Archive for January, 2013

Cairanne, Wine School, Haggis

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Fellow Wine Lovers,


Poor old Swansea. 

They have had a superb season, have flown through the league cup and made the final, even without the help of ballboy Morgan. They have become everyone’s favourite welsh football team (didn’t know you had/needed a favourite Welsh team? well you do now!) but still, come the finals, they face a no win situation.  If they beat Bradford they destroy that Roy of the Rovers dream finale that the press and the public yearn for, and if they lose, well they lose, and everyone questions how a team that beat Chelsea 2-0 over two legs can lose 5-1 on a wet February day at Wembley….


So that’s Wales done, we now move onto the Scots…

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great Chieftan o’ the Puddin-race!


But, if ye wish her gratefu’ pray’r, Gie her a Haggis!

Scots, both imitation and true, will be reciting the whole of Mr. Burns’ masterpiece this evening as the Ode to a Haggis gets its annual outing and bottles of whisky get drained in exuberant toasts.  We do sell Whisky should the demand rise, but to quote another lyric (The Silver Tassie) by this most famous Scotsman:

Go fetch to me a pint o wine, And fill it in a silver tassie;

We can offer wine in measures exceeding the requested pint and would happily recommend La Cuvée Belvédère 2010 Cairanne £11.49 from the southern Rhone as a bonnie haggis wine – ripe berry fruits with hints of rich black coffee too and some intriguingly savoury characteristics on the finish – pure dead brilliant!


BOD loses rugby captaincy after many, many, many years – too many?


As January races on and Christmas is now only eleven months away, it’s time for a couple of Park Vintners January traditions to be put to bed for another year.

First up, last call for the last few places on our WINE SCHOOL – it starts next Wednesday at 8pm here in the shop and we still can squeeze a couple more of you in.  Umming and aahing time is over – if you need a bit more info we have attached the PDF or alternatively come in and have a chat.  Or phone us if you want.  Email would also work.

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” -B.B. King.

Second up, 6 for 5.  Many of you have taken the opportunity to re-vitalise your new year cellars, but for those of you that haven’t, this mammoth 16.66% discount period folds up its deckchair and heads off for an eleven month break as of close of play Saturday.  As of Monday we’ll be back to the normal 5% off 6 and 10% off 12 mechanic which means we will now be able to look the bank manager squarely in the eye once more.

So to recap

  • We feel sorry for Swansea
  • We celebrate Scotland
  • We commiserate with Ireland
  • We sell wine in larger than pint format in England, buy 6 pints only pay for 5, or something like that….

Pop in and see us today or tomorrow, we’ll have the Cairanne open for those who fancy a ‘try before you buy’ option and indeed for anyone who fancies a glass of red on their cold walk home from the tube!

Alex & Wayne

St. Emilion 2012 Classification, Pumanque, Tupangato, Horse Burger romps home

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Fellow Wine Lovers,

As Jack Frost busies himself across the nation, I’d just ask you to spare a thought for the horrors our tennis players have to endure in the Australian Open. Temperatures are reaching over 40 degrees!

Elsewhere in the news, stories that the Bundesbank is repatriating its foreign gold holdings to pay Pep Guardiola seem a little wide of the mark.

In wine news the 2012 St Emilion re-Classification has run into some legal problems with 3 chateaux challenging the classification at a tribunal. I, for one, can’t help but think that if they were as keen to spend money in the vineyard as they are in the lawyers’ office, they wouldn’t have been downgraded in the first place!

I attended a conference looking at South American wine this week, leaving Alex to look after the shop.  It covered all that is new and exciting in Chile in the morning. Watch out for the Pumanque region in the future, Brian Croser describes the soil as “so good it’s almost edible”. It’s a region for the future is all I’m saying.

Across the Andes to Argentina for the afternoon session, this was all about Gualtallary, the highest zone of Tupungato and only about 90km from Mendoza. Wow, what exciting wines though. Another one to watch out for, we’ll see what we can do!

Wine School

Now we have got Wayne up to speed a bit it’s your turn. Come along, spend six weeks with your nose, ears and mouths all filled with tales of wine, priests, widows and grapes, not to mention yeast, barrels and bottles. By the end you’ll discover it’s nearly time for the clocks to change, you’ve tasted 60 wines, and know where the bubbles come from.

Term starts 30th January 2013 there is an half term break and then term ends 13th March 2013. Cost is £150 and full details attached.

Tasting This Weekend

Something that will go with snowballs – probably red.

Food & Wine Match

If anybody needs a wine to go with a horse burger, it’ll be our first time out but we’re confident we can choose something that’ll go the distance!

Wayne & Alex

Introducing Digby

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Fellow Wine Lovers, 

Clearly the big question this week isn’t:

  •  why did I think it was a good idea to give up alcohol in January?
  • who would be an Aston Villa fan?
  • how did Marlon Samuels miss Shane Warne’s head from that distance?

But is, in fact:

  • who is the lady in the new David Bowie video?  Rumours that it is Iggy Pop seem, thus far, to be unfounded…

See it’s not all about wine, just mostly.

