Archive for July, 2020

Stonehenge Mystery Sorted!

Friday, July 31st, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

As bowling alleys stay shut and blackjack is off the table, it seems to me that Stonehenge has got it all going on again lately. No sooner had we joked about the best photos of it being from the traffic jam on the A303, than we received one! Fast forward a few days and the entire archaeological community is agog with the discovery, finally, that the standy uppy stones (Sarsens, but not as in vinegar!) come from just up the road in West Woods about 15 miles away. Now call me old fashioned but I suspect that definitely rules out any chance of a by-pass!

Trumpolina seems to have noticed that he isn’t doing as well as he’d like in the upcoming Presidential elections. He has suggested that the election is delayed because of the enormous risk of voter fraud in postal ballots that will be held in some states. I believe the words used were in fact: “most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history”. There is no evidence to back this up over the many elections held thus far in the USA. It made us wonder if he has a new plan but more than anything it made us think of the term brass necked!

Big news of the week though is actually relevant to all of us in this Weekly Wine bubble. As you know, we’ve been using the Volvo’s impressive turning circle to good effect the last few months. Delivering wine and chatting on distanced doorsteps we have found that many of you have been concerned that you’ve been drinking rather more than usual. We tried to offer some comfort by suggesting that it was the one stop recycling that was the issue.

Well the data is in folks, and frankly, it looks like you’ve not been pulling your weight! We’ve consumed, as a nation, 1.3 billion litres of alcohol, DOWN from 2 billion litres for the same period last year. I’ll pass you over to Gemma Cooper senior client business partner at Nielson for comment: “While there is a perception that lockdown has been a boozy one and that we’re consuming more alcohol than normal, this is far from the case. Without being able to go out or socialise with others during the peak of the pandemic, and no access to dine-in pubs or restaurants, we have seen a natural decline in alcohol consumption even as at-home drinking increased.”  So there, you’ve all been good really!

On the sports front the Saudi-led consortium has declined to buy Newcastle from Mike Ashley. Surely, I can’t be the only one who thought of the News of the World’s Fake Sheik during the entire business? Fresh from defeating the West Indies in the test series, England also beat Ireland by 6 wickets in the One Day International. In proper sports news, bike racing has started again, with Remco Evenepoel in the lead at the Vuelta Burgos. The British Grand Prix is this weekend too.

Now we’ll continue our virtual holiday by wine, with this week’s Spaniard now in quarantine we find ourselves alighting in Crete. It is a fabulous place to holiday, with mountains, beaches, ancient ruins, great food and some fabulous wines.

Domaine Lyrarakis Voila Assyrtiko 2019, Crete, Greece – £14.99

Located in the mountainous commune of Alagni, Domaine Lyrarakis stays true to local winemaking traditions.  The domaine focuses on indigenous varieties, taking them from obscurity and driving them in a more modern direction, while still retaining a clear sense of place.  Its style focuses on pure varietal character, precision and supple texture.  The Assyrtiko is an exemplary wine, grown at 580 metres’ altitude in the Voila vineyard.  There is a definite floral character, refreshing minerality and chalky texture to this delicious wine that marries well with all forms of seafood, as you might expect from a producer surrounded by sea!

Enjoy the sunshine!

Swimmers, Mask and a Corkscrew

Friday, July 24th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

I found the dictionary was left open after last week’s email. Someone had clearly been leafing through though, as it was open at Tin Pot Dictator, “An autocratic ruler with little political credibility and delusions of grandeur”, since you ask.

That got us thinking, and chatting in fact, about the parallels between decades in different countries and poor leadership. Before you could say ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ the army had been called in!  If you’d like to play this game at home, read some news reports of Tiananmen Square from 1989 and compare them to reports from Portland Oregon this week!

In domestic politics we finally had the long delayed report into Russian election meddling. It seems it found no evidence of meddling, mostly because it didn’t look for any. I can’t be the only person who imagined a Police Squad/Naked Gun style script to this? A team of MI5 agents with magnifying glasses walking through several offices staffed with Rosa Klebb look-a-likes and a sign that says “Nothing to see here!” “Здесь нечего смотреть”.

