Archive for the ‘general’ Category

Rain, Raspberry & Rhubarb

Friday, June 14th, 2019

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Alex has been holding forth this week, to anyone that will listen, about the joys of being old – and he should know.  The prospect of varifocals, varicose and various niggling ailments all sound too exciting to have to wait for and that’s before he came to his punchline – the older you are the more memories you have, providing you can remember where you put them of course….

So, with memories in mind and a Friday email to write, I thought I would take a trip down memory lane and see what we had written in the mid-June emails of years gone by.  My main purpose for this was to see on how many occasions we had mentioned the weather being rubbish for the time of year because, with our rose tinted peepers on, we oft forget.

So without further ado, the opening lines of our emails for the last 8 years:

17th June 2011

It had to rain really, it was Ladies day at Ascot.  Standing on Wimbledon Common on Thursday morning, gazing at an extremely bespattered, but nonetheless happy dog, a bizarre thought crossed my mind – I don’t have enough wet weather/monsoon clothing.  In June.  The week before the tennis starts.

Hurray, it was just as awful in 2011 as now – vindicated!

15th June 2012

Queens tennis in the afternoon, Euro football in the evening, US Open Golf following on from that – it’s already a busy weekend in Park Vintners World (new theme park coming soon), before we’ve even thought about selling any wine!

No mention of rain, plenty of sport though, funny that….

14th June 2013

Undoubtedly the most important news across the desk this week was that Mighty Boosh are to reform and play Festival Supreme at Santa Monica pier. Any chance of a London gig guys?

A shameless pitch by Wayne for some free tickets.

13th June 2014

So here’s our problem, we don’t have enough tellies.  The Test match starts at 11am, during which time Wayne wants to watch the Criterium-du-Dauphine cycling, then Queens wakes up for the tennis, now without Mr Murray.  At 2pm the US Open golf starts its day and then later on we have World Cup football.  Oh, and did I mention the Men’s Hockey semi-finals?

Sport and tellies – no obvious connection to wine here.

12th June 2015

So, I sent him off into the big city yesterday, with a bag full of corporate gifts, an oyster card and his mobile phone, which we had cross checked as being on and unusually, not critical for battery.  It was a lovely day, as you all know, so he had his shorts on and I really didn’t expect him back in a hurry.

Slightly surreal email this one, relating to a supposed striptease in St Pauls by one of our staff members….

17th June 2016

This week has been fun hasn’t it? Write the a-board put it out in the sunshine, watch the rain wash it off and repeat. Seven or eight times a day.

Hooray, it’s raining again!

16th June 2017

So here’s a question – what’s in a name?

So here’s the answer, you really don’t want to know…

15th June 2018

It’s been a funny old week, starting off in acrimony over the G6 ½ at the weekend. The take home being that Trumpolina seems to think that Europeans don’t buy enough bullets, and that Justin Trudeau is economical with the truth. The picture tweeted by Mutti Merkel seemed to sum it up, though our in house art expert insists that comparing the picture to renaissance art is a bit wide of the mark.

No weather or wine or sport in the opening lines – what were we thinking?

And now here we are, the 14th June 2019 – Wayne has been wearing shorts, valiantly and varicose free, for the last two weeks but yesterday even he snuck back into his Levi’s – those jokes about summer starting and finishing in February seem a little too prescient now.

Don’t blow your nose!

Not one but two sportsmen have been caught out doing just this over the last few days.  The Chris Froome incident is well reported and we wish him well of course – I have to say though, 35mph is a two-hands-on-the-handlebar speed for me.  Meanwhile, in the cagey world of UFC, fighter Donald Cerrone suffered a broken nose during a bout in Chicago.  In order to try and clear some of the airways between rounds he blew his nose and this clearing caused his right eye to swell shut immediately.  Not a photo for the faint-hearted, I’d suggest.

High street royalty

One of the biggest wine retailers released their full year figures yesterday, without much to cheer about.  Having shown some fairly epic losses over the last 12 months they aimed to reassure investors by suspending final dividends (?) and talking ‘positively’ about selling 200 of their branches – they seem to have 210 in total according to their website. 

So, suspend the divs and sell all the shops – not sure why you think there’s a problem?!  Still, at least they are in ‘advanced talks’ with multiple bidders over this sale.  However, if it doesn’t complete they will continue trading through December before starting afresh in 2020.  To our minds, these ‘advanced talks’ don’t sound quite as ‘advanced’ as advanced often means!

Raspberry & Rhubarb

Foxdenton, our fruit gin suppliers, kindly dropped off some reinforcements this week, just in time for the sunshine.  The 35cl bottles are perfect picnic partners and should fly out the door once we’re all back in shorts and polo shirts…

Foxdenton Raspberry Gin – £14.99

Foxdenton Rhubarb Gin – £14.99

Wine School

So, we held our seasonal Rose tasting last night – as you can imagine we had the heaters on full and battened down the hatches to ensure a tropical feel and a thoroughly jolly time was had by all.  What’s this got to do with Wine School you ask?  Well, everybody who was on the tasting last night had signed up quite early on for the limited spaces available – we have, in more recent days and weeks, had to disappoint quite a few of  you who had been meaning to sign up but had forgotten to actually do the signing up bit.

Which is how this links with Wine School. 

Very soon a reasonable portion of you will be, quite reasonably, disappearing off to sunnier climes for the summer and will be in and out of Wimbledon for most of July and August, oblivious to the fact that the Park Vintners Autumn Wine School is surreptitiously filling up.  Fast forward to September and the risk is that the Wine Course you meant, but forgot, to sign up for before you went away is now subscribed.

6 Week Wine School – Wednesday 2nd October – Wednesday 13th November (half term 23rd October) – £150 per person – Full details attached, unless we forget!

Wine & Cheese

If you don’t fancy six weeks of school but would actually prefer one evening of wine with a side order of cheese, then the good news is that we still have 6 spaces left on the next event:

Thursday 18th July – 8pm – Wine & Cheese Tasting – £20 per person

Wine this weekend

It’s Father’s Day this weekend and as our representative father, Alex has chosen these two to taste.

Sonberk Riesling V.O.C. 2015 – £23.99 – as a wise man once said, ‘what son doesn’t think his father is a berk?’, and so this wine was created. 