Moving on, we’re now fully ensconced in the New Year, Christmas trees are sprawling on the pavements like drunken weebles and it’s darned cold and grey.  Only one thing for it, let’s open some fizz! 

Introducing Digby

Many moons ago Wayne and I ran a little wine shop in Clapham Old Town, up there in t’big smoke.  We had many good and loyal customers, some of whom became friends as time progressed and minutes spent chatting about wine in the shop often turned into hours spent having a few pints and ironing out the creases in the worlds fabric.

Two of these characters were Trevor and Jason.  Bright chaps, fun to talk to and fully excited about wine – but with sensible grown up jobs that paid mortgages, bought food and perhaps even sent them on holiday a couple of times a year.  Fast forward a couple of years and where do we find them?


They’ve only gone and got into the wine trade. 

Not the wine-trade of opening at 11 am, -‘Cup of coffee, Wayne?’ -‘Don’t mind if I do Alex, and then we’ll do some work shall we, there’s some Burgundy to taste here and then perhaps, this afternoon, we should have some lunch…’ variety, but more the ‘we’re actually making our own English Sparkling Wine, it’s called Digby, there’s a Brut Vintage and a Rose Vintage and it’s regularly kicking known names from the UK and Champagne into touch’ style.

These two aspects of the trade would not exist without each other and with this in mind (and to shorten what has already become a long story), Trevor came to see us on Wednesday and left us a sample of each of their wines, the Brut and the Rose.  It’s brand new, I’m not even sure if anyone is selling it yet, so we thought we’d open it up on Saturday so that we can all try it together  and get very excited at the launch of a brand new Fine English wine.  Usual routine, glasses charged around midday so come in and have a sample and then hopefully we’ll get it on the shelves very soon.

Where were you when they launched Digby, Grandpa?

Wine School

This is filling up.  Places are still available, so if you want to learn more about what you like, what you don’t like and perhaps even why this is so, sign up for this six week tasting-based course.  As we always like to point out, you will have tasted 60 different wines by the middle of March (day 103) which is not a bad start to the year, and you’ll have a pretty tough time keeping up that momentum!

Join us, it’s fun, informal, educational, and it breaks the weeks up nicely between the weekends.

6 Week Wine School – commences Wednesday 30th January until Wednesday 13th March (no class 20th February for half term) – 8pm until around 10pm – £150 per person.

Further details attached.

Park Vintners Wine Club

I know we mentioned this last week but we now have an addition.  Alongside our normal monthly mixed six for £50, we are now doing a quarterly mixed six for £100.  Same rules apply, the wines are just more Saturday night dinner party rather than Tuesday night pizza, but having just finished writing the tasting notes even if I say so myself, it’s a cracking selection. 

Let us know if you want to find out more about these cases, how the wine club works, how we chose the wine, ask away.

6 for 5

One of the easier mechanics – buy 6, pay for 5 (but not Krug unfortunately).  It doesn’t even need to be 6 of the same wine; some of you have dipped your toes in, more of you should, since this won’t happen again until January 2014…

That’s it from us, come and meet Digby tomorrow, sign up for wine school, buy a six box – any questions?


Alex & Wayne

New Year Predictions, 6 for 5, Wine Club, 4th January 2013

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Happy New Year to all – I trust you emptied your wine racks over the holiday period so if you need any help re-filling you know where to come!

Looking back at last January’s predictions, we sent our footballers to Europe with low expectations and were rewarded with a surprise quarter final exit on penalties.

Wayne not only threw down his crutches and walked, but took the stabilisers off his bike too!

The US decided to hang on to the President they had.

So what shall we watch out for this year?

Stage 8 at the Giro d’Italia holds the key for Bradley Wiggins (assuming he doesn’t do a Wayne and fall off).

Ashes start on July 10th whilst the Lions are roaring down under.

Elsewhere the Eurozone mess will roll on, money will be printed, and ice will be danced on.

Wine School

This starts on Wednesday 30th January at 8pm and lasts for 6 weeks (not including the break for half term).  Even better it all takes place here in our shop where we are surrounded by vinous gems to taste.

Plenty of you have shown plenty of interest in this course, but it is starting to fill up now, so if you want to de-mystify all the jargon that surrounds wine come and join in.

I have attached details for your perusal – give us a call on 020 8944 5224 to book your place.


I would like to announce at this point that, as ever, everything is for SALE in our shop.

To sweeten it a little though, we have decided throughout January to offer everything in the store at ‘6 for 5’.  This is not a ‘cheapest item free of charge’ offer either – it is a straight 16.6666667% discount, for those interested in the maths. 

Wine Club

Over the last few months a number of you have enquired of us whether we have any sort of monthly Wine Club, whereby, for a fixed amount each month, you receive a selection of delicious wines with tasting notes and more importantly, at a better price than available off the shelves (usually around 15% less).

The answer is yes.

We have a thriving little club which does just that.  For £50 per month you receive 6 different bottles of wine complete with notes and food recommendations.

We email you at the beginning of the month and tell you what is in the selection – you then tell us what a marvellous selection it is, how really we should be charging twice what we are, and what smashing chaps we are to boot.  Or, if one of the wines really doesn’t appeal, you can ask for it to be changed.  We will then organise delivery and payment and off we go.  Simple as that.