Fed up with Nicola Sturgeon making him look foolish from afar, Boris this week visited Scotland so he could experience it at closer hand. He’s visited Orkney to announce some funding for the islands, but we all know he was really there to stock up on hand dived scallops, Bere Bannocks, and a couple of North Ronaldsay sheep to be delivered to Chequers for the barbecue. Perhaps even a case of each of the local whiskies for the bar at Downing Street.

Whilst he was busy with his shopping, Nicola Sturgeon suggested that the prime minister’s visit to Scotland “highlighted the argument for Scottish independence”. I suspect a chicken crossing the road would have the same significance if you’re in charge of the SNP!

So, normally this time of the year we’d be talking about the big getaway, making jokes about how the best place to photograph Stonehenge is from the traffic jam on the A303. This year we’re not sure, are you all going away? We don’t know whether to have the Southwold shuffle chat, the wrong way up jam and cream tea chat, or a pint at The Ship at Mousehole anecdote?  Perhaps a staycation has us all on the common outside the Hand in Hand playing crab football, or booking a shed at the Pig & Whistle?

Perhaps we’ll have a virtual holiday by wine. This week we’ll start in Provence where the sun shines, the cycling is fabulous and the wine cold and pale pink!

Chateau de l’Aumerade ‘Cuvée Marie Christine’ (£14.99) Cru Classé, Côtes de Provence has been owned by the Fabre family since 1932. Based in Perrefeu-du-Var, they were one of the first estates to bottle their own wine and champion the regions wines. They overhauled the chateau and were awarded the Cru Classé in 1955 and are to this day one of only 18 estates to be able to claim this revered quality status. The wine itself is our bestselling wine most years and is a crisp, dry and elegant blend of Cinsault (35%), Grenache (35%) and Syrah (30%). Very pale in the glass with notes of pink grapefruit and a palate that seems to blend delicate white peach flesh with dried raspberry and a long crisp finish.

So, wherever you’re planning to be for the next few weeks don’t forget to pack a corkscrew and some suntan lotion.

Oh and your swimmers, maybe a sunhat, a mask and perhaps your wellies!

Same Hymn Sheet

Friday, July 17th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Another week, filled with its own challenges like many that we have experienced recently.  Events of the week have resulted in dictionary consultations on more than one occasion, just to check that we hadn’t been misled at school.  Some examples are:  

Joined up thinking – thinking about a complicated problem in an intelligent way that includes all the important facts.

To think outside the box – to explore ideas that are creative and unusual and that are not limited or controlled by rules or tradition.

Blue-sky thinking – the activity of trying to find completely new ideas.

Thinking before you speak – an important skill to master for all kinds of situations to improve your relationships with other people and enable you to express yourself in a more effective way and gain trust.

To sing from the same hymn sheet – To have the same understanding of something as someone else; to say the same things about something as other people, especially in public.

Truth – conformity to fact or actuality; a statement proven to be or accepted as true; sincerity; integrity.

Can’t remember what prompted our consultations exactly but I’m sure the names Johnson, Gove and Hancock were nearby – which obviously then led us to look up the meanings of these surnames, since we had the book open. 

Gove apparently relates to one who worked with metals, a smith; or someone who came from Govan, in Lanarkshire; whilst the meaning of Hancock is someone who owns a farm, apparently.

Johnson on the other hand, only has one definition and it would be too vulgar to repeat it here!

But what do we have to worry about – any random unexplained act that Boris gets up to will always get trumped by his pal Donald across the pond.  I imagine you’ve already seen the image but if not you should find the Instagram of the Presidential QVC-like debut, promoting Goya products.  Looking like the least trustworthy 70’s car salesman/newsreader he posed in the Oval Office surrounded by Goya Red Kidney Beans, White Hominy Corn, Goya Adobo All-Purpose Seasoning, Goya Coconut Milk, and Goya Chocolate Wafers.  All this a day after Ivanka posed with Goya beans on twitter – bonkers.