Obviously that has no truth about it at all and in fact Sonberk is the name of a mid-sized winery in Popice, Czech Republic.  Located in Moravia, the largest Czech winegrowing region, the winery is considered by many to be one of the best in the country, producing elegant and noble wines.  Established in 2003 but with a history dating to the 13th century, the Sonberk vineyard is 45 hectares with an extraordinary view of the Pálava Hill.  This Riesling has a beautifully fruity nose with hints of blossom and honey.  The palate has notes of dried apricots, honey and spice with a fine minerality and finish and gives its German counterparts something to think about! 

As he is planning to barbecue on Sunday, no matter what happens, the Flametree Embers Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 – £15.99 is his selection for the red.  Hailing from the marvellous Margaret River region, this is a cracking drop with aromas of violets, ripe black fruits and just a hint of chocolate and coffee.  Lovely and juicy in the mouth with lovely forward fruit this would be a real pleasure with that steak he is angling for, if anyone out there is listening?

That’s all for this week – let’s all treat the sun like a large golden Tinkerbell and show that we believe, not by clapping but by sporting shorts and t-shirts and suncream to encourage it to shine – who’s with me?  Oh, alright, back as you were….

Our best tip – don’t take sports tips off wine merchants…

Friday, June 7th, 2019

Fellow Wine Lovers,

And so, with that end of term feeling in the air, with journalists all desperately punning H.E.Bates novels and looking up all the different interpretations and definitions of the word May, we come to the end of Theresa Time.

By way of a small adieu, we thought we’d round up some headlines and news items that have peppered her time as leader:

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says he agrees with those calling for Theresa May to quit over cuts in police numbers.

This first appeared on the BBC News on the 5th June 2017 and, we notice, this wasn’t the last time that JC called for her departure

Theresa May’s narrow election victory has resulted in swathes of politicians calling for her to resign.

As The Metro happily reminds us, on the 9th June 2017, Theresa hasn’t always had the support of her team.

The Prime Minister is currently entertaining MPs at her Chequers country retreat, where she has allegedly told them she will quit as Prime Minister on August 30, 2019.

On the 27th August 2017, The Star, amongst other more prestigious titles (but they all had paywalls!), actually comes up with the most accurate prediction of all.

On the 9th November 2017, The Express spoke to Jessica Bridge, of Ladbrokes, who said: May looks safe for now, despite her strong and stable government doing their best to prove otherwise, but savvy punters are struggling to envisage plain sailing for the PM until year end.  Ladbrokes (then) said the chances of Mrs May being replaced in 2017 are 5/1 but there are 7/4 odds of it happening in 2018, 15/8 odds for 2019 and 4/1 odds for 2020 or later.

Moving to the 1st May 2018, The Mirror offers another resignation opportunity:

The rattled PM faced growing calls to resign for dodging responsibility for the heartless policies that led to the wrongful deportation of Windrush family members.  And with her “shield” Ms Rudd gone after she stepped down as Home Secretary for misleading parliament on targets, Mrs May was left exposed to attack.  But she refused four times to say whether she would quit…

On the 23rd November 2018, reading The Telegraph, we finally get back to the issue that will finally sink her – Europe: Theresa May has refused to confirm whether she would resign if her Brexit deal is rejected by MPs, as she insisted that it was the “the best deal for the UK.”  In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, Mrs May was asked three times if she would stand down but refused to provide an answer.

We now know where this chapter will end but do we know where the next chapter begins?  Let’s ask Ladbrokes again…

On 9th November 2017, these were the odds on who would be the next Conservative leader:

  1. Jacob Rees-Mogg 6/1,
  2. Boris Johnson 7/1
  3. David Davis 7/1
  4. Amber Rudd 10/1
  5. Andrea Leadsom 10/1
  6. Ruth Davidson 16/1
  7. Dominic Raab 20/1
  8. Michael Gove 20/1
  9. Philip Hammond 20/1

Then, on 6th June 2019, these were the odds:

  1. Boris Johnson 4/6
  2. Michael Gove 5/1
  3. Jeremy Hunt 8/1
  4. Andrea Leadsom 10/1
  5. Penny Mordaunt 20/1
  6. Dominic Raab 20/1
  7. Rory Stewart 25/1
  8. Sajid Javid 33/1
  9. Steve Baker 50/1
  10. Priti Patel 100/1

God help us all.

Fortunately for us there have been plenty of other things going on outside of politics.  As mentioned last week, we lost money on the Giro d’Italia; we also lost money on the Champions League; ideally Johanna Konta would have kept us in the Billecart-Salmon lifestyle we’re accustomed to but sadly not.  Having decided that most of the teams in the ICC World Cup are being offered too short, we took the West Indies as a bit of an outside punt and certainly some excitement and of course an immediate loss.

Our best tip – don’t take sports tips off wine merchants…

Perhaps most excitingly though, the FIFA Women’s World Cup starts tonight and we have a very real chance of making it deep into the latter stages of the competition.  We’ve backed England to win and with an outside punt on Australia – having looked at the bookies today, there is something strange about seeing football teams from Brazil at 25-1 and Argentina at a whopping 400-1!

Anything else?  Oh yes, it’s only WORLD GIN DAY again tomorrow (Saturday).  Not as complicated as it sounds, by all accounts, and one of our number certainly considers it to be Gin day everyday but has still taken tomorrow off just to be sure he doesn’t miss anything…

Suffice to say we’ll have our tasting Gins open, and ready for sampling – a reminder of our selection:

  • Elderwood English Gin – £33.00
  • The Eclectic Gin Society Original Blend – £35.00
  • Sacred Classic Gin – £35.00
  • Hepple Gin – £38.00
  • Bloody Ben’s Earlsfield Gin – £38.00
  • Sacred Juniper Gin – £38.00
  • Sacred Pink Grapefruit Gin – £38.00

If however Gin isn’t your bag, this weekend then we’ve got Rosé, White and Red open.

Chateau de L’Aumerade ‘Cuvée Marie-Christine’ 2018 – £14.99

The same Provence rosé that we’ve had for not sure how many years now and every bit as tasty.  A lovely pale salmon colour, with delicate red berry fruits, slightly floral and an impressively long finish.  We think it is the perfect wine for summer, great with all manner of food, or just with the Sunday papers and a deck chair!

Palacio del Camino Real Blanco 2017 – £10.99

A cracking blend of predominantly Viura with a bit of Malvasia and Grenache Blanc, grown in the higher vineyards of Rioja Alta.  Pale yellow in the glass, with lovely fresh aromas of stonefruit and citrus, framed with a touch of vanilla from a couple of months lazing around in the barrel.  A nice alternative to a light white burgundy we reckon.

