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

Wayne reminisces…

April 3rd, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

When I was but a whippersnapper, I used to watch a lot of Hammer Horror films. Now, don’t judge me, there’s nothing wrong with The Curse of The Mummy’s Tomb, or The Curse of Frankenstein, let alone The Curse of the Werewolf. Apart from the rather formulaic naming of some of the films, I also recall that Peter Cushing starred in rather a large number of them as did Christopher Lee. Personally, I always liked the Dracula and Vampire films but could never understand why we never watched any of the films featuring a Mummy. Fast forward a couple of years and a now 14 year old Wayne, with two of his chums, have laid their hands on a ridiculous amount of crepe bandage, just in time for April Fool’s Day.

Surely this will be our best one ever!

Wayne and chum number one wrap chum number two in said swaddling, position him perfectly on the doorstep, tap the knocker and retreat. What followed, when the door opened, was a scream so chilling that Hammer would still be in business if they’d been there to record it! Birds fell out of trees in surprise and, needless to say, teenage Wayne was a tad mortified. That, ladies and gentlemen is how I discovered why we didn’t watch films with a Mummy, it seemed my mum was terrified of them! So not seen by everyone as my best April Fool ever, I was barely spoken to by Easter and still receive a death stare if I mention it – gotta love a Hammer Horror!

In other news this week, our year end came round, which involves all sorts of things we do every day and several things we do considerably less often. One of the less frequent activities was where we stock counted the cellar, the shelves and the boxes in the currently closed shop. It seemed the combination of dim light, font size and perhaps our age (!) meant that at no point in the entire day did we seem to have the correct glasses on our noses. Those logistical challenges aside, it seemed most things were where they were supposed to be, we really have nearly run out of gift bags and now we just need to face our accountant with the numbers. I think we’ll get the VAT return done first though.

Need A Delivery?

Please write to us on shop@parkvintners.co.uk with an idea of what you want, how many bottles and an approximate cost as 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.

Please do bear with us though, we will get to everyone, there is wine and beer and whisky and gin to go around. Email is the best way to place your order, we are dealing with them in chronological order.

Please don’t phone the shop, we’re not monitoring the phone there except for incoming deliveries.

And that folks is that – keep on rockin’!

Free Local Delivery

March 20th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Many times over the 9 years that we have been writing this weekly email we have bemoaned the fact that there is no good news to comment on.  On every one of those occasions we now know that we were spoilt.  Today, there really is nothing we can poke a stick at and gently mock, so what have we written about in late March over the years – here’s a snapshot:

  • 2019 – we were about to leave Europe, and then we weren’t.  Still, at least that’s all behind us now
  • 2018 – we were gearing up for the clocks to change on Sunday and enjoying multiple weather forecasts containing the word ‘sunshine’ – unlike yesterday
  • 2017 the email opened with these lines:Six nations is over, England won, though not prettily and by no means easily. It seems to this correspondent though, that Mr Jones has the makings of a good team there, tidy up some of the errors and we can look forward to the 2019 World Cup in Japan with some excitement – wise words
  • 2016 – in a time before DT became POTUS, The Economist Intelligence Unit Global Forecasting Service for April 2016 voiced this concern: Apparently, his lack of consistent policies, his consistent hostility towards free trade, China, the Middle East, Mexico and everyone in between, mixed with the previously inconceivable fact that he is the Republican frontrunner for Presidential candidate has set some serious alarm bells ringing.  Why didn’t anyone listen?
  • 2015 – we got excited when we saw that scientists from the University of Illinois were working on “hangover free” wine – obviously not a great success as we’ve not heard much about it since
  • 2014 – the lovable rogue Clarissa Dickson-Wright died this week and Vera Lynn revealed that she was going to release a new album in June – those were definitely different days
  • 2013 – Girls Aloud announced they were calling it a day after all these years – a nation mourned
  • 2012 – we got a bit ranty about duty increases on wine – nobody listened, yet again
  • 2011 – Wayne was on holiday in Antigua, Matt Banahan replaced Mike Tindall in the England back line and fleet-footed David Strettle was back on the bench – all this just makes me feel old!

So that’s the past, what of the future?  Absolutely no clue I’m afraid.

Too many years loitering around in the wine trade has led us to believe that Alex is likely to be as fortified as an alcoholic disinfectant and  since Wayne fell into a cauldron of Claret as a baby, we are hoping that these factors will help us to stay healthy, virus free and, as a happy consequence, open for business.

Clearly, all of the above is out of our control and if we go into lockdown this weekend quite where that leaves us is anyone’s guess. 

However, we will endeavour to stay open as much as we possibly can but if we have to close our doors we would hope to continue trading by offering a free local delivery service. 

