Archive for December, 2017

End Of Year Report

Friday, December 29th, 2017

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Hello, is there anybody in there?  Just nod if you can hear me.  Is there anyone at home?

It’s almost 40 years since Roger Waters wrote these lines, how could he have possibly known what trade would be like on Arthur Road in late December 2017?

As is our wont, as we lie amidst the dying embers, we like to look back on what has burnt brightly over the year…

Best Man?

Wayne maintained his position as top salesman, a position he has kept since we opened, with an astonishing 60% of sales versus Alex’s paltry 40%.

On the plus side, Alex had lots of nice holidays.

Best Wine?

Often we are asked what wine sells better, red or white.  We usually reckon that they are about the same with less red sold in the summer etc etc.  We now find out that we’re so very wrong, and we apologise.

This year red wine makes up about 43% of sales, white wine 27%, fizz 17%, with rosé and spirits garnering about 6% each.

What have we learnt from this?  Firstly, whilst we may well be the top two salesman in the company we are but glorified till jockeys if we have no real concept of what is walking out of the door, and that we assume we are selling more white purely because every time we sell a bottle we have to re-stock the fridge.  Secondly, even if you combine rosé and white wine, they still fall short of red.  Thirdly, fizz marches forward ever more strongly.  As does Provence rosé.  As does Gin!

Best Newcomer?

We had assumed that the Foxdenton Rhubarb Gin was a shoo in here – but of course we were wrong, bamboozled by its pretty colour.  Chateau Paraza from the Minervois knocks it into a cocked hat, with almost double the sales.

Best joke?

In an act of sweet revenge, he dragged her around a load of pubs…. Only to go back to the very first one to buy his pint!

Best be going now…

Short and sweet this week, time is ticking on and we know you all have far better things to do than listen to us rattle on all day (I do have a stat for this too but frankly some of things you would rather be doing are unprintable) so it really just remains for us to say many thanks for all of your support this year, hope you all had a very merry Christmas and are looking forward to a fabulous 2018 – hopefully we can help you make it more fabulous but not until next Thursday!

Chin Chin!


PS – we are open:






Meursault, Barolo and Santa

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

Fellow Wine Lovers,

And now we’re a week closer.  And now we have significantly less wine here than we did seven days ago.  Our special Christmas Gift Case has been changed three times this week  as we ran out of different wines and, frankly, we’ve never known it to be so popular – over the next few days I believe a number of you will be enjoying something along the lines of:

  • Moutard ‘Grand Cuvée Champagne
  • M & B Talmard Macon Uchizy 2015 – a delicious white burgundy
  • Wairau River Pinot Gris 2016 – fabulous with your boxing day ham
  • Château des Demoiselles 2010 – Bordeaux? From a stellar vintage? For Christmas?  Well, if you’re sure….
  • Faiveley Mercurey ‘La Framboisière’ 2015 – as above, but Burgundy instead of Bordeaux
  • Emilio Moro 2015 – our old favourite from Ribera del Duero

Sounds good to me.

Otherwise, everything is ticking along quite nicely.

Opening batsmen

We lost ‘The Ashes’ earlier in the week, which takes the pressure off trying to watch the highlights surreptitiously over breakfast with your in-laws.  If there are any Arsenal fans out there(?) they can also have a very relaxed time over the festive period – a game tonight and then nothing until next Thursday – not sure how Arsene swung this but it should stop him bemoaning an overcrowded fixture card,  we’ll see!  Toys’R’Us seems to be facing an uphill struggle, not for the first time I believe, Apple admit slowing down older models of the iphone and Uber will finish the year as a cab company and not an “information society service” – you gotta love big business.

Open to new experiences

Foodwise, we’ve mainly been sponsored by Pret this week and can confirm that their Christmas sandwich is a sumptuous as ever, although Alex still reckons the Tesco Christmas Special that he tried earlier in the ‘season’ ie late November is his favourite and Wayne has plenty of time for the Waitrose effort.  Neither of us are convinced of the need for vegetarian Christmas sandwiches but that may have a little to do with us not being meat dodgers!

Whilst we are always keen try a Christmas sarnie we have been quite shocked by the array of Christmas snacks available in the local cooperative down the road.  By snacks we really mean crisps:  Honey Roast Ham Crackers didn’t seem too off the wall but then we spotted Pigs in Blankets Tortilla Rolls, we all like sausage wrapped in bacon but are not convinced of the need to tortill-ise and roll them.

