Archive for December, 2012

Wine Course, Chocolate Block, Gavi-Brunato-Chassenay d’Arce

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Fellow Wine Lovers,

As all our thoughts turn to parties, mince pies, wrapping paper and of course the pressies to wrap up we thought we’d offer some friendly help and advice…

Parties – wear something festively red, make sure you have a taxi number with you, and drink at least 1 glass of water.

Mince pies – don’t forget the Optrex, no party season is complete without the pocket brightener for the morning after. In the food sense, it’s the perfect afternoon pick me up with a cup of tea.

Wrapping paper – flock wallpaper is absolutely rubbish. It looks fantastic but the sticky tape does not stay stuck! Why not try one of our bottle bag options.

Pressies – we can suggest many things, two are below:

Wine Course

The gift that keeps on giving! Why not send your other-half/brother/sister/personal-trainer(delete as appropriate) on our six week wine course. You’ll have Wednesday nights free for six weeks, they’ll taste around 60 wines, discover the difference between red and white grapes and even learn some groovy new wine terms to impress their friends.

Sound too good to miss? Then come along with them. Term starts 30th Jan 2013 for 7 weeks (break for half term in the middle) and costs £150. Considerably less than a pair of Gucci loafers and much more fun. Full details attached.

The Chocolate Block 2011 – Same price as last year £22.99 whilst stocks last…

Boekenhoutskloof have done it again. Just when you thought you’d never see one again, and you wish you hadn’t drunk that last bottle, up pops the new vintage. It makes the perfect present too. Over to the Mark Kent… “Winemakers comments: The 2011 Chocolate Block is a blend of Syrah (69%); Grenache Noir (14%); Cabernet Sauvignon (11%); Cinsault (5%) and Viognier (1%). This wine is the perfect example of identifying “undiscovered” parcels of vineyard with amazing potential and utilizing it to unleash its world class quality.”

*Rest assured no chocolate was harmed in the making of this wine.

Tasting this weekend

The tasting table has a definite Italian accent this weekend starting in Piemonte in the north with Roberto Sarotto’s delicious Gavi del Commune di Gavi (£12.99). This is the real deal, single vineyard wine from lofty slopes that is aged on its lees to add depth and character.

We’ll then head to Toscana and the beautiful village of Montalcino. Giacomo Bindi’s Brunato Il Cocco (£12.99) from the highest vineyards in Montalcino we found ourselves wondering if it might not be just fab with goose. Best reacquaint ourselves with its flavours.

Lest we get carried away talking with our hands, we shall provide focus with some suitably seasonable bubbles. Chassenay d’Arce is our new recruit on the Champagne front and we shall open Chassenay d’Arce Brut Premiere (£33.99) an elegant 60/40 Pinot Noir Chardonnay blend that’s been floating the boats at quite a few private members clubs lately.

Nearly there,

Wayne & Alex.

Paying Tax, Delivering, Wine School & Christmas Opening Hours.

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Fellow Wine Lovers,

 So, now that we’re two, we want to make a couple of things very clear before the press start sniffing around:

 1.       We are not pregnant, never have been, have no realistic prospect of becoming so, and thus a global media frenzy is somewhat excessive

 2.       We have never worked for the BBC

 3.       We would happily manage Chelsea (and be paid accordingly) even for just a few weeks, especially if we could also watch them lose so regularly direct from the dugout

 4.       We, somewhat foolhardily it would seem, pay all the tax we are due to pay in the UK and do not have a ‘one desk office’ in Luxembourg

 5.       We didn’t believe England would beat the AB’s last weekend, and were delighted to be proven wrong, but we don’t necessarily believe the hype

 6.       We have no comment on England’s cricket progress in the subcontinent (we have too much experience of giving the kiss of death to seemingly unbreachable positions) but are sure it’s warmer there

 7.       We do not think it a travesty that Justin Beiber has failed to get any Grammy nominations – how down with the kids are we?  Not at all, really – may I refer you to point 2 in the list….

 Thank you

 Huge thanks to everyone that popped by to see us last weekend, wine was drunk, nuts, olives, chorizo and cheese were eaten and generally a thoroughly festive atmosphere prevailed.  Having chatted to many of you over the weekend a number of you were asking the same questions (and not just where had Wayne’s moustache gone) so we thought we would address the most common ones here.


