Wine suppliers say the main attributes they appreciate in a buyer are knowledge and experience, good communications and courage to try something different.
Majestic Wine Warehouses' Tony Mason was given a vote of confidence from suppliers who thought he was more open than most to new ideas and suggestions.
A "less confrontational approach" and ability to develop products if he thinks they have potential also go down well, they say.
Safeway's Tim Ranscombe received recognition for his strong sense of what would work commercially and his flexibility. As one supplier puts it: "He balances the challenge of the evolving wine trade with the needs of a commodity-driven market."
Waitrose's Simon Thorpe was commended for being a hard negotiator, but pleasant, polite and courteous. "He uses his ears and mouth in correct proportion," says one.
Liz Aked from Spar was described as loyal. "You get the opportunity to secure a quote on pricing straight off. Our relationship with her is good and we can always get the information we want from her."
Stuart Purdie from Morrisons received acclaim for his knowledge, down-to-earth nature and good communication skills.
The Sainsbury wine buyer who received special mention for his consistent professionalism was Julian Dyer.
Suppliers also commended him for his interest in his product. "He is firm, fair and commercially aware, and he is a good communicator," says one.

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