Archive for December, 2020

We’ve Started, So We’ll Finish

Thursday, December 31st, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Looking back over the last year there seem to be a fair few surprises in our commentary. Our longer suffering readers will not be surprised to discover there was actually rather little discussion of wine along the way; it seems to appear almost as an occasional guest.

We started in January with Terry Wogan, Guy Fawkes, John Lydon and Justin Timberlake. The first and last guests there surprise me even as I type this; the middle two have appeared in several Weekly Wines.

February found us musing over horse sized ducks. Aside from the sheer volume of pancakes and hoisin sauce that would be needed, what were we chatting about?

March found a lockdown and the chance to learn Arapaho or grow a mullet. Sadly, the mullet was what most people seemed to view as the successful takeaway!

April found us musing on Tommy Cooper, a theme we returned to yesterday in the shop with a customer.

May found the sunshine, Kylie Minogue’s wine, and news that alcohol sales may take four years to recover. Draught beer was also a revelation, even from a plastic glass, as the Pig & Whistle indulged us in a takeaway service.

June showed up and found us channelling Aesop, which I have to say would surprise most teachers at both of our schools. Otherwise, many of us watched a history of Glastonbury performances over the years courtesy of the Beeb’s virtual festival. No mud in the cider was nice!

By July we found a nation that had drunk 700 million litres less alcohol than the previous year, cycle racing starting again and England beating the West Indies in the cricket.

August found Alex in very unfamiliar territory, Wimbledon Park. He no longer believes Wayne’s assertion that everyone leaves for August. Aside from that we all Ate Out To Help Out.

September held the discovery that we weren’t really helping when we ate out. We also managed to go to our first wine tasting since January; it was also our last one of the year.

October held the Yardbirds, David Bowie and Marcus Rashford up for attention, along with the discovery of a new planet. Cycle racing at this stage was breathtakingly exciting as the Giro and Vuelta overlapped.

November found Trumpolina lose the US election, a chat about whisky, rum and the St Andrews Day connections. Guy Fawkes Night seemed to last for 30 nights.

December is where we will say goodbye to 2020 this very evening. I’m sure many will be glad to see the back of it but along the way, aside from our nonsense, people have got engaged or married, babies have been born, new houses have become new homes and, unusually, Spurs had a couple of days at the top of the Premiership.

We will be shut until next Thursday, 7th January and, with the news that home schooling is returning, we expect you might need a drink by then!

In the meantime, we’ll be raising a glass to all of you for your support, all of the hospital staff and carers who could really do with a day off and to 2021, which will surely be here tomorrow!


Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 24th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

We’re nearly there, the champagne is in the fridge, the dinner has been improvised and Love Actually has been on the telly.

Even more incredibly, it is now past one o’clock on Christmas Eve and neither of us have heard ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ by Slade yet.

Anyway, we’re here till 5pm today and will then be back on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week Noon-6pm.

We’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas, to say thank you for all your good wishes, support and good humour.


Wayne & Alex

Christmas Shopping List

Friday, December 18th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Seven more sleeps and we’ll be there!  Where exactly, I’m not sure – most likely here as we can’t go anywhere else…

Start again, Alex and try to sound more positive.

Seven more sleeps and we’ll be there!  Having shed our Tiers on Wednesday we will all have travelled to far off parts of the UK to bring our newly mutated London virus to the masses…

Start again…

Seven more sleeps and we’ll be there!  Having submitted to the cack-handed ‘divide and conquer’ strategy employed by the powers that be we will, in order to maintain a safe Christmas bauble, rank our friends and family on a sliding scale of how important they are to us.  Do I see my sister or my mum?  But my sister doesn’t want to see me however my Mum does.  Do I really have to go and see Uncle Bob, isn’t this a great opportunity to swerve his salty anecdotes?  And so family and friends are closely evaluated as we decide who we would save first, should the boat go down, and who we would leave to swim – no chance at all of any arguments or families falling out over this!

And again…

Seven more sleeps and we’ll be there!  But not for long please and with the window open whilst wearing a mask and don’t touch each other please and certainly don’t stay the night!  I can already see the headlines as various MP’s and Rita Ora apologise for ‘misunderstanding’ the rules….