Yes, Donald Trump is still the President of the United States and has Sole Authority and when you’ve got that power you don’t have to explain yourself to anybody…

We are then reminded about how great the internet, the world wide web and social media are in a variety of different headlines:

Russian cyber spies attempting to steal vaccine research from Britain, US and Canada (Sky)

‘Almost certain’ Russians sought to interfere in 2019 UK election – Raab (BBC)

Twitter hack: Bitcoin scam targets Elon Musk, Joe Biden and Barack Obama (The Telegraph)

Blimey, it’s a rollercoaster.


I think I have now prevaricated enough and need to return to where we started, with the varied definitions of truth and hymn sheets.  Last Sunday, for one of the first if not the first time, Mr Johnson was seen in shop wearing a facemask.  Quite why England’s second most famous Covid victim (yep, Dominic still tops it here) saw fit to suddenly wear a mask seemed a bit odd to us.  Had he read some new research?  Unlikely, given his reputation for reading.  Had he got the virus again?  Surely not because if so he would have been at home, right.  Had he got a lovebite?  Hard to rule out.  Had enough pressure come to bear that he now had decided the time to wear masks in shops was nigh?  Hmmm….

And by the end of Monday, we knew the answer.  As of next Friday it will be compulsory to wear masks in all shops – however don’t feel like you have to wait until then, we might as well all start getting used to it because it’s going to be months and months before this decision gets reversed and we really don’t want you to stop coming to see us – unless of course you’re a shoplifter!

Otherwise, nothing much else to report – we’re open 4pm-7pm during the week, 2pm – 6pm on Saturday and closed on Sunday.  We are still doing plenty of deliveries so please, if your mask is in the wash and you’re desperate for wine don’t hesitate to get in touch!

And that, my friends, is that.  Another week done, it’s Friday night, fizz night and hopefully we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet!

¡Hasta luego!

Camping, Fanfare, Time For a Beer!

Friday, July 10th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

I write to you today from the ‘sunny’ south coast where I am spending a couple of days under the cover of canvas, listening to the gentle pitter patter of drizzle on the flysheet and wondering when is a reasonable time to open a beer.  It’s our annual trip, a chance to catch up with each other after a hectic school year, to see what we’ve all been up to and to spend some proper family time, without TikTok.  Except there has been no dearth of family time over the last few months, I have never been so excruciatingly up-to-date with my teenage children and their idiosyncracies whilst my wife has started cycling into work even though she can more fruitfully work from home, just to get away… 

But we’re out of London and actually, that is the most important thing.  Leaving the environs of SW19 and venturing further than Leatherhead was enough of an adventure; for those of you who are yet to embark on such an odyssey, sadly the M25 is still there.  The middle lane is still the place to travel at 50mph; the inside lane is, I believe, there for purely decorative purposes and doesn’t carry traffic, whilst the outside lane is for nutters who want to travel at 70 and enrage the middle lane tut-tutters.

Anyway we’ve got here, tent up, wood chopped, dog tethered, 2 arguments down and already we’re having fun – is now not a reasonable time to open a beer?

Meanwhile, back in the smoke, it’s been quite a week.  Well actually, not really different from any other of late.  Test cricket came back and with it the rain clouds on day one followed by a total collapse on day two – have we really been missing this?  The Ryder Cup has been postponed and the Epsom Derby managed to sneak under our binoculars last Saturday.  Rosé sales are still buoyant, barbecuing is still a thing and the Volvo is still circling the grid on a regular basis.

And, with much fanfare, pubs opened last weekend, although actually a lot of them didn’t.  Likewise restaurants but not all of them.  We were intrigued to watch our Chancellor dishing out meals at Wagamama’s on Wednesday, without following face mask guidelines – a very Cummingsian/Trumpian approach.  Indeed, none of the staff had any masks on so, certainly not for the first time in recent history, we’re all a bit confused as to what is correct form.

This all followed Rishi’s announcement of more money from his magic money tree.  I can only hope that the nurse who asked Theresa May for a pay-rise 3 years ago and was told there was no such tree has written a letter to Mr Sunak….