Southern Dawn Pinot Noir 2013 – £14.49

From Marlborough, New Zealand, this is a wine we have had on the shelf pretty much since we opened.  I could give you all the guff about the soil in the vineyards, the angle of the slope the vines are planted on and the winemaker’s collection of 19th century corkscrews, but none of that is really relevant.  We sell this wine because we think it tastes brilliant: light with red cherry fruit character, a nice bit of age and a lovely fresh finish.

So come in and have a taste, be it gin or wine but, if you find you can’t manage it, Alex will be manning a stall at the Wimbledon Park Primary School Summer Fair on Sunday with many of the same tasting options available!

That’s all for now from us – have a soooper weekend!

End Of May

Friday, May 31st, 2019

Fellow Wine Lovers,

The writing was on the wall, it’s been a long time coming, still that doesn’t remove the element of surprise does it? Here we are at the end of May, and despite wanting to stay in place and get on with getting on, there is no longer any support for the position. Time to move on we cry, and have put in place a very convoluted selection progress to select the successor.  

We have had 11 applications for the position; we’ve also had to listen to all of their arguments. Between you and me, some of the arguments are very similar, and some are ridiculously far-fetched.  Nonetheless, we have written all their names on a piece of paper that we like to call a ballot.

The ballot paper has been circulated amongst all of the interested parties with the two most popular to go up in front of a very secretive committee. When the committee has decided the winner, our chum Malcolm who sits outside JJ Spoon in Tooting will light his clay pipe, and puff white smoke before declaring the winner.

Elsewhere, if proof were needed that you should resolutely ignore our sporting tips, the Giro d’Italia’s pink jersey now looks like it’s for Richard Carapaz to lose, unless Vincenzo Nibali can “do a Froome” on Saturday’s  mahoosive day in the Dolomites. Our suggestion of Simon Yates looks unlikely to win, currently being 7 minutes off the pace. It’s been a brutal race and they all look a little tired if I’m honest.

The Cricket World Cup started yesterday at The Oval with England scoring first blood, defeating the South Africans by 104 runs, look out for Ben Stokes catch if you haven’t seen it. Today sees the West Indies and Pakistan putting willow to leather at Trent Bridge.

In other news Trumpolina is coming to visit next week. The Queen is super excited to be having him and his entire family round to Buck House for dinner. Can’t wait to hear how fabulous he is at building walls and where he is suddenly going to find all those rare earth minerals for next generation technology. She’s even got the builders in so he can’t stop over for breakfast!

Now I don’t know about you, but I saw him on TV yesterday and his hair looks yellower than ever. It has that weird fluorescence yellow colour that a glass of Red Bull has. Maybe he’s colouring it with Red Bull for a bit of extra lift?

Ooh hold on, we’ve just seen white smoke from Malcolm’s clay pipe…. June is to succeed May, as soon as tomorrow!

As it’s English Wine Week I thought I’d mention our two English Sparklers, we can offer them at 16.66% off 6 bottles. (That’s 6 for the price of 5 to you at the back)

HAMBLEDON CLASSIC CUVÉE ROSÉ – £40

Only released in November 2016 this blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir from Hampshire is truly delicious.  Rich strawberry notes wonderfully offset by some tart cranberry character.  Creamy texture and a clean crisp finish with some nice yeasty complexity too – really good!

Also it’s rather appropriate as it’s where the rules for the game of cricket as we know it were drawn up in the 18th century.

HERBERT HALL BRUT – £32.99

Handmade using organically grown grapes in Kent.  A crisp, fruit laden nose and a palate woven with finesse and elegance.  Hints of biscuitiness in the mid-palate are evidence of the length of time the wine sat on its lees.  A really well managed dash of acidity on the finish keeps the fruit and creaminess nicely balanced.

Cheese & Wine Tasting – Thursday 18th July at 8pm Still a few places for our last one before the autumn. As usual £20 saves your seat at the table.

Wine School – The next course is on Wednesday evenings (with a break between week 3 & 4 for half term) as follows:

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
02/10/19 09/10/19 16/10/19 30/10/19 06/11/19 13/11/19

To book, call either Alex or Wayne on 020 8944 5224.

As usual £150 per person and payment reserves your place.

Tasting This Weekend

As I mentioned it’s English Wine Week this week, so we shall populate the white corner with New Hall Vineyard Bacchus 2018 – £14.49. A cracking, summery white with a lively elderflower character from some of the oldest Bacchus vines in the country, grown in an area originally planted by Romans’, not far from Chelmsford.

In the red corner, we’ll be aiming for some barbecuing given the weather I think, and what could be better with some barbecued lamb than a Rioja. We’ll go with Palacio Del Camino Real Crianza 2016 (£10.99) which we like with a butterflied leg, or else some koftes.

That’s it from us, drop in for a taste of Essex’s finest and have a great weekend!

I’ll drink to that!

Friday, May 24th, 2019

Fellow Wine Lovers,

I’ll drink to that.  A sunny Thursday, just before the long weekend, can only make everybody happy and, by all accounts, thirsty.  Thirsty Thursday.   Whilst many of you enjoy Rosé all year round, for some of us it’s a seasonal treat and I think that yes, yesterday was the season opener!

I’ll drink to that.  Park Vintners voted best high street retailer, forever.  Ok, not entirely true, in fact not true at all but, with the persistent demise of ‘big’ high street names, never say never – give it a few years we might be the last men standing.   First up this week was the Jamie Oliver business.  In many respects not a great surprise, as the writing seems to have been on the wall for a couple of years now, quality of the food has slumped and if you ever get the chance to read Marina O’Loughlin’s review from September last year you’ll be amazed it lasted this long.  So that’s 22 empty sites on the street already.  And then we move onto Croydon’s favourite son, Philip Nigel Ross Green, who surely now must be stripped of his knighthood and who has had one hell of a good week.  He too is shutting stores and looking to re-negotiate rents on his current sites, never a good sign – that’ll be 200 of his stores closed in the last 3 years… Oh, and at the same time, judging from what Peter Hain revealed in the Lords yesterday, Mr Green’s £2 billion net worth might be taking a bit of a hit quite soon in the courts.  I’ll drink to that.