Last chance…

Seven more sleeps and we’ll be there!  We’ve had a tough year, there are undoubtedly tougher times ahead, enjoy your Christmas, be sensible, turn off all news broadcasts from the 23rd through to 27th December and raise a glass to absent friends and happy times.  Like a tousle haired Jose Mourinho, Boris has his masterplan, has told us what to do and what his game plan is and now he just needs to sit up (and shut up) in the stands and leave us alone to get on with it on the pitch…

Far better

So, yep, by this time next week I will have consumed, hopefully, half a bottle of Champagne and 37 smoked salmon sandwiches whilst unwrapping the inevitable Everest of gifts that confront me.  I will be safe in the knowledge that I don’t need to go anywhere for 3 days and that there is more food in the house than we would usually eat in a fortnight.  Oh, and enough wine to keep Peter Langan going for at least an afternoon….

The question is, whilst I will have enough liquid supplies, will you?

Here’s my shopping list, if it helps:


Lété-Vautrain Brut 204 NV £30

Canard-Duchêne Cuvée Léonie NV £30.99

Lété-Vautrain Grand Millesime 2012 £35

Joseph Perrier Cuvée Royale Brut NV £36.99

Canard Duchêne Charles VII Blanc de Blancs NV £40

Tarlant Brut Nature NV £45

Delavenne Père et Fils Grand Cru Brut Rosé NV £45

Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut NV £48

Collet Brut 2008 £50

Moutard ‘6 Cépages’ 2009/10 £53

Joseph Perrier Cuvée Royale 2008 £70

Thienot Cuvée Alain 2007 £90

Bollinger La Grande Année 2012 £112

Billecart Salmon Cuvée Nicolas-Francois 2002 £150


Greywacke Sauvignon 2019, Marlborough £41


Lopez de Haro 2017, Rioja Crianza £25

Château de Paraza 2016, Minervois £30

Meerlust Red 2014, Stellenbosch £30

Filus Malbec 2016, Mendoza £32

La Côte Sauvage 2016, Cairanne £34

Château La Grave 2016, Médoc £38

Saransot Dupré 2015, Listrac-Médoc £46

Domaine Treloar Tahi 2010, Roussillon £50

The Chocolate Block 2019, Franschhoek £50

Valenciso Rioja Reserva 2009/11 £52

Meerlust Rubicon 2014, Stellenbosch £58


Krohn Ambassadors Ruby £11.99

Kopke Fine White Port £15.99

Krohn LBV 2013 £18.99

Quinta de Val da Figueira 10 year old Tawny £26.99

Smith Woodhouse Madalena 2005 £29.99

Krohn Colheita 1999 £34.99

Krohn Colheita 1982 £60

Porto Ramos Pinto 2000 £70

Taylors 1985 Vintage Port £85

Taylors/Fonseca/Croft Vintage 2016 Trio Gift Box £255

And then, for the mince pies, Foxdenton Estate Christmas Liqueur £20 just to help me nap…

So, that’s my list, there are of course other wines available, I haven’t even talked about Whisky but, rest assured, we have some.

Anyway, it may have come to your attention that there are only seven sleeps until Christmas.  We won’t be sleeping so much though, our hammocks are slung up in the cellar already and our opening hours up until the January will be:









Plenty of opportunity there to come and see us – pop in tomorrow and we might even have some wine open too!

Stay strong….

Breakdancing, Champagne and Christmas Opening Hours

Friday, December 11th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Here we are again; another Friday has crept up on us almost before we’ve finished the last one.  With time flying along like this, those 14 days to Christmas Day are going to flash by. So, how was your week?

We’re both glad we haven’t booked our holiday in space yet after a SpaceX rocket that exploded on landing was viewed as a success. We feel we’d like a softer landing than a controlled descent ending in a fireball and are beginning to think that Thunderbirds and Space 1999 made it all look a bit easier than it’s turning out to be.

On the Brexit front, despite all the radio ads warning all businesses to be ready it appears the Oven Ready deal is still lacking some of the ingredients. The baking powder is lost in Felixstowe in an unmarked container that may or may not have been unloaded or accidentally shipped off on the wrong ship. The fishermen are still all at sea over the John Dory, and Boris has dashed off on a charm offensive for dinner with Ursula von der Leyen. We’ve learnt, rather amusingly, that he ate fish but it’s not clear whose waters they came from. He has now returned to his happy place in the fridge leaving Carrie to carry on running the country.

