Flying, McFly and Flight Risk

July 3rd, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

So there has been quite a lot going on this past week. The British police have hacked into ‘Encrochat’, an encrypted phone network used solely by the criminal fraternity. As a result some £54million, 77 firearms, a couple of tons of drugs, high-end cars and luxury watches have all  been seized as well as more than seven hundred crims nicked. A result for the Police and a bunch of Mr & Mrs Big’s cursing using Huawei for their private network!

China has abandoned any pretence of being an honourable state actor on the International stage, threatening imprisonment for any Hong Kong citizen caught implying less than I’ve just written.  As a direct result, the US has applied sanctions and the UK has honoured plans to allow a citizenship pathway for nearly 2.9 million Hong Kong Citizens.

Whilst we’re busy trashing democracy, it could be mentioned that a poll that allows Putin to stay in power until 2036 “may have been rigged” but we’re not sure anyone would hold the front page for that one.

It looks like we may well be able to go on holiday as the Government looks set to relax travel restrictions to around 90 countries. All I would say is check the regulations for your destination, as many countries have their own separate regulations. You can fly to Australia but there’s no guarantee you’ll get in, and we’re not sure if Hong Kong or Russia are on the list but, as always, you pays your money and makes your choice!

News also reaches us that the FBI has arrested Ghislaine Maxwell in charges relating to Epstein. Despite offering three times Prince Andrew still hasn’t made it to a New York Pizza joint, so we’re certain that the sweat on his brow is from a Click and Collect Romano Diavolo from that lovely place in Woking, and no other reason whatsoever.

On the sport front both Arsenal and West Ham have finally found teams they can beat, West Ham’s was the more surprising. Elsewhere, Wimbledon isn’t happening but on TV last night we witnessed a rather young looking Pete Sampras and we can definitely recommend strawberries lately.

Big news on the music front this week, McFly have just signed their first record deal in ten years.  We were certainly surprised to find it was 7 years ago that ‘Love Is On The Radio’ was released but it wasn’t us that tweeted ‘McFly have just saved 2020’ – we never go in for such hyperbole.  In other music news, The Rolling Stones and Panic! At The Disco have both told Trump to stop using their music at his rallies. A happy 75th birthday to Debbie Harry, seems a long time since Sunday Girl!

In wine news, fraud is being investigated in both Spain and Italy. In Spain it seems unscrupulous large wineries in Valdepeñas may have been selling millions of litres of wine labelled as higher quality and more aged than it might have been. Whilst in Italy bulk wine has been refilled into original bottles collected from restaurants and then sold in online auctions. The Italian one sounds rather like a film we saw on Netflix! Neither are particularly new frauds but then neither is a pyramid scheme I guess.

According to National Geographic rosé is the thing we should all be drinking and judging by the boxes we’ve been delivering, you lovely lot could have been their case study!

Talking of delivering we still are, so if you’d like us to bring wine to you email us: shop@parkvintners.co.uk and we’ll do the honours. If you prefer to come to the shop we’re open 4-7pm Monday to Friday and 2-5pm on Saturday.

Aesop, Wine and Glasto

June 26th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

That’s another week under our belts, time for a glass of wine, need I say more?

Apparently the norm is that yes, I do need to say more before I get to have a drink, so here we go…

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Once upon a time, back in the days when Wayne was in 6th Form, things were different.  One difference was that it was a lot sunnier then, the grass was greener and candle-wicking was a lucrative and sensible career choice.  Another true fact in this delightfully fact-free narration is that every man was allowed to take more than one wife.  One ambitious, middle-aged bachelor showed such ambition by marrying two ladies of differing ages.  The younger wife was eager that her husband appeared as youthful and exuberant as herself whilst the older was more anxious that her husband should show more gravitas and maturity.

So it came to pass that, to achieve their contradictory goals, the young one grabbed every opportunity to pull out her husband’s grey hairs whilst the old one was as industrious in plucking out every black hair she could find.

And the husband, well he just loved all the attention and the head massages – until the fateful morning that he discovered that he had not a hair left on his head!

So, why you might ask, does Aesop get a clumsy Park Vintners makeover today?  Well, the moral of the tale is that no matter how good or innocent your intentions may be, you cannot please all people, all of the time and, in fact, the harder you try the more likely you are to end up pleasing no-one at all.

Which seems to be pretty much where the world is right now.

