Archive for May, 2022

Potato Milk, Pina Colada and One Hundred Fines

Friday, May 13th, 2022

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Firstly, an apology.  Having predicted a lovely weekend in our last missive I was aghast to see rain drops descending gently at 11.30 on Saturday morning.  Thankfully the rain stopped falling but the clouds remained and made for a rather drab Saturday afternoon, so sorry.  We’ll stick to predicting the horses that definitely won’t win their races and avoid dabbling with meteorology in future.

So, we’re now up to 100 fines issued by the Met to those fine folk in Downing Street and its environs.  Plenty has been said about all this already but blimey, that’s a whole bucket load of socialising going on during lockdown whilst you were all stuck at home with fractious husbands/children/dogs and goldfish – bonkers.  All we need now is for Keir and Angela to get a ticket and the wheels may well come off completely.

However, the question on everyone’s lips should be whilst Boris was doing cheese, wine and the occasional cake and Keir was doing beer and curry what was Ed Davey up to?  Pork pie and a pint?  Pina colada and a poke bowl?  Prosecco and twiglets?  I think we should be told…

Whilst we’re on the subject of cocktails, apparently the Pina Colada is now the third most popular cocktail in the UK after Negroni and Mojito.  We learnt this having read the latest Waitrose Drinks Report 2022 which says that classic retro cocktails such as Blue Lagoon, Tequila Sunrise and Mai Tai are back in fashion, with Sangria holding the spot of the most searched for cocktail recipe last summer.  Having read this we further researched and discovered the Pina Colada news in an article in the Guardian from 2 days ago, so it must be true.  Not sure where this leaves us intellectually and as we don’t sell white rum, pineapples or coconut cream it certainly doesn’t help us much commercially either but at least you all now have a conversation starter for this weekend’s dinner party!

Back to the Waitrose report though.  They also revealed their 10 most popular drinks choices currently and as ever the findings don’t create many ripples.  Their most popular drink was their own brand Pinot Grigio, followed by some beers, Prosecco, a cider, then a 10% Sauvignon Blanc from South Australia followed by more beers.  No red wine in the top ten and no rosé either, for the moment!

Mind you, a report published in October last year by these jokers also stated that milk derived from potatoes would be one of 2022’s biggest food trends.  “Low in sugar and saturated fat, it’s set to dominate coffee shop menus in the coming months” the report said.  So there you go, 10% Aussie Sauvignon and potato milk on your next Waitrose order please.

With the world going to hell in a handcart under the combined influences of pandemic and Putin, it’s good to see the worlds of film and football still manage to inhabit that realm between reality and outer space.  The Amber Heard/Johnny Depp court case has been going on for a while and neither party is looking terribly innocent or indeed terribly happy.  Not to be bested, the Vardy/Rooney court case kicked off this week in the High Court, where Rebekah Vardy is suing Coleen Rooney for libel.  Now these two ladies are famous WAGS, I think we all know of the story dubbed Wagatha Christie but what we hadn’t realised the costs involved.  It’s estimated that each side has spent over £1 million on legal costs and that the potential payout would most likely not exceed £40,000.  Oh, and even the winner will have to pay a chunk of her legal costs so actually the only winners are the lawyers!  It’s a car crash but it gives a huge glimpse of what life is like in the bubble that is Premiership Football and once again goes to show that being uber-rich doesn’t necessarily make you are a terribly nice person!

Anyway, we shouldn’t go off at the deep end about all this, we should just be thankful for what we’ve got.  In this instance we’ve got a shop full of wine and some lovely customers who seem to enjoy buying it from us, even if they have to put up with our ranty Friday emails.  So, with a view to emptying our shelves a bit further, we’ll crack open a couple of bottles this evening and pretend we’re hosting a housing committee meeting in Whitehall!

To continue with our exploration of things more esoteric, the white this week will be Lyrarakis Voila Assyrtiko 2021 – £15.99.  Located in the mountainous commune of Alagni in Crete, 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. Grown at 580 metres’ altitude in the Voila vineyard there is a definite floral character, refreshing minerality and chalky texture to this delicious wine.

The red is less esoteric but no less delicious – a bit of a staple in our wine racks at home in fact.  Barton Rouge 2015/16 – £9.99 isfrom Walker Bay in South Africa and is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot.  Dark ruby in the glass this is a rich and fruit driven wine with dark brambly fruits and a touch of spice, yet without too much tannin to get in the way of the fun.  Works well with everything from pizza to steak so it should probably be in your rack too!

