Archive for April, 2021

Volvo Hiccups, Chardonnay and ‘Where’s the Southern Comfort?’

Friday, April 9th, 2021

Fellow Wine Lovers,

What a week we’ve had. Sunshine, snow and rain have all featured, neither of us knows what to wear, should we open the door, put a sweater on, open a window and that’s before we’ve even considered what we should wear to the pub garden!

How strange is it going to be having a chat with a mate in real life without a zoom backdrop of the British Library and constantly cutting off one another’s words?

The Volvo had a hiccup but has a brand new shiny suspension bit and is making much less noise now. Back on the road again!

In a brief roundup of other stuff, Myanmar’s coup d’etat reached the streets of London this week when the Ambassador, Kyaw Zwar Minn, was locked out of the embassy.

In Italy, the government has finally done the right thing by Venice and issued a decree that the 700 ginormous cruise ships will no longer be able to enter the lagoon the way they have. They will now follow the canal like commercial ships and disembark their passengers at the far end of the lagoon. An important step in the preservation of Venice we think, let’s hope it holds!

There has been nightly petrol-bombing all week in Northern Ireland in sectarian violence of the like we’ve not seen in years. Why it’s taken 5 days to get to the newspapers we’ve no idea, but frankly it needs to stop, so if matron could drag some politicians by their ears and get them around the table to start talking, it might not be a bad idea.

In real sports, Mark Cavendish found himself on the podium again on Wednesday taking 3rd place at the Schelderprijs. Paris-Roubaix scheduled for the weekend is now postponed.

Saturday sees the Grand National at 5.15pm. The favourite seems to be Cloth Cap but will Tom Scudamore whippet across the line in front of Minella Times? Given that’s the mount of Rachel Blackmore who hogged the winners step at Cheltenham this year we’re not so sure. Wayne suggests a small each way on Discorama but his reasoning seems to be that it sounds like an ‘80’s nightclub plus he had a shocker at Cheltenham so do with that what you will. Alex has been talking about Speith but that might be in the golf!

We’ve had some new wine show up on the doorstep lately, along with the return of a few old favourites. On the new front, we’d mention Flametree Chardonnay 2019 (£18.99) one of Decanter’s Wines of the Year in their February issue and a real delight. We also have a new champagne, Andre Robert Les Jardins du Mesnil (£47) is a captivating Blanc de Blancs all from Grand Cru vineyards. Aged for five years on the lees it’s a stunning example of the style that you all know we both love. Whilst I’m shooting the breeze about bubbles I’d just mention that we have some Bolney Estate  Classic Cuvee (£28.99) chilling in the fridge.

On the old favourite’s front, we are freshly restocked with Collequieto Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (£10.99) a cracking everyday drinker for those that haven’t tried it, dark berry fruits soft tannins and versatile on the food front.

Finally we’d like to raise a glass to Prince Philip using his words to the US Ambassador in 1999 “Where’s the Southern Comfort?”

Melagiu Diena!

Thursday, April 1st, 2021

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Just a quickie this week and a day early, too – judging from sales this week, I can see how eager you all are to get out into those gardens and pop some corks, so I shan’t dally!

First up, opening hours.

This bank holiday weekend is a funny one, usually it’s just me and the man from Dalchini playing dominoes in the middle of the street as you all evacuate to bonnier climes far, far away.  This year however, is different and as a consequence of you all staying around, domino tournaments are suspended until May.  In the meantime, I thought I’d let you know when we’ll be open:

Today, Thursday 1st April – now until 7pm

Friday 2nd April – 12pm – 3pm – a short day just in case you need a bottle for lunchtime

Saturday 3rd April – 12pm – 6pm – plenty of time to stock up before we close for 2 days

Sunday 4th April/Monday 5th April – CLOSED

Tuesday 6th April – Back to ‘normal’…

Just as a memo to all this, I shan’t be able to make any deliveries on Friday due to the fact that the Volvo is a bit poorly and also Wayne is going to be busy at home with his latest side project.

After an umpteen of years talking about it he has finally got round to making his own wine, a red wine made exclusively from white grapes.  Key to the blend are Muskat Alarff, Tsallalie and the Lithuanian grape Melagiu Diena.  How he has managed to get the white wine grapes to produce red wine is a mystery to me but I imagine it must have to do with the prevalence of cochineal bugs, imported from Mexico to his vineyard in Balham that are accidentally crushed in the picking process (see, it’s really nigh on impossible to get a 100% vegan wine!).  Anyway, a red wine from white grapes named Red Wayne 20/20 – perfect for the Italian seasonal speciality Pesce d’Aprile…

Gibberish.

Anyway, I said this would be short and sweet, so let’s make it so.  Let’s also make it an email that doesn’t contain serious reference to Covid, bike racing, cricket or rugby, politics or European vaccine policy…

And with that, I’m gone – have a wonderful Easter break and let’s all hope it doesn’t snow on your garden parties!