Street’s like a jungle, so call the police, following the herd, down to Durdle Door

Too much lockdown, not enough lockdown; too close, too far; swimming, gyming, no swimming or gyming; daily update, no daily update; take a flight, never fly again; there are strong arguments for all of these options and, in a world where everybody is now able to criticise everybody else’s choices behind the screens of social media, everyone is right, no matter how unqualified they are to analyse the data.

But the temperature is rising and things are starting to fray around the edges if Brixton and the south coast are anything to go by – the decision to give herd immunity a go has been made unilaterally by the half million people travelling to Bournemouth yesterday – the good news is that we only need 71 more days like this and we could be getting close to the 36 million that would kickstart a vaccine-free immunity.  September 5th, that’s how long the heatwave will have to last we’re told….

Appetite for Destruction

And here we return to Aesop.  No matter your opinion about the current leadership of the country and their assorted SPAD’s, any announcement made regarding lockdown and its sundry parts was going to upset as many people as it pleased and the bearer of the news was still going to be regarded as a bit of a Bojo.  However, the decision has been made, we will see pubs and restaurants opening; we will see, have perhaps already seen, a reduction in social distance; we can go on holiday in the UK, potentially even fly to Europe too; we can get a haircut too, if we want.  If we want.  No-one is making you go to the pub or sit on the beach in Spain and if you don’t want to then just don’t.  And if you do want to, then do.

Meanwhile, back in the city

I feel we need to change the subject.  As pointed out last week, the return of football hasn’t necessarily scratched that itch, with Liverpool’s tedious trundle to the title confirming that this season will definitely be the one that has an * attached to it.  Golf and Tennis have had their Covid moments and more people have gone on twitter to say ‘I told you so’.  Rebekah Vardy is taking Coleen Rooney to court, which is hilarious on so many levels and would be more funny to more people if they actually knew, or cared, who these ladies are.

And now, over to Worthy Farm

50th anniversary of Glastonbury this weekend and for those of us who are more used to watching from their Chesterfield than a real field, then this should be a cracker of a weekend.  Hard to suggest where to start, loads on iplayer to watch and plenty of reminiscing to be done, so grab a glass, some falafel and enjoy the spectacle!

That’s it from us really – as mentioned we are still very busy doing deliveries and very happy to continue driving around but should you wish to come and have a browse then we are open from 4pm-7pm Monday to Friday and 2pm-5pm on Saturday.

Can I have my glass of wine now, please?

What have you learnt

June 19th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

What did we learn this week? Well, it seems a number of you have missed us, we opened the door at 4pm on Tuesday and were hard at it all the way to closing at 7pm. Yes, you read that correctly, we have opened the shop again. Rest assured we’ll be continuing with the delivery service but for those of you who prefer to have a chat at our place we’re open Mon-Fri 4-7pm and Saturday 2-5pm. We have sanitiser that we’d like you to use when you arrive and have space for two of you at a time. This will be reviewed in line with Government guidance, or if Marcus Rashford gets involved.

We learnt that our nation’s representations abroad will appear in a very different way in the future, with the announcement that Department for International Development is to be merged with/into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. I don’t know about you but we find all this back of the fag packet governing slightly alarming.

We’ve learnt that we’re down to Level 3 which will involve a gradual easing of restrictions. We’ll all have to keep washing our hands though, there’s still something unpleasant lurking in the corners. We might be able to go for a swim in the Lido soon, or even get a haircut!

As we bid adieu to Dame Vera Lynn we learned that in 1985 two pounds fifty pence would have bought you entry to a concert at the Crystal Palace Bowl. This anti-heroin concert featured Hawkwind, Lemmy from Motorhead, and Dame Vera Lynn! So many things I feel I missed out on in the 80’s!

We learnt that many, many more companies than we imagined have historical links to slavery even, it would appear, The Guardian, which must be a little uncomfortable for them. Any time traveller will tell you that history cannot be tinkered with, you just need to be sure to learn from it.

On the sport front, our first surprise was learning that Premiership football without crowds is just as dull and boring as its German equivalent proved to be several weeks ago. We followed that up with the shocking discovery that cyclists who plan to race in the Tour de France at the end of August have started ramping up their training. Surely the headline writer didn’t think that they just set the alarm a bit earlier on the first day! We also learnt that if you have some spare cash floating about there are a couple of Formula 1 teams on the market – if you do take the plunge, don’t have Paddy McGuiness as a driver!