Oh, and whilst we’re drinking, is anyone else just a trifle bored of what’s going on in Westminster?  We’ve all been more engaged than ever with politics for the best part of the last three years, we’ve all learnt a lot more about the political machinations and taken a far more vested interest in what the politicians are doing ever since that vote.  Now, though, we (here at least) have had enough.  We are really struggling to keep our eyes open every time a new democratic procedure is suggested; struggling to like, or empathise with, any of the key protagonists and, ultimately, struggling to see anyone coming out as a winner in this process.  So Teresa is actually now going?  Has she mentally already left, do you think?  When she goes, is that the problem solved?  Who is that great white knight waiting in the wings – or is it just the same old overweight mop?  Oh, and seeing David Cameron sending supporting tweets just served as bitter reminder of where all this started.

Let’s all have a drink.

And yesterday, in a continuation of the bizarre times we live in, we voted in the European elections.  I don’t think I’ve ever been confronted with such a long list of options to vote for and certainly a lot of ‘independents’ who I had never, ever heard of and, I have to confess, didn’t get a second glance.  In the booths you could see people standing there with the paper trailing down to the floor, putting their ‘X’ nearer the top and ignoring the bottom half – where does all the lost deposit money go to we wonder?  Europe?  How does that fit with the current situation?

And there’s not even any sport really to distract us.  Wayne is on his bike to Baku with 6,000 spare tickets, should you wish to make him an offer.  The Cricket World Cup is yet to start and the kerfuffle over a man born abroad but with a British passport and an English parent being picked ahead of other players has died down – let’s face it Eoin Morgan is the simply the lead that Jofra is following.  The Giro d’Italia, with Simon Yates almost 8 minutes off the pace, has been less of a viewing fixture here this year and all that means really is that Alex has been doing far more work with less distraction – I’ll drink to that.

Upcoming tastings – update

It seems we caught you all in receptive mood last week as the Treloar tasting on 27th June is now completely sold out.

We still have 4 spaces left on the Rosé tasting on Thursday 13th June – £25 per person.

We have 8 spaces left on our 72nd Wine & Cheese tasting on 18th July – £20 per person.

Further ahead, we still have plenty of space on our next Domaine Treloar tasting on Thursday 17th October but that might be a bit far into the future for most of us.

Wine School

Whilst we are looking into the future though, it’s worth me pointing out that we now have the autumn dates for our wine course – full details are attached but, in a nutshell, this is a six week, tasting focused course, with the purpose of getting you to try new wines and revisit old wines that perhaps you’d given up on. 

We’ll open about 60 wines over the duration, so at the very least your tastebuds should be tantalised.  Plus, you’ll be all educated and suchlike just before the Christmas party season kicks in and you’ll be able to impress your boss when you explain exactly how Champagne is made and why it’s so much better than Prosecco – we should all drink to that!

Wine School

Wednesday 2nd October – Wednesday 13th November (no class on 23rd October due to half term)

£150 per person – first come, first served!

Weekend wine drinking

As ever, we’ll endeavour to put something tasty in your glass this weekend and as a result we will be opening:

Sameirás Blanco 2017 – £17.49 – which is made from 5 grapes that just trip off the tongue – Treixadura, Albariño, Godello, Lado, Loureiro – but that are all indigenous to the Northwest of the Iberian peninsula.  A really quite exotic pineapple and nectarine nose with touches of mandarin and similar orange fruits on the palate followed by a beautiful dry/savoury finish with hints of pithy acidity as it fades – monkfish tail sautéed in butter with some steamed green leaves would rock here!

Domaine des Mailloches Bourgueil 2017 – £13.49 – which is a light red made from Cabernet Franc in the Loire valley.  This style of wine is one of life’s great joys and we have doubtlessly bored you all rigid about this before so no need to bore you again.  Lovely, juicy fruit and fine tannins, could be chilled if the weather suits, I’ll drink to that!

And with that we’re gone – in fact, it’s worth noting that as of 6pm tomorrow we will be gone until Tuesday morning, so, if we don’t see you, have a bonne weekend and stay hydrated, as I think I might have suggested more than once…..

Wallowing

Friday, May 17th, 2019

Fellow Wine Lovers,

This week finds us both wallowing in disappointment. As many of you know, we’re no strangers to a spot of nosebag and have been known, on occasion, to visit an establishment that might put a plate of something extremely tasty in front of us. But never, NEVER has anyone mistakenly given us a bottle of 2001 Le Pin. Neither of us has ever tasted any vintage of it, so that lucky diner at Hawksmoor in Manchester, who was the recipient of such a fortunate mix up, was lucky indeed.

Disappointment on hearing that an explorer breaking the record for the deepest ever sub dive down to 10,927 metres, in the Mariana Trench, found a plastic bag and sweet wrappers. He also found 4 new species of prawn – coming soon plastic wrapped to a supermarket fridge near you!

This Saturday sees Rugby League played at the Nou Camp in Barcelona for the first time, as Catalan Dragons host Wigan Warriors. Rumours that the expected crowd of 30 000 only warrants one turnstile being open, are possibly on the fake side of news.  Sadly for Wigan fans, The Boiler Club, Barcelona’s only Northern Soul night, seems to have closed down.

Thomas Cook seems to have had a bit of an oopsy daisy with £1.5 billion as Brexit curtails holiday plans, apparently. This commentator certainly has done no such thing and wonders if Airbnb and booking over the internet in general are not having a more disruptive effect than they’re getting credit for.

The Giro d’Italia is rolling on, nearly everyone has fallen off at least once and one of the favourites, Tom

Dumoulin, has headed home to recover from his injuries (in time for the Tour de France we suspect).  Mr Yates is still poised in the right place, we feel.

It would appear that Pret a Manger is proposing to take over fellow lunch chain Eat and turn them into vegetarian branches. We’ve already seen one headline suggesting “Eat to be gobbled up by Pret” and imagine it’s only a question of time before we see a headline suggesting they have “bitten off more than they could chew” or perhaps that the merger is a” bit hard to swallow”!

In Germany, a Munich based start-up, Lilium, has unveiled its prototype electric flying taxi. They claim it will be able to travel 186 miles in an hour and seat five people. They’ve successfully made the first flight and are now the first electronic jet to seek certification. Researching for this article revealed there are about 100 different electric aircraft projects on the go around the world, so watch this (air)space.

