Wine, Dinosaurs and White Port

Fellow Wine Lovers,

As A-level students received their results yesterday we found ourselves pondering, and not for the first time, on what an odd year 2020 has turned out to be. Gavin Williamson’s comments that “Increasing the A-level grades will mean a whole generation could end up promoted beyond their abilities” had us stitching our sides back up and calling Alanis Morissette for a comment. It would appear she’s off on holiday somewhere like many of you.

We might have tried another tack… “Minister, how does a student with mock results of A, A, and A, with assessments from the school of A*, A, and A* end up with grades of B, B and C?” All of a sudden you have to quarantine if you’ve travelled through France and the A-levels are off the front page. Cynical, sickening or the modern way – you choose.

Alex has been on holiday this week, out and about strolling moors with the family, possibly a game of swing ball or two, before counting real sheep in time for bed. Meanwhile I’ve been having an almost Greek sojourn here in Wimbledon Park. We’ve certainly had the weather; I’ve had Greek salad for lunch, listened to the rumble of thunder for an hour or so yesterday whilst the streets of Twickenham and Hammersmith got positively jet-washed by Mother Nature. The way it’s going I might even have to find some Ouzo to go with my fish & chips tonight!

In the Isle of Wight they do appear to have discovered a new dinosaur. Bones were found near Shanklin that are the vertebrae of an as yet undiscovered genus of dinosaur. The palaeontologists from Southampton University were understandably excited: “You don’t usually find dinosaurs in the deposits at Shanklin, you’re much more likely to find fossil oysters or driftwood, so this is a rare find indeed. It is likely the Vectaerovenator lived in an area just north of where its remains were found, with the carcass having washed out into the shallow sea nearby.” Seems to me that the Isle of Wight really is the original Jurassic Park!

In US news we learn that Trumpolina ducked the difficult question: “Mr President, after three and a half years, do you regret at all, all the lying you’ve done to the American people?” Aside from that, he’s just not happy with his wash. It appears he will compel the water companies to act because he’s not getting enough water pressure in his shower, and he needs his hair to be ‘perfect’. There is obviously nothing else of note happening in the US whatsoever, we did warn you about news in August!

But at least we do have some sport to talk about. Not only did England surprise us all in the first test with a successful run chase, but when rain stopped play yesterday Pakistan were 126-5, even with the obligatory dropped catches from England. Looks like rain may play a big part in it though, with the storms looking set to continue.

Talking of storms, the Critérium du Dauphiné was hit by a hailstorm yesterday with golf ball sized ice lumps raining down on the peloton right at the finish. The riders were desperately trying to stay upright, some walked, and one even took cover under a tent just 500m from the finish. Primo Roglic won the stage though, and looks to be in really decent form.  Typically this race is where everyone tests out their legs before the Tour de France, and this year is no different, just later. UK Cycling Expert on twitter suggests the race is named because we get to see who is climbing like a sack of potatoes!

In our occasional series of summer holiday drinking at home we thought this week we’d mention Kopke White Port (£15.99). It’s a golden colour in the glass with notes of apricot, honey and spices. The palate starts off with a sweet attack but moves onto a citrus laden dry finish. We’d suggest serving it as a long drink over ice with either tonic or ginger beer as a real summer refresher.

Otherwise if you’d like a delivery drop us a line as usual, or do swing by to see us in the shop!


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