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John Gordons

Veronika Jordan speaks to Gordon Duff, the owner of John Gordons, about what we can expect when we pay this popular wine and whisky bar a visit. crack

Gordon is celebrating. He should be. The Times have called John Gordons wine and whisky bar and merchant in Cheltenham’s fashionable Montpellier district one of the ‘coolest places to go’ to drink and buy wine.

John Gordons sells high quality wines at affordable prices to the trade and general public. Here you will discover wines from both the Old and New World including France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Argentina and Germany.

“German wines these days are really up there with the best,” says Gordon. Most of the wines are not well-known or from big brand producers; many come from relatively small individual vineyards.

“The wines we sell are of exceptional quality,” he explains, “and in most cases, wines that you will not find elsewhere in the county.”

You can buy wine by the case or as a glass to drink while enjoying a light bite such as the cheese platter, pâté, charcuterie or antipasti. There is also a range of cakes on offer to accompany a delicious elderflower fizz or a cappuccino.

At John Gordons you will find 100 whiskies sold by the glass or bottle and not all are from Scotland. They also come from Ireland, Sweden, Tasmania, Japan and even England. John Gordons specialises in a wide range of rare and unusual whiskies, cognacs, armagnacs, vintage ports and spirits from around the world, together with celebration bottles of wine for birthdays, anniversaries and other memorable occasions. During the final lead-up to Christmas they sell 10 bottles of whisky an hour! You will also find Pimms, sangria, Belgian beer including Palm on draught and a range of fine cigars.

Cheltenham is known for its many festivals and John Gordons is a favourite venue for live music. The Jazz Festival is a big event for them, but they will also have big crowds during next month’s Literature Festival.

Gordon opened John Gordons five years ago this October. He is Scottish and worked as a commercial artist for many years. He had never worked in a hotel or pub before and had originally opened it as a wine merchant before moving into food. It was only open in the daytime to begin with, but as it became busier and busier later in the day, it became a wine and whisky bar and merchant open in the evening.

“It wasn’t intentional,” says Gordon, “it just happened that way.”

You can visit John Gordons at 11 Montpellier Arcade, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1SU.

Tel: 01242 245985


Open seven days a week 10am to 11pm (times may vary slightly).