Archive for June, 2019

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!