manager of the Year at the recent annual conference in Townsville.

Pete says he is “humbled and very proud’’ to receive the award, adding it is good recognition for the Sense of Taste brand.

“It was a big surprise as there are some exceptional retail managers within Star Hotels,’’ Pete says.

Star Liquor national general manager Rodney Hunter was more effusive in his praise for Pete, saying he has an exceptionally deep knowledge of wine.

“Pete is always generous with his time, imparting the latest and greatest from wineries, craft brewers and gin makers to both other staff and especially customers,’’ Rodney says.

“He and his team have created a destination shop where premium lovers of wine, spirits and beer flock to chat and always try the new.’’

Portside is the flagship Sense of Taste store, the first boutique bottle shop opened by the Star Hotel group just over five years ago. Pete has been there since the beginning and says there are two key factors to his and the store’s success.

“The first is my team. I have exceptional people working for me which allows me to develop our online presence,’’ he says.

“The second is being given the freedom to expand the range, research our competitors and stay relevant in the market. If you’re successful and doing well, you’re able to treat the store as if it was your own.’’

He’s seen Portside Wharf experience a lull in trade in recent years, but expects this to change with two new residential towers going up, the IGA redevelopment and new shops opening in the precinct. Not to mention the fact the Olympic athletes’ village will be at their back door (Northshore Hamilton) for the 2032 Games.

“I think you’ll see us go from strength to strength over the course of the next 10 years,’’ he says. “The store is rapidly growing and we’ve blown our budget out of the water in terms of online sales. We’re a lot more advanced than where we thought we’d be 12 months ago.’’

Speaking of online, check out our great promos to coincide with the release of the new Sense of Taste catalogue. And keep your eye out for some specials on sparkling and Champagne, following on from the Sense of Taste sparkling tasting panel with Tyson Stelzer.

If you missed last week’s blog, here are Tyson’s picks from the 47 sparklings and Champagnes sampled: Bollinger Rosé NV (Champagne), House of Arras Grand Vintage 2009 (Tasmania), Clover Hill Vintage Brut 2017 (Tasmania), Brown Brothers Patricia Pinot Noir & Chardonnay Brut 2016 (King Valley) and 42 Degrees South Premier Cuvée NV (Tasmania).

Pete says the Brown Brothers Premium Cuvée NV ($25) and Patricia Pinot Noir & Chardonnay Brut 2016 ($49) represent exceptional value.

But his catalogue favourite this month is the SOT 6 –  six reds selected by our managers - “the best one yet’’, he reckons.

This month’s bundle features a few favourites, Wirra Wirra, Reschke, Leeuwin Estate; check out our latest catalogue for more!