Winemaker Tasting – Domaine Treloar

Jonathan and Rachel Treloar own and run this small, vineyard and winery. Regarded by Jancis Robinson as the best in the Roussillon. They were also chosen as the Coup de Coeur (Favourite) Roussillon producer by La Revue du Vin de France, the country’s most influential wine magazine.

We’re really excited about this one, a couple of our most popular French wines come from this estate and we’re looking forward to welcoming Jonathan to the shop to meet you all.  So come along, taste his wine and ask those questions you’ve always wanted to ask a winemaker… here’s a list of the wines that we take from them – I suspect they will all be open to taste on the night!

WHITE

‘La Terre Promise’ 2016 – £18.49

This white is a lovely rich blend of Grenache Gris, Macabeu and Carignan Blanc. From 35-60 year old vines, it has a lovely quince and buttered toast character and is made with natural yeasts and minimal sulphur. Named after the Bruce Springsteen song ‘Promised Land’, this is a fine match for one of those Mediterranean fish dishes with garlic and tomato.

RED

‘Le Ciel Vide’ 2015 – £12.49

This unoaked red is made from Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Carignan. It is the most approachable of their red wines with crunchy forest fruits and an earthy, smoky character that’d be great alongside a sausage, or three, with mash and onion gravy.

One Block Grenache 2015 – £13.99

Since we listed this it has rapidly become a firm favourite. Mostly Grenache (including the Catalan variant Lledoner Pelut) and a small splash of Carignan, this has lovely dark brambly fruit, a hint of cumin, leather and tobacco. Wayne loved it with some Merguez sausages and winemaker Jonathan suggest lamb chops.

Three Peaks 2016 – £14.99

Classy blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Mourvèdre and 20% Grenache.  A rich and spicy blend that spent 12 months in French barriques and shows lovely crushed forest fruit character, a touch of earthy minerality and maybe even a hint of leather.  Proper, old school Roussillon made by an Englishman, how good is that!

‘Le Secret’ 2013 – £17.99

This wine is nearly all Syrah, rich with lovely dark black fruits, quite blackcurranty even, and a lovely fresh elegance to it too.  Great with a smoky chargrilled steak, I reckon.  It’s not just us that rate them highly; previous vintages have featured in Decanter Magazine’s Best Syrah’s in the World under £25.

‘Motus’ 2015 – £18.49

80% Mourvèdre, 10% Syrah 10% Grenache. A cracking wine this, a complex, almost autumnal aroma of stewed fruit, leather, roast coffee and mixed spice. The palate is an interesting combination of dark fruits, spicy tannins and an earthy minerality. A real wine-lovers wine, that Jonathan and Rachel suggest drinking with a duck breast in a wine and chocolate sauce.

‘Tahi’ 2011 – £25.99

Domaine Treloar’s icon wine. Tahi is the Maori word for “1”. It is made from the parcels of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre on Le Roubau, a rare limestone hillside, and aged for 12 months in French oak barriques. Then only the barrels which make the most harmonious combination are selected. There is toasty oak and roast coffee on the nose, perfectly balanced by the spicy fruit aromas. It is a very well balanced yet complex wine, which wine maker Jonathan suggests partner excellently with the steak recipes from Rick Stein’s “French Odyssey”.

SCHWEET

Muscat de Rivesaltes 2013 – £11.99

A Late-harvested, fortified sweet aperitif and/or dessert wine.  It has a beautiful floral aroma and a rich honeyed palate with dried fruits and nuts.  Treloar Muscat de Rivesaltes always aims to be less sugary and have more richness than others.

So, hopefully that has sufficiently tickled your tastebuds, just give us a call or email us and we’ll reserve you a space!

Thursday 27th June at 8pm –

DOMAINE TRELOAR WITH JONATHAN HESFORD – £20 per person

Wine School

A few of you have been asking us when we will next do our 6 week course.  The answer is after the summer holidays, most likely starting early October, on Wednesday evenings.  We expect to be able to confirm the dates very soon.

Late opening – Monday 20th May

We’ll be in town for a tasting on Monday but should be back by 4pm.

Tasting this Weekend

We thought we’d through you a curveball this week and open a brace of Malbec. Wearing the white hat will be Vicentin Blanc de Malbec 2017 (£22.50) from Lujan de Cuyo, a cracking white made from 100% Malbec grown at 1,000 metres highness, as some might say.

Sporting the red neckerchief will be Antonio Mas Single Vineyard Malbec 2016 (£16.49) from Tupungato. This is also 100% Malbec but grown at 1,300 metres.

That’s probably enough guff from us for this week, so sign up for Treloar, come taste a white Malbec and have a great weekend.

A week of firsts…

Friday, May 10th, 2019

Fellow Wine Lovers,

After last week’s email being all about learning life lessons, it seems this week has been all about firsts.

We have the Fresh Prince of Berkshire, the first royal to be named after the Queen’s favourite Beatle, or Charles’ favourite Star Wars actor, or William’s favourite agricultural machinery supplier in Cambridge, you choose.

We have two English teams in the Champions League Final, certainly not a first for Liverpool but definitely for Spurs – perhaps, in a few weeks, it’ll be the first time Liverpool lose to a debutant?!

We have two English teams in the Europa League Final too – the first time two English teams have faced each other in the Finals since Tottenham beat Wolves in 1972 – with these stats, I predict a London club lifting the trophy on 29th May….

It’s the first time the UK has gone more than a week without using any electricity produced by coal – no mean feat and quite exciting in fact.  Wind energy provided 10% of the power, anyone who ventured outside last weekend will not find that surprising, solar around about 5%, again no surprises.  The one potential parade raining moment might come from the 10% of ‘imported energy’.  Where does this come from and how is it produced?  A little research shows it to be from France, the Netherlands, Eire and NI.  France is largely nuclear but I fear that the other three have a heavier lean towards fossil fuels – let’s hope the bits we got were wind generated shall we.

The BBC achieved a first of some sort, not quite sure how to describe it beyond the fact that it just goes to show the state of the news arena nowadays.  Danny Baker tweeted that tweet.  The BBC reported his apology.  They then, more eagerly reported his sacking, from the BBC.  Since then, they have constantly had a Danny Baker story in their headlines.  I don’t know, for someone they sacked, they seem very keen to keep him on the front-page, far more so than many other new outlets.  As I said, a first of some sort not sure exactly what but not a good one.