We’re not talking about last week’s football for obvious reasons. We thought we might mention the Olympics which, under normal circumstances, would have enjoyed many more column inches from us in 2020 than it has. Tokyo has been rescheduled for July 2021 and hot on its heels is Paris in 2024. The Olympic committee has decided that the hot new sport for 2024 will be Breakdance. Now, I don’t want to take anything away from Breakdancers, its fabulous to watch and takes an enormous amount of skill, practice and sheer hard work to be any good at it but is it a sport? I don’t think so; surely the clue is in the name? We don’t have Ballet or the Foxtrot in the Olympics, and, much as it may be entertaining to have Len Goodman on the commentary team, I can’t help but think that perhaps squash or Individual Pursuit in the Velodrome may have been a better fit.

Anyway, we’re here to talk about beverages of some nature or other so how about I start with the information that our deliveries this week contained the following.

Foxdenton Estate Christmas Liqueur – £20

Made with Winslow Plums and a blend of traditional Christmas spices including Ginger, Clove, Cinnamon, and Star Anise, our Christmas Liqueur, is the ideal winter warmer.

All this needs is a mince pie and an open fire. However it is equally at home in a glass of Fizz…..

Champagne Tarlant Brut Nature (£45) has had a bit of a revamp and I know a few of you are big fans of its long aged style. This is based on the 2012 vintage (fantastic in Champagne) and aged for six years we could only get a small amount this year.

Bollinger Grand Année 2012 (£112) just arrived too, and, having hit The Wine Spectators Top 100 wines at number nine, won’t be around for long.

The final wine for the Christmas cases that we mentioned last week has eventually managed to negotiate its way through the ports chaos and arrive here in SW19. So, we’re now good to go with those too. More on that wine below…

Our house champagne Lété-Vautrain Brut 204 (£30) has definitely gained a loyal following and its worth mentioning that we’re still offering 3 bottles for £75.












Tasting This Weekend

Well it’s a long time since we’ve typed that. We have looked at it long and hard, the glasses are all dish-washed and we’ll remove them from the box with sanitised hands. We can’t allow you to spit, but thought it would be really nice to offer something to taste.

So on Saturday we’ll open the Christmas Liqueur clearly and also Sylvain Dussort Cuvee des Ormes 2018(£21.99) a cracking white Burgundy from Meursault very much in that style without the price tag. It is the estates flagship wine from vines between 35 and 60 years old and aged for 12 months on its lees in barrels before 16-18 months age in the bottle.

For good measure we’ll also pull a cork on the red that’s been hiding out at Tilbury causing all the trouble. From the Loire Valley, Antoine de la Farge L’Enfant Rebelle 2019 (£15.99) is a storming Pinot Noir with a bit more oomph than we’re used to from that area. Antoine has taken over the family estate in Menetou Salon, but also produces some wines under his own name. These wines are produced on a small scale and with great care, everything is picked by hand and fermentations happen naturally. The wines are made in stainless steel to emphasise their purity and freshness. You’ll experience that here, pure plum and cherry fruit, a touch of undergrowth and some fine tannins.

So come and see us, email if you’d like a delivery, pop in for a taste.


Wayne & Alex

Ten Years On – Happy Birthday to Us

Friday, December 4th, 2020

Fellow Wine Lovers,

I’m not going to lie, we’re quite proud of ourselves today.

Yesterday, December 3rd, we at Park Vintners celebrated our 10th Birthday.  Yea, I know right, a miracle!  That means for the last decade, whilst we have slowly decayed (been waiting  a long 10 years for that joke), you have all been helping us to survive, earn a crust and hopefully enjoy a glass of wine or two at our recommendation.  So, thank you, thank you, thank you… the good news, we think, is that we have signed our lease for another 10 years, giving you all the opportunity to enjoy at least a couple more of our vinous offerings.

Reflecting on our opening in 2010, we recall that we had snow on the ground and that at points during that week the slope down to the roundabout on Arthur Road was more ski run than rat run.  We remember the Porsche 911 that tried to summit this slope but only succeeded in drifting slowly back down the hill in a flurry of spinning wheels and impending doom.  Happily, the tyres gripped and the car ground to a halt before it redecorated Arthur House. 

