Archive for January, 2019

Fellowship of Wine Lovers (Wimbledon Park Chapter)

Friday, January 18th, 2019

Fellow Wine Lovers,

And never has this felt truer. The Fellowship of Wine Lovers (Wimbledon Park chapter) seems to be going from strength to strength this month, in spite of Wayne’s attempts last week to persuade us all to give up eating meat and grow their hair whilst riding a unicorn or something. Yes indeed, the potency of our 6 for 5 offer has brought plenty of you out of the woodwork, although I suspect most of you were quite near the surface anyway, and has even encouraged a few of the January abstainers to stock up whilst the going is good.

And how long will the going be good, now that’s a question?

At least in December the raging uncertainty we felt every time March 29th 2019 was mentioned could be allocated to the ‘let’s worry about that next year, for now it’s Christmas’ pile but now the press countdown is in days rather than months. As ever the media is paying close attention to two subjects of particular fascination to the British public – house prices and holidays. Apparently the housing market is stagnant at the moment (isn’t it always at this time of year) and if you’re planning on driving to the continent this year you might need to get all the stuff we used to have to need to get 20 years ago when we drove to Europe. An International driving licence apparently takes 5 minutes in the Post Office whilst the Green Card could take up to a month to get from your insurance company, which seems odd considering you can set up a new insurance policy in about half an hour. All this doesn’t seem so bad really to us but perhaps we have a vested interest in being positive since over the next few months one of us is planning on driving in Europe more than once, one of us is planning on buying and also selling some property, and one of us just likes going on holiday…

The real battle we’ve faced this week is to find some news that doesn’t involve the obvious Westminster based shenanigans. Late night tennis, a new planetary diet that threatens to turn us all into walking mung beans and a 700kg pet crocodile mauling it’s owner to death didn’t seem worthy of further investigation. The USA is still in shutdown, which just serves to remind us that political madness, intransigence and an inability to negotiate with your opponents is not just for these shores.

So, if we can’t tell how long the going will be good, might we suggest we just seize the day and take control of our own destiny – and what better place to start than getting some wine in and not paying for all of it, especially before the duty increases at the beginning of February (yep, that was hidden in the midst of the autumn statement).

6 FOR 5 – as Wayne explained last week, it’s a remarkably simple mechanic but I’ll go over it again just to be sure. Choose 6 bottles of wine, or beer, or a mixture of the two and you’ll only pay for five of them. A straight 16.6666666666666666666666666666% discount in effect but one that we shorten to 16.66% since our till only works to 2 places. It also works for fizz but that is true all year round so needs less limelight but doesn’t work with the posh cuvees or spirits unfortunately. Come into the shop and we’ll walk and talk you through it.

The other thing that the Fellowship of Wine Lovers (Wimbledon Park chapter) seems to have become increasingly engaged with is wine tasting. We have already had about a dozen enquiries for private tastings and February and March are starting to look quite crowded. However, amongst all these private do’s, we are still offering our Wine & Cheese evenings too.

Dates were released last week but I just thought I would remind you that the first of this year’s series takes place on Thursday February 14th at 8pm, here in the shop, £20 per person.

Fully aware that occasionally people have other things to do on this date we have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of interest that has been shown – a combination of being the last Thursday before half term coupled with the perfect excuse not to go out for a set menu with dozens of other couples trying not to argue on this day, of all days, how could you? means that places will start filling fast – we can only fit in 12 of you in total, so if you fancy it give us a call 0n 020 8944 5224 or respond to this email – don’t tarry!

Tasting this weekend

The Creation wines went down magnificently last weekend and we are looking to get some on the shelves soon. The one issue with showing wine samples is that you can’t buy them on the day so this week we are back to normal, as it were.

So the white corner will be populated with Castanzu Vermentino di Sardegna 2017 (£10.79) a crisp dry white from Sardinia that is a splendid partner to frito misto, fish and chips and a gnocchi pesto.

