Archive for December, 2023

We’d like to wish you all a happy and healthy 2024!

Friday, December 29th, 2023

Fellow Wine Lovers,

We’re back, are you?  We’re fuelled with turkey, mince pies and a selection of strange liqueurs from the back of the cocktail cabinet. We’ve drunk some lovely wine, a pint in a village pub and even several cups of coffee.

To round up briefly on the year, we opened our commentary in January talking about Nadhim Zahawi’s brass neck.  We wonder what happened to him.

February saw us witness a Cabinet reshuffle, Scotland beat England at Twickenham and Steak and Peppercorn Sauce was the most popular meal for Valentine’s Day.

March floated in on a tide of Government ministers trying to get Gary Lineker sacked, Alex was full of alarming facts about dictators following his podcast discoveries and Tom Pidcock became the first Brit to win Le Strade Bianchi.

April brought us the London Marathon, a new album from Everything But The Girl and a resignation from Dominic Raab who said he’d give us a slap if we said he was a bully, so we’re definitely not suggesting that at all.

If it’s May already then Wayne is cycling in Mallorca, Penny Mordaunt is starring as Lady of the Lake at the King’s Coronation and Rishi Sunak is delivering on his promise to lose 1,000 councillors at the local elections.

June arrived with suitcases of Saudi cash for golfers, World Gin Day and Nadine Dorries promising to resign after failing to receive an ermine gown, a promise finally delivered in August.

July found a group of cyclists and buses meandering around France, some Ashes cricket matches and Wayne arriving late for a meeting due to over confidence in the Northern Line. Mad Nads was still Ermine hunting by sending WhatsApp’s to ministers trying to get on Lettuce Liz’s honours List.

August found the roads of SW London empty, Nadine finally threw in the towel and Rishi rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic. Although, he preferred to name it a ‘mini’ shuffle.

September found Wayne eating Pistachio ice cream, Michael O’Leary received a cream pie to the face whilst speaking in Brussels and coastguards arrested a man for trying to cross the Atlantic in a human sized hamster wheel.

October saw Donald Trump fall off of the Forbes Rich List, Bernie Ecclestone pay £625 million to the HMRC and the Rolling Stones collaborating with Lady Gaga.

November arrived with an almost indecent haste with Nigel Farage in the jungle, a sad farewell to Oddbins and another rearrangement of deckchairs on the Cabinet cruise ship. Rishi still likes to call it a reshuffle. Not to be out done, Kier Starmer managed to do a bit of rearranging the Shadows too.

Here we are at the tail end of December and we find ourselves wanting to thank you all for reading this far, thank you for shopping with us and bringing your cheer, stories and anecdotes to our door. We’d like to wish you all a happy and healthy 2024!

We’re here till 6pm today, noon till 6pm tomorrow and Noon till 5pm on Sunday. We shall then return on Friday 5th January from Noon till 7pm so that you can all wave to us on the way to Bounce.

Let’s be careful out there folks and don’t accept any drinks from James Cleverly, he sounds like a wrong’un.

Wafer Thin Mint?

Friday, December 22nd, 2023

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Shortest day yesterday, which meant the sun was over the yard arm before 4pm and, if you didn’t see us, we were wearing shorts all day but if you did see us, you know what you saw!  The good news that goes alongside this is that the days are now getting longer and, in anticipation of summer being on its way, we have good supplies of Provence Rosé, pink Cremant de Loire and, of course, ice.

By all accounts though, before we reach full summer-summer- summertime we need to hurdle Easter.  Oh, and before that Valentine’s Day, I’m told.  Prior to that, we have New Year’s Eve to toast in but not much else worth mentioning, I think.

However, in a stoke of diary serendipity, it seems that we all have next Monday and Tuesday off, so what better excuse to have a few people round.  Drinks, nibbles and a roast containing at least three styles of potato, carrots prepared two ways, bacon sprinkled over sprouts, chestnuts, chipolatas, chipolatas wrapped in bacon, parsnips (again cooked in two ways because Martin doesn’t like them cooked the way you normally do them), red cabbage, broccoli with pancetta, minted peas and, in some rogue households, cauliflower cheese and Yorkshire pudding?!  Oh, and of course a turkey, a sirloin, cold gammon and a side of smoked salmon – some with stuffing, at least three kinds… seems like the only way to celebrate such universal, coincidental fortune!

And, since there are whopping 8 of you at the table, you probably need something extra to ensure you don’t get hungry later: Christmas Pudding, Mince Pies, Yule Log, Profiteroles, Treacle Pudding and then a cheese platter including a half-wheel of Long Clawson should just about cover it.

Brandy butter or cranberry sauce with all that?  And finally, monsieur, a wafer-thin mint?