And that’s it from us – do come and say hello as the North London Derby last night has led to a bit of a frosty atmosphere chez PV!!

Is Boris more sludge metal or crust punk? Discuss

Friday, May 6th, 2022

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Welcome to a sunny Friday and, with potential for a rain free weekend ahead of us, I thought I’d jinx it all by opening some rosé this evening on the tasting table… so, when you’re standing under a brolly tomorrow afternoon watching under 13 cricket whilst wearing wellies with shorts (a very British nod to high fashion), you’ll know who to blame!

Anyway, before we get tucked in to all things pink, what’s news?   

Well, it’s been a good week for:

Wayne – as he is finally off on a well-earned cycle extravaganza in the Balearics, apparently a key part of his training for challenges later in the season.  Not sure if he means cycling, dancing or drinking beer challenges but I am sure he is working hard on all three.

Boris Johnson – yeah, who’d have thunk it.  Whilst here in the UK many feel he has outstayed his welcome it would appear that in Ukraine they can’t get enough of him.  Fresh from having a street named after him in Fontanka, near Odesa last month, it was announced yesterday by the mayor of the city of Vasylkiv, that their “new embankment on the Stugna River … will now have the name of a great friend of Ukraine: Prime Minister Boris Johnson.”

Shareholders in Shell and BP as both companies post record profits

Real Madrid – showing us all how important it is to play the full 90+ minutes and to not start easing up when the clock starts ticking down

However, someone’s good week is always someone else’s bad one:

Will Smith – the ongoing fallout from his Oscars performance leads to Dave Chappelle receiving an uninvited armed guest on stage during his act

Boris – Mr Becker this time.  Not only given a prison sentence but now facing the distinct possibility of deportation – not how we thought Boom Boom’s fairytale would end

Golf – as Lee Westwood (estimated net worth £40 million) becomes another golfer keen to play for Saudi money and thus becoming an apologist for them.  Lee, I get that other sports have taken their cash too and I get that playing golf is your job but really, no one is making you do this

Manchester City – showing us all how important it is to play the full 90+ minutes and to not start easing up when the clock starts ticking down

Wandsworth Tories – not sure they saw that coming

Hay fever sufferers – high pollen count for the next few days, you can almost see it in the air – Wayne, stay away!

For the rest of us, I imagine it has been a reasonably decent week, shorter than some thanks to the Bank Holiday and finishing off with a bit of sunshine, what’s not to like!

Anyway, at the top I suggested opening some rosé, who’s with me?  I am going to start the season with our perennial best seller and a wine many of you know and love but not all of you have tasted, Château de L’Aumérade ‘Cuvée Marie-Christine’ Côtes de Provence Cru Classé – £15.99.  The Chateau is a 400 year old vineyard in the heart of Provence.  Its red soils are rich in minerals, giving it an edge on the quality stakes amongst its neighbours.  This edge was recognised in 1955 when the estate was designated “Cru Classé”.  A lovely pale salmon colour, it is indeed cracking stuff with delicate red berry fruits, slightly floral and an impressively long finish.  We think it is the perfect wine for summer, great with all manner of food, or just with the Sunday papers and a deck chair!

Oh, and did I mention we also offer 6 bottles for £80….

Whilst lots of people like rosé, it doesn’t rock everybody’s world.  For those of you who rock to a different beat, I’m going to open Juliénas-Chaintré Beaujolais Villages ‘Cuvée Six’ – £10.99.  There’s been a quiet revolution going on in Beaujolais, some of the smartest burgundy winemakers have been buying up parcels of land, Co-operatives have been merging and there has been a quality revamp too.  This wine is from the villages of Jullié and Emeringes, and grown on the sandy granitic soils that produce the best Gamay.  Tender, round and fruity as you’d expect from a pure expression of the grape variety and very tasty lightly chilled at lunchtime!

Think that’s about it from us for now – I just want to leave you with some further fruits of my meanderings into the worldwide web.  Whilst googling Messrs Johnson and Becker I kept on being offered details of a Japanese band named BORIS, who by all accounts have been active since the earlier 90’s and have a varied genre of musical influences, to wit:

experimental music, experimental rock, noise music, noise rock, experimental/avant-garde metal, doom metal, post-metal, drone metal, sludge metal, psychedelic music, psychedelic rock, psychedelic metal,  stoner rock, sludge metal, drone music, old-school industrial music, ambient music, acid rock, garage rock, shoegazing, dream pop, J-pop, crust punk

Now, I’m sure that all you people who are far funnier than me could come up with some amazing jokes about The Johnson and The Becker using the tools provided above, so over to you, Hugh!