We imagine it would work along the lines of us saying we will be delivering between 4pm and 6pm each day and that any orders received before 3pm will be delivered that day.  This is not our final strategy but I imagine we won’t stray far from this plan.  We do have a decent level of stock currently and we are told we will still be able to get deliveries etc but sadly we are still in the land of anyone’s guess…

Our suppliers want to do business, we want to do business, you want to do business – I’m sure we’ll find a way.

CONTACT DETAILS:

shop@parkvintners.co.uk

020 8944 5224

The email approach is the most reliable by far since we may not be able to get to the phone but do call if that is easier.  We can then take orders, you can transfer funds by BACS or other means and we can then deliver.  Happy days in these perhaps not so happy days!

We will confirm how this is all going to work as and when.  In the meantime, making the assumption that we will be open this weekend we will be tasting the two wines that we have the most stock of right now, since we seem to be selling more by the case than by the bottle this week:

Chatelain Desjacques Sauvignon Blanc 2018 – £9.99 – classic Loire Sauvignon Blanc, one of our best sellers.

Palacio del Camino Real Crianza 2016 – £11.99 – our go-to Rioja, crowd pleasing, like a comfy pair of slippers and a back rub rolled into one… so I’m told.

Wayne and I will be mainly tasting the Baller Vodka – £33 – from over near Battersea Park just to keep our resistances topped up!

That’s it from us, hopefully only until next week but we’ll see – in the interim, ignore social media, practice deep breathing when talking to your children and don’t panic – if you get stuck in, we can help you!

Horses & Logistics

March 13th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Well I’m back, have I missed much?  This week we have been mostly watching horses run around a track down in the Cotswolds. Our favourite race meet has been happening at Cheltenham and a slow rate of attrition has seen us gently enrich a couple of fine chaps in tweed jackets who seem awfully good with numbers. Years ago we had a customer who was a bookmaker, and he used to come into the Oddbins we worked at most Saturdays. If he’d had a good day he’d buy a case of posh claret, if he’d had a bad one he’d buy a bottle of vintage champagne. We’ll leave the story there, wishing we had such a nice collection of posh claret!

Whilst on the subject of claret we’ll just say thanks to the tasting group who were in for a Bordeaux tasting last night. All applied themselves with commitment and now know their left from right bank!

Sport

Elsewhere, Liverpool finally showed they are not completely infallible by getting knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid. At least they can concentrate on the Premiership now, eh? Both Arsenal and Tottenham have also decided against any further travel to Europe by the same method, Arsenal having ended up in quarantine for their troubles.

Politics

We’ve had a budget this week, an impressive amount of measures for a man who has only been in the job for five minutes. It would appear that wine and petrol are no more expensive, the NHS has had a cash injection and infrastructure projects are all back on board, unless you’re Heathrow. Finally, there are a series of measures aimed at helping small business’ which may help to keep a few wolves from the door.

Supply Chain & Logistics

Should you find yourself working from home more than usual, we’d just offer a gentle reminder that we do offer free local delivery. Should you wish to us to bring a box or two to your doorstep, do get in touch and we can make the arrangements.

Contact us on shop@parkvintners.co.uk or 020 8944 5224.

New Arrival

On the wine front we’ve got a fantastic new Barbera in the Vigna Marina Coppi ‘I Grop’ Barbera Superioire 2013 (£29.99). Marina Coppi is the daughter of legendary cyclist Fausto Coppi, who was the first man to win both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in the same year. Whilst the family has owned the vineyards since Fausto’s time, it was only when her son Francesco took over in 2003 the estate began bottling their own wines. This wine is a single vineyard wines from the ‘I Grop’ vineyard at 400m altitude in Castellania. When we tasted it we found it nicely rounded, the little bit of age adding a slightly savoury edge to the plum and vanilla notes and gently spiced long fresh finish.

Tasting This Weekend

Wearing the white shorts this weekend will be Aromo Viognier 2018 (£9.49) a smashing crisp white from the Maule Valley in Chile. We’ve been selling this on and off since we opened and its appeal has not diminished.

Over in the corner with the red t-shirt is a new one Villa Mottura Negroamaro 2018 (£12.99), it’s a grape variety that Wayne has a bit of fondness for, from the heel of Italy. Lovely ripe dark fruits, a herby hint of tobacco – why not come and give it a try yourself, maybe we’ll put your tasting note on the bottle instead of ours!

Horses That’s it from us, come in and have a taste and chat to Alex about his new French radio station!