 Yes sir, absolutely, where to?  We deliver locally for free in SW19 (but we have a reasonably fluid idea of local, let’s say close enough for Wayne to cycle to without having to do too much training – panniers full of bottles can be quite heavy – ask us).  You’ve probably seen us wandering around the grid with our noisy trolley and we do have a vehicle too so can deliver the four dozen Champagne safely and securely.

Further afield it’s a courier job – we do quite a lot of mail order so have suitable packaging available for transporting single bottles, 6 bottles or 12 bottles properly.  We also use a courier who is sensitive to the fragile nature of our deliveries and is used by a number of wine companies in London.  We feel that for a couple of quid extra it’s worth getting the wine delivered intact and ready to be savoured rather than delivered in the style of an American paperboy, smashed, unusable and frankly disappointing.

 So if you want to send a gift to your Dad in Bristol or all your staff in Doncaster then give Wayne a call and he’ll strap on his cycling cleats – 020 8944 5224 is his direct cycle courier line.

 Large, medium, small

 Yes, we do have different sizes.  We have 5 different reds and two Champagnes in magnum format, obviously we have loads in bottles, but we also have half bottles of Champagne, sweet wines and fortifieds, and a couple of wines in this size too – handbag/pocket size we call them.

 Wine School

 Last night saw our last formal tasting of the year – the Champagne and Sparkling Wine evening, which, as you would hope, went off with a pop – goodness me doesn’t fizz make you feel festive!

 We’ll have wine open on weekends as usual over the next few weeks, but our next organised tasting run will be our 6 Week Wine School that starts again on Wednesday 30th January and, as you can no doubt guess, goes on for 7 weeks.  What?  Oh yes, we have a week off over half term (around 21st February) and it all completes on 13th March.

 Last year this course was massively oversubscribed, a combination of thoughtful Christmas Gifts from loved ones and people wanting to take the edge off the new year with a glass of wine and some educashun.

 In short, the course is 6 weeks long (normally), costs £150 and covers whites, reds, rose, fizz, sweeties, corked/oxidised/faulty wines, food matching suggestions and a lot of belly laughs courtesy of Wayne’s seemingly limitless supply of one-liners. 

If nothing else you’ll taste 60-odd wines over the course and, as we always say, the best way to learn about wine is to taste it.

Call us, call in, email us – places are limited – first come, first served as ever.

 More details attached.

 Opening hours

We are open as usual up to the 22nd December (11-8 Monday to Friday, 10-8 Saturday) then it all goes a bit ding-dong merrily on high:

 SUNDAY 23RD DECEMBER                          11AM-3PM

 MONDAY 24TH DECEMBER                         10AM-6PM

 TUESDAY 25TH DECEMBER                        CLOSED


 THURSDAY 27TH DECEMBER                    CHIUSO

 FRIDAY 28TH DECEMBER                            11AM-8PM

 SATURDAY 29TH DECEMBER                     10AM-8PM

 SUNDAY 30TH DECEMBER                          11AM-3PM

 MONDAY 31ST DECEMBER                          11AM-6PM

 TUESDAY 1ST JANUARY                                LYING-IN


 THURSDAY 3RD JANUARY                           WARMING TO THE IDEA…

 FRIDAY 4TH JANUARY                                   11AM-8PM

 And then back to normal, happy New Year!

 Wine list

 We do have a PDF list of wines on our website, which is also attached and will be updated on Monday – stock comes in and goes out, such is the nature of commerce, and we aim to keep it as up to date as possible in December, but do please be gentle with us if something has already left the building.

 A bit long this week, too much exciting going on, and I haven’t even mentioned wines on tasting this weekend.  Suffice to say it will be with Christmas in mind, for the white we will be looking at our Chablis 1er Cru and the red has to be our 2005 Graves, Chateau Gaubert.

 Alex will be standing behind our stall at the Wimbledon High School Christmas Fare from 11am until 4pm on Saturday, so if you’re there please remind him he’s driving and to put that glass of Port down!




Wayne & Alex