Fellow Wine Lovers,
We’ll start today’s lesson with a parental maths puzzler:
Tommy and Alice have two children, Neil and Josie. Sunday 1st March is Josie’s Birthday. In the morning Josie plays netball, escorted by Alice, until 11am. At the same time Neil and his father will be at rugby training until 12pm. Josie has arranged to meet 8 friends at the famous farm-shop and bistro café, McDonald’s, at noon, prior to going to the cinema at 12.40pm as part of her birthday celebration. How can Tommy and Neil be at rugby until 12 whilst supposedly simultaneously enjoying quality beef patties and retailored chicken bits on the other side of town?
This question is worth one mark. For further credit, you may continue with the following:
Josie, her friends and her family will emerge blinking into the sunshine post-cinema sometime around 3pm. At 3pm England play rugby against Ireland in Dublin whilst here in London at 4pm, Chelsea play Tottenham Hotspur in the Capital One Cup Final at Wembley. Tommy and Neil are keen rugby fans (see morning activity) and Tommy, despite living in a Chelsea encampment, is a Lilywhite rather than a blue and would thus be interested in seeing both games. England will already have lost the cricket to Sri Lanka in the morning, so this is not a variable in the calculation. At all times Tommy and Neil must remember it is Josie’s birthday and thus she is in charge and they must at least pretend to be enjoying themsleves. How can everybody be kept happy in this scenario?
This question is worth limitless marks.
Using the information provided, please come up with a working solution. Whilst it may seem an impossibility to keep everyone happy, full credit will be given for well worded attempts, supported by relevant, full workings, Venn diagrams if possible. Bonus credits available for those who also manage to factor into their calculations that Rupert, the family pet, will definitely need to be taken for a long walk at some point during the day.
So whilst you’re all puzzling on that, what else can we report?
Because they can
Football seems to have plumbed new depths with FIFA running roughshod over most everybody and plonking the 2022 World Cup Final on the 23rd December – what chance anyone getting home for Christmas on a budget? Their dated attitude of ‘we can do whatever we want and you’ll just have to fall into line because we are FIFA’ has to be discredited sometime very soon, one hopes.
Because he can
In the early 80’s, Robert Parker, through his Wine Advocate musings on the wines of the 1982 Bordeaux Vintage, gave Le Pin, a relative newcomer (first vintage 1979), a 100/100 score. Perfect, in his eyes. At the time he was just a man with a keenly developed interest in wine who would score various wines within a hundred point scale. However time has passed and his reputation, influence and indeed power – 90+ Parker Points now being a much used sales tool by fine wine merchants – have all blossomed from his opinions and musings on that 1982 Bordeaux vintage. Well done, Bob.
Yesterday, he announced that he won’t be attending the Bordeaux en-primeur bunfight this year and has handed over the reins to Neal Martin, whom many consider to be his natural heir. For more than 30 years Parker has been doing the en-primeur, so this is maybe another sign that he is handing over more and more of his domain to the team or is it perhaps a sign that he knows what a sham the whole thing is? It is murmured that some producers in the past have waited for him to announce his points before stating their release price, a good score supposedly justifying a huge price hike, which has resulted in the unsustainably high prices we now see for some very ordinary Bordeaux reds from some very ordinary vintages (2007 anyone?).
So we reckon his stepping away from the limelight can only be a good thing for everyone, well done Sir!
Oh, and whatever happened to the 1982 Le Pin? En primeur, the release price was $400 for a case of twelve bottles. If we consult the January 2015 edition of Decanter Fine Wine Price Watch, which shows the latest prices top wines have reached at auction, we can see that the same case of wine has sold for £57,577. Or approximately $88,690. Gadzooks!
Because we can
Feet firmly back on the ground now, everyone. Not sure whether we had a market for £5,000 a bottle Bordeaux, we decided to cancel our order of Pomerol and instead order some new beer. Breaking with our unofficial tradition of buying local we have gone global, or European at least. We had been selling Krombacher Pils for a few years now but our supply dried up. As a result we had to find a new German lager beer and so, remembering how much we enjoy it in the pub, we bought Paulaner Munchen Hell £2.49 in 500ml bottles. We also finally managed to get our hands on a Gueuze from Belgium – Lindemans Gueuze £3.29. Like all things Belgian(!) this is absolutely delightful, I’m not going to go into its complicated production process here but suffice to say it has a tangy sourness that is extremely refreshing and moreish – go on treat yourself!
Because you can
We still have a few places left on our Cheese & Wine evening – Thursday 12th March at 8pm. Tickets are £20 per person and if you’ve not been before you should, because you can. These evenings are enormous fun – fine wine, four fine cheeses, plenty of chat and a splash of education in there too, all on your doorstep.
To book a seat at the table either reply to this email, phone us on 020 8944 5224 or tell us in person when you’re in to stock up on Gueuze!
Because we all can
Wines will be open for tasting this weekend, as is our wont. We have the just moved onto the 2013 vintage of Reichsrat Von Buhl Riesling Trocken – £13.99 always a stunning wine with apple and citrus notes, a streak of minerality and a magical finish. Very much looking forward to it.
For the red, Vista 2013 – £8.29 tickles our fancy. Weirdly, we haven’t shown this for a couple of years but it has been the backbone of our Portuguese range forever. A blend of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Cabernet Sauvignon this is what is commonly known as a ‘cracking’ drop. Ripe brambly fruits with hints of spice on the finish – very much suited to the weather we’re having at the moment.
That’s just about it from us – anyone managed to solve the maths problem? No, us neither. However, I’m sure we’ll know the answer by Monday….