However, we could never have predicted the next two flavours…

Step up Gingerbread Tortilla Rolls and last but not least, Sparkling Prosecco Bubbles!  These are apparently light and crispy potato snacks that pop in your mouth, with a hint of fizz flavour!  What?  That’s not even English – since when is fizz a flavour?  Oh.  I just got it.  Jumping on the Prosecco bandwagon, very well done…

In other news, Wayne bought the most delicious Truffle flavour crisps from Brindisa the other day that were genuinely the Donqui’s Jotes!

Opening hours

Today – 11am until 8pm

Saturday 23rd – 10am until 8pm

Sunday 24th – 11am until 4pm

Monday 25th – Thursday 28th – CLOSED

Friday 29th – 11am until 8pm

Saturday 30th –  10am until 8pm

Sunday 31st – 11am until 6pm

Monday 1st – Wednesday 3rd – CLOSED

Thursday 4th – Back to normal…

Opening bottles

In a final bid to fill your Christmas dining tables with oodles of deliciousness and as a reward for those of you who have stuck it out at work until the last knockings we shall be opening:

Patrick Javillier Meursault ‘Les Clousots’ 2011 – £45.00

To quote our burgundy obsessed pal Jack: Pat Jav is a legend and his 2011s are showing really well.  Clousots is a blend of Les Clous and Crousots.  Patrick likes to blend sites to achieve a balanced wine.  Great texture in these wines, classic Meursault.

Giacomo Fenocchio Barolo 2012 – £33.00

Jack knows less about Italy so we had to write our own notes here: lovely red cranberry and cedar wood notes and an elegant palate that has lovely tension between fruit and tannin – if you don’t want it we’ll have it…

Chateau Violet Sauternes 2007 -£14.99

We were dead chuffed when we came across this, even more so once we had some in glass!  This delicious pudding wine is the classic sauternes blend of Semillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc from a wonderful vintage.  A beautiful golden colour with aromas of pineapple cubes, honey and orange peel.  The palate is sweet, as you’d expect, but not cloyingly so and has a lovely freshness about it.  Just hitting its stride at 10 years of age, we feel it’s a bit of a bargain.

Of course, on the tasting table we already have open the Krohn LBV 2011 – £18.99, Taylor 325th Anniversary Blended Tawny – £29.59, alongside a whole gamut of spirits and whiskies so come and taste away!

I think that’s it from us now, just time enough for us to wish yule a very merry Christmas and happy New Year!


Christmas is Coming!

Friday, December 15th, 2017

Fellow Wine Lovers,

There are now 10 days until Christmas – I know this because my junk mail has told me.

Uniqlo, Runners Need, Amazon, Buyagift, Kew Gardens and even Surrey County Cricket Club have been warning me that I risk missing out on their latest offers and that I really, really must hurry.  Even the cheeky so-and-so’s at the Wine Society were putting the hard word on me.  Yesterday, there were 11 days until Christmas and on Tuesday there were 13 days – how do I know?  Because Uniqlo, Runners Need, Amazon… you get the gist.  However, my daughter wishes me to believe that there are only 9 days left because you don’t include today or the 25th in the count and, in fact Dad, because she is going away next Friday to her cousins’ house that, actually Dad, there are only really 6 days until Christmas properly starts…

So, I will now revise my opening statement, there are in fact just 6 days until Christmas – we all know this because my daughter has told me!

Whilst Theresa, Brexit and a Tory rebellion dominate the front pages, it is sport that really helps us keep a sense of perspective and, as often happens, it is the world of football and, within that, the world of José Mourinho, which provides us with the appropriate balance we need.

For non-football fans, here’s what you missed and I’m not sure it will encourage you to become fans in the near future.  Manchester United hosted Manchester City and lost the match 2-1.  After the match, it is alleged that Mr Mourinho made a complaint that the City team were ‘over-celebrating’ their victory and thus weren’t showing United, the losers, enough respect.  In a surreal re-invention of what is normally known as ‘handbags’, a scuffle ensued in the tunnel during which milk, water, plastic bottles and even the occasional punch are alleged to have been thrown, proving once more that footballers are the hardest sportsmen around.  Oh, and the concept of ‘over-celebrating’ – what is that, Jose?  Is that similar to over-laughing, over-smugly smiling and having an over-estimation of one’s own worth?!

Having said all this, I was on the verge of grabbing the Cravendale when I heard what Jonathan Ford of the FAW (Football Association of Wales) said of the requirement for a new Welsh national coach:  “We have always favoured Welsh people because arguably the passion is there.  Somebody said this earlier, Welsh most definitely, foreign possibly but definitely not English.”  Apparently he has had to apologise and put on his hair shirt in order to avoid a sticky international incident resulting in borders closing and a wall being built – who knew the world of football was so very sensitive?  Oh, hang about…

In other news, Donald Trump is 71 years old and has never apologised for anything.

