Farewell summer pinks, all hail autumn reds!

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Oi, Wayne, what have you done with all the news and all the sport? Oh, and the sunshine too, whilst we’re at it?

Yep, yesterday was a ‘no news’, trousers day. If one eradicates Brexit, Stormy Daniels’ ex-boyfriend and her explanation for his tiny hands, mixed showings in the Champions League and high winds, we have not a lot to report on, news-wise and, if we take away the sun as well, we no longer have shorts on either.

This, I think most of us can acknowledge, is a shame.

I know many of you live for the opportunity to see middle aged men’s legs striding purposefully towards the Rosé fridge but such opportunities may well be gone for another year, as is much of the stock of rosé. When we continue to wear shorts, there is still hope, as we cling onto, for everyone’s sake, the spirit of summer, to holidays and barbecues, to hours of fun punctuated by sporadic visits to work, to the dream that we’ll never feel cold again or have to wear socks. Apparently, for hundreds of years now, such forlorn clinging has reaped no reward and autumn has continually ploughed its sharp furrow deep into December before flinging us into January, deep winter and, definitely, socks. Ever the optimist, a young chap of my acquaintance painted his rosier picture of autumn, as a period that isn’t so hot and thus his sport kit won’t smell as bad or need washing as much. Thanks, I knew I was missing the silver lining.

But there is a silver lining. Or red, really. Whilst we can all be very proud of our roles in the attempted draining of the pacific sized Provence rosé pool, at some point the party has to be over. All the bottles that ordinarily live on the shelves and never venture close to the fridge, have been sitting patiently for the last 4 months. With their ties loosened and in shirt sleeve order, they’ve been heard to mutter under their breathes about how they can’t quite see what all the fuss is about and why isn’t anyone eating steak and kidney pie or thick vegetable soup right now; well chaps, straighten those ties and get your jackets on, you’re back in play – welcome back red wine, we’ve missed you, you’ve now got a good eight months to impress and delight us.

As Wayne suggested in the last missive, we have taken delivery of a few new wines over the last few weeks and I’ll be honest, none of them were pink. However, with a view to easing ourselves back into the world of tannins and dark fruits, I have elected to open a red at the lighter end of the spectrum this weekend, but still with plenty of class.

Jean-Paul-Dubost Beaujolais Lantignié 2017 – £16.99 – this is an utter charmer that we tasted for the first time about 2 weeks ago. There seems to be plenty of talk that Lantignié, a smidge north of Regnié, will become the newest Beaujolais Cru. We certainly enjoyed this declaring it a “burgundy lover’s style of Beaujolais”. It has lovely berry fruits, a touch of floral character with some soft tannins keeping it all together and, thus, it is very versatile food-wise – perfect for the changing of the seasons.

We must, however, always show a white, in the interests of balance and of well, interest, so this time we will open up a wine that might just serve as a nice farewell to summer.

Tornai Zenit 2016- £12.49 – a bit more esoteric this one, hailing as it does from Somló in Hungary. Now, Somló is a big flat plateau with an extinct volcano in the middle, which is where the vines grow, sucking up all that volcanic minerality. Zenit is an early ripening white, a cross between Bouvier and Ezerjo. A fragrant nose, with aromas of nectarine, mint and a touch of summer blossom lead onto a palate of zippy, fresh acidity with hints of peach, wet-stone and spice. Very tasty and a real hit with a kedgeree, since you ask.

That should really be it from us but I can’t let the latest news from the world’s greatest stonemason, go unmarked. We’ve all read about it no doubt but if you haven’t, the word is that Mr T, the man who instituted widespread business and personal tax cuts and who is now wondering where the money is to build his wall between Mexico and the US, suggested to Spain earlier this year that they build a wall across the Sahara.

Where the money would come from; the sheer enormity of the Sahara; the fact that Spanish border, for the most part is across the Mediterranean not in Africa; the sheer imperialism of such a notion – all this was studiously ignored by the American artisan…

Oh, and Ronaldo. Sent off for pulling hair. When you read the headline it sounds like exactly something he would do, because let’s face it, he’s no Luis Suarez. However, when you see the ‘offence’ you just wonder, once again, about the parlous nature of modern football and its refereeing. If anything, Ronaldo could be sent off for grooming, by which I mean stroking another man’s hair, like a barber. If we’re now going to see red cards for such antics, I fear that diving could lead to life bans!

Oh, and Russia. No longer banned from being in charge of banning drug cheats, Rusada will now be back in the labs poring over blood samples given by Russian athletes. And banning them, perhaps? Probably not. In other news, Mark Zuckerberg has just been appointed Head of Global Data Protection and Jeff Bezos is taking over at International Tax Compliance…

And with that, I’m gone. Judging from a variety of ‘jolly’ texts I received from a number of customers and colleagues yesterday, the Experimental Beach Club in Ibiza is the place to be to drink magnums of Provençal rosé right now, not here – they even sent me photos to prove the point as the sun was setting – thanks for that!

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