Archive for January, 2023

6 for 5 January offer or 16.666% off six bottles, for the more mathematically inclined

Friday, January 27th, 2023

Fellow Wine Lovers,

The film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was released in 1998, to much critical acclaim but also much collateral damage caused by mosquito brained Vinnie Jones breaking into Hollywood.  Anyway, as I’m sure most of you are aware of the subject matter of the movie, it might lead you to wonder what a southeast London gangster caper has to do with a southwest London wine shop and at this point I can assure you, they have very little to do with each other.

However, there is a quote that I often recall, made by Tom as he makes a deal with Nick the Greek:

Well, this seems to be a waste of my time.  That is 900 nicker in any shop you’re lucky enough to find one in.  And you’re complaining about 200?  What school of finance did you study?  It’s a deal, it’s a steal, it’s the sale of the …. century!  In fact, Nick, I think I’ll keep it!

Brilliant, you should all watch the movie again.

In other news, the Park Vintners annual 6 for 5 January offer comes to a close next Tuesday – that’s a 16.666% off six bottles for the more mathematically inclined and, frankly, it’s a deal….

Elsewhere, life in the Wild Westminster continues apace for our parliamentary outlaws – pick your favourite rogue frontiersman, there are plenty to choose from currently – Jonathan Gullis probably the worst after managing to plumb new depths on Wednesday.

Meanwhile on Arthur Road, Alex went to Cavan Bakery and got some sausage rolls and left without paying,  He then went to Saucer & Cup and took away a couple of coffees, again without paying.  The Coop was his next stop as he came away with some soup and apples, once more his wallet stayed in his pocket.  On his return to the shop, having been informed of his activities, I thought that rather than ask him directly whether he had knowingly not paid these bills, I would actually ask my newly appointed ethics advisor what I thought with a view to getting a reply in about six months’ time.  Obviously, Alex still has his job and will just brazen out this minor bump in the road but, in the meantime, if anyone could lend him £800,000 unsecured that would be great as he has some bills to pay….

A quick scan through the booze news doesn’t give us much to talk about unless you have shares in Diageo.  One article did catch our eye though and it was the classic January page filler telling us what the ‘key trends’ will be this year; here’s the list, in no particular order, but focus on these and you’ll be the hepist of cats:

  • low/no alcohol drinks (water?)
  • tequila rather than Gin (last year it was Rum that would breakthrough, we’ll see)
  • light-bodied wines
  • off-the-beaten track styles and regions (because have you seen how Burgundy now costs)
  • sustainability including organic, vegan or carbon neutral wines
  • packaging – tin of wine anyone?
  • drink less but better (this fits nicely with our business model)
  • at-home drinking rather than going out out (alsofits nicely with our business model)
  • and finally make sure that as much as possible you only buy on-trend drinks in creative packaging formats and presentation vessels, such as single serve, pouches and cans, to show that you are fully in tune with today’s evolving lifestyles and drinking occasions (what does this even mean?)

So there you go, this year’s trends, we’ll check in December to see how you’ve all got on!

Back to the here and now, it was Australia Day on Thursday, so to bring a little sunshine into our lives this weekend we thought we’d open a couple of wines from Margaret River

Flametree Chardonnay 2020 – £18.99.  Showing no compromise in quality since the 2019 version was proclaimed Decanter White Wine of the Year, this is stunning.  Citrus, floral and grapefruit notes on the nose lead to a tad richer palate with the same fruit characters, light creamy oak notes and a dry, savoury finish.  A wonderfully elegant wine.

Flametree Embers Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 – £15.99.  Wines from Margaret River always seem to exude a little more elegance than the slighter beefier versions from the other side of the country and this wine only emphasises this.  A cracking drop, this displays aromas of violets, ripe black fruits and just a hint of chocolate and coffee too; lovely and juicy in the mouth, with fabulously forward fruit, it comes as no surprise that Langton’s Master of Wine, Andrew Caillard, once opined that “Winemaker Cliff Royle is regarded by critics as one of the most gifted winemakers of his generation.”

Come and have a taste.

That’s it from us for now, come and buy some wine, 6 bottles we suggest, and if you know anyone who’s birthday is on Sunday, wish them well and let them know that they share their day with such greats as Tom Selleck, Oprah Winfrey, Clare Balding and Mikey Nyren!