Since our cycling correspondent is halfway through a beer/hillclimb in Mallorca right now, it seems it’s up to  me, for the first time, to remind you all that the Giro d’Italia starts tomorrow and pedals on until 2nd June.  It also means that, for the first time, I have to divine who might win without any help from Dr Dave, Will or Guy – who are all clad in Lycra somewhere too, no doubt.  Anyway, having consulted the pinstickers in the pub I’ve gone with Simon Yates, as my main man, and Robert Power at 2500/1 because I believe in nominative determinism…

Another, more local, first comes to mind.

ROSÉ WINE TASTING – £25 – THURSDAY 13TH JUNE AT 8PM

Picture the scene, a barmy evening in mid-June.  You’ve just googled ‘air conditioning’ because, perhaps, it might be worth investing this year if summers are going to continue to be so hot and standing by the open doored fridge is not the most sustainable method of keeping cool. 

‘Gosh, I fancy a glass of wine and I think this weather demands a nice glass of rosé…’

Well, how about going one better than that – how about coming to our rosé tasting?  We’ll be opening a Champagne, a Cremant, some Provence and others beside for your delectation and delight.

We last held an event like this in 2015 that sold out overnight so we thought it was high time we did another one. 

This one hasn’t sold out overnight though, in fact is largely unsold, which is a surprising first!

So, if you fancy getting some pals together it should be a fantastic evening!

On the tasting table this weekend

One old friend and one making a first appearance.

Barton Chenin Blanc 2015, Walker Bay, South Africa – £11.29 – Walker Bay is considered to be an area with exciting potential: the region has varying altitudes and ideal soils that help produce some world class, elegant wines.  This Chenin has a lean, green apple and white pear nose whilst the palate has a full, rounded mouth-feel, still with the apple and pear but also some hints of spice and lingering acidity.  Peri peri prawns and a cucumber salad, I reckon, if the weather is summery enough!

Sierra Grande Pinot Noir 2017, Valle Central, Chile – £8.99 – A delicate and elegant Pinot Noir showing ripe fruit flavours of plums and wild strawberries, balanced with subtle smoky notes and a deliciously lingering finish.  Very pleasurable on its own mainly due to the winemakers lightness of touch.

So, that’s it from us this week, do try and stay dry – on the outside at least!

Wayne & Alex d

Life Lessons

Friday, May 3rd, 2019

Fellow Wine Lovers,

This week has been all about learning life lessons.  

Jurgen Klopp discovered that playing attacking football against Barcelona has its risks. After only 18 years in the wine trade Wayne learnt that the bottle wrapping paper has a shiny side and a dull side! Alex has learnt that muscles pulled in the gym may affect the effectiveness of his golf swing.

Also, one of our number discovered that playing football in your long trousers can lead to separated seams. Apparently dark trousers and coloured underwear make for a slightly self-conscious train journey.  We’re not sure if the take home here is co-ordinate trousers and underwear colours, or wear suitable sporting equipment.

Despite local election drubbings, and with European elections in a couple of weeks, not much seems to have been learned on either side of the house in Westminster. The Cabinet appears to still be in fiascos of their own making, as does Jeremy Corbyn with all his Brexit and anti- Semitism contradictions. On the bright side, a YouGov/Cambridge Globalisation study found that British people are more persuaded of the benefits of immigration than any other major European nation.

We have some unexpected news from Suffolk too. Suffolk is a place close to our hearts, we both have chums who live or have lived in the county, and Wayne spent a good number of summers as a child fishing in the broads, or swimming in the Lido at Beccles. Imagine our surprise when reading a Kings College and University of Suffolk environmental study which found all the shrimps at 15 locations in Suffolk tested positive for cocaine and many for ketamine too! Has Suffolk become the centre of rave culture for sea life perhaps? Has there been some cricket pre-season training going on?  The report was described as “surprising”.

We’ve also heard from one of our roving correspondents, this time from Switzerland. It appears that bathing in champagne is really rather yesterday’s news in that locale, everyone is showering in Chardonnay these days. He wonders if we shouldn’t be starting a cosmetic arm to the business, perhaps we should investigate.

On the musical front, Wayne suggests that jazz fans may want to check out BBC4 tonight as they’ll be broadcasting an homage to Jazz 625. Shirley Tetteh, Joshua Redman, Gregory Porter and Charlie Watts are all lined up to appear in the programme shot in black and white.

On the wine front our fizzy pink has landed. Domaine de Landreau Cremant de Loire Rosé Brut NV (£15.99) is in the fridge, on the floor stack, and also in the 6 for the price of 5 fizz deal!

Beer drinkers might be interested in the arrival of Belleville Brewery Spring Break Sour (£2.50) which is a seasonal and frankly scrumptious Grapefruit Sour. Grab some while it lasts or else Wayne is threatening to drink it all.

Tasting This Weekend

A Bank Holiday weekend ahead of us might involve some barbecue, but again it might not. We have chosen a couple of South African wines for tasting, as they’ll certainly work if you do decide to cook outside.

Alex has put some Meerlust Red 2014 (£14.49) in the eto to see how it shapes up, so that’ll be sporting the red shorts. We certainly find these Bordeaux blends from sunnier climes are perfect with grilled meats, what do you think?

Wearing the white shorts will be De Wetshof Estate Bon Vallon Chardonnay 2017 (£13.49) revel in its unoaked charm, its balance of fruit and lees character, perfect with your Sunday roast or as an aperitif whilst the coals warm up on the barbie…

Lastly, as it’s a Bank Holiday Weekend we will close at 6pm on Saturday and be closed on Monday.

Chewie, may the 4th be with you!

And then I’m happy for the rest of the day

Friday, April 26th, 2019

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Welcome back Girls & Boys, hope you all had a lovely Easter break – for those of you who stayed around, wasn’t it blissful.  Just like a Jubilee it was a double Bank Holiday and, with so many people away, drinking Aumerade Rosé all day and waking up the following morning without a Badhead, it was utterly brilliant!