So that’s our home-schooling for the week covered, what have you all been up to? Seems Dominic Raab has been misreading Game of Thrones and the Downing Street Jag driver has signed up for some lessons with BSM.

On the wine front, it does appear that rosé season is gaining some steam but we thought we’d mention that the Desjacques Sauvignon Blanc has finally landed, dragging on its coattails a fresh stock of the wonderful Cremant de Loire Rosé.

I think that’s it from us this week, do pop in and see us Mon-Fri 4-7pm and Sat 2-5pm, we will review hours as we move forward.

Prefer us to deliver? As before, send us an email to shop@parkvintners.co.uk with an idea of what you’d like and a budget and we’ll bring a box to your doorstep!

Bubbles

June 12th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

So, what have you got planned for the weekend?  If like many of us you persuaded your parents last night that a trial separation was worth a pop, you’ve now got your Mum living in your spare bedroom and as a side effect can now go and visit your Dad at his house because, you know, he’s on his own.  Your Dad thinks this new found freedom is amazing, your Mum is delighted to be able to spend more time with the grandchildren whilst you, you’ve never been keener to get back to the office.  Granny can now take two of the kids to the zoo, via the bookies, whilst your eldest is still going to school, finishing up year 6 two metres away from everyone else and wondering why she’s not at Whipsnade…

But of course, none of this is true because we can’t do any of this yet.  Rather than implementing something overnight, with the exception of lockdown, every new ‘relaxation’ or ‘guideline’ has a spurious start date in a spurious attempt to show us who’s in charge.  Support bubbles can start from tomorrow – why not yesterday?  Facemasks on public transport from next Monday, decided on the 4th June – why the wait?  Dentists went back to work last week, yet opticians and hairdressers are still shut?  Quarantine when arriving from abroad?  It’s all about control of course, seemingly less about that much vaunted common sense.

And we need to get the pubs open, if not for ourselves, then at least for our kids.  A reported 82% drop in beer sales during the coronavirus crisis has pushed a lot of breweries close to the wall and has, as an unforeseen consequence, impacted Marmite production.  No beer being brewed, no brewers yeast, no Marmite.  So, let’s get back in the pub and keep the breakfast soldiers marching!

And we need to get the pubs open because the football’s coming back.  Fresh from their lockdown indiscretions, the Premiership’s finest start back in their day jobs next Wednesday for a helter skelter ride until 26th July – 92 games in 40 days, it’s like the baseball but without the knickerbockers!  Elsewhere, in athletics, we learn that the 2022 Commonwealth Games which is taking place in Birmingham will now start 24 hours later than scheduled, due to coronavirus.  Well, that’s just thrown all my plans for 2022 into total disarray!

Wine meanwhile persists within its own bubble.  And within that bubble even, there exists a bubble with even more rarefied air and that is the bubble containing the Bordeaux En Primeur campaign. 

Against various trade rumblings that the campaign would be better served by being suspended this year, that in fact it was a bit tasteless even, a number of houses have released their wines onto the market at prices 15-30% less than the 2018 vintage.  2019 looks to be a decent vintage too, not at the level of 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015 or 2016 but decent nonetheless.  It was a hot vintage, lots of concentration and power potentially but with small yields – if you fancy some claret at a better price than recent year then go for it but don’t lose too much sleep if you decide to give it a miss – after all, as discussed earlier, there’s beer to be drunk!

Away from wine, what about Gin?  Well, for those of you who don’t already know, this Saturday is World Gin Day – I think you know what to do.  It’s also Sewing Machine Day, World Softball Day and International Axe Throwing Day – I think you know what not to do!

So what else to report?  The shop is still not open, despite many knocks on the door followed by queries such as “I saw the closed sign but I was just wondering if you were open?”  I know, never a dull moment round here!  Anyway, yes, we’re not open yet but we very nearly are, next week sometime will most likely see us dip our toes in the pond to see what bites and from there we will take every day as it comes – we won’t be making an announcement, we’ll just open the door very, very, slowly….

So keep placing your orders, we’ve got wine galore, we’ve got beer, we’ve got Gin and its highly spirited colleagues and we’ve got Champagne for those fizz Friday moments too.  If you fancy something for this weekend, fire off a quick response to this email and we’ll get it all delivered by our loyal liveried coachman, Mr Blomfield.

