Swimmers, Mask and a Corkscrew

Fellow Wine Lovers,

I found the dictionary was left open after last week’s email. Someone had clearly been leafing through though, as it was open at Tin Pot Dictator, “An autocratic ruler with little political credibility and delusions of grandeur”, since you ask.

That got us thinking, and chatting in fact, about the parallels between decades in different countries and poor leadership. Before you could say ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ the army had been called in!  If you’d like to play this game at home, read some news reports of Tiananmen Square from 1989 and compare them to reports from Portland Oregon this week!

In domestic politics we finally had the long delayed report into Russian election meddling. It seems it found no evidence of meddling, mostly because it didn’t look for any. I can’t be the only person who imagined a Police Squad/Naked Gun style script to this? A team of MI5 agents with magnifying glasses walking through several offices staffed with Rosa Klebb look-a-likes and a sign that says “Nothing to see here!” “Здесь нечего смотреть”.

Fed up with Nicola Sturgeon making him look foolish from afar, Boris this week visited Scotland so he could experience it at closer hand. He’s visited Orkney to announce some funding for the islands, but we all know he was really there to stock up on hand dived scallops, Bere Bannocks, and a couple of North Ronaldsay sheep to be delivered to Chequers for the barbecue. Perhaps even a case of each of the local whiskies for the bar at Downing Street.

Whilst he was busy with his shopping, Nicola Sturgeon suggested that the prime minister’s visit to Scotland “highlighted the argument for Scottish independence”. I suspect a chicken crossing the road would have the same significance if you’re in charge of the SNP!

So, normally this time of the year we’d be talking about the big getaway, making jokes about how the best place to photograph Stonehenge is from the traffic jam on the A303. This year we’re not sure, are you all going away? We don’t know whether to have the Southwold shuffle chat, the wrong way up jam and cream tea chat, or a pint at The Ship at Mousehole anecdote?  Perhaps a staycation has us all on the common outside the Hand in Hand playing crab football, or booking a shed at the Pig & Whistle?

Perhaps we’ll have a virtual holiday by wine. This week we’ll start in Provence where the sun shines, the cycling is fabulous and the wine cold and pale pink!

Chateau de l’Aumerade ‘Cuvée Marie Christine’ (£14.99) Cru Classé, Côtes de Provence has been owned by the Fabre family since 1932. Based in Perrefeu-du-Var, they were one of the first estates to bottle their own wine and champion the regions wines. They overhauled the chateau and were awarded the Cru Classé in 1955 and are to this day one of only 18 estates to be able to claim this revered quality status. The wine itself is our bestselling wine most years and is a crisp, dry and elegant blend of Cinsault (35%), Grenache (35%) and Syrah (30%). Very pale in the glass with notes of pink grapefruit and a palate that seems to blend delicate white peach flesh with dried raspberry and a long crisp finish.

So, wherever you’re planning to be for the next few weeks don’t forget to pack a corkscrew and some suntan lotion.

Oh and your swimmers, maybe a sunhat, a mask and perhaps your wellies!

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