Hey, I’ve got this great idea; we’ll dress up some horses as zebras…

Fellow Wine Lovers,

A week full of surprises seems to have been the long and short of it. First surprise was really rather a pleasant one. The nice people in the Canary Islands have been sending us some of their wonderful weather, so, barely a minute after putting St. Valentine to bed for another year, it feels like spring has sprung.

In what should come as no surprise, news reaches us that restaurants and pubs suffered a slowdown in spending in January.  Not only were those who did visit only drinking water but apparently they wanted to eat only vegetables too!

There’s also a new movement afoot. It’s been creeping up on us for ages, lurking suspiciously in the background, a small but increasingly confident minority who may at some point be the mainstream. Until quite recently there were basically two pre-dinner drinks that were popular. On the one hand you had the folks that like to drink a glass of champagne or something bubbly in a flute. On the other hand there were the people that liked to have a beer, some chilled, some room temperature, but beer nonetheless.

But this emergent minority we mentioned above appear to prefer drinking a gin and tonic before dinner. Not only that, but they are also recruiting from both sides.  Champagne producers have spotted a fall in their sales and responded with a typically Gallic shrug and an increase in prices. The beer producers have grown their beards longer, shrunk their trousers, added more hops and started going to the same cool places you find gin producers. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out as something similar happened in the late 70’s/ early 80’s – but barely anyone drinks Babycham now!

On the politics front, in a rare show of humour, the Labour Party re-instated Derek Hatton for 48 hours. Theresa May has been in Brussels again this week, allegedly for negotiations but we’re starting to think she just goes for dinner at Quincaillerie or Comme Chez Soi on the government dime.

Otherwise some renegade former Labour MP’s (known in some circles as The Hateful Eight) have joined up with some renegade Conservative MP’s  (known in some circles as the Three Amigos) to form a mixed commons football team called Independent Group. To what aim remains unclear as they have nobody to play with but rest assured we’ll keep you abreast of developments.

On the science front, scientists believe they have discovered why zebras have stripes and it’s nothing to do with running faster. It would appear the stripes are there to confuse flies. After dressing several horses up in zebra outfits it was discovered that the poor flies are too confused to land because of the stripes. To us this seemed like something you’d dream up after a long and challenging afternoon in the pub… “Hey, I’ve got this great idea; we’ll dress up some horses as zebras…” Kudos definitely goes to the person that managed to sell it to the funding committee.

That’s quite enough guff from us for this week except to say that we’ll be opening a couple of Portu-Geezers on the tasting table this weekend.

Wearing the white waistcoat will be Ai Galera Mistico 2017 (£8.79). It’s a cracking blend of Fernão Pires and Verdelho from the Tejo region.

Adorned in the red slacks will be its sibling Ai Galera Poetico 2017 (£8.79). Funnily enough, it too is from the Tejo region, but sports a blend of Castelão, Trincadeira Preta and Tinta Miúda.

So there you have it, a weekend of lovely weather and five indigenous Portuguese grape varieties to tantalise the taste buds.


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