Hopefully cycling isn’t hitting another serious doping scandal – we’ll have to wait and see; hopefully the English cricket team can grab something at the WACA – Day One was a decent day, Day Two started well until Steve Smith turned up again and it seems that Jimmy Anderson has yet to recover from the deeply psychologically traumatising Duckett dousing he received recently; however Steve Finn insists recent disciplinary lapses are not reflective of a drinking culture in English cricket.

In other news, Sir Ian Botham is to launch an English Sparkling Wine next year as part of a new wine range, and is already a partner in Botham Merrill Willis wines with Bob Willis and Geoff Merrill, superstar winemaker, who he met whilst on an Ashes tour in the 70’s…

Anyway, enough of what other people are drinking, what about us here in Wimbledon Park?  It all seems to be gearing up a bit now, parties are going on, pre- Christmas Christmases are being celebrated almost every day of the week and instore talk of turkey and smoked salmon seems to be on a perpetual loop – and we love it!

This weekend, to help with our drinking choices over the festive period but from less traditional areas, we will be opening Herbert Hall NV – £29.99 – our delicious fizz from Marden in Kent; we’ll be opening Quinta de la Erre Albariño 2016 – £15.99 – a cracking wine from Galicia; and we’ll be opening Spencer Hill Latitude 41 Small Batch Pinot Noir 2014 – £21.49 – from Nelson, NZ.  Plus, knowing Wayne’s expertise in persuading corks out of bottles of Port, I suspect we shall open something fortified too but I’m not sure what yet!  Of course, we will have an array of spirits open, including the Foxdenton Rhubarb Gin – £14.99 – that is challenging Prosecco as a top seller and is certainly going to get the award for best newcomer!

That’s about it really from us this week, only about 5 minutes left until Christmas I’m told, don’t forget our Wine Course starts in very late January and makes a perfect gift for that wine fan in your life – £150 for 6 weeks of vinous education, sounds good to me!

We’re off now to buy José some earth boots (thanks Galliano) to help him keep his feet on the ground and then have a chat with David Gower about his £1,000 fine for hiring a plane and buzzing the Carrera Oval during the 1990/1 Ashes tour – proper misbehaviour!

Boswellia Sacra (aka Hougary Frankincense) – who the hell he?

Friday, December 8th, 2017

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Following Alex’s minor brush with celebrity and light switches just the other week, it feels like Arthur Road is gently turning into Primrose Hill. Alex gets accosted in the street; whilst the traffic was on a go slow all day Thursday, as both The Wedding Dress Shop and The Cake Parlour starred in a film! All day there were dozens of people standing around drinking tea, it’s a funny old business this film business. Word on the street is that it’ll be an advert for a high street bank, so watch this space.

In other news, we lost the second test in The Ashes and currently sit at 2-0 down, still in it though, we’re told. Russia has been banned from the Winter Olympics for “state-sponsored doping” but reports that they have been contracted to organise the after-party yet to be verified. We also understand we’ve reached “Peak Human” and are not sure if we should believe it; last year we were told we’d reached peak beard but we see more and more of them.

New Gin

A few weeks back we asked for suggestions for a new gin and received many excellent suggestions. Thanks very much for all your help. In the end we tasted a few but settled on Sacred “Classic” Gin (£35.00) from a micro distillery in Highgate. They use vacuum distillation which occurs at a much lower temperature than pot distillation giving much fresher and lusher flavours. This gin is the result of much experimentation (in fact recipe no 23!) and contains 12 botanicals including juniper, cardamom, nutmeg, and Boswellia Sacra (aka Hougary Frankincense) – hence the name, Sacred.  As an aside, when we asked our chaps at Hepple their opinion on Sacred, they gave it an unconditional thumbs up which erased any lingering doubts we may have had!

As luck would have it, Sacred have also recently released the first whisky to be aged in London – Sacred Peated English Whisky (£52), pipping the chaps in Battersea to the finish line. They take English Whisky from bourbon barrels and re-cask them in London for further maturation and flavour development in hogsheads – old Pedro Ximenez casks from Bodegas Navarro in Montilla, Spain. These nutty and rich nuances give a truly deep and satisfying single malt. Log-fire smoke from a country pub, sea salt, dried pineapple, clove spice, sweet vanilla and Christmas cake. We have been fortunate enough to grab a few bottles from cask No.2.