The most entertainment has probably come from across the pond as Mr K West reiterates his intention to run for President of the United States.  His party will be called The Birthday Party and he would be running against his pal Donny T but what the hell, why not get yourself on the front page of all the papers once again, tantalise us with the jaw-dropping prospect of a Kardashian FLOTUS, even if it is all just a clever joke

In other, definitely unrelated news, ‘Wash Us in the Blood’, the new single from Kanye was ‘dropped’ last week.

And finally we can all get our nails done and our eyebrows threaded.  And then go to the gym and then for a swim, as long as we don’t do the butterfly, whilst showing off our freshly inked body art.  The latest round of venues allowed to re-open has been announced, and hooray for that, when you read on the other page that Boots and John Lewis are the latest to announce sweeping job cuts.  We find Boot’s a bit of an odd one, being that they were allowed to be open – whilst not functioning at full capacity, agreed – it just goes to show how much of their turnover derives from all those sandwiches and bottles of water they sell.

That’s it from us – the shop is open from 4-7pm today and from 2-5pm tomorrow, to give Wayne enough chance to do all those deliveries you’ll be asking for – sunshine is on its way back and we have plenty of Rosé on board, just so you know!

Surely now it’s a reasonable time to open a beer?

Flying, McFly and Flight Risk

Friday, July 3rd, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

So there has been quite a lot going on this past week. The British police have hacked into ‘Encrochat’, an encrypted phone network used solely by the criminal fraternity. As a result some £54million, 77 firearms, a couple of tons of drugs, high-end cars and luxury watches have all  been seized as well as more than seven hundred crims nicked. A result for the Police and a bunch of Mr & Mrs Big’s cursing using Huawei for their private network!

China has abandoned any pretence of being an honourable state actor on the International stage, threatening imprisonment for any Hong Kong citizen caught implying less than I’ve just written.  As a direct result, the US has applied sanctions and the UK has honoured plans to allow a citizenship pathway for nearly 2.9 million Hong Kong Citizens.

Whilst we’re busy trashing democracy, it could be mentioned that a poll that allows Putin to stay in power until 2036 “may have been rigged” but we’re not sure anyone would hold the front page for that one.

It looks like we may well be able to go on holiday as the Government looks set to relax travel restrictions to around 90 countries. All I would say is check the regulations for your destination, as many countries have their own separate regulations. You can fly to Australia but there’s no guarantee you’ll get in, and we’re not sure if Hong Kong or Russia are on the list but, as always, you pays your money and makes your choice!

News also reaches us that the FBI has arrested Ghislaine Maxwell in charges relating to Epstein. Despite offering three times Prince Andrew still hasn’t made it to a New York Pizza joint, so we’re certain that the sweat on his brow is from a Click and Collect Romano Diavolo from that lovely place in Woking, and no other reason whatsoever.

On the sport front both Arsenal and West Ham have finally found teams they can beat, West Ham’s was the more surprising. Elsewhere, Wimbledon isn’t happening but on TV last night we witnessed a rather young looking Pete Sampras and we can definitely recommend strawberries lately.

Big news on the music front this week, McFly have just signed their first record deal in ten years.  We were certainly surprised to find it was 7 years ago that ‘Love Is On The Radio’ was released but it wasn’t us that tweeted ‘McFly have just saved 2020’ – we never go in for such hyperbole.  In other music news, The Rolling Stones and Panic! At The Disco have both told Trump to stop using their music at his rallies. A happy 75th birthday to Debbie Harry, seems a long time since Sunday Girl!

In wine news, fraud is being investigated in both Spain and Italy. In Spain it seems unscrupulous large wineries in Valdepeñas may have been selling millions of litres of wine labelled as higher quality and more aged than it might have been. Whilst in Italy bulk wine has been refilled into original bottles collected from restaurants and then sold in online auctions. The Italian one sounds rather like a film we saw on Netflix! Neither are particularly new frauds but then neither is a pyramid scheme I guess.

According to National Geographic rosé is the thing we should all be drinking and judging by the boxes we’ve been delivering, you lovely lot could have been their case study!

Talking of delivering we still are, so if you’d like us to bring wine to you email us: and we’ll do the honours. If you prefer to come to the shop we’re open 4-7pm Monday to Friday and 2-5pm on Saturday.