With the likes of Jay-Z’s champagne, Jon Bon Jovi’s wine and Kendall Jenner’s tequila on its shelves, this little shop in Alderley Edge has every bottle of celebrity wine and liquor imaginable. And given its location in the heart of Cheshire’s Golden Triangle, its clientele includes celebrities, footballers and VIPs.
However, Just Plonk was set up by its owners with the goal of not being pretentious – hence the store’s name. Store manager Nigel Ramsay, a painted Mank, has himself become something of a celebrity in the village thanks to his quirky Instagram videos.
Nigel ran a wholesale food business in Manchester before deciding – while wine tasting on holiday – that he might want to open his own wine shop. The shop’s name comes when he’s tasting rare vintage wines and utters the immortal words, “at the end of the day, it’s just a fart, isn’t it?”
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Thus the brand was born and since opening they have built a loyal following for the wide range of wines, spirits and champagne they offer. It features a dizzying array of wines owned by celebrities such as Post Malone, Angelina Jolie, Kylie Minogue, Graham Norton, Snoop Dogg and Gary Barlow.
Then there’s Lil Wayne’s Bumbu rum, Dan Aykroyd’s Skull vodka, Slipknot’s whiskey, Justin Timberlake and The Rock’s tequila, and Idris Elba’s (Porte Noir) and 50 Cent’s (Le Chemin Du Roi) champagne. You can get celebrity wines from £10 to £480 for Ace of Spades champagne, the exclusive brand owned by Jay-Z.
At the back of the shop is the spectacular champagne room, a glass case that has been dubbed the ‘Nige room’. Here you’ll find exclusive brands of sparkling wine and huge magnums of champagne, including the most expensive bottles of celebrity favorite Angel, priced at £10,000.
The last of those £10k bottles that Nigel sold? To a famous Premier League footballer at Christmas.
Nigel is an amazing figure and when we meet I watch a line of villagers running to wave or poke their head in the door to say hello. He says he’s amazed by the amount of celebrities who come up and want to take pictures with him.
He laughs: “I’m exhausted, I’m just an ordinary person, but I think I’ve created a monster. The amount of celebrities that come in now and yet THEY want to take pictures with me is hilarious.
“We were asked to do The Real Housewives of Cheshire but I turned it down. We have wonderful clients here, Robbie Savage came in and said ‘I love your Instagram’ and Kerry Katona became a good friend.”
Moss Side-born Nigel runs a wholesale food business in Manchester but decided to give the wine shop a go with owner Mandy Dolan in October 2021. They then added a small bar and the shop has become a popular spot for people going for drinks before a night out in the country.
He said: “We read on the internet that more champagne is drunk here in Alderley Edge per head of population than anywhere else in the UK, so it seemed like a good place to start.
“Mandy works every day and I tend to attract people. People say we are a breath of fresh air for the street and all the other businesses are so nice and send people here too.
“I lived in America 15 years ago, but I have never met such kind people as this village. Whether you’re rich or poor, whether you’re buying a bag of crisps or spending thousands of pounds on champagne, there’s no snobbery here, everyone’s nice.
“There are a lot of famous people all the time. I’m a big Manchester City fan, but we have a lot of footballers and former footballers here.
“Steve Bruce came in the other day and I joked with him, I said, ‘I’m so sorry, there’s no Manchester United players here today’ and he said, ‘But I’m from Newcastle’ and he ended up serving behind the bar!”
In the shop they also make custom bling for champagne bottles and have a special ice mix that people can buy too.
The bar itself closes at 10pm and is “strictly over 25s”, says Nigel. It’s also strictly anti-drug, with a sign that says “No Drugs” when you walk in the door.
He said: “I’m very against drugs, I despise what they do to people.”
They have also released their own label wines which are cheekily labeled ‘Just ****ing Good’. Among their most popular bottles are the pink and blue Angel champagne, which locals love for gender reveal parties.
Nigel says: “I want this to be a place where people come and have fun, taking the snobbery out of wine. The beauty of the business is that customers tell us what they want.
“It turns out that posh people love salt and vinegar chips, you wouldn’t believe how many bags of chips we sell. Champagne with chips has become this mainstream trend for us.”
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