Archive for June, 2020

Aesop, Wine and Glasto

Friday, June 26th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

That’s another week under our belts, time for a glass of wine, need I say more?

Apparently the norm is that yes, I do need to say more before I get to have a drink, so here we go…

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Once upon a time, back in the days when Wayne was in 6th Form, things were different.  One difference was that it was a lot sunnier then, the grass was greener and candle-wicking was a lucrative and sensible career choice.  Another true fact in this delightfully fact-free narration is that every man was allowed to take more than one wife.  One ambitious, middle-aged bachelor showed such ambition by marrying two ladies of differing ages.  The younger wife was eager that her husband appeared as youthful and exuberant as herself whilst the older was more anxious that her husband should show more gravitas and maturity.

So it came to pass that, to achieve their contradictory goals, the young one grabbed every opportunity to pull out her husband’s grey hairs whilst the old one was as industrious in plucking out every black hair she could find.

And the husband, well he just loved all the attention and the head massages – until the fateful morning that he discovered that he had not a hair left on his head!

So, why you might ask, does Aesop get a clumsy Park Vintners makeover today?  Well, the moral of the tale is that no matter how good or innocent your intentions may be, you cannot please all people, all of the time and, in fact, the harder you try the more likely you are to end up pleasing no-one at all.

Which seems to be pretty much where the world is right now.

Street’s like a jungle, so call the police, following the herd, down to Durdle Door

Too much lockdown, not enough lockdown; too close, too far; swimming, gyming, no swimming or gyming; daily update, no daily update; take a flight, never fly again; there are strong arguments for all of these options and, in a world where everybody is now able to criticise everybody else’s choices behind the screens of social media, everyone is right, no matter how unqualified they are to analyse the data.

But the temperature is rising and things are starting to fray around the edges if Brixton and the south coast are anything to go by – the decision to give herd immunity a go has been made unilaterally by the half million people travelling to Bournemouth yesterday – the good news is that we only need 71 more days like this and we could be getting close to the 36 million that would kickstart a vaccine-free immunity.  September 5th, that’s how long the heatwave will have to last we’re told….

Appetite for Destruction

And here we return to Aesop.  No matter your opinion about the current leadership of the country and their assorted SPAD’s, any announcement made regarding lockdown and its sundry parts was going to upset as many people as it pleased and the bearer of the news was still going to be regarded as a bit of a Bojo.  However, the decision has been made, we will see pubs and restaurants opening; we will see, have perhaps already seen, a reduction in social distance; we can go on holiday in the UK, potentially even fly to Europe too; we can get a haircut too, if we want.  If we want.  No-one is making you go to the pub or sit on the beach in Spain and if you don’t want to then just don’t.  And if you do want to, then do.

Meanwhile, back in the city

I feel we need to change the subject.  As pointed out last week, the return of football hasn’t necessarily scratched that itch, with Liverpool’s tedious trundle to the title confirming that this season will definitely be the one that has an * attached to it.  Golf and Tennis have had their Covid moments and more people have gone on twitter to say ‘I told you so’.  Rebekah Vardy is taking Coleen Rooney to court, which is hilarious on so many levels and would be more funny to more people if they actually knew, or cared, who these ladies are.

And now, over to Worthy Farm

50th anniversary of Glastonbury this weekend and for those of us who are more used to watching from their Chesterfield than a real field, then this should be a cracker of a weekend.  Hard to suggest where to start, loads on iplayer to watch and plenty of reminiscing to be done, so grab a glass, some falafel and enjoy the spectacle!

That’s it from us really – as mentioned we are still very busy doing deliveries and very happy to continue driving around but should you wish to come and have a browse then we are open from 4pm-7pm Monday to Friday and 2pm-5pm on Saturday.

Can I have my glass of wine now, please?

What have you learnt

Friday, June 19th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

What did we learn this week? Well, it seems a number of you have missed us, we opened the door at 4pm on Tuesday and were hard at it all the way to closing at 7pm. Yes, you read that correctly, we have opened the shop again. Rest assured we’ll be continuing with the delivery service but for those of you who prefer to have a chat at our place we’re open Mon-Fri 4-7pm and Saturday 2-5pm. We have sanitiser that we’d like you to use when you arrive and have space for two of you at a time. This will be reviewed in line with Government guidance, or if Marcus Rashford gets involved.

We learnt that our nation’s representations abroad will appear in a very different way in the future, with the announcement that Department for International Development is to be merged with/into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. I don’t know about you but we find all this back of the fag packet governing slightly alarming.

