Archive for March, 2020

Free Local Delivery

Friday, March 20th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Many times over the 9 years that we have been writing this weekly email we have bemoaned the fact that there is no good news to comment on.  On every one of those occasions we now know that we were spoilt.  Today, there really is nothing we can poke a stick at and gently mock, so what have we written about in late March over the years – here’s a snapshot:

  • 2019 – we were about to leave Europe, and then we weren’t.  Still, at least that’s all behind us now
  • 2018 – we were gearing up for the clocks to change on Sunday and enjoying multiple weather forecasts containing the word ‘sunshine’ – unlike yesterday
  • 2017 the email opened with these lines:Six nations is over, England won, though not prettily and by no means easily. It seems to this correspondent though, that Mr Jones has the makings of a good team there, tidy up some of the errors and we can look forward to the 2019 World Cup in Japan with some excitement – wise words
  • 2016 – in a time before DT became POTUS, The Economist Intelligence Unit Global Forecasting Service for April 2016 voiced this concern: Apparently, his lack of consistent policies, his consistent hostility towards free trade, China, the Middle East, Mexico and everyone in between, mixed with the previously inconceivable fact that he is the Republican frontrunner for Presidential candidate has set some serious alarm bells ringing.  Why didn’t anyone listen?
  • 2015 – we got excited when we saw that scientists from the University of Illinois were working on “hangover free” wine – obviously not a great success as we’ve not heard much about it since
  • 2014 – the lovable rogue Clarissa Dickson-Wright died this week and Vera Lynn revealed that she was going to release a new album in June – those were definitely different days
  • 2013 – Girls Aloud announced they were calling it a day after all these years – a nation mourned
  • 2012 – we got a bit ranty about duty increases on wine – nobody listened, yet again
  • 2011 – Wayne was on holiday in Antigua, Matt Banahan replaced Mike Tindall in the England back line and fleet-footed David Strettle was back on the bench – all this just makes me feel old!

So that’s the past, what of the future?  Absolutely no clue I’m afraid.

Too many years loitering around in the wine trade has led us to believe that Alex is likely to be as fortified as an alcoholic disinfectant and  since Wayne fell into a cauldron of Claret as a baby, we are hoping that these factors will help us to stay healthy, virus free and, as a happy consequence, open for business.

Clearly, all of the above is out of our control and if we go into lockdown this weekend quite where that leaves us is anyone’s guess. 

However, we will endeavour to stay open as much as we possibly can but if we have to close our doors we would hope to continue trading by offering a free local delivery service. 

We imagine it would work along the lines of us saying we will be delivering between 4pm and 6pm each day and that any orders received before 3pm will be delivered that day.  This is not our final strategy but I imagine we won’t stray far from this plan.  We do have a decent level of stock currently and we are told we will still be able to get deliveries etc but sadly we are still in the land of anyone’s guess…

Our suppliers want to do business, we want to do business, you want to do business – I’m sure we’ll find a way.


020 8944 5224

The email approach is the most reliable by far since we may not be able to get to the phone but do call if that is easier.  We can then take orders, you can transfer funds by BACS or other means and we can then deliver.  Happy days in these perhaps not so happy days!

We will confirm how this is all going to work as and when.  In the meantime, making the assumption that we will be open this weekend we will be tasting the two wines that we have the most stock of right now, since we seem to be selling more by the case than by the bottle this week:

Chatelain Desjacques Sauvignon Blanc 2018 – £9.99 – classic Loire Sauvignon Blanc, one of our best sellers.

Palacio del Camino Real Crianza 2016 – £11.99 – our go-to Rioja, crowd pleasing, like a comfy pair of slippers and a back rub rolled into one… so I’m told.

Wayne and I will be mainly tasting the Baller Vodka – £33 – from over near Battersea Park just to keep our resistances topped up!

That’s it from us, hopefully only until next week but we’ll see – in the interim, ignore social media, practice deep breathing when talking to your children and don’t panic – if you get stuck in, we can help you!

Horses & Logistics

Friday, March 13th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Well I’m back, have I missed much?  This week we have been mostly watching horses run around a track down in the Cotswolds. Our favourite race meet has been happening at Cheltenham and a slow rate of attrition has seen us gently enrich a couple of fine chaps in tweed jackets who seem awfully good with numbers. Years ago we had a customer who was a bookmaker, and he used to come into the Oddbins we worked at most Saturdays. If he’d had a good day he’d buy a case of posh claret, if he’d had a bad one he’d buy a bottle of vintage champagne. We’ll leave the story there, wishing we had such a nice collection of posh claret!

Whilst on the subject of claret we’ll just say thanks to the tasting group who were in for a Bordeaux tasting last night. All applied themselves with commitment and now know their left from right bank!


Elsewhere, Liverpool finally showed they are not completely infallible by getting knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid. At least they can concentrate on the Premiership now, eh? Both Arsenal and Tottenham have also decided against any further travel to Europe by the same method, Arsenal having ended up in quarantine for their troubles.


We’ve had a budget this week, an impressive amount of measures for a man who has only been in the job for five minutes. It would appear that wine and petrol are no more expensive, the NHS has had a cash injection and infrastructure projects are all back on board, unless you’re Heathrow. Finally, there are a series of measures aimed at helping small business’ which may help to keep a few wolves from the door.

Supply Chain & Logistics

Should you find yourself working from home more than usual, we’d just offer a gentle reminder that we do offer free local delivery. Should you wish to us to bring a box or two to your doorstep, do get in touch and we can make the arrangements.

Contact us on or 020 8944 5224.

