Fellow Wine Lovers,
Friday 16th December, folks, and we’re into the final countdown (diddle-er-der, diddle-er-der-der, diddle-er-der…. etc) with just an armful of shopping days left until Christmas, a few more after that before New Year’s Eve and then, bosh, we’re bang smack in 2017 without a clue what to do.
Will prices go up? Will the currencies behave? Will prices then go down? Will somebody break ranks and admit things have gone wrong due to their own incompetence rather than blame it on, the as yet un-actioned, Brexit? Will we have guard-less trains on Southern Rail? The big questions of today should finally have their answers, whether we like them is a different matter and, from what we have witnessed this year, these answers are likely to be in direct contradiction to those predicted!
To be honest, we’re a bit nervous of what the New Year will bring, tales of doom and gloom always sells more papers and the murmurings from the trade are no more positive. To calm these nerves, Wayne likes to start his day with a soothing glass of Saliza Amaretto by Bepi Tosolini (£25.99) whilst Alex finds a quick half bottle of Moutard Grande Cuvée Champagne (£16.49) helps him maintain his famous effervescent bonhomie, until at least 11 o’clock – when we open, in other words…
By lunchtime, the effects of the restorative sherry at 11am (Equipo Navazos Fino en Rama – £10.99 for a half bottle), will have truly worn off, so it’s time for a glass of Burgundy. It’s not oysters every day for lunch for us, so when we opt for some hand carved smoked salmon, we find the perfect foil comes in the guise of Talmard Macon Uchizy 2015 (£14.99).
It has long been advised that a post-prandial siesta is the secret to a long and happy life, or at the very least gives one a fighting chance of surviving the evening beyond 8pm, and we stay true to this advice as much as possible. With the lunch slate now rubbed clean and the sun starting to move over the yardarm, the prospect of a ‘cheeky magnum’ as Wayne likes to call it, now looms into view. What to have though? Do we stay true to the classics and decant the Chateau Patache d’Aux 2009 from Medoc (£50.99) or do we throw our hat in the ring with those chaps in the new world and enjoy an oversize bottle of Meerlust Red 2014 from Stellenbosch (£26.99) – decisions, decisions….
And then it’s the Port. Much maligned as the primary purveyor of hangovers, Port is often left on the shelf for another day. We don’t need to drink a whole bottle – the colheitas and the tawny ports can be kept open for ages due to their style of aging, so a quick glass of Krohn Colheita 1982 (£44.99) tends to up our sugar levels, in time for the evening rush.
And then it’s all over, the customers have drifted off happily into the night and it’s time to close the shop. With the array of choice here, and the different treats already supped, now must be time for the ultimate palate cleanser – Champagne. With such a choice, we never lack variety in our glass, as we choose from (amongst others)
Champagne Thiénot £32.99, 3 for £90 or 6 for £164.96
Champagne Bollinger £45, or 6 for £200 (low stock)
As we lock the shop up, tired from the days endeavours, we reflect that life isn’t so bad, next year can’t be that bad and if nothing else, live for today – or is that just the drink talking?!
‘Same time tomorrow, Wayne?’ ‘Same time tomorrow, Alex, have a nice evening.’
Talking of time…
SUNDAY 18th DECEMBER: 11AM – 3PM
MONDAY 19th – FRIDAY 23rd DECEMBER: 11AM – 8PM
SATURDAY 24th DECEMBER: 10AM – 5PM
SUNDAY 25th – WEDNESDAY 28th DECEMBER: CLOSED
THURSDAY 29th DECEMBER: 11AM – 8PM
FRIDAY 30th DECEMBER: 11AM – 8PM
SATURDAY 31st DECEMBER: 11AM – 6PM
SUNDAY 1st – TUESDAY 3rd JANUARY: CLOSED
WEDNESDAY 4th JANUARY: 11AM – 8PM BACK TO NORMAL!
Back in the real world…
Whilst it would be great fun to practice what we have preached, our days aren’t quite so action packed. However, there are possibly the seeds of a Christmas Day Drinks Template amongst the wines selected above – but perhaps not for everyone. With this in mind, this weekend we will be opening:
Champagne Thiénot Brut NV(£32.99) One of the new kids on the block champagne wise, having been founded in 1985 but being owned by a former grape broker, they definitely get the pick of the bunch (sorry). Deliciously rounded and with a nice bready note and the star selection at a recent tasting. Choice pour at the 2013 Oscars pre-show party, too.
M & B Talmard Macon Uchizy 2015 (£14.99) Mallory and Benjamin produce just one cuvée of Macon each year from their 20 hectares just north of the Macon hills. Richer and riper than many, it has a generous weight, subtle, almost tropical fruit with aromas of melon, ripe pear, and all the other flavours you’ll notice when you pop in to taste!
Bouchard 1er Cru Beaune du Chateau 2012 (£29.99) this is wine from Bouchard’s own vines, and named after the family home, which the family have owned since 1820. Lovely red cherry fruits, a touch of that truffly, forest floor note, and a lively balance of fruit and structure on the palate. Perfect partner to poultry!
Chateau Les Mingets 2012, Sauternes (£11.99 37.5cl) where would be without an emergency half of Sauternes to call on? This is from Bommes in the heart of the region and is an absolute classic. Honey and apricot marmalade notes but with a beautiful citrus zest of acidity to balance the sweetness and keep everyone tidy.
Drop in for a mince pie and a taster!
Wayne & Alex