I hope flyball isn’t the only sport on telly this weekend…

March 6th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

**** Today – Friday, 6th March – is our annual close-early-and-go-and-run-the-bar-at-the-KCS-quiz-night.  So, we must apologise because we will be closing at 5pm today****

Now, I think it’s time for some good news…

From today, it’s going to be a beautiful and long summer.  Somehow, we’re all going to win the lottery and buy yachts.  Elon Musk is going to find a way to turn rain and floodwater into electricity.  Or wine.  Or gold.  And then give it all to us.  Amazon is going to be found to be just using all the data they gather for a better customer experience and nothing more.  The world will not end, we will survive…

It’s been a bleak week and no mistake.  Thanks to the weather and the general mood, at times it has felt like I have been put into an involuntary self-isolation – the first person through the door yesterday was after 4pm.  So, with all this free time I have been gifted, I have been gently exploring different business avenues.  Currently the loo roll industry seems a good one to be in and I’m just trying to work out how I can recycle all the newspapers filled with scare stories into NEW Park Vintners Bathroom Tissue.  Sticking with the bathroom, apparently bidet sales are on the up in Australia, as a consequence of the loo roll shortage hitting them hardest down under – I’m not entirely sure what information the Australian government has been given about the current health scare but it does seem like it’s being approached from an odd angle…

Got to love the British though and their insatiable love of dogs. 

Whilst two of the world’s biggest wine fairs, Prowein and Vinitaly, International rugby matches and, potentially, the London marathon are facing postponement or cancellation, Crufts: The World’s Greatest Dog Show, Where Every Dog Has Its Day opened yesterday, business as usual, no mucking about.  Just goes to show that the eccentricity of the English, coupled with a soppiness for our canine friends trumps any virus threat!  Whilst reading about Crufts earlier I happened across something called Flyball (no, not Flybe) – it’s a great watch, particularly the whippets, trust me!

However, I hope flyball isn’t the only sport on telly this weekend because it should be rugby time again.  Always a funny one the England v Wales match – that strange time of the year when Wayne and I discover how many of our customers are in fact from the Land of Song when we’d always thought they were from Godalming or West Ham.  Anyway, always adds a bit of spice to the chat over the tasting table on a Saturday morning – I fully expect it to be a humdinger as ever – we really mustn’t forget that Wales have lost twice already, so will turn up to Twickenham hungry.  Home advantage has never been so important although probably what is more important this weekend is for Scotland to set Murrayfield alight on Sunday and be the first to beat France in 2020!

In other sport, and back to Australia, the England Women’s Cricket Team were denied the opportunity to play their T20 World Cup semi-final because it was raining and no one had thought to have a reserve day for this stage of the competition – did I mention it was the semi-final?  So, a team gets all the way to a World Cup semi-final and is then knocked out because of the weather – someone needs to rethink the planning of these events although I’m sure it would never happen in the football (too much money at stake perhaps?).  Gutted.

However, if like me, sport is of little interest, let’s talk food.  I’m sure we’ve mentioned this before but, as a reminder, there is a local pop-up supper club called Dining Room that we provide the wine for.  They base themselves out of Coolangatta Café (81 Kingston Road, London SW20 8LB) and every couple of weeks they take over on a Friday and Saturday night.  This month they are doing a Mexican Menu:

Rhubarb Margarita

***

Butternut Squash, Cheese and Coriander Quesadilla, Sweetcorn and Pico de Gallo Salsa, crumbled Feta, Chipotle Mayo

***

Slow cooked Pork Shoulder Pibil, Escabeche de Cebolla, Arroz Rojo and Mexican Slaw

Or

Spicy Black Bean Chilli, Arroz Rojo and Mexican Slaw and Sour Cream

***

Churros y Chocolate

This all costs just £40 per person including welcome cocktail, a glass of dessert wine (or perhaps tequila), coffee and service.

Sounds pretty good doesn’t it – I’ve also heard the wines are not bad either!!

www.dining-room.co.uk

Tasting this weekend

We don’t have Mexican wine sadly but keeping with the Spanish speakers, we’ve got a couple from Galicia.

The white will be Val do Xuliana Albariño 2019 – £13.99 – a crisp, orchard fruited and gently mineral dazzler from Rias Baixas, whilst the red will be Rechamante  – £14.99 from Orense in the Ribeiro.  Made mainly from Mencía Grape variety, it is light, fresh and fruity. The fruits are a mixture of red and dark fruits to this taster, but there is no doubting its juiciness and consequently how dangerously easy to drink it is at only 12%

That’s it from us for now, just one final reminder:

**** Today – Friday, 6th March – is our annual close-early-and-go-and-run-the-bar-at-the-KCS-quiz-night.  So, we must apologise because we will be closing at 5pm today****

Cheeeeers!