And Arthur Road felt like it had been thrown back to the End of a Century past, no cars to be seen, families promenading and enjoying the sunshine, children hoop rolling, governesses’ steering first generation Silver Cross perambulators towards Wimbledon Park whilst young men laughed, smoked and played croquet.  I know, it all sounds a bit Far Out but as you weren’t here you can’t prove me wrong…

Back in the real world, the one thing that London Loves is a bit of disruption and boy have we been getting it.  The whole of the District line seemed to be shut last weekend and the Extinction Rebellion has developed it’s fascination with gluing a whole range of body parts to inanimate objects to a new level.  However, there was a slight hint of Trouble in the Message Centre when Dame Emma Thompson jumped on her plane and flew in to join in the protests which some saw as arch hypocrisy.  Frankly darling, I’m rich enough to plant lots of trees so I can do what I want really – no, she didn’t actually say that but you know, makes you wonder…

Elsewhere it was neither Magic America for Wal Mart/Asda nor was Sainsbury’s in Clover over Dover as the Competition and Markets Authority scuppered their plans for merging, citing all the obvious reasons that we all thought of when it was first mentioned – a poorer shopping experience, less competition, less choice, global homogenisation.  The general consensus was that so far as the shopper would be concerned, so far as future retail is concerned, This Is a Low and, as a consequence, should be stifled.  Good work.

Back in the shop, we’ve been organising our a tasting calendar a bit more, tidying it up a bit and adding a couple of things in for all of our enjoyment – so here’s a brief overview of what is going on over the next few months in the evenings when the TV gets boring and you fancy a night out…

Thursday 2nd May – Private Tasting

Thursday 16th May – Private Tasting

Thursday 23rd May – WINE & CHEESE TASTING – SOLD OUT

Thursday 6th June – Private Tasting

Thursday 13th June – ROSÉ WINE TASTING – £25

A Rosé tasting?  In June?  Are you mad?  It’s bound to rain!  Well, if it does, we’ll just crank the heaters up and Provence-ify the shop! 

If you love a bit of pink drinking then come along – we’ll open some bubbles, we’ll show you still wines and we’ll even show you a sweetie!  This is bound to fill up quickly, you have been warned!

Thursday 20th June – WINE & CHEESE TASTING – £20 – TWO SPACES LEFT

Thursday 27th June – DOMAINE TRELOAR WITH JONATHAN HESFORD – £20

Jonathan and Rachel Treloar own and run this small, highly-regarded vineyard and winery in the Roussillon, France’s most exciting wine region – we will taste through their range of whites, reds and even a sweetie and be able to ask all those daft questions you never normally get the chance to ask a winemaker!

Thursday 18th July – WINE & CHEESE TASTING – £20

Thursday 17th October – DOMAINE TRELOAR WITH RACHEL TRELOAR – £20

A second visit from Domaine Treloar and well worth a second go – we already have people signed up for both!

All these events take place here in the shop, start at 8pm and spaces are limited – first come, first served – payment confirms your seat at the table, Wayne is exceptional in his role as  The Debt Collector, you have been warned!

Friday 26th/Saturday 27th April

Well, since we’re going to have wine open this weekend I suppose it counts as a tasting date too and as such we can readily reveal what we will be tasting:

Domaine Morin-Langaran Cuvee Caroline Picpoul de Pinet 2016, France – £12.49

Picpoul: a grape variety that has been grown for years on the banks of Lake Thau, in sight of the famous oyster-beds of Bouzigues.  The vines bask in the sunshine, being gently aired by the salty breeze and thus this wine is unmistakably Mediterranean.  Domaine Morin-Langaran has been in the same family since 1966 and they produce a classic Picpoul, aged on its fine lees for complexity and the perfect match to shellfish (oysters perhaps?), grilled fish or just as an aperitif!

Angulo Innocenti Malbec 2016, La Consulta, Mendoza, Argentina – £18.59

Two 19th century immigrants from the Basque country and Tuscany respectively, Pedro Angulo and Angel Innocenti, moved to Argentina along with thousands of other European settlers to plant their vines and carve out a living in the vast, dry plains of Mendoza.  This wine is produced by their great-grandchildren, Mariano and Maria, and is classic La Consulta: very dark, opaque purple in colour with an inviting leafy/curranty nose.  Whilst quite plush on the palate, it is tidy and precise with very pure fruit and lovely, silky tannins – very classy Malbec.  Whilst perhaps it isn’t going to be barbecue weather this weekend, apparently you can also cook steak inside too!

And That’s your Lot (105)

It looks like we’ve made it To the End – it was the 25th anniversary of the legendary Blur album, Parklife, yesterday – who knew?!

Wayne & Alex (and, of course, Tracy Jacks)

Provence lands in Wimbledon Park

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Chapeau! To the French firefighters who have managed to save far more of the Notre Dame than looked likely when the pictures first came through. Not only is it an integral part of the Paris skyline, it is almost part of the very essence of French-ness, appearing so prominently in both France’s history and literature. Victor Hugo will be coming to a best-seller list on Amazon very soon I suspect.

Chapeau!  Also to Victor Campenaerts who has beaten Bradley Wiggins Hour Record. He managed to ride a massive 55.089 km at the Bicentenario Velodrome in Mexico with a perfectly controlled ride. That’s just over half a kilometre further than Sir Wiggo. I’m not sure I’ve ever reached that speed on the flat, let alone for an hour!

If the Met office is to be believed you’ll be needing your sunhats this weekend if you’re still in Wimbledon Park, we’re expecting 20˚C and sunshine, that’s on a par with Barcelona and better than Thessaloniki!

Following on from our golf chat last week we couldn’t help but notice Tiger Woods was the man who gets to borrow the green jacket for a year.  Some of the sports commentators got a little over excited with this news and seemed to think it was the “Greatest Comeback Ever”. I don’t wish to take away from his win, but I would just point out that two of Greg Lemond’s   three Tour de France victories came after being shot in a hunting accident.

In booze news Asda has had an oops on the translation front offering it’s Welsh speakers ‘Free Alcohol’ rather than ‘Alcohol Free’ . It would appear that HMRC is also at risk of booze jokes as it appears to be losing entire or large parts of applications for new distilleries or excise warehouses!

Happy birthday to The Queen, 93 years young on Sunday! Happy Birthday your Maj! The official hoe down will be in June as usual.

Easter Opening Hours – it being a Bank Holiday weekend we have some funny hours!

Today 18th April  – 11AM – 8PM

Good Friday 19th April – Funny Hours – 11AM – 3PM

Saturday 20th April – Funny Hours- 1OAM – 4PM

Sunday 21st April – CLOSED

Monday 22nd April – CLOSED

Tuesday 23rd April – Back to Normal

Anyway as it’s going to be nice this weekend we are very happy to announce (Drum roll please)

Chateau de L’Aumerade ‘Cuvée Marie-Christine’ 2018 our Cru Classé Côtes du Provence Rosé is in stock, and we’ve managed to keep it at the same price as last year!