With all this weather going on, we were very surprised that anyone ventured out to see us at 5pm on that cold Friday. 

The most obvious no-show was the lady who had told us that we were evil for going into competition with Wine Rack and Coop because they had been there for ages and who were we to challenge them.  Also, the chap who kindly told us, without actually crossing the shop threshold, that we were too expensive and how he would be gobsmacked if we survived – no, he didn’t come either.  A couple of our suppliers turned up with bottles of Champagne; our wives turned up, with Pavlovian predictability, at the sound of popping corks; my children got busy decorating the window with dummy Christmas presents and then finally at 17.18 Wayne made our first sale.  Given that we had set up as a Wine Merchant it feels only appropriate that the first money we took was for 4 bottles of Sambrook’s Wandle Ale!

But, as evidenced by our anniversary, things got better.  Over the 10 years, flushed with getting the first key sale of our existence, Wayne has continued to thrive as #1 salesman, dominating turnover with a solid 58% of sales.  Handily for Alex, we have a 50/50 business share… plus he also made the first sale yesterday, so the only way is up!

And now we land up here – 4th December 2020 in a very different world. 

A world where the news of a vaccine has created universal celebration even though the majority of us won’t see it for months; a world where Brexit negotiations are still ongoing with less than a month until we leave or in fact 11 months since we should have left – why do I have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach?; a world where we have been told to binge eat in order to be allowed to have a pint; a world where whilst Welsh pubs and restaurants are undergoing a new genre of Prohibition, travel restrictions between Wales and England have been eased, leading to the potential for cross-border drinking trips;  a world where all shops are now allowed to open but all a bit too late for Debenhams (oldest retail chain in the UK), Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Evans, Bonmarche, Peacocks, Jaeger, Edinburgh Woollen Mill and T M Lewin to name just a few of this year’s retail casualties – what will we wear?

With all this in mind, we need to enjoy this Christmas season as much as we can under these restrictions because there might not be so much to celebrate in January!  As many of you will be aware, we do a monthly case club and the December cases are always the most popular both as gifts and for personal use.

We have 3 main offerings this year and these will be ready to go by the middle of next week, a couple of wines have been a bit delayed but we thought we’d give you a quick preview of what we are offering:

£60 – 6 bottle Mixed Case


Mansfield & Marsh NV, Hawkes Bay/Marlborough, New Zealand


Chatelain Desjacques Chardonnay 2017, Val de Loire, France

Deep Roots Riesling Trocken 2019, Rheinhessen, Germany


Barton Rouge 2015, Walker Bay, South Africa

Chateau de Paraza ‘Cuvée Spéciale’ 2017, Minervois, France

Sierra Grande Pinot Noir 2020, Central Valley, Chile

£100 – 6 bottle Mixed Case


Hawkins Bros Brut Reserve, Surrey, England


Domaine Fournillon Chablis 2016, Burgundy, France

Wairau River Pinot Gris 2019, Marlborough, New Zealand


Principe Corsini Le Corti Chianti Classico 2018, Tuscany, Italy

Antoine de la Farge L’Enfant Rebelle Pinot Noir 2019, Loire, France

Bodegas Roda Sela 2016, Rioja, Spain

£100 – 6 bottle Mixed French Reds Case (includes gift box)

Antoine de la Farge L’Enfant Rebelle Pinot Noir 2019, Loire

Chateau Cardinal 2016, Montagne-St-Émilion, Bordeaux

Chateau Grandis 2010, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux

Domaine Fournillon Pinot Noir 2018, Bourgogne Epineuil

Domaine Treloar ‘Le Secret’ 2013, Cotes du Roussillon

Le Seigneur du Raveil Vacqueyras 2016, Rhone

All the cases come with relevant tasting notes and offer a better discount than you would normally get off 6 bottles.

I fizz is more what you would like to put in your cup then we still have 6 for 5 on most of our Champagnes and sparklers and the very popular Lété-Vautrain Brut 204 NV – 3 for £75 deal also still stands!

So, I think that’s probably it for this week, Happy Birthday to us and to paraphrase Gavin Williamson, we’re still here whilst Wine Rack and co have gone, mainly thanks to you but also because we’re a much better shop than every single one of them!

Bottoms Up!