There is no tie-in, we only take payment once we receive confirmation from you, and we endeavour to be as varied in our selections as possible.

If this appeals, and it seems it does to a few of you judging from feedback, then please see attached registration form, Wayne’s choosing this month’s selection as we speak.

That’s it from us – we will have something open to taste tomorrow but we are currently still trying to tidy up post-Christmas and haven’t picked them out yet – I predict a white and a red, and you can quote me!

So, have a look at your wine rack and see what you need – if the Wine Club can’t help then surely the ‘6 for 5’ must be able to in some way!

Wayne & Alex

Uncle Martins Sprouts on New Years Eve… 28th December 2012

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Right, that’s the family done for another year. 

The last time for a year when you will do back-to-back roast dinners for a dozen people.  The last time so many vegetables will congregate on one table together – potatoes, sprouts (because Uncle Martin likes them), parsnips (because Uncle Martin doesn’t like them), peas, carrots, red cabbage and of course broccoli for the kids… not to mention a turkey that weighs more than a case of wine, enough cranberry sauce to swim in, ditto Cumberland sauce, a loaf-load of bread sauce, meat stuffing, herb stuffing, pigs-in-blankets, sausage rolls, smoked salmon sandwiches, ham sandwiches, and of course twiglets.

Pudding, sir?  What would you prefer – Christmas pudding, mince pies, Christmas cake, ice cream, brandy butter, chocolate cake (again for the kids, but I’m sure I saw mum with a plateful too), truffles, chocolate orange, chocolate Santas, Rudolphs, snowmen, bells, coins, and of course satsumas.

No wonder we all need a drink.

But we’re not quite there yet – there’s still New Year’s Eve to clamber across before we look down the long, cold corridor that we call January.

NYE is the time you spend with your friends, more roast meat, more potatoes, Christmas jumpers and slightly dirtier jokes.  Same, same, but different.

We’ve got ourselves out of bed and we’re here to help.  We’re open today, tomorrow (10-8), Sunday for a four hour cameo performance (11-3), and of course Monday from 10-6.  We’re recommending magnums (we only have a few left but they do look the absolute whatsits on the dinner table).  Plus, we’ll open some wines tomorrow too, to help your decision making:

Southern Dawn Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Marlborough, New Zealand £8.99 – fresh, fresh off the boat, we welcome the 2012 vintage of this favourite back on board.  Typical NZ characteristics of passionfruit, citrus, nettles, cut grass and capsicum.  Good acidity, clean fruits and a lively finish – exactly what that Sauvignon Blanc lover in your life yearns for!

Tamboerskloof Syrah 2007, Stellenbosch, South Africa £19.49 – a friend of ours put us onto this wine a few months back, thanks Jack, but I have to confess we were initially a bit sceptical – we haven’t been overwhelmed with requests for £20 Syrahs from SA in the past, but Jack’s the sort of bloke who you listen to when it comes to slightly obscure recommendations.  A really elegant Syrah, the fact it has a bit of age has tempered the fruit nicely, adding a bit of savoury complexity to the deliciously long finish.  I’m having sirloin on NYE and this drop would certainly be a worthy partner.

For those who like to learn more than they like to detox come and join our wine course. Details attached.

So that’s it from us, Happy New Year, invest in umbrellas rather than parasols, and remember if you’re really thinking about giving up the grog in the New Year, February is a shorter month than January!


Alex & Wayne

Plebgate, Santa Claus is coming, English Sparkling 21st December 2012

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Fellow Wine Lovers,

We could talk about ‘Plebgate’ , supersonic air travel, the cricket, or even the Champions League draw (not you Chelsea), but we won’t!

Instead we’re going with…

You better watch out

You better not cry

Better not pout

I’m telling you why

Santa Claus is coming to town

He’s making a list

And checking it twice;

Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice

Santa Claus is coming to town


Wine Course

Don’t just buy them a taste of one bottle of wine for Christmas, with the Park Vintners Wine School you give the chance to taste 60 bottles of wine. It’s what Wednesday’s were made for. Starts 30 Jan 2013, £150 per person, details attached.

English Sparkling

If you’re having one of Michael the butcher’s turkeys from Appledore in Kent, why not start the day with a bottle of Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2008 at £31.99? The vineyard is about a mile from the turkey farm.

Tasting This Weekend

So we’re going to start off with some kicking fizz from our chums in NZ Morton Estate Brut – £12.99 (or pay for 5 bottles in a box of 6). Then we’ll be winging it back to Burgundy where we’ll tantalise the taste buds with Rully 1er Cru Montpalais 2010 – £22.99 a wine full of creamy elegance. Then we’ll add a bit of colour with Beaune 2009 from Nuiton Beaunoy – £20.99 bags of class from this ever popular cru. If one of those isn’t perfect for a Christmas day drink then my name’s not Rudolph…

Christmas Hours

Friday 21st 11am-8pm

Saturday 22nd 10am-8pm

Sunday 23rd 11am-3pm

Monday 24th 10am-6pm

Friday 28th 11am-8pm

And finally…

We’d like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas.

Wayne & Alex