Enjoy your bubbles this weekend, in all senses of the word!

Space, Thunderbirds and Horses

June 5th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

How is the gardening going? Had any ripe strawberries yet? Our agapanthus look like they’ll soon be in flower and we’ve already used more charcoal than last year!

This week, as with so many lately, we’ve looked back for some inspiration. Working on the basis that if it’s ok for Lineker and Shearer its ok for Blomfield and Roberts, we note that we might normally mention the likelihood of traffic and the thunder of horses hooves around Epsom with the arrival of The Derby. The race has been run at Epsom every year since 1780 with the exception of the two World Wars, when Newmarket muscled in on the action. This year we will discuss it later on, as the race will be held behind closed doors on July 4th – our tips over the years should certainly have been kept behind closed doors!

In 2016, the Euros were about to start in Paris, Rio’s Velodrome had no track and Djokovic had played every day this week in the French Open. In 2018, we took to some very unscientific extrapolation to prove that a glass of wine a day would lead to a return to greatness of British Industry. Clearly, we have just included this item as a shameless self-plug to be invited as experts to the relevant government committee, when the time comes!

There is definitely a feeling of going round and round on the news stories though. As figures were released showing unemployment heading for similar numbers to the 1980’s, three former chancellors come out and say “Unemployment is heading for numbers seen in the 1980’s”. I’m sure we don’t need to point out to you dear reader, only one of these predictors of the screamingly obvious was even an MP in the 1980’s. But if Groundhog Day really needed any proving beyond a picture of Bill Murray, then reading this headline on the BBC website possibly nails it “Ed Davey launches bid for Lib Dem leadership”. To be fair to the man, he’s definitely played the long game! If the question came up in this evenings zoom quiz to name all eleven LibDem MPs, who would get to even four? We probably have better chance of naming the eight James Bond actors.

Whilst we’re on the subject of fictional characters, were any of you a fan of Thunderbirds, Joe 90 or Stingray? There is an absolute treat for you on YouTube, newly filmed too. Check out Nebula 75, should you find the time.

How we got from Lineker to space in such a short email I’ll never know? We’ll push on nonetheless. When we all watched the Space X Dragon dock with the International Space Station orbiting the earth did we reflect do you think? Wayne reflected upon being woken by his dad to see a man step on the moon, whilst Alex reflected upon how small the world is. Do you think Dominic Cummings reflected upon the fact that the International Space Station orbiting at 220 miles above the earth is closer to his house than Durham?

Whilst we seem to have alighted on adventures in driving, news reaches us that F1 is to start up again, beginning in Austria with races on 5th  & 12th July, a quick spin around the Hungaroring on 19th July before a double header at Silverstone on the 2nd and 9th August.  All these races will be behind closed doors, so I wonder who’ll get sprayed with the bubbly at the end.

Now that we’ve arrived at fast cars and closed doors, it seems a suitable time for a reminder that we are still operating as a closed shop (not in a union sense!). Send us an email to shop@parkvintners.co.uk with an idea of what you’d like, and your budget and we’ll get back to you with some suitable suggestions, pop them in the Volvo and bring them to your doorstep. 

We have been pushing on getting the shop more welcoming to visitors but aren’t quite ready yet. We’re still not quite sure how keen we are to open if we’re honest, we know some of you would like us to, and some not. The problem for us is that we have been operating as a self-contained bubble but once we open again that bubble is burst and then if one of us becomes ill, we will have to close completely for two weeks. Currently, we envisage opening initially for limited hours, with only two customers in the shop at any time. We would like everybody to use of hand sanitiser on entry to the shop to ensure everyone has as safe a shopping experience as possible. If you have any feedback, advice, or thoughts on this we would love to hear from you.

Well that’s probably enough from us for this week, we’ve discussed horse races and car races but don’t really feel qualified to comment on this week’s other race news except to say there is but one.

We Need To Talk About Blush

May 22nd, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Sometimes we feel the need to huff, puff and shake our head a little at the world. Yesterday was one of those days, as we read that Liberal Democrat peer Lord Fox was in a spot of bother. It seems that he was busted for furloughing himself from his consultancy business, Vulpes Advisory, whilst at the same time claiming his daily £162 allowance for working from home as a peer in the House of Lords! He didn’t become a member of the Economic Affairs Committee for nothing, eh? He now intends to repay the full amount as soon as possible.