Taxes are only for the little people

Friday, January 20th, 2023

Fellow Wine Lovers,

It’s the World Economic Forum at Davos again and the airport is, as usual, awash with private jets whilst the great and good gather to discuss “Cooperation in a Fragmented World”. According to PwC’s annual CEO report, a majority of global CEO’s expect some degree of impact from climate change in the next 12 months—primarily in their cost profiles (where approximately 50% expect a moderate, large or very large impact) and their supply chains (42%).

Not enough of them to fly on a scheduled flight though, eh? Similarly, Rishi Sunak has taken three internal jet flights in 10 days. We wonder, if they were all made to travel by train, might we get a better service?

January 18th 2022:  On Newsnight, Nadhim Zahawi made a statement that his tax affairs “were and are fully up to date”.

January 15th 2023: The Sun on Sunday leads with a story that Nadhim Zahawi has agreed to pay several million in tax to settle a dispute with HMRC.

January 18th 2023: A spokesperson for Zahawi said on Wednesday: “Mr Zahawi’s tax affairs were and are fully up to date and paid in the UK.”

Take them at their word; they are elected to serve us!

Jacinda Ardern has resigned as Prime Minister in New Zealand saying: “with such a privileged role comes responsibility – the responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead and also when you are not”.  There are grown-ups somewhere at least!

At the other end of self-awareness, and indeed the world, a woman in Canada is suing a bar for serving her drinks. The woman was at a Marilyn Manson gig at Budweiser Gardens in 2019 before choosing to drive home intoxicated. She went the wrong way up a street before crashing into a house, severing its gas line and causing an explosion that damaged four houses, injured seven people inflicting damage valued at somewhere in the region of C$15 million. Of course it was the bars fault…

On the sports front the transfer window is in full effect, it seems West Ham, Wolves and Nottingham Forest have all got the check books out, and many others are still on the zoom calls negotiating. Bizarrely Adam Clayton has moved from Doncaster to Bradford on a free transfer and we didn’t even realise he’d left U2!

Tasting This Weekend

With Burns Night appearing on the calendar next Wednesday we thought we’d taste a couple of wines that might be suitable.

Now, clearly you’ll have to use your imagination a little as we won’t have an army of Gordon Ramsay’s downstairs at the microwave knocking out portions but…

We’ll start with the Cock-a-leekie soup and our suggestion for partnering that will be Martin and Anna Arndorfer’s Handcrafted Grüner Veltliner 2021 (£16.99). We think it’s gently spiced pear and apple fruit character will be spot on.

To go with the wee beastie itself we might go as far as suggesting Domaine La Font de Notre Dame Gigondas 2019 (£22.99). Silky dark fruits, herby garrigue notes and a fresh long finish should set of the wee beastie’s peppery character rather splendidly.

Finally, it seems that the Heavenly Supergroup is swelling in numbers at a quite alarming rate as we nod farewell to David Crosby – Long Time Gone seems like an appropriate listen, on many levels….

Travel well.

Sales, Spares, Winners and Losers

Friday, January 13th, 2023

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Well, it’s already week two of 2023 and summer is just around the corner. 

Whilst we wait for those long evening shadows and early morning swims in the dappled dawn light, we might as well amuse ourselves in other ways and what better way than through the top of a wine glass.  To help matters, we’ve dusted down our annual offering for January (codename: VAT bill crowdfunder) which is the good old BUY SIX, PAY FOR FIVE mechanic. 

It’s as simple as it sounds – buy 6 bottles and we’ll then promise to give you a 16.666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666666% discount off the purchase – not too shabby?  There are a few exceptions to this offer – spirits and top shelf Champagnes for the most part but that still leaves plenty for the discerning shopper.  Some of you have already taken full advantage of this deal and will likely return for round two but many of you are yet to dip you toes into this wine lake.  We suggest you don’t tarry too long, we’ve got 76 empty cardboard boxes waiting to be filled (I counted) we have more stock now than we’ll likely have on the 31st and then we’ll be back to the standard 5.00000000% discount so, in this instance, he who laughs last won’t be laughing very much….

