Andy Murray and Bob Dylan

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Speaking as a thoroughbred Scot (my wife is quarter Scottish) I was delighted to see my good buddy Andy Murray finally win an Open.  I always knew he could do it and it was most certainly not me that said he was no better than Henman or Bates, lacked stamina and that crucial killer punch – I must now go and eat my hat!

Continuing the theme of confused ancestry, it seems that a row is simmering regarding the next Olympics (the ban has been lifted and we can say the word with impunity).  Anyway it may be 4 years away, but questions are being asked of Rory McIlroy.  Will he play in golf’s first outing at Rio and if he does, who will he represent?   Being Northern Irish he has a British Passport, so GBR claim him.  But golf in Ireland is ‘done’ as an island without borders, so the Irish Golf Union, who have funded him over the years, and who he has represented in international competitions, claim him for Ireland. 

Awkward.  Expect more press coverage of this over the years to come.

And a big prize to me for managing to start the countdown to Rio 2016 less than a week after the Paralympics have finished!!

Anything else happening?  The Hillsborough Independent Panel report looks set to turn South Yorkshire Police on their heads, the naked rambler has been put in prison again (this time for refusing to co-operate with social workers tasked with assessing his mental health!) and  Bob Dylan dismisses plagiarism accusations in inimitable style, quoted in Rolling Stone magazine:

“Oh, yeah, in folk and jazz, quotation is a rich and enriching tradition. That certainly is true. It’s true for everybody, but me. There are different rules for me.”

“Wussies and pussies complain about that stuff.”

Oh, to be a musical deity…

Last call

It’s all going on in the shop next week, and now is your last chance to get in on the action.

Wine School:  you’ve patiently listened to me marketing this course over the last few weeks, so I will keep this short and bullet pointed –

  • 6 week course , starts 8pm Wednesday 19th September, here in the shop
  • Whites, reds, rose, fizz, sweeties, wine faults will all be attacked over the 6 weeks
  • £150 per person
  • Approx. 60 wines tasted and savoured over the course
  • Notes and relevant information all provided
  • As many water biscuits as you want to eat
  • Learn more about what’s in your glass in a friendly and relaxed environment
  • Increase your range of wines you like

Still a few spaces remaining, first come first served – phone me, email me, visit me – they all work as methods for booking your place!

Wine and Cheese Tasting: I very much enjoyed the bullet pointing, so will use them again now –

  • 8pm, here in the shop, Thursday 20th  September
  • Taste wine
  • Taste cheese
  • Taste them together
  • Chat about them
  • Repeat for 1 ½ hours…
  • £15 per person
  • Again, as many water biscuits as you would like, who knows we might even mix it up and get some Matzos or something…
  •  It’s cheese, it’s wine and it’s a Thursday night – what’s not to like!

Again, I only have a couple of places available, so come and join us for a thoroughly enjoyable evening.  I’m here, standing by the phone, awaiting the call…

Wine this weekend

And still we are travelling through Chile.  Having conquered the northernmost valleys very successfully last week, we now move onto the Aconcagua Valley and then to Casablanca.

Courtesy of the Wines of Chile (WOC)website, I can relate the following about the Aconcagua Valley:

Located 65 km (40 mi) north of Santiago. At 22,828 feet (6,956 meters), Mt. Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas, towers over the valley and its snow-capped peak lends beauty and essential water to the valley below. Red grapes have long grown in the interior, but new coastal plantations are proving the valley’s potential for white wines as well.

Viña von Siebenthal Parcela #7 Gran Reserva 2009, £16.99 – absolutely the bees knees.  40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot, 10% Cabernet Franc. 

Bordeaux gets the Chile treatment via Switzerland (Mauro von S. left the Alps for the Andes in 1998).  It probably says something for this winery that two of their top wines have both received 95+ points from Robert Parker, no mean feat.  Their focus is on small production and high quality and they achieve this in buckets.  Whilst it is a Bordeaux blend with all the usual elegance, there is a ripeness of fruit and a sense of weight that you rarely get in a claret.  Oh, and did I mention that it was top wine in its group at the Wines of Chile Sommelier Chile Challenge?  Still not wowed?  Well, let me just finish by saying that it was absolutely gorgeous with a hunk of spice rubbed roast venison a couple of weeks back!

Again, courtesy of the WOC website, the Casablanca Valley:

Located 75 km (47 mi) northwest of Santiago, the Casablanca Valley was first planted to vine in the mid-1980s. It quickly turned a page in Chile’s winemaking history. Chile’s first cool-climate coastal region soon turned out crisp, fresh wines that caught the world’s attention, and Chile’s search for new terroirs was on. Cool Mediterranean climate with pronounced maritime influence. 540 mm (21.2 in) of rain per year. Proximity to the ocean creates cool foggy mornings ideal for top quality Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.

Clearly Echeverrria Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2011, £11.89 is the appropriate wine to taste from here.  Echeverria are a family run estate that has been in the wine business since the early 20th century.  The entire family works in the running of the estate, and most of their holdings are around Molina in Curico.  Being awkward however, we chose this wine of theirs from Casablanca Valley, particularly enjoying its crisp, fresh fruitiness and long finish.  Food wise, try grilled mackerel, or maybe some chicken fajitas with spicy guacamole.

That’s it from me, the sun’s creeping out from behind a cloud, might it be a nice weekend?


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