Fellow Wine Lovers,

So, what have you got planned for the weekend?  If like many of us you persuaded your parents last night that a trial separation was worth a pop, you’ve now got your Mum living in your spare bedroom and as a side effect can now go and visit your Dad at his house because, you know, he’s on his own.  Your Dad thinks this new found freedom is amazing, your Mum is delighted to be able to spend more time with the grandchildren whilst you, you’ve never been keener to get back to the office.  Granny can now take two of the kids to the zoo, via the bookies, whilst your eldest is still going to school, finishing up year 6 two metres away from everyone else and wondering why she’s not at Whipsnade…

But of course, none of this is true because we can’t do any of this yet.  Rather than implementing something overnight, with the exception of lockdown, every new ‘relaxation’ or ‘guideline’ has a spurious start date in a spurious attempt to show us who’s in charge.  Support bubbles can start from tomorrow – why not yesterday?  Facemasks on public transport from next Monday, decided on the 4th June – why the wait?  Dentists went back to work last week, yet opticians and hairdressers are still shut?  Quarantine when arriving from abroad?  It’s all about control of course, seemingly less about that much vaunted common sense.

And we need to get the pubs open, if not for ourselves, then at least for our kids.  A reported 82% drop in beer sales during the coronavirus crisis has pushed a lot of breweries close to the wall and has, as an unforeseen consequence, impacted Marmite production.  No beer being brewed, no brewers yeast, no Marmite.  So, let’s get back in the pub and keep the breakfast soldiers marching!

And we need to get the pubs open because the football’s coming back.  Fresh from their lockdown indiscretions, the Premiership’s finest start back in their day jobs next Wednesday for a helter skelter ride until 26th July – 92 games in 40 days, it’s like the baseball but without the knickerbockers!  Elsewhere, in athletics, we learn that the 2022 Commonwealth Games which is taking place in Birmingham will now start 24 hours later than scheduled, due to coronavirus.  Well, that’s just thrown all my plans for 2022 into total disarray!

Wine meanwhile persists within its own bubble.  And within that bubble even, there exists a bubble with even more rarefied air and that is the bubble containing the Bordeaux En Primeur campaign. 

Against various trade rumblings that the campaign would be better served by being suspended this year, that in fact it was a bit tasteless even, a number of houses have released their wines onto the market at prices 15-30% less than the 2018 vintage.  2019 looks to be a decent vintage too, not at the level of 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015 or 2016 but decent nonetheless.  It was a hot vintage, lots of concentration and power potentially but with small yields – if you fancy some claret at a better price than recent year then go for it but don’t lose too much sleep if you decide to give it a miss – after all, as discussed earlier, there’s beer to be drunk!

Away from wine, what about Gin?  Well, for those of you who don’t already know, this Saturday is World Gin Day – I think you know what to do.  It’s also Sewing Machine Day, World Softball Day and International Axe Throwing Day – I think you know what not to do!

So what else to report?  The shop is still not open, despite many knocks on the door followed by queries such as “I saw the closed sign but I was just wondering if you were open?”  I know, never a dull moment round here!  Anyway, yes, we’re not open yet but we very nearly are, next week sometime will most likely see us dip our toes in the pond to see what bites and from there we will take every day as it comes – we won’t be making an announcement, we’ll just open the door very, very, slowly….

So keep placing your orders, we’ve got wine galore, we’ve got beer, we’ve got Gin and its highly spirited colleagues and we’ve got Champagne for those fizz Friday moments too.  If you fancy something for this weekend, fire off a quick response to this email and we’ll get it all delivered by our loyal liveried coachman, Mr Blomfield.

Enjoy your bubbles this weekend, in all senses of the word!

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