Anyway, as a consequence of having Monday and Tuesday off (and in fact Wednesday and Thursday too), we will be working some extra hours this weekend:

TODAY – 12 – 7PM



And, whilst toiling away, we will be getting very tucked into the Foxdenton Estate Christmas Liqueur – £25 which Wayne tells me is excellent over an ice cube, or mixed with some sparkling wine but also quite fun in a hip flask on Tuesday’s ‘recovery’ walk!

However, before we get too tucked in, we’re going to open up some Burgundies for everyone’s delectation, from one of our favourite producers, Domaine Belleville.

Rully ‘La Crée’ 2020 – £32.49 – Founded in the early 20th Century, Domaine Belleville have expanded and now cover 18 hectares.  ‘La Crée’ refers to a stony piece of land to the east of the village, just below Premier Cru ‘La Pucelle’.  We really enjoy their wines as they have a real sense of place – the wine itself is a pale gold with aromas of melon, citrus and buttercream whilst the palate is open with a luscious richness, citrus fruit character and a lovely fresh finish.  Top quality burgundy that would be rather delicious with the main event!

Mercurey ‘Champ Ladoy’ 2019 – £33.00 – This is from two very different parcels of vines one facing north and one facing east, resulting in a good balance of freshness and richness.  The vines are around 45 years old adding some great intensity too.  Lovely and open with raspberries and blackberries giving us the fruity attack, fine delicate tannins and a nice length just hinting at a little earthy spiciness.  An excellent foil to Monday’s banquet but equally great with Tuesday’s ‘Round Two’!

Who knows, if you twist our arm we might open some fizz too and I fully expect some port to be passed to the left…

So pop in and see us, greet our seasons and then stock up well because we won’t be back in again until Friday 29th December!

Top to toe in tailbacks?  Thanks but I think I’ll miss this one this year!

Eat, drink and be merry!

Total Recall or Not

Friday, December 15th, 2023

Fellow Wine Lovers,

The verbal evidence part of the Covid inquiry ended this week with Rishi Sunak. Our poor beleaguered Prime Minister was unable to recall so many discussions, meetings or passwords to his WhatsApp that we found ourselves wondering if all prospective Cabinet Ministers should undergo memory tests before being offered the job.

Parliament then passed a bill basically stating that, regardless of anyone else’s opinion, Rwanda was a safe country. It seemed to us rather like passing a law that stated that all cats are now dogs in the eyes of the government but what do we know?

Just when you thought the world couldn’t any sillier, we find that Kemi Badenoch is rather keen to fill the shoes left behind by mad Nads. This week the Business and Equalities Minister called a study into the 14th Century plague ‘woke archaeology’ and that the study risks undermining trust in modern health services. What is she expecting it to unearth? Will we discover a stock of hessian masks that have been stored for centuries? Is there a luxury hoy out there, paid for with the ill-gotten gains of a fast-track herb saleswoman?

We were all of a flutter to discover that Tesco has had to recall its Finest Apple & Cranberry Stuffing Mix because it may contain moths! Over the pond, Tesla has recalled two million vehicles after the autopilot software was found to be less good at avoiding things than it should be.

Speaking of Christmas treats, many of you will recall that we have a seasonal beauty in Foxdenton Christmas Liqueur (£25). 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. It’s been known to share a glass of fizz too, in a Christmas spiced upgrade to a Kir Royale.

We still have some stock of the six bottle Claret Case at £135 and the enormously popular Christmas Case at £150. Tasting notes attached for your perusal.










On the tasting front this weekend, we’ll dip our taste buds into Sylvain Dussort Bourgogne Blanc Cuvée Des Ormes 2020 (£27.99). Some of you are familiar with this wine and know how close to Meursault it is, style wise. Those of you who have yet to experience the pleasure should really drop in and try it.

On the red front, we’ll go and visit Spain, specifically Ribera del Duero. Corimbo 2018 (£27.99) is a deliciously polished red, rich and spicy with forest fruit and a little fuller bodied than a Rioja. What’s not to like?

Plus, for the sweeter toothed, we have the Krohn LBV 2016 (£18.99), which appears in our Christmas Day case.  Krohn ports always seem to punch above their weight for us and the generous plummy characters, freshness and pure berry fruit are surely the best way to end the day!

Glad Tidings

Friday, December 8th, 2023

Fellow Wine Lovers,

So, it’s the first full week of December and news is inundated with the spirit of Christmas and goodwill to all.

The busiest giver of glad tidings has been James who, fresh from signing dodgy deals in Rwanda that filled us all with joy, encored by raising the minimum salary a skilled foreign worker would need to get a visa.  £38,000 is a lot of money, a lot more than £26,200 and a lot more than half of the population earn – if you want a visa now it would be better to retrain as a brickie or a plasterer rather than a master butcher.  The news that we paid Rwanda an extra £100m in April ahead of another £50m next year had us fuming to be honest. That’s a total of £290m spent on dog whistles and we are not even including the millions of pounds spent on legal fees. We could have employed 7631 more people at the Home Office on £38,ooo a year to sort it out properly.