We have also had our first Mexican shelf visitor – Lunazul Tequila Reposado (£33). For us, it offered classic tequila notes of baked pineapple, framed in a smoky note from lazing around in barrels for a bit. Very smooth, with a long finish that is gently spiced and smoky.

Tasting this weekend

The white corner will be hosting Jean Loron’s Viré Clessé 2014 (£17.99). The south east facing chalk and clay soils here give this wine a lovely minerality. More complex than a Mâcon, not as rich as a Pouilly Fuissé, and really delicious.

In the coin rouge we are still in Burgundy but a little further north. Domaine Faiveley Mercurey La Framboisière 2015 (£23.99). La Framboisière is a single vineyard wine that Faiveley have owned since 1933. Despite its name, we always find it has a real hint of strawberry about. This is an absolute stunner of a vintage, so do come and have a taste.

Christmas Opening Hours












Short and sweet this week – don’t forget to book a space on the Wine School that starts again on Wednesday 31st January 2018 – £150 well worth spending to disperse all those deep winter blues!

Right, back to work with you, before someone notices you’re not examining spreadsheets…

Shop Small And Meet The Neighbours

Friday, December 1st, 2017

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Thanks to everyone who came along last weekend to witness Alex turning on the Christmas tree lights.  He’s coming down from the dizzy heights of celebrity now and is just about able to negotiate doors without damaging his ears. If you need someone handy with a light switch though, do get in contact, he has reasonable rates for Weddings, Barmitzvahs and Paper Bag openings.

In the news this week, we’ve had a bit of everything. The banks aren’t stressed anymore, winter has arrived, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced their engagement and, as if it was already scripted, Donna has taken charge of all the planning.

It appears that when invading Britain Julius Caesar landed his 800 ships at Pegwell Bay in Kent. I suspect traffic on the A2 was much lighter in 57 B.C. making it a quicker run up to town!

Something that did make me smile was “Saudi prince Miteb bin Abdullah pays $1bn in corruption settlement.” Surely, that’s what got him into trouble in the first place?

Lastly, we’re hoping that Sunday night is a clear one, as there’ll be a supermoon (really big, like in ET!) and it’ll be a good number of years till it is that close to earth again.

Wine School

We have consulted the calendar and put some dates in the sorting hat, the results of which are:

Term starts Wednesday 31st January 2018 and ends on Wednesday 14th March 2018. Wednesday 14th February is skipped for half term skiing or St Valentine’s smooching, the choice is yours! Over the six weeks you’ll taste in the region of 60 wines, learn some wine faults and maybe even meet some new friends (vinous or human). Sign up now, the entire course costs £150, and we can provide you with a voucher for it, if you’re buying it as a gift.

Happy Birthday To Us

Park Vintners is Seven (!!!) years old this weekend, and is dead chuffed that small businesses around the country will be joining in to help us celebrate with…

Small Business Saturday

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, so cancel the Ocado shop, skip Sainsbury’s and head on down to your local butcher, the farmers market, florist, or even wine shop. We’d prefer it wasn’t just one day a year clearly, but small steps…

Shop Small with American Express

In some wonderful joined up thinking, the annual American Express Shop Small promotion starts tomorrow too. There are T&C’s obviously, but in essence: “Just spend £10 or more on your Card in a single transaction at a participating small business, and you’ll get a £5 credit on your statement. Offer runs from 2 – 17 December 2017. There’s no limit to the number of £5 credits you can receive, but you can only claim it once at each small business. To take part, just register your Card – or Supplementary Card – and you’re ready to Shop Small once the offer is live.”

It’d be churlish not to so, we’re in, are you?

New Neighbours

We’d like to extend a warm welcome to Galerie Prints ( ) who opened today at 152 Arthur Road.  Go in and see them, there are some truly fabulous pictures.

Tasting This Weekend

Well, given the birthday celebrations, we’ll definitely have a Champagne open.  In the white corner we’ll be pulling the cork on Sylvain Dussort’s Bourgogne ‘Cuvée des Ormes’ 2014 (£18.99). It is the estate’s flagship wine, from vines around 50 years old it is delicate, rich and elegant, with good length, and we reckon in a blind tasting it could easily be mistaken for a Meursault.

We’ll be running the flag up in the red corner for Chateau Sorbey 2010 (£13.99) a cracking Cru Bourgeois Haut Médoc that, despite Arthur Road’s propensity for hairdressers, has nothing to do with any famous celebrity coiffeurista called Trevor!