Single manning

Fellow Wine Lovers,

It all started in 2010 and the Iceland volcanic eruption – Eyjafjallajökull to give its correct name – I was about to say easier to spell than say but now I’m not so sure about that… Anyway, all that way back in 2010, I was fortunate enough to be on the Island of Madeira whilst all flights were grounded and got an extra 5 days holiday courtesy of someone else’s insurance.

Well, they say that elephants never forget but our proboscis faced friends have nothing compared to my business partner.  Since my extended ‘break’ almost a decade back he has endeavoured to get his own extended holiday – for example last year he purposefully booked his holiday to straddle 29th March, hoping that Brexit might cause mayhem at the airports and as a sad consequence he might just have to stay in Goa a trifle longer.  This year he was visibly disappointed when both Ciara and Dennis arrived too early to leave him grounded in the foreign sun however I won’t be at all surprised to receive an apologetic email saying that unfortunately he’s been quarantined for 14 days and it would be for the best if he stayed put.  On a continent that thus far has had just two cases of the virus…. hmmmm!

Still, at least the pandemic news has seen Trump and Johnson booted off the headline acts, although Donny did manage to state that the US is “rapidly developing a vaccine. The vaccine is coming along well.”  Which is probably true but wouldn’t be available for a year following clinical trials – which is perhaps why he is allowing Mike Pence to lead the government response – it’s an election year, he needs to be associated with more immediate successes!

So, with the media whipped threat of a global pandemic, coupled with properly awful weather conditions in large parts of the UK, I’m wondering where does the lightness of mood come from this week?  Never been a fan of felines, so cat videos hold no joy; as mentioned, my senior colleague, who is usually good for a laugh, has left the building; in fact if it wasn’t for the idiocy on twitter regarding Yorkshire Tea and its political associations and the Rees-Mogg follow up with Walkers and Pringles, I think my week would have been one long grey and dreary affair.

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses?  This dilemma has been doing the rounds since 2003 at least and has been discussed in the pub, on long journeys and even in the later rounds of job interviews.  Well, not for the first time, China is planning its own version of duck fighting.  Widely reported yesterday (and also in July 2000 so this could be a spoof) China is training 100,000 elite ducks, not to engage in equine warfare but in fact to eat the billions of locusts approaching their eastern border.  A duck apparently can eat 200 locusts a day, so this ‘eleat ‘unit would see off 20 million a day, by all accounts. However, judging by estimated number of locusts in the air it would take just 27 years for the swarm to be extinguished.  Now, if we had horse sized ducks….

Sadly, we have just read that Zhang Long, a professor from China Agricultural University, has rejected the Ningbo Evening News report that China was going to dispatch ducks to Pakistan – no comment on the hybrid version though!!

And then we read that France has become the fourth largest export market for Prosecco, now who’d have thunk that?  We had been led to believe that the French were pretty well served on the fizz front – many of the regions produce a Cremant of some sort or another and there is an area just north of Burgundy that certainly has been building quite a reputation of late for its sparkling wines made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir no less – worth looking out for I’m told.  Anyway, Prosecco seems to be sliding in very much at the lower end, as it did in the UK, thus cannibalising a market eager to drink fizz but without a fizz budget.  Ideal.  But you know who it will actually hit the hardest?  Those champagne producers who release their insipid, tart and flavourless version of the noble wine onto the market at a £10 price point – if it kills this market it can only be good for all of us!  Forza Glera!!

We won’t be tasting Prosecco this weekend, we’ll leave that for the French but we will, in a nod towards our wayward traveller, taste a couple of South African wines.

The newly listed white is the Barton Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2017 – £12.79 from Walker Bay, this is all about green pepper, gooseberries, and grapefruit, underlined with a crisp minerality and a medium- bodied citrus finish.  We like all the wines from Barton and it seems you do too, so let’s welcome this one with open arms.

Tom Doran, he of Doran Vineyards, has just had an operation on his knee and so is out of action for a few weeks, so we thought we might give his sales a boost again this week, whilst he’s laid up.  Another reasonably new listing is Doran Vineyards Pinotage 2018 – £13.99 from the Western Cape, this has excellent raspberry and blackberry fruits at its heart and is dangerously drinkable.  Not my best tasting note I concede but I believe it gets the point across.  Get well soon Tom; we’re likely to need more stock!

One important piece of admin before I go:

Next Friday, 6th March, is our annual close-early-and-go-and-run-the-bar-at-the-KCS-quiz-night.  So, we must apologise because we will be closing at 5pm that day.

So, that’s it for this week, apologies for the tardiness but I was interrupted for a bit by a shoplifter who needed thwarting.


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