Great with water nymph or dolphin…

Fellow Wine Lovers,

I have to confess, I do love the school holidays, the Easter ones in particular.  The sun often shines, the roads are empty and you can get a seat on the tube.  Plus we have the four day weekend that encapsulates Easter Sunday.  Plus plus, our own bearded asylum seeker, Alex, gets dragged kicking and screaming from his priest hole in the cellar and taken to far flung exotic climes (Warwick and Dorset this year, I believe) and I have the place to myself.  And I get to write the email, uninterrupted.

And, as I get to write the email without any ‘helpful’ insertions, I get to write about whatever I want.  If you’ve read any of my previous pieces then you will be aware that I have a passing affection for bikes and cycling; what you won’t know, I suspect, is that my actual true passion is for the little dimpled ball.  Yep, I’m a golf nut.  There you go, it’s out in the world now, it’s in print, it’s on Facebook and our website and my goodness, I feel a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Whilst I do enjoy going out cycling on a misty Sunday morning swaddled in luminescent lycra and feeling like a million lira, the opportunity to stroll around a large country estate swinging clubs (less than 80 times ideally) dressed in plus fours and Pringle knitwear is what I really want to be doing.  I’m not the best player I know, but then I’m also not the worst.  I’m certainly in the top 10 of people I play with and that is all I need really – Strava rarely has such nice things to say to me.

However, there is one way that cycling surpasses golf.  When I watch the Tour de France, the Giro or La Vuelta I see narrow mountain roads being gobbled up by the superfit masochists, I see swooping descents that make roller coasters feel pedestrian and I know that, should I have the desire, I could jump on my bike and attempt my own heroics on these exact roads, any time I wanted. 

Golf however isn’t quite like that, particularly the golf that’s going on right now. 

For those of you less fanatical, the US Masters started yesterday.  This is arguably the biggest week in golf each year as it heralds the start of ‘the season’, is the first major, the winner gets a natty green jacket to wear (but not keep) and it always takes place at Augusta National in Georgia.  You know Augusta, that truly cosmopolitan and inclusive club without a whiff of racism and sexism, always a club to open its doors willingly to all comers.  There is no members’ waiting list because you have to be invited to join, it only has a few hundred members, the majority of whom are men and captains of industry and you’re more likely to be struck by lightning than get a chance to play it. 

So, unlike the Col du Tourmalet, Augusta will never open its arms to me – perhaps I am better off on the bike…

Elsewhere, it seems that we are still in Europe, Tottenham and Liverpool are still in Europe, Julian Assange has left South America and is now in Europe and Omar al-Bashir isn’t in Europe, yet, but he is to be expected at ICC at some point.

But what has any of this got to do with wine I hear you ask?  Nothing at all, is the honest answer but now I will remedy that.


Our Cheese and Wine tasting evenings have been as over-subscribed as ever and as of now we have 2 spaces available on Thursday 20th June and then plenty of spaces on Thursday 18th July – should you wish to join us then it costs £20 per person and it all starts at 8pm.

You may have noticed us rattling on about Domaine Treloar over the last few weeks.  One of the reasons is that we think the wines are ace and should be in everyone’s shopping basket.  Another good reason is that Jonathan and Rachel, the owners, are thoroughly good eggs – so good in fact that they have agreed to visit us not once but twice this year!

Thursday 27th June at 8pm – Domaine Treloar Wine tasting with Jonathan Hesford – £20 per person

Thursday 17th October at 8pm – Domaine Treloar Wine tasting with Rachel Treloar – £20 per person

I appreciate that the October date feels a little in advance but when they offered to come and do this we thought we’d get the dates in the diary as soon as possible so they can book their flights – we expect both tastings to be very popular so do book early to avoid disappointment!


After a brief hiatus, I can confirm that we have Chocolate Block back in stock – and we have it in magnums too, for £50, which just has to be a better Easter gift than any overpriced oval confection…


Often when Alex is given the reins he thinks he’s being super smart and tries to link the tasting wines to events of the week ‘don’t you think it segues rather nicely’  he might be heard to say, whilst I’m thinking ‘segue’, really, did you really just say that?  Anyway, there will be none of that nonsense this week, just fine wines that need to be tasted by you fine folk.

Naia Verdejo 2017 – £14.99 – this is a new listing for us since the previous inhabitant of the posh Verdejo throne became just too expensive and the Naia had always been in our sights as the pretender and now it has found its seat.  Produced in Rueda, the Verdejo heartland, the grapes come from 98 acres of vineyards, the majority of which are 26 years old (and 5 acres of which are ungrafted 90 year old Verdejo vines) all located in La Seca.  The wine has ripe stone fruit aromas with lightly savoury, herbal notes that persist on the palate and then leads onto a bright and long finish.  Great with shellfish and perhaps with water nymph (Greek translation) or dolphin (Hawaiian translation) but I’m not sure that’s allowed any more….

The Pilot by Alpha Domus 2014 – £13.99/6 for £72 – this is the exact opposite of a new listing – it’s a bin end, once it’s gone, it’s scone!  From Hawkes Bay in New Zealand this is a stonking Bordeaux blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.  On the nose it’s busy with berry fruits, plums and spicy herbs.  The palate is again filled with plum and blackberry fruit, some clove spice and a silky, savoury finish – a perfect partner to Sunday’s roast lamb.

That’s it for now – enjoy your hols whilst I enjoy the tranquillity and the golf!

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