Keep your chin up, things could be a lot worse, raise a glass!

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Welcome to the watershed weekend to end all watershed weekends!


With a swoosh of his magic wand, Boris answered all our questions this week and made clear the way our lives must be lived for most likely the next six months – which should nicely bring us to the first lockdown anniversary. 

From a business point of view, we now know we won’t be hosting any tastings for a good while hence, that the Christmas party season is already over, and that it’s now all about the dinner party.  However, these dinner parties are going to have to be small affairs, particularly if you’re daft enough to have children who immediately take up part of your quota of 6, even if they are asleep upstairs.  I can already hear the turkey farmers getting in a flap, the Thanksgiving/Christmas season being their one shot at glory but both these occasions rely on numerous mouths to feed – a turkey for four people is a formidable challenge well beyond most of our interest levels.  Equally, for us, the upcoming months are the time that we sell larger volumes of larger format wines: magnums move steadily every week and we can quite happily have a jeroboam of something interesting that will pique someone’s interest but this is less likely to happen now – a jeroboam is four bottles, a bottle a head, a commitment….

However, there might be a silver lining; he might lift the rule of six in time for Christmas and New Year which would be perfect time for us all to hold street parties celebrating his well-crafted Brexit on January 1st.  Or perhaps he needn’t bother.

The Police

On a more serious note, there is the worrying final sentence in the outline of changes that was published on Wednesday:

The government will restrict the opening hours of premises, initially in local lockdown areas, with the option of national action in the future.

Couple this with the use of Covid Marshalls and I really do feel that the whole nation is sliding into a realm a trifle less democratic than we all signed up for.


Living in the present, we can still see our friends this weekend and by all accounts many of you are planning to go the full 1999. It will be dry and mild tomorrow and then Sunday should be a scorcher – couple this with the fact that this is the last weekend of the American Express Shop Small offer and really, what are we all waiting for.  I’ve got Rosé  ready to roll, I’ve got beer, I’ve got Champagne, I’ve even got ice – let’s do it!

Neil Young

So what’s going on in the world outside Covid?  Well, in wine, not a great deal.  It’s Harvest time, or approaching it at least, for much of Europe, so we’re not hearing much from there.  In spite of the restriction on us running private tastings, we are still allowed to go to trade tastings because they come under the umbrella of work so on Monday 21st September we will be scuttling into town to visit two different venues.  It will be great to be out as much to stretch our legs as to try some new things and finally be able to answer the question ‘got any new wines in?’ with a yes rather than a rather flat no.  Can’t wait.


Whilst Wayne has been eating Mersea oysters and drinking too much stout, I’ve re-listed a Belgian beer that we haven’t had for over a year.  Thanks to his historic love of all things from Belgium, about 10 years ago he introduced me to the Lambic beer, Gueuze.  Many of you won’t know what I’m talking about, so here’s a quick York note.  Gueuze is a blend of younger (not fully fermented) and older (2 and 3 year old) Lambic beers, which is then bottled for a second fermentation.  Lambic beers differ from other beers because they are fermented by exposure to wild yeasts and bacteria in the brewery rather than cultivated brewer’s yeast.  Swerving away from deeper science, what do they taste like?  Dry, cider-like, vinous, with a tangy, tart aftertaste – bloomin’ delicious if you ask me!

I’ve bought some mini bottles, so if you fancy trying something that might re-calibrate your beer drinking, this could be for you.

Lindemans Gueuze 25cl – £2.00

The Doors

That’s it from us for this week.  Enjoy the sunshine, keep your chin up, things could be a lot worse, raise a glass!

The End.

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