We’ve learnt that we’re down to Level 3 which will involve a gradual easing of restrictions. We’ll all have to keep washing our hands though, there’s still something unpleasant lurking in the corners. We might be able to go for a swim in the Lido soon, or even get a haircut!

As we bid adieu to Dame Vera Lynn we learned that in 1985 two pounds fifty pence would have bought you entry to a concert at the Crystal Palace Bowl. This anti-heroin concert featured Hawkwind, Lemmy from Motorhead, and Dame Vera Lynn! So many things I feel I missed out on in the 80’s!

We learnt that many, many more companies than we imagined have historical links to slavery even, it would appear, The Guardian, which must be a little uncomfortable for them. Any time traveller will tell you that history cannot be tinkered with, you just need to be sure to learn from it.

On the sport front, our first surprise was learning that Premiership football without crowds is just as dull and boring as its German equivalent proved to be several weeks ago. We followed that up with the shocking discovery that cyclists who plan to race in the Tour de France at the end of August have started ramping up their training. Surely the headline writer didn’t think that they just set the alarm a bit earlier on the first day! We also learnt that if you have some spare cash floating about there are a couple of Formula 1 teams on the market – if you do take the plunge, don’t have Paddy McGuiness as a driver!

So that’s our home-schooling for the week covered, what have you all been up to? Seems Dominic Raab has been misreading Game of Thrones and the Downing Street Jag driver has signed up for some lessons with BSM.

On the wine front, it does appear that rosé season is gaining some steam but we thought we’d mention that the Desjacques Sauvignon Blanc has finally landed, dragging on its coattails a fresh stock of the wonderful Cremant de Loire Rosé.

I think that’s it from us this week, do pop in and see us Mon-Fri 4-7pm and Sat 2-5pm, we will review hours as we move forward.

Prefer us to deliver? As before, send us an email to with an idea of what you’d like and a budget and we’ll bring a box to your doorstep!


Friday, June 12th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

So, what have you got planned for the weekend?  If like many of us you persuaded your parents last night that a trial separation was worth a pop, you’ve now got your Mum living in your spare bedroom and as a side effect can now go and visit your Dad at his house because, you know, he’s on his own.  Your Dad thinks this new found freedom is amazing, your Mum is delighted to be able to spend more time with the grandchildren whilst you, you’ve never been keener to get back to the office.  Granny can now take two of the kids to the zoo, via the bookies, whilst your eldest is still going to school, finishing up year 6 two metres away from everyone else and wondering why she’s not at Whipsnade…

But of course, none of this is true because we can’t do any of this yet.  Rather than implementing something overnight, with the exception of lockdown, every new ‘relaxation’ or ‘guideline’ has a spurious start date in a spurious attempt to show us who’s in charge.  Support bubbles can start from tomorrow – why not yesterday?  Facemasks on public transport from next Monday, decided on the 4th June – why the wait?  Dentists went back to work last week, yet opticians and hairdressers are still shut?  Quarantine when arriving from abroad?  It’s all about control of course, seemingly less about that much vaunted common sense.

And we need to get the pubs open, if not for ourselves, then at least for our kids.  A reported 82% drop in beer sales during the coronavirus crisis has pushed a lot of breweries close to the wall and has, as an unforeseen consequence, impacted Marmite production.  No beer being brewed, no brewers yeast, no Marmite.  So, let’s get back in the pub and keep the breakfast soldiers marching!

And we need to get the pubs open because the football’s coming back.  Fresh from their lockdown indiscretions, the Premiership’s finest start back in their day jobs next Wednesday for a helter skelter ride until 26th July – 92 games in 40 days, it’s like the baseball but without the knickerbockers!  Elsewhere, in athletics, we learn that the 2022 Commonwealth Games which is taking place in Birmingham will now start 24 hours later than scheduled, due to coronavirus.  Well, that’s just thrown all my plans for 2022 into total disarray!

Wine meanwhile persists within its own bubble.  And within that bubble even, there exists a bubble with even more rarefied air and that is the bubble containing the Bordeaux En Primeur campaign. 

Against various trade rumblings that the campaign would be better served by being suspended this year, that in fact it was a bit tasteless even, a number of houses have released their wines onto the market at prices 15-30% less than the 2018 vintage.  2019 looks to be a decent vintage too, not at the level of 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015 or 2016 but decent nonetheless.  It was a hot vintage, lots of concentration and power potentially but with small yields – if you fancy some claret at a better price than recent year then go for it but don’t lose too much sleep if you decide to give it a miss – after all, as discussed earlier, there’s beer to be drunk!

Away from wine, what about Gin?  Well, for those of you who don’t already know, this Saturday is World Gin Day – I think you know what to do.  It’s also Sewing Machine Day, World Softball Day and International Axe Throwing Day – I think you know what not to do!