McDonalds opened a number of their drive-thrus this week and, by all accounts, the queues were visible from the International Space Station. Those workouts with Joe Wicks seem distant now as half the nation turns into the plant from Little Shop of Horrors!

Elsewhere, Woolacombe in Devon ground to a halt in absolute gridlock as numpties from all around the country parked on double yellow lines whilst they had a stroll on the beach and a ‘99’. If only somebody had looked up the tourist information centre whose website said:  “We love welcoming visitors to Woolacombe & Mortehoe, however in these extenuating circumstances we are asking that you do not visit us at this time.”

Rosé, Pink, Blush?

We wanted to talk to you all about rosé. It seems you all have quite a thirst for it and, given the weather, we can’t say we’re surprised. We wanted to talk a little about why many people have started to refer to the wine as blush.

So, we wondered where and how it became so widespread, because you, the fine folk of Wimbledon Park, are not alone in the use of the term.  Is it perhaps that Dulux produced a paint called Blush Pink that everyone started comparing the wine in their glass to? We can certainly rule out anything to do with when a person blushes, because in most instances that’s far too dark a colour for most people’s pink wine tastes. We wondered perhaps if it was with the rosato style of Pinot Grigio coming along as a product of marketing departments with big companies, desperate not to miss out on the growing popularity of rose in the early part of the 21st century.

And now the answer.

In 1978 Charles Kreck of Mill Creek Vineyards (and one of the pioneers of Cabernet Sauvignon in California) trademarked the word “Blush”. The name caught on as a marketing name for the peculiarly sweet style of rose from producers such as Sutter Home and Beringer. Its popularity peaked in the 1980’s and has been declining ever since. We can see from talking to our customers, friends and colleagues around the country that in 99.9% of cases this is absolutely NOT what you all mean. You all want something very pale and dry, generally the style championed by the winemakers of Provence, who have been specialising in this style of wine since Wayne’s sepia coloured childhood.

Our Rosés are what would generally be described as dry and pale, the Cuvée Jean Paul has a little more fruit, ideal with something a little spicy, the Aumerade is our best selling wine every year. Line them all up together and we have five different bottles, labels, colours and prices, hopefully something to suit everyone.

Borsao Rosado 2018 – £7.99

Cuvee JP Jean Paul Rosé 2019 – £8.49

Dom. Foncalieu Piquepoul Rosé 2019 – £13.69

Chateau de L’Aumerade Provence Rosé 2018 – £14.99

Ch. D’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé 2019 – £22.99

And if you fancy adding a bit of sparkle:

Domaine Landreau Cremant De Loire Morin Rosé NV – £15.99

Hawkins Bros Rosé Reserve NV – £29.00

Delavenne Pere et Fils Grand Cru Brut Rosé NV – £45.00

Bank Holiday Monday

Yes it surprised us too, but we’ve double checked and triple checked and it’s definitely the case. As a result we won’t just be shut on Monday, we’ll be shut shut!

Back to our desks on Tuesday!

Would You Like A Delivery?

We might not have the robots and zero hours staff of Amazon, or the kind of warehousing efficiency technology and van fleets of Ocado. We also have no offshore accounts or tax efficient brass plates in Lichtenstein, Limassol or Luxembourg.

What we do have is an enormous Volvo 850 and a business account on the High Street. There’s space in the boot for your order (we can even fold the seats down if necessary!) and we’ll be leaving the shop about 4pm on the delivery run. Is there a box with your name on it?

  • Drop us a line at shop@parkvintners.co.uk and give us an idea of what you desire – minimum order is six bottles 
  • The most helpful thing for us to know straight away is how many bottles you would like, an approximate cost and ideally what you like and definitely don’t like!
  • The more information, you give us the quicker we can turn it round 
  • We’ll suggest ideas, send you the cost and payment details and deliver to your doorstep, all safely distanced

Whilst I know you are all missing our dulcet tones, we aren’t answering phone calls at the moment and, as a consequence, email is absolutely, 100%, the best way to place your order.  We are dealing with them all in chronological order and will definitely get to you – there’s plenty of stock for everyone…. our pencils have been sharpened and hover poised over paper, so send us your orders and we’ll pack the boxes!

