Wine: more or less?

Fellow Wine Lovers,

20% of UK adults now do not drink alcohol and of those that still do, 47% have cut back their consumption.

Now here’s a question for you – how many of you have ever taken part in a survey?  Or perhaps more correctly, how many of you have taken part in a survey that hasn’t just disappeared into the miasma of data harvesting but has actually been used for a ‘greater’ good, where you can actually see the fruits of your labours and say, ’yes, I’m one of the 47% who has cut back, I remember that question well!’. 

For me, I think the closest I ever get to one is when a local newspaper makes me answer ‘one simple question’ in order to gain access to an article online.  Or when one of our suppliers wants to find out if we’re happy with their offering via survey monkey.  Or when Amazon is feeling overly needy.  Never have I been asked by Euromonitor, MORI or Mintel for my august opinion.  Clearly they already know my thoughts.

Anyway, the reason I ask is because I often wonder who is actually being door-knocked by the man from the market research company?  Is there a hardcore of form fillers out there who make a small income being professional vox pop providers?  Are the surveys only carried out mid-afternoon on a Tuesday when a lot of people are at work?  If so, when they ask the question ‘do you watch the BBC soap Doctors?’ affirmative answers dwarf negative and  the front page of The Mirror the next day informs us that more than 90% of the British public watch afternoon soaps.  Clearly not true.

If you are a serial survey subscriber then do come and talk to us – we’d love to hear your secrets! 

End of impromptu market research bit.

In the world outside of wine, because by all accounts there is one, life meanders on.  Trump slags off a man he has never met and then proceeds to slag off the PM too whilst Boris somehow gets blamed for the aforementioned civil servant’s resignation.  Confused?  Don’t worry; there’ll be a new outrage along shortly.

In the other world outside of wine, we are facing Blue Tuesday next week.  Having had all available devices streaming the cricket, the tennis and the Tour de France all this week, the 16th July will find us bereft – Wimbledon and the World Cup will have wrapped up on Sunday and the cyclists are taking a rest day on Tuesday so, if you want great, undistracted customer service, that’s the day to choose – we’ll both be here, eager and attentive!

However, within the wine world, we hear of the latest easy way to spend 30,000 euros, with a distinct whiff of the emperor’s new clothes.  A Bordeaux producer, Liber Pater, has announced that their 2015 vintage consists of just 550 bottles and each of these will leave you pocket change from £27,000.  I do wonder if the vineyard has taken the Mintel report a little bit too seriously when it confirmed that whilst the 47% have cut back, they are now spending more per bottle – seeking quality over quantity – but it’s still a bit of a leap for most of us pricewise! 

And the wine?  Well, we know nothing about it really – it’s made using local Castets, Tarney-Coulant and Pardotte grapes which are not the first names one reels off in a Bordeaux grape list.  Oh and they are intensively planted, at almost double the density per hectare than normally allowed in the region and then vinified in clay amphora, with no use of oak.  To the uneducated, and I very much include myself in this realm, this actually sounds like an effective recipe for cutting costs.  Use unfashionable grapes, plant them shoulder to shoulder to increase potential yields and then save money by avoiding buying expensive, hand-made oak barriques.  Oh and it can’t be labelled Bordeaux as a consequence of all this so is merely a Vin de France… next time I moan about the increasing cost of Sassicaia and other Super-Tuscans I’ll remember to wind my neck in!

Local news

And by local, we mean really local, 126 Arthur Road local.

As discussed last week, we have various dates for your diary well worth noting and booking before you abandon ship for the summer hols.

Places are starting to fill up on the next Wine School, so if you’re thinking about joining the fun, do give us a shout.

Wednesday 2nd October – Wednesday 13th November (half term 23rd October) – £150 per person

If however you can’t commit to a six week course, here is a brief overview of what is going on over the next few months, in the evenings when the summer is over and watching boxsets just feels like brain atrophy…

Thursday 12th September at 8pm – WINE & CHEESE TASTING – £20

Thursday 10th October at 8pm – WINE & CHEESE TASTING – £20

Thursday 17th October at 8pm –


Jonathan and Rachel Treloar own and run this small, highly-regarded vineyard and winery in the Roussillon, France’s most exciting wine region.

Thursday 7th November at 8pm – WINE & CHEESE TASTING – £20

Thursday 28th November at 8pm – WINE & CHEESE TASTING – £20

The greatest hits from all the tastings over 2019, just in time for Christmas!

Thursday 5th December at 8pm – CHRISTMAS BUBBLES TASTING – £30

Our annual journey through the world of fizz and Champagne – will the same people turn up this year we wonder!?!?

Plenty to choose from there – drop us a line if any of them tantalise!

This weekend

After many weeks of waiting we finally have Cretan wine back in stock and more than last time.  Not content with just having the delicious Assyrtiko we now also have a red, Kotsifali and a small quantity of a wine called Dafni, more on that another time.

So, as is our wont, we will be opening the Assyrtiko and the Kotsifali tonight and tomorrow.

The Assyrtiko has a definite floral character, refreshing minerality and chalky texture that makes it a truly delicious foil to lightly fried white fish or seafood whilst the Kotsifali is indisputably a classic of the vineyard of Crete. Spices and red fruits with an elegant mouthfeel and a piquant aftertaste make it a deliciously fresh drop, not too weighty and seriously good with lamb kleftiko or a bit of fried cheese.

Lyrarakis Vóila Assyrtiko 2018 – £14.49

Lyrarakis Kotsifali 2018 – £12.50

That’s it from us for now – come and taste some Crete sunshine in a bottle and sign up for a tasting or two whilst you’re here.  We’ll leave you with one final thought – if 47% of us have cut back, is it not possible that 53% of us are now pulling more corks than ever?

I’ll drink to that! ed

Comments are closed.