Moving away from Westminster we then watched Boris squirming and fibbing in Paddington whilst Nigel was singing and stripping and making us squirm, all the way from Australia.  Meanwhile Rishi, our Prime Minister, has hit the bottom in the Conservative Home Net Satisfaction Ratings for the Cabinet league table with a whopping -25.4 points.  For context, Jenrick was at +6.6, Cleverly was at +10.6 and Badenoch topped the league with +63.4.  To quote Suella, electoral oblivion beckons… I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry.

Meanwhile, in news from niche sports, the R&A and the USGA have announced changes to the performance of golf balls.  I know, thrilling stuff.  Suffice to say, the idea is to stop the ball travelling as far as it currently does which in real terms means, for the pros, that their drives will now go no further than 320 yards.  If we consider that Rory McIlroy can hit a ball about 335 yards that would mean a 15 yard/4.5% decrease in distance – is that really worth all the upheaval?  A nice new business opportunity for rubber and plastic recycling companies though. John Rahm no longer needs to worry about how far he hits a golf ball, having just signed with LIV golf for a rumoured £450m. Perhaps he could start up a recycling company?

Anyway, that’s enough of the real world, let’s talk more about us.  Fresh from our last outside event of the year on Monday (thank you Emanuel), it’s now eyes down for the next couple of weeks as Christmas starts to lurch into view and the focus is entirely shop based.  With this in mind it’s probably best I let you know our opening hours going forward:








For those of you yet to dip into our Christmas offerings, the Claret case currently seems to be the most popular, closely followed by the Christmas Day case but all are starting to gain some serious traction, which is very exciting, once again we have attached tasting notes for your perusal.

And of course, the fabulous Foxdenton Christmas Liqueur (£25) is back in stock.  Made with Winslow Plums and a blend of traditional Christmas spices including Ginger, Clove, Cinnamon, and Star Anise, this 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 or perhaps mixed with some Canada Dry to make it into a longer treat?  Anyway, we’ve got it here, open for tasting so you can make your own minds up!

But before you taste the liqueur, how about sampling some wine?   White, red or port?  Or all three?  Go on then, why not??

We’ll start with one of Alex’s festive favourites, in fact the last time we showed it was this time last year – Valenciso Blanco 2022 – £24.99.  A blend of 70% Viura and 30% Garnacha Blanca, this is sourced from 80 year old vines and then fermented with wild yeasts before lazing around for 9 months in Caucasian oak barrels.  Complex aromas combining pretty, floral characters with preserved lemon, truffle and smoky notes.  The palate is broad and well integrated with nuts and stone fruit characters and fresh candied peel, minerality and crisp citrus acidity on the finish.  The texture in the mouth was similar to a posh Graves but believe me when I say it’s unmistakably Spanish in style which is why I often pair it with the Christmas Eve fish extravaganza!

The red is one of the wines in the Christmas Claret Case – Château Puy Guilhem 2009 – £32.  Based in Fronsac, the stunning 18th century Château Puy Guilhem is located on the hills of Saillans overlooking Pomerol and Lalande de Pomerol.  This wine is from a stellar vintage and now showing some nice maturity.  Made using 100% Merlot, it has a very appealing developed nose with dark berry fruits and a hint of earthy spice.  The palate has a nice richness with full body, juicy and rich fruit with a lovely savoury note to finish – exactly what good Fronsac is all about!

And the port? Well. Let’s open the Krohn LBV 2016 – £18.99, which the eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted in our Christmas Day case.  Krohn ports always seem to punch above their weight for us and the generous plummy characters, freshness and pure berry fruit are surely the best way to end the day!

That’s about it from us for this week, that’s it from Boris and his gulf war syndrome side-tracking at the inquiry; roll on Monday when Mr Rishi Sunak will give his opinion on how history should view him!

Can’t wait.

Can we talk about Christmas yet?

Friday, December 1st, 2023

Fellow Wine Lovers,

There’s a lot to get through this week so, if you’re sitting comfortably, let us begin.

Cop28 has started in Dubai. This, of course, is the United Nations Climate Change Conference where heads of state, government officials, global industry leaders, climate experts and private sector representatives fly in to discuss how the rest of us need to cut down on our flights, recycle our sandwich wrappers and stop breathing out so much CO2. Some of you may recall that at COP25 in 2019 Greta Thunberg suggested that it “seems to have turned into some kind of opportunity for countries to negotiate loopholes”. With these words echoing in their ears, this year the hosts, United Arab Emirates, have denied it’s just an opportunity to strike oil and gas deals!