We All Sing Along…

May 15th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

And nothing ever happens, nothing happens at all, the needle returns to the start of the song and we all sing along like before

And so here we are again, back at the start of the song, or better put, at the start of the weekend – do the weeks seem to be passing at a reasonable lick right now because I’m sure it was Sunday afternoon just a moment ago.  Anyway, I’m not going to argue, if it’s the weekend it means it’s wine o’clock and I’m happy to sing along to that.  With temperatures in parts of Yorkshire and Cumbria hitting -4C on Thursday morning, I was a bit nervous to look at the forecast but actually it’s not too bad – sunshine, clouds and the temperature getting closer to 20c on Sunday – full steam ahead for barbecues and Rosé drinking then!

History

Last weekend, as we all know, was a back to front bank holiday.  Friday saw most of SW19 sitting in their front gardens, sociably distancing and drinking bubbly from a flute or cider from a lemon, depending on their age.  Driving round the grid, dropping off good cheer, there was a definite scent of positivity in the air; good humour with a sense of  togetherness that made it feel as though perhaps, yes, we really can get through this current crisis but people, to do so, we really must stop listening to Vera Lynn and George Formby…

Politics

And then 7pm on Sunday happened, or didn’t really.  Boris clenched his fists and waved his arms about whilst telling us all that Loose Lips sink Ships and that we should Dig for Victory.  Ok, he didn’t’ say any of this but you always felt that he was but a tongue slip away from telling us to Keep Calm and Carry On.  Oh, and stay alert… given the clarity of his message he could quite easily meant that he was going to go and stay in Alert, the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world (in Canada, just past Chequers).  A previously clear message, now nicely muddied, quickly resulted in a couple of empty bottles of wine in our house!

Business

But carry on we do, for the time being still as a closed shop focused on doing deliveries.  We have been asked by a few people when we are planning to open up again and the honest answer is that we don’t know. 

There are only two of us here, one of whom was sent into self-isolation very early on and who happily has recovered and come out the other side, but what we learnt from those weeks was that it doesn’t take very much to knock the business sideways.  We don’t have massive shop, it’s only 2.5 metres wide in fact, so it wouldn’t take too many bodies to make it full, especially if 2 of us are already in it.  We have spent the last ten years encouraging people to come in, taste stuff, touch the bottles, read the tasting notes, shoot the breeze – it’s at the heart of what we do – but these things are currently strictly verboten, so we’re not sure what opening the doors would actually offer?  Do we insist on gloves and masks?  Do we buy industrial vats of hand disinfectant and make use of that a condition of entry?  Do we invest heavily in Perspex and recreate the homely and welcoming atmosphere of the offies of our youth?  Add to this that the inside of the shop looks like a bomb-hit warehouse; that we are still here 6 days a week putting together orders and then delivering them full time  – might need to open the shop just to have a rest!

So, in a nutshell, we’re not sure…

Travel

Not happening.  Locally we are told that it is our ‘civic duty’ to avoid public transport which is easy to say when you’re a minister with a chauffeured Jag parked outside.  Internationally, also not happening.  On Wednesday, Tui announced that it expects to accelerate its transformation plans to adapt to the current situation with the knock on effect that 8,000 staff will now be going on permanent holiday – so where did the 1.8 billion euro loan, effectively from the German government, disappear off to?

Music

You probably all know this already but Post Malone has launched a Provence Rosé.  My son, who listens to Mr Post’s music was very much of the ‘so what’ opinion.  I don’t knowingly listen to the Malone but am of a similar opinion…

Sport

Finally, we actually have some sport to report on.  The Bundesliga returns this weekend, with Wayne’s team, Werder Bremen not actually playing until Monday when they host Bayer Leverkusen but, with both teams desperately needing the win from opposite ends of the table, it could be a cracker!

That’s it from us.  The Volvo is parked outside, I checked the air pressure in the tyres yesterday and now it’s all ready for a full load of weekend wine – send us your orders!!

Have a great weekend, doubtless the next one will be along shortly!

Virtual Escape

May 8th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

I don’t know about you but I’ve found it a bit fresh at points this week yet have been enjoying the sunshine nonetheless. We were chatting about how different the mood might have been if it had been raining for these past six weeks, we won’t dwell on it though as we’ve a lovely long weekend ahead of us. Today is the May Day Bank Holiday Monday, despite my calendar saying it’s Friday.