So what else to report?  The shop is still not open, despite many knocks on the door followed by queries such as “I saw the closed sign but I was just wondering if you were open?”  I know, never a dull moment round here!  Anyway, yes, we’re not open yet but we very nearly are, next week sometime will most likely see us dip our toes in the pond to see what bites and from there we will take every day as it comes – we won’t be making an announcement, we’ll just open the door very, very, slowly….

So keep placing your orders, we’ve got wine galore, we’ve got beer, we’ve got Gin and its highly spirited colleagues and we’ve got Champagne for those fizz Friday moments too.  If you fancy something for this weekend, fire off a quick response to this email and we’ll get it all delivered by our loyal liveried coachman, Mr Blomfield.

Enjoy your bubbles this weekend, in all senses of the word!

Space, Thunderbirds and Horses

Friday, June 5th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

How is the gardening going? Had any ripe strawberries yet? Our agapanthus look like they’ll soon be in flower and we’ve already used more charcoal than last year!

This week, as with so many lately, we’ve looked back for some inspiration. Working on the basis that if it’s ok for Lineker and Shearer its ok for Blomfield and Roberts, we note that we might normally mention the likelihood of traffic and the thunder of horses hooves around Epsom with the arrival of The Derby. The race has been run at Epsom every year since 1780 with the exception of the two World Wars, when Newmarket muscled in on the action. This year we will discuss it later on, as the race will be held behind closed doors on July 4th – our tips over the years should certainly have been kept behind closed doors!

In 2016, the Euros were about to start in Paris, Rio’s Velodrome had no track and Djokovic had played every day this week in the French Open. In 2018, we took to some very unscientific extrapolation to prove that a glass of wine a day would lead to a return to greatness of British Industry. Clearly, we have just included this item as a shameless self-plug to be invited as experts to the relevant government committee, when the time comes!

There is definitely a feeling of going round and round on the news stories though. As figures were released showing unemployment heading for similar numbers to the 1980’s, three former chancellors come out and say “Unemployment is heading for numbers seen in the 1980’s”. I’m sure we don’t need to point out to you dear reader, only one of these predictors of the screamingly obvious was even an MP in the 1980’s. But if Groundhog Day really needed any proving beyond a picture of Bill Murray, then reading this headline on the BBC website possibly nails it “Ed Davey launches bid for Lib Dem leadership”. To be fair to the man, he’s definitely played the long game! If the question came up in this evenings zoom quiz to name all eleven LibDem MPs, who would get to even four? We probably have better chance of naming the eight James Bond actors.

Whilst we’re on the subject of fictional characters, were any of you a fan of Thunderbirds, Joe 90 or Stingray? There is an absolute treat for you on YouTube, newly filmed too. Check out Nebula 75, should you find the time.

How we got from Lineker to space in such a short email I’ll never know? We’ll push on nonetheless. When we all watched the Space X Dragon dock with the International Space Station orbiting the earth did we reflect do you think? Wayne reflected upon being woken by his dad to see a man step on the moon, whilst Alex reflected upon how small the world is. Do you think Dominic Cummings reflected upon the fact that the International Space Station orbiting at 220 miles above the earth is closer to his house than Durham?

Whilst we seem to have alighted on adventures in driving, news reaches us that F1 is to start up again, beginning in Austria with races on 5th  & 12th July, a quick spin around the Hungaroring on 19th July before a double header at Silverstone on the 2nd and 9th August.  All these races will be behind closed doors, so I wonder who’ll get sprayed with the bubbly at the end.

Now that we’ve arrived at fast cars and closed doors, it seems a suitable time for a reminder that we are still operating as a closed shop (not in a union sense!). Send us an email to with an idea of what you’d like, and your budget and we’ll get back to you with some suitable suggestions, pop them in the Volvo and bring them to your doorstep. 

We have been pushing on getting the shop more welcoming to visitors but aren’t quite ready yet. We’re still not quite sure how keen we are to open if we’re honest, we know some of you would like us to, and some not. The problem for us is that we have been operating as a self-contained bubble but once we open again that bubble is burst and then if one of us becomes ill, we will have to close completely for two weeks. Currently, we envisage opening initially for limited hours, with only two customers in the shop at any time. We would like everybody to use of hand sanitiser on entry to the shop to ensure everyone has as safe a shopping experience as possible. If you have any feedback, advice, or thoughts on this we would love to hear from you.

Well that’s probably enough from us for this week, we’ve discussed horse races and car races but don’t really feel qualified to comment on this week’s other race news except to say there is but one.