Sales pitch done, what else do we have to say?

Well, it seems once more it’s about winners and losers this week:


  • We’ve got to start with Harry really – 1.4 million copies sold of a book none of us want to read PLUS achieving global front page coverage in the newspapers PLUS sending many pro-monarchy commentators into apoplexy
  • Elon Musk – now a Guinness World Record Holder for losing the most personal fortune – perhaps $200 billion in just 14 months – and unlikely to be broken too soon as the current world’s richest person only has $203 billion…
  • Prince Andrew – the previous incumbent of the Spare role has a few days off
  • Kevin McCarthy, who absolutely nailed it by winning the 15th ballot mainly thanks to 6 people abstaining and him giving away some fairly hefty concessions to far right election deniers – you go, Kev
  • Ray & Dave Davies/Emilio Estevez & Charlie Sheen/Noel & Liam Gallagher – siblings who properly know how to have a proper family spat and would consider tripping over a dog bowl and having their necklace broken as happy times
  • Gareth Bale – finally managed to shed the pesky day job and can now fully focus on his golf swing
  • Wayne’s toothache is finally subsiding so drinks on the veranda this weekend are back on!


  • Elon Musk, for reasons that are quite apparent
  • Prince Andrew, as above
  • Rishi Sunak, because he’s PM right now
  • Suella had her ‘is the Bear Catholic?’ moment when she conceded that a ‘small minority’ of the super-rich arriving on very big boats and  being given golden visas between 2008 and 2015 ‘were potentially at high risk of having obtained wealth through corruption or other illicit financial activity, and/or being engaged in serious and organised crime.’  And we just thought they were here for the weather and high taxes, not trying to wash up
  • Us – according to INRIX, London has the Highest Traffic Delay Times in the world, with a last mile speed of 10mph and, to add to the chaos, the most congested road is the A219 from Fulham to Morden, through Putney – time to put on the Lycra perhaps?
  • Mark Rowley, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, when responding to the fact that 150 officers are under investigation, said “We’ve got some officers who we sacked, but other legal bodies, who have a power to reinstate them, did. So I’ve got officers who we determined shouldn’t be police officers and yet I have to keep them. It sounds bizarre – I’m the commissioner, yet I can’t decide who my own workforce is.”
  • The NHS, for having Steve Barclay
  • Andrew Bridgen
  • Democracy in Brazil

Gosh, I hadn’t realised there would be so many losers, so, moving swiftly on, what shall we taste this weekend?

Well, given you’ll all be coming in to buy 6 bottles, why not put a couple of new experiences for the new year in there?  To help with this we’ll open a bottle of white from The Republic of North Macedonia and a red from Georgia…

Tikveš Smederevka 2020 – £10.69.  The Tikveš winery is in the central part of Macedonia, a paradise of mountains, lakes and, of course, vineyards.  The wine is a real crowd pleasing style from a less trodden path, crisp fruit here from the Smederevka which is softened by a dollop of Riesling in the blend – a rival to Sauvignon Blanc, perhaps?

Vachnadziani Saperavi 2019 – £11.49.  Saperavi is a truly ancient grape variety with the Georgians discovering examples 8,000 years old stored in clay amphorae.  However, this example is a tad younger, juicy in the glass with lots of light, bright fruit, a hint of spice and a decent length finishdefinitely a danger that you might find yourself onto the second glass sooner than you thought!

If, however, you’re taking a bit of a break from the beautiful bottle then we have just listed a couple of low-low alcohol wines that we tasted before Christmas.  Wednesday’s Domaine is their name and they produce the Piquant White (0.04%) that is based on the Airén grape variety and the Sanguine Red (0.18%) based on Tempranillo.  Obviously we’ll always be more about the booze but it has to be said these two are the best we have tasted ever – chill the red a little and you could imagine yourself on a barge in the Loire in those long evening shadows….

Wednesday’s Domaine – £15 per bottle.

That’s it from us, just a quick mention that, as happens every year, we will be CLOSED ON TUESDAY 17th JANUARY as it seems every man and his dog is having a portfolio tasting that day – apologies for this.

And it’s hi, ho silver lining – and away you go now JeffI see your sun is shining

RIP to another music legend….