We’re all prepared, the bunting is out, there’s something suitable chilling away in the fridge and Spitfires were spotted at Southend airport earlier this week. Alex has put Vera Lynn, the Beverley Sisters and Glenn Miller (still missing) on the playlist and we’ve set an alarm for the Queen’s speech. We’re hoping that somebody brings something savoury along, as there have been way too many pictures of cakes floating around. That’s it folks, The Virtually Escaped street party is kicking off on a screen near you while you read this. Fortunately for all of us it has the same initials as VE day from 75 years ago which is surely something everyone is happy to raise a glass to.

But with the PM addressing the nation on Sunday evening with a view to partly easing the lockdown, perceived to be in favour of picnicking and exercising. We feel there is an underlying yearning for a party though, several people have said “I heard he’s going to open the pubs!” Never ones to rain on another’s parade, we have smiled and suggested anything could happen. Secretly though, we’ve been thinking a month will have passed before we reach that Sunday.

The Virtually Escaped street party in our house is starting with a quiz, pausing for the Queen and ending with dancing, I’m told. I’ve absolutely no idea how we’re going to fit all of that onto a phone screen. Rest assured before the evening is over, someone will have brought out a Porron and there’ll be red wine all over the shop! Time for bed, said Zebedee.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, police have arrested a man in California after he climbed underneath a moving wine tanker in his underwear, unscrewed a valve, and proceeded to drink from the vessel. Talk about impatient!

Finally some good news – we spoke to Lee from Saucer and Cup yesterday, he is opening from tomorrow for takeaways. No longer will you have to torment yourself with Maxwell House, a decent cup of coffee is back on the agenda. Form an orderly queue with the appropriate distance! Also the Post Office is open again, Monday-Friday 10-2.30 for the moment.

As an aside, this week five years ago we were tasting Magnifico Rosso Fuoco Primitivo di Manduria Riserva and found it to be ‘lovely voluptuous rich black fruits and oodles of spice on the nose – concentrated black currants and berries and bright sweet fruit on the palate with masses of crowd appeal – we’ll sell masses of this!’  . We thought maybe we’d watch the slow action replays and taste it whilst putting new commentaries to old sales stories.

It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.

We’re still offering free local delivery, neither of us smoke and Chicago is a tidy hoof further than that. Yet we are still fully fired up – the Volvo is now a familiar sight but the boot is still empty. 

So, all you need to do is:

  • Drop us a line at shop@parkvintners.co.uk and give us an idea of what you desire! 
  • The most helpful thing for us to know straight away is how many bottles you would like, an approximate cost and ideally what you like and definitely don’t like!
  • The more information, you give us the quicker we can turn it round. 
  • We’ll suggest ideas, send you the cost and payment details and deliver to your doorstep, all safely distanced.

I cannot emphasise enough that email is absolutely, 100%, the best way to place your order, we are dealing with them all in chronological order and will definitely get to you – there’s plenty of stock!

We’re here and doing the rounds today and tomorrow so don’t be shy!

Hit it!

International Sauvignon Blanc Day Amongst Other Things

May 1st, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

39 days ago, 27 million of us watched Mr Johnson announce the lockdown thus:

From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home….. We will stop all gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with….stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives.

And we all did, some more, some less – 9,000 fines is the figure released yesterday and certainly we witness more and more street corner chats and dog walks between friends every day which lead s to the question – how much longer can we maintain our resolve?  I know of some customers who are loving the lockdown – people who usually have to stick to a strictly regimented work routine often interrupted by aimless phone calls who are loving the freedom that working from home has given them.  Conversely, many of us just don’t have the right home environment to be able to work from there long term – your zoom business meeting with the US is strangely incompatible with your husband’s need to dance in his boxer shorts to Sparks at top volume – this town ain’t big enough for the both of us….

So, almost 40 days in, it seems that Quarantine could very likely become Settantine if not more, depending on how the ‘testing’ debate/debacle pans out, and as a consequence people are having to adapt more and more to the new normal.  An article we read in Travel News Sverige a week back was perhaps more deserving of a 1st April headline:

Coronasäker en-bords-restaurang öppnar i Värmland.

The article then explains:

Ett bord.  En stol.  Mitt på en sommaräng i Värmland. Ingen serveringspersonal och inga andra gäster.  Maten levereras i en korg från restaurangkökets fönster. Bakom initiativet står paret Rasmus Persson och Linda Karlsson.  Idén uppstod när paret skulle bjuda Linneas föräldrar på mat.