Single manning

February 28th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

It all started in 2010 and the Iceland volcanic eruption – Eyjafjallajökull to give its correct name – I was about to say easier to spell than say but now I’m not so sure about that… Anyway, all that way back in 2010, I was fortunate enough to be on the Island of Madeira whilst all flights were grounded and got an extra 5 days holiday courtesy of someone else’s insurance.

Well, they say that elephants never forget but our proboscis faced friends have nothing compared to my business partner.  Since my extended ‘break’ almost a decade back he has endeavoured to get his own extended holiday – for example last year he purposefully booked his holiday to straddle 29th March, hoping that Brexit might cause mayhem at the airports and as a sad consequence he might just have to stay in Goa a trifle longer.  This year he was visibly disappointed when both Ciara and Dennis arrived too early to leave him grounded in the foreign sun however I won’t be at all surprised to receive an apologetic email saying that unfortunately he’s been quarantined for 14 days and it would be for the best if he stayed put.  On a continent that thus far has had just two cases of the virus…. hmmmm!

Still, at least the pandemic news has seen Trump and Johnson booted off the headline acts, although Donny did manage to state that the US is “rapidly developing a vaccine. The vaccine is coming along well.”  Which is probably true but wouldn’t be available for a year following clinical trials – which is perhaps why he is allowing Mike Pence to lead the government response – it’s an election year, he needs to be associated with more immediate successes!

So, with the media whipped threat of a global pandemic, coupled with properly awful weather conditions in large parts of the UK, I’m wondering where does the lightness of mood come from this week?  Never been a fan of felines, so cat videos hold no joy; as mentioned, my senior colleague, who is usually good for a laugh, has left the building; in fact if it wasn’t for the idiocy on twitter regarding Yorkshire Tea and its political associations and the Rees-Mogg follow up with Walkers and Pringles, I think my week would have been one long grey and dreary affair.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses?  This dilemma has been doing the rounds since 2003 at least and has been discussed in the pub, on long journeys and even in the later rounds of job interviews.  Well, not for the first time, China is planning its own version of duck fighting.  Widely reported yesterday (and also in July 2000 so this could be a spoof) China is training 100,000 elite ducks, not to engage in equine warfare but in fact to eat the billions of locusts approaching their eastern border.  A duck apparently can eat 200 locusts a day, so this ‘eleat ‘unit would see off 20 million a day, by all accounts. However, judging by estimated number of locusts in the air it would take just 27 years for the swarm to be extinguished.  Now, if we had horse sized ducks….

Sadly, we have just read that Zhang Long, a professor from China Agricultural University, has rejected the Ningbo Evening News report that China was going to dispatch ducks to Pakistan – no comment on the hybrid version though!!

And then we read that France has become the fourth largest export market for Prosecco, now who’d have thunk that?  We had been led to believe that the French were pretty well served on the fizz front – many of the regions produce a Cremant of some sort or another and there is an area just north of Burgundy that certainly has been building quite a reputation of late for its sparkling wines made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir no less – worth looking out for I’m told.  Anyway, Prosecco seems to be sliding in very much at the lower end, as it did in the UK, thus cannibalising a market eager to drink fizz but without a fizz budget.  Ideal.  But you know who it will actually hit the hardest?  Those champagne producers who release their insipid, tart and flavourless version of the noble wine onto the market at a £10 price point – if it kills this market it can only be good for all of us!  Forza Glera!!

We won’t be tasting Prosecco this weekend, we’ll leave that for the French but we will, in a nod towards our wayward traveller, taste a couple of South African wines.

The newly listed white is the Barton Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2017 – £12.79 from Walker Bay, this is all about green pepper, gooseberries, and grapefruit, underlined with a crisp minerality and a medium- bodied citrus finish.  We like all the wines from Barton and it seems you do too, so let’s welcome this one with open arms.

Tom Doran, he of Doran Vineyards, has just had an operation on his knee and so is out of action for a few weeks, so we thought we might give his sales a boost again this week, whilst he’s laid up.  Another reasonably new listing is Doran Vineyards Pinotage 2018 – £13.99 from the Western Cape, this has excellent raspberry and blackberry fruits at its heart and is dangerously drinkable.  Not my best tasting note I concede but I believe it gets the point across.  Get well soon Tom; we’re likely to need more stock!

One important piece of admin before I go:

Next Friday, 6th March, is our annual close-early-and-go-and-run-the-bar-at-the-KCS-quiz-night.  So, we must apologise because we will be closing at 5pm that day.

So, that’s it for this week, apologies for the tardiness but I was interrupted for a bit by a shoplifter who needed thwarting.

Cheers!