For the red corner we’ll drop in on somewhere enjoying warmer weather than us. Flametree Shiraz 2016 (£18.99) from Margaret River in Australia would be a great partner to some beef short ribs and horseradish mash, or peppers stuffed with lentils and rice.

That’s enough from us for this week, stay warm and upright!

What is January to you?

Friday, January 11th, 2019

Fellow Wine Lovers,

A Happy New Year to you all, we’d like to wish health and happiness in abundance with just enough stress to help you appreciate the good stuff more.
Has anyone got any good resolutions going on? At this end of the wire we’ve had Wayne resolving to find a new joke and Alex promising to laugh at it should it happen. Sadly, both seem a bit pie in the sky but we’ll struggle on.

So what is January to you? For us it’s a big VAT return, large gaps between customers and a fair chunk of tastings.

Veganuary certainly seems to have worked for Greggs, whose vegan sausage roll has taken up nearly as much column space as Speaker Bercow.

Dry-January is something we try not to encourage for obvious reasons. If you’re giving it a go, we’ll wish you luck and welcome you back with open arms when you’re ready. Should you have a hankering for a fizz Friday we’d just ask if you’ve tried our alcohol free sparkler Bees Knees (£5.99).

Ginuary is definitely one we like the sound of. For a start, it’s inclusive for all the Veganuarists – there’s definitely no animal slavery in a bottle of Gin. There is also plenty of variety of gins, mixers and cocktails. How about Sloe gin and ginger beer perhaps? Or maybe a ginger martini to ward off this cold weather (Try a slug each of Kings Ginger and Hepple Gin shaken over ice, then served with just a splash of blood orange juice and a twist of peel too!) If you don’t have a cocktail shaker that protein shake bottle will do the trick perfectly well.

Tanuary we believe involves heading somewhere warm and sunny for a month, appealing certainly, but not practical with the commute. Worth investigating in retirement, we suspect.

Danuary involves wearing red sweaters and eating cow pie, the very antithesis of Veganuary!

Fanuary is, apparently, similar to Movember, don’t ask…

Tri-January we think may involve entering and training for a triathlon. You’ll know better than us if that’s likely to be your thing but do give us a wave if you see us when you’re out training.

Try- January is another version we like the sound of. Try something new each week would be our thoughts, be that a new vegetable, a new magazine or a new radio station. Wayne tried the vegetable salsify for the first time this week, there’s a new compilation album, Step Forward Youth on Greensleeves, that’s definitely worth a listen for the reggae lovers amongst you, it certainly made us feel warmer.

We’d also suggest trying one of our Cheese & Wine evenings. We’ll try four cheeses with seven wines all for £20. Sound good? Here at the shop from 8pm on the following Thursday evenings…

Thursday 14th February

Thursday 14th March

Thursday 25th April

Thursday 23rd May

Thursday 20th June

Thursday 18th July

Book your place promptly as they tend to fill up fast!

January Jollies
As has become our custom we are operating our annual January ‘Buy six bottles and you’ll only pay for five of them’ deal. That’s a whopping 16.66% discount that we like to think of as a thank you for your continued support, rather than a cynical ploy to get you in the shop in this quiet month. As usual we’ll make exceptions on spirits and the posh champagnes for operational reasons.

Closed – Monday 14th January – All Day
We’ll be at a big supplier tasting all day on Monday 14th January so the shop will remain closed. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Tasting This Weekend

In the spirit of Try-January we will be opening some fine samples this weekend.

Alex met a chap from a South African winery a few months ago and he very kindly arranged for us to receive some samples. It’s top, top quality wine from an estate founded on the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge near Hermanus. We’ll taste a Chardonnay, a Reserve Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir and a Syrah/Grenache blend all from Creation wines, named the Most Wine Innovative Estate in South Africa at the 2016 Great Wine Capitals of the World Awards.

These are just samples so we don’t have any stock but, depending on your feedback, we could do soon!