New Arrival

On the wine front we’ve got a fantastic new Barbera in the Vigna Marina Coppi ‘I Grop’ Barbera Superioire 2013 (£29.99). Marina Coppi is the daughter of legendary cyclist Fausto Coppi, who was the first man to win both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in the same year. Whilst the family has owned the vineyards since Fausto’s time, it was only when her son Francesco took over in 2003 the estate began bottling their own wines. This wine is a single vineyard wines from the ‘I Grop’ vineyard at 400m altitude in Castellania. When we tasted it we found it nicely rounded, the little bit of age adding a slightly savoury edge to the plum and vanilla notes and gently spiced long fresh finish.

Tasting This Weekend

Wearing the white shorts this weekend will be Aromo Viognier 2018 (£9.49) a smashing crisp white from the Maule Valley in Chile. We’ve been selling this on and off since we opened and its appeal has not diminished.

Over in the corner with the red t-shirt is a new one Villa Mottura Negroamaro 2018 (£12.99), it’s a grape variety that Wayne has a bit of fondness for, from the heel of Italy. Lovely ripe dark fruits, a herby hint of tobacco – why not come and give it a try yourself, maybe we’ll put your tasting note on the bottle instead of ours!

Horses That’s it from us, come in and have a taste and chat to Alex about his new French radio station!

I hope flyball isn’t the only sport on telly this weekend…

Friday, March 6th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

**** Today – Friday, 6th March – is our annual close-early-and-go-and-run-the-bar-at-the-KCS-quiz-night.  So, we must apologise because we will be closing at 5pm today****

Now, I think it’s time for some good news…

From today, it’s going to be a beautiful and long summer.  Somehow, we’re all going to win the lottery and buy yachts.  Elon Musk is going to find a way to turn rain and floodwater into electricity.  Or wine.  Or gold.  And then give it all to us.  Amazon is going to be found to be just using all the data they gather for a better customer experience and nothing more.  The world will not end, we will survive…

It’s been a bleak week and no mistake.  Thanks to the weather and the general mood, at times it has felt like I have been put into an involuntary self-isolation – the first person through the door yesterday was after 4pm.  So, with all this free time I have been gifted, I have been gently exploring different business avenues.  Currently the loo roll industry seems a good one to be in and I’m just trying to work out how I can recycle all the newspapers filled with scare stories into NEW Park Vintners Bathroom Tissue.  Sticking with the bathroom, apparently bidet sales are on the up in Australia, as a consequence of the loo roll shortage hitting them hardest down under – I’m not entirely sure what information the Australian government has been given about the current health scare but it does seem like it’s being approached from an odd angle…

Got to love the British though and their insatiable love of dogs. 

Whilst two of the world’s biggest wine fairs, Prowein and Vinitaly, International rugby matches and, potentially, the London marathon are facing postponement or cancellation, Crufts: The World’s Greatest Dog Show, Where Every Dog Has Its Day opened yesterday, business as usual, no mucking about.  Just goes to show that the eccentricity of the English, coupled with a soppiness for our canine friends trumps any virus threat!  Whilst reading about Crufts earlier I happened across something called Flyball (no, not Flybe) – it’s a great watch, particularly the whippets, trust me!

However, I hope flyball isn’t the only sport on telly this weekend because it should be rugby time again.  Always a funny one the England v Wales match – that strange time of the year when Wayne and I discover how many of our customers are in fact from the Land of Song when we’d always thought they were from Godalming or West Ham.  Anyway, always adds a bit of spice to the chat over the tasting table on a Saturday morning – I fully expect it to be a humdinger as ever – we really mustn’t forget that Wales have lost twice already, so will turn up to Twickenham hungry.  Home advantage has never been so important although probably what is more important this weekend is for Scotland to set Murrayfield alight on Sunday and be the first to beat France in 2020!

In other sport, and back to Australia, the England Women’s Cricket Team were denied the opportunity to play their T20 World Cup semi-final because it was raining and no one had thought to have a reserve day for this stage of the competition – did I mention it was the semi-final?  So, a team gets all the way to a World Cup semi-final and is then knocked out because of the weather – someone needs to rethink the planning of these events although I’m sure it would never happen in the football (too much money at stake perhaps?).  Gutted.

However, if like me, sport is of little interest, let’s talk food.  I’m sure we’ve mentioned this before but, as a reminder, there is a local pop-up supper club called Dining Room that we provide the wine for.  They base themselves out of Coolangatta Café (81 Kingston Road, London SW20 8LB) and every couple of weeks they take over on a Friday and Saturday night.  This month they are doing a Mexican Menu:

Rhubarb Margarita


Butternut Squash, Cheese and Coriander Quesadilla, Sweetcorn and Pico de Gallo Salsa, crumbled Feta, Chipotle Mayo


Slow cooked Pork Shoulder Pibil, Escabeche de Cebolla, Arroz Rojo and Mexican Slaw


Spicy Black Bean Chilli, Arroz Rojo and Mexican Slaw and Sour Cream


Churros y Chocolate

This all costs just £40 per person including welcome cocktail, a glass of dessert wine (or perhaps tequila), coffee and service.

Sounds pretty good doesn’t it – I’ve also heard the wines are not bad either!!

Tasting this weekend

We don’t have Mexican wine sadly but keeping with the Spanish speakers, we’ve got a couple from Galicia.

The white will be Val do Xuliana Albariño 2019 – £13.99 – a crisp, orchard fruited and gently mineral dazzler from Rias Baixas, whilst the red will be Rechamante  – £14.99 from Orense in the Ribeiro.  Made mainly from Mencía Grape variety, it is light, fresh and fruity. The fruits are a mixture of red and dark fruits to this taster, but there is no doubting its juiciness and consequently how dangerously easy to drink it is at only 12%

That’s it from us for now, just one final reminder:

**** Today – Friday, 6th March – is our annual close-early-and-go-and-run-the-bar-at-the-KCS-quiz-night.  So, we must apologise because we will be closing at 5pm today****