Which, I think we’ll all agree, is pretty bonkers!

For those of you without a fluent speaker in your midst, the article is applauding the opening of a one-table restaurant located in a Swedish field, where meals are delivered in a basket on a washing line – only one booking a day, set menu and only open to solo diners or people from the same household.  Should the sun shine long enough here over the next few weeks perhaps we could try it – anyone know any farmer’s with fields to spare?

In sport, everything is getting cancelled but still there is surprise and denial in some quarters. 

The cancellation of the Eredivisie season in the Netherlands was a bit of a swashbuckling move which perhaps could still come back and bite them.  A number of clubs are looking to sue someone but surely, when the government banned sport until 1st September, what other choice did they have?  Likewise, in France, a ban following the same timeframe has been set, which puts the Tour de France in jeopardy again.  These bans come a week after Belgium banned all mass gatherings until the end of August.  With Italy and Spain yet to make a decision, which must follow the same logic as the French and the Dutch, I’m starting to wonder, yet again, what planet the Premiership teams are on, as, against the lockdown rules no matter what they say, they returned to training this week with players from abroad who went back home to isolate being told to fly back in next week.… does no one watch the news anymore?

The Premier League managers have a meeting today, regarding Project Restart, what chance they talk sense??

Wine

Because, really, that’s what we’re all about, in between moaning about sport and politics, just in case that had slipped your notice…

I am reliably informed that today, Friday 1st May, is International Sauvignon Blanc Day.  This always occurs on the first Friday of May and, astonishingly, in New Zealand National Sauvignon Blanc day is also held on the first Friday of May… could there be a connection?!  Judging from the fact that I could find no acknowledgement from France of this ‘international’ celebration, I am starting to wonder if it should be more correctly titled New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Day but this could bring confusion to lots of households who have long assumed that every day is a NZ SB day…

Anyway, always keen to have a celebration in these dark times, here’s my tasting list for tonight:

Oyster Catcher Sauvignon 2018, Central Valley, Chile (£8.29)

False Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Western Cape, South Africa (£8.99)

The Accomplice Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2018, South Australia (£9.39)

V Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand (£9.79)

Southern Dawn Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand (£11.99)

Barton Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Walker Bay, South Africa (£12.79)

Domaine Jouan Frere et Soeur Menetou Salon 2018, Loire Valley, France (£15.99)

Flametree Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2017, Margaret River, Australia (£16.99)

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand (£19.99)

Roblin Sancerre ‘Terres Blanches’ 2018, Loire Valley, France (£21.99)

Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Le MD de Bourgeois 2017, Loire Valley, France (£29.99)

And then, to go with dinner, a magnum of

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand (£41.00)

That should keep me quiet…

Should you care to join me on this exciting adventure, we have stock of all these wines and can deliver – fuel is still cheap and our parallel parking is improving, so just follow these simple directions to reach your vinous nirvana:

  • Drop us a line at shop@parkvintners.co.uk and give us an idea of what you desire – minimum order is six bottles 
  • The most helpful thing for us to know straight away is how many bottles you would like, an approximate cost and ideally what you like and definitely don’t like!
  • The more information, you give us the quicker we can turn it round 
  • We’ll suggest ideas, send you the cost and payment details and deliver to your doorstep, all safely distanced

Whilst I know you are all missing our dulcet tones, we aren’t answering phonecalls at the moment and, as a consequence, email is absolutely, 100%, the best way to place your order.  We are dealing with them all in chronological order and will definitely get to you – there’s plenty of stock for everyone…. our pens are poised, send us your orders and we’ll pack the boxes!

Right, I’m past my peak, so I’m off to drink a world of Sauvignon Blanc, who’s with me?

Easter

April 9th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

I suspect you’ve had your lunch already, as we’re a bit on the late side this week. Timewise I suspect we’re closer to crisps and a Gin and Tonic in the garden?

We just wanted to drop you all a quick line to say we’ll be operating an early cut off on Saturday and then be back on Tuesday. We shall carry on replying to emails in chronological order, so there may be a bit of a backlog come Tuesday. Wayne is back in the chair now so we should get a bit quicker too.

Thanks everyone for your support and have a lovely Easter.

Cheers!

Wayne & Alex