The Covid enquiry has been plodding along at its own pace and we’re getting to the pointy end now with members of the then Cabinet taking their turn to help out. We’ve had Dominic Raab demonstrate why he may be considered a bully by talking over everyone, Michael Gove being as slippery as any snake you’ve encountered and just yesterday Matt Hancock was helping out. Only a year ago he was dining out on kangaroo parts for considerably less than Nigel Farage is – that’s inflation right there ladies and gents, less is more!

Elon Musk, owner of the platform formerly known as Twitter, this week launched a bit of a rant against all the companies that have withdrawn advertising from the platform describing it as “blackmail” and that it was likely “to kill the company.”  You have to admire his self-awareness, eh?

This time of year we find ourselves thinking of music rather a lot. Spotify has sent us all our playlist round up for the year. We were a bit surprised to find Dorothy Ashby’s ‘Afro Harping’ at No1 and certainly they seem to think we’ve listened to a lot more Jah Shaka than we imagined and about the correct amount of Demis Roussos!

Whilst on the subject of music, we’d like to pay tribute to wordsmith Shane MacGowan who has passed away this week – he lived it large!

As has become something of a tradition for this time of year we have prepared a number of cases that we hope might inspire you all. Tasting notes are attached, but to whet your appetite here’s a taster…

6 Bottles of Claret – £135 (Includes tasting notes and gift box)

Château Gabelot 2016, AC Bordeaux

Chapelle de Potensac 2017, Médoc

Seigneurs d’Aiguilhe 2016, Côtes de Castillon

Château Saransot-Dupré 2016, Listrac-Médoc

La Fleur de Boüard 2012/14, Lalande de Pomerol

Château Puy Guilhem 2009, Fronsac

6 Bottles For Christmas Day – £150 (Includes tasting notes and gift box)

Lété-Vautrain 204 Brut NV, Charly-Sur-Marne, Champagne, France

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2022/23, Marlborough, New Zealand

Sylvain Dussort ‘Cuvée des Ormes’ 2020, Burgundy, France

Domaine Belleville Mercurey Les Perrières 2019, Burgundy, France

Le Volte dell’Ornellaia 2021, Toscana, Italy

Krohn Late Bottled Vintage 2016, Portugal

6 Bottles of Posh – £300 (Includes tasting notes and gift box)

Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut NV, Champagne, France

Joseph Pascal Puligny-Montrachet 2020, Burgundy, France

Pieropan ‘La Rocca’ Soave Classico 2021, Veneto, Italy

Pintia 2015, Toro, Spain

Tenuta Guido al Tasso Cont ‘Ugo 2018/2019, Bolgheri, Italy

Porseleinberg Syrah 2019, Swartland, South Africa 

As always, numbers for some wines are more restricted than others and we have chosen them all for their deliciousness.

The Cresidents will be illuminating the street with seasonal cheer on Saturday with the turning on of the Christmas Lights at Christ the King. The St Luke’s Choir will be leading the carols, 4.15pm for the big switch on.

This weekend also marks our thirteenth birthday. Yes, Park Vintners officially becomes a teenager, hoping to avoid acne, we’re not going to start smoking, we’re not promising to get up early and we’re certainly not listening to what anyone tells us to do.

Today, to celebrate we will open a bottle of Sancerre Le MD de Bourgeois 2020 (£35) tiptop Sancerre from a family with 10 generations of experience and a decent size plot on Les Monts Damnés, a very steep slope just outside Chavignol which Wayne thinks is just about the best site to grow grapes for Sancerre and is often regarded as an ‘unofficial’ Cru.

To add a red, we’ll head down to the southern Rhône for a sip of Domaine de Côte de l’Ange Chateauneuf du Pape 2019 (£33.50) a delicious blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre that got a whopping 96 point score in Decanter. Why not see if you agree with them?

Then tomorrow (Saturday) we shall open a bottle of Joseph Perrier Cuvée Royale (£45 or £100 for a magnum). Founded in 1825 and with six generations of handed down knowledge, we are rather fond of this champagne house and we always like to celebrate our birthday with some bubbles!

Lastly, we say goodbye to Alastair Darling, one of our better Chancellors, Henry Kissinger adviser to twelve American presidents, Charlie Munger, one of the world’s best investors and, of course, El Tel…

We’d like to leave you with two views of wisdom:

“Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day.”― Charles T. Munger

“The most important thing to remember about drunks is that drunks are far more intelligent than non-drunks – they spend a lot of time talking in pubs, unlike workaholics who concentrate on their careers and ambitions, who never develop their higher spiritual values, who never explore the insides of their head like a drunk does.” – Shane MacGowan

Godspeed, one and all.