Jenkins Ear, Morzine & Britney Spears

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Hello, good evening and welcome to 23rd October 2020 edition of the Weekly Wine. 

At some point over lockdown we wrote our 500th edition of this Friday epistle, a landmark that was sadly overlooked in the hiatus of hot weather and rosé consumption but suffice to say we have passed that mark and still my wife hasn’t read a single edition. 

We had hoped that, by adjusting our opening hours post lockdown, we might increase our focus, that shorter hours would result in greater productivity over a diminished period and that many efficiencies would be made.  As demonstrated by the opening lines of this email and, indeed, the lines to come, it would seem we are still more than able to waste time researching dumb facts even when there is less time to waste – which is why we are now considered pretty unemployable by anyone but ourselves!!

So, in an attempt to avoid the real world and the long ramifications of engaging with the BBC comments pages, I have decided to look back in time (notes in italics from and see what was going on today, in better times mostly… so let’s start with war (?)

1739 War of Jenkins’ Ear starts: British Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, reluctantly declares war on Spain – a time when they properly knew how to name their wars, or perhaps a time when they didn’t rush into things – Jenkins lost his ear in 1731

1854 English newspaper “The Times” gives precise British positions in Crimea during Crimean War – good to see that Press muppetry has a long history

1989 Hungary proclaims itself a republic & declares communist rule ended – and this was a peaceful transition, which is not always the norm

Then we move into the word of science:

1814 1st plastic surgery is performed (England) – and people still remark on how little I’ve aged…

1977 Palaeontologist Elso Barghoorn announces discovery of a 3.4-billion year old one-celled fossil, one of the earliest life forms on Earth – potentially a joke to be made about Wayne but I can’t quite find it – a little help please?

2001 Apple releases the iPod – just to make us all feel old!

On the big screen:

1941 Walt Disney’s animated film “Dumbo” released – just discovered this is not based on a true story, damn, I seen a peanut stand, heard a rubber band, I seen a needle that winked its eye but I be done seen ’bout ev’rything when I see an elephant fly

1958 The Smurfs first appear in the story “Johan and Pirlouit” by Belgium cartoonist Peyo – the first blue movie?

2012 “Skyfall”, 23rd James Bond film, directed by Sam Mendes and starring Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem premieres in London – we should be watching the latest edition right now and drinking Bond branded Bollinger, sigh…

Classical music:

1998 Britney Spears releases her debut single “Baby One More Time” – I will never, ever get over hearing a 27 year old friend of mine singing along to this on a chairlift in Morzine – a personal memory, I know, but frankly one he should be reminded of in one of the board meetings he now leads

2015 Adele releases her single “Hello” – becomes 1st song with more than a million downloads in 1st week (1.1m) – that’s a lot of people buying music en primeur, if only we had that market


2011 7th Rugby World Cup Final, Eden Park, Auckland: Tournament favourites New Zealand edge France, 8-7; crowd 61,079 – imagine that many people in one place at the same time – that’s one hell of a ‘working lunch’

Of course, this is just a snapshot of what has happened this day over time – closer to home, in our missive of 23rd October 2015 we encouraged you to vote for us in a Time Out Awards thingy, we encouraged you to drink lots of Rioja and, funnily enough, we encouraged you to go and watch Spectre with a bottle of Bolli – plus ça change!

No mention of current affairs bar this – Wayne has been keen to point out that the Giro D’Italia and the Vuelta a España will both be on the TV this weekend, side by side, and that his recommended drinking is Sepp Moser Classic Organic Zweigelt 2019 – £12.99, a rather tasty drop from Austria, not too heavy with soft tannins and spicy berry fruits.  But it’s not really about the wine though is it Wayne, it’s about the rather dandy velocipede on the label isn’t it?!

Thank you for listening, have a wonderful weekend  and don’t forget it’s an hour longer this time – clocks change on Sunday morning!

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