£14.99 per bottle or 6 bottles for £78

Tasting This Weekend

Given we’re doing it all a day early we’ll open these wines this evening around 5-ish. Your weekend starts here!

Where would we be without an open bottle at the weekend? I can’t help but think it might be nice to show some solidarity with the French, so in the white corner we’ll start off with Domaine Alexandre Chablis 2017 (£19.99) a classic crisp mineral white that we managed to grab a small parcel of.

On the red front I can’t help but think that if we’re eating spring lamb we might want to have a glass of red burgundy with it. On that basis I’m pouring the Domaine Fournillon Epineuil Bourgogne Rouge (£14.99) which will be just fabulous with that lamb.That’s about it for us this week, but if anyone knows what glue the climate protesters are using give us the nod, we’ve some things up for repair.

Great with water nymph or dolphin…

Friday, April 12th, 2019

Fellow Wine Lovers,

I have to confess, I do love the school holidays, the Easter ones in particular.  The sun often shines, the roads are empty and you can get a seat on the tube.  Plus we have the four day weekend that encapsulates Easter Sunday.  Plus plus, our own bearded asylum seeker, Alex, gets dragged kicking and screaming from his priest hole in the cellar and taken to far flung exotic climes (Warwick and Dorset this year, I believe) and I have the place to myself.  And I get to write the email, uninterrupted.

And, as I get to write the email without any ‘helpful’ insertions, I get to write about whatever I want.  If you’ve read any of my previous pieces then you will be aware that I have a passing affection for bikes and cycling; what you won’t know, I suspect, is that my actual true passion is for the little dimpled ball.  Yep, I’m a golf nut.  There you go, it’s out in the world now, it’s in print, it’s on Facebook and our website and my goodness, I feel a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Whilst I do enjoy going out cycling on a misty Sunday morning swaddled in luminescent lycra and feeling like a million lira, the opportunity to stroll around a large country estate swinging clubs (less than 80 times ideally) dressed in plus fours and Pringle knitwear is what I really want to be doing.  I’m not the best player I know, but then I’m also not the worst.  I’m certainly in the top 10 of people I play with and that is all I need really – Strava rarely has such nice things to say to me.

However, there is one way that cycling surpasses golf.  When I watch the Tour de France, the Giro or La Vuelta I see narrow mountain roads being gobbled up by the superfit masochists, I see swooping descents that make roller coasters feel pedestrian and I know that, should I have the desire, I could jump on my bike and attempt my own heroics on these exact roads, any time I wanted. 

Golf however isn’t quite like that, particularly the golf that’s going on right now. 

For those of you less fanatical, the US Masters started yesterday.  This is arguably the biggest week in golf each year as it heralds the start of ‘the season’, is the first major, the winner gets a natty green jacket to wear (but not keep) and it always takes place at Augusta National in Georgia.  You know Augusta, that truly cosmopolitan and inclusive club without a whiff of racism and sexism, always a club to open its doors willingly to all comers.  There is no members’ waiting list because you have to be invited to join, it only has a few hundred members, the majority of whom are men and captains of industry and you’re more likely to be struck by lightning than get a chance to play it. 

So, unlike the Col du Tourmalet, Augusta will never open its arms to me – perhaps I am better off on the bike…

Elsewhere, it seems that we are still in Europe, Tottenham and Liverpool are still in Europe, Julian Assange has left South America and is now in Europe and Omar al-Bashir isn’t in Europe, yet, but he is to be expected at ICC at some point.

But what has any of this got to do with wine I hear you ask?  Nothing at all, is the honest answer but now I will remedy that.

UPCOMING TASTINGS – DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES

Our Cheese and Wine tasting evenings have been as over-subscribed as ever and as of now we have 2 spaces available on Thursday 20th June and then plenty of spaces on Thursday 18th July – should you wish to join us then it costs £20 per person and it all starts at 8pm.

You may have noticed us rattling on about Domaine Treloar over the last few weeks.  One of the reasons is that we think the wines are ace and should be in everyone’s shopping basket.  Another good reason is that Jonathan and Rachel, the owners, are thoroughly good eggs – so good in fact that they have agreed to visit us not once but twice this year!

Thursday 27th June at 8pm – Domaine Treloar Wine tasting with Jonathan Hesford – £20 per person

Thursday 17th October at 8pm – Domaine Treloar Wine tasting with Rachel Treloar – £20 per person

I appreciate that the October date feels a little in advance but when they offered to come and do this we thought we’d get the dates in the diary as soon as possible so they can book their flights – we expect both tastings to be very popular so do book early to avoid disappointment!

OTHER WINE NEWS

After a brief hiatus, I can confirm that we have Chocolate Block back in stock – and we have it in magnums too, for £50, which just has to be a better Easter gift than any overpriced oval confection…

TASTING THIS WEEKEND

Often when Alex is given the reins he thinks he’s being super smart and tries to link the tasting wines to events of the week ‘don’t you think it segues rather nicely’  he might be heard to say, whilst I’m thinking ‘segue’, really, did you really just say that?  Anyway, there will be none of that nonsense this week, just fine wines that need to be tasted by you fine folk.

Naia Verdejo 2017 – £14.99 – this is a new listing for us since the previous inhabitant of the posh Verdejo throne became just too expensive and the Naia had always been in our sights as the pretender and now it has found its seat.  Produced in Rueda, the Verdejo heartland, the grapes come from 98 acres of vineyards, the majority of which are 26 years old (and 5 acres of which are ungrafted 90 year old Verdejo vines) all located in La Seca.  The wine has ripe stone fruit aromas with lightly savoury, herbal notes that persist on the palate and then leads onto a bright and long finish.  Great with shellfish and perhaps with water nymph (Greek translation) or dolphin (Hawaiian translation) but I’m not sure that’s allowed any more….

The Pilot by Alpha Domus 2014 – £13.99/6 for £72 – this is the exact opposite of a new listing – it’s a bin end, once it’s gone, it’s scone!  From Hawkes Bay in New Zealand this is a stonking Bordeaux blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  On the nose it’s busy with berry fruits, plums and spicy herbs.  The palate is again filled with plum and blackberry fruit, some clove spice and a silky, savoury finish – a perfect partner to Sunday’s roast lamb.

That’s it for now – enjoy your hols whilst I enjoy the tranquillity and the golf!