Beaujolais, Solar Power and Hospitality

Fellow Wine Lovers,

So yesterday, as you all know, was Beaujolais Nouveau day. 

As has happened since the early 1970’s, in the early hours of Thursday, chaps with vintage RAF moustaches and names like Squiffy, Blunder and Blatter all arrived in the vicinity of Romanèche-Thorins in their vintage MG’s and Triumph Spitfires, ready to take part in the race from the heart of Beaujolais to the heart of London.  The aim of this race is to be the first to bring the new vintage wines from Beaujolais to the eager drinkers in wine bars around, for them to enjoy with their ‘Beaujolais Breakfast! 

Sadly though, none of actually happened – 2 weeks quarantine, the famous vulnerability of old Triumph’s and the truly desperate situation of there being no wine bars open, has all rather put paid to the fun this year and thus Squiffy & Co will have to find their kicks elsewhere.

As a consequence, blaming the global pandemic in a way only the shabbiest of operators would, we therefore have no Beaujolais Nouveau.

Equally, as Wayne has just pointed out, it could just be that we didn’t order any, because we’re not sure if we like it or not, but that seemed a little too blunt and honest statement to start the email with!

We do however have Beaujolais Ancien should you wish to scratch that itch – the particularly juicy Cuvée Six Villages 2018 (£10.99) and the more concentrated Cuvée Sept Fleurie 2018 (£14.99) are both a joy to behold and frankly are far better than anything you might have had for breakfast yesterday!

Moving on from the disappointments of yesterday, let’s look at ones in the future instead. 

We are now well and truly ensconced in silly season, the earliest of the Christmas parties should be starting this week and the on-trade should be gearing up for the busiest 5 weeks of the year.  Christmas falling on a Friday should mean good trade all the way up to Wednesday 23rd since a lot of people would stay at their desks longer in order to ensure not having to come back before 2021. Then the pubs and bars and restaurants and hotels would benefit from Monday and Tuesday of the week being busy like a Thursday or Friday –  money to be made, fun to be had and an industry given a small boost.

However, will bars and restaurants open before Christmas?  It seems there are as many articles saying ‘yes’ as there are saying ‘no’ but the most worrying research comes from a recent survey conducted by CGA.  

Talking to members of UK Hospitality, the British Beer & Pub Association and the British Institute of Innkeeping, the shocker is that over 70% of businesses could close in 2021 without further government help, if we continue under the current tier system.   And in the short term, further government help would be better directed at letting them re-open before Christmas than further cash injections.  Given the choice between trading for 3 weeks in December or trading for the first 6 weeks of 2021, 100% support for the December option would be the most likely outcome, we reckon.

So Boris, when you read this, if there is any chance that the science says we can re-open hospitality for December then please make it so!

And now for the less gloomy news….

Tough to find much glimmering out there but the flurry of potential vaccines is a huge positive for us all, surely.

Listening to Bryson DeChambeau, pre-tournament Masters favourite, claim that Augusta would be like a par 67 for him and then proceeding to watch him card 70-74-69-73, tied for 34th place.  In fact, prior to this year he has only carded under 70 on one occasion, in 12 attempts.  Schadenfreude is the word.

For the first time in 22 years Scotland qualified for a major tournament – Euro 2020 – and with it the tantalising prospect of a match against England at Wembley on June 18th next year.  For England fans this will be a great opportunity to watch the second half of the 1996 Euro meeting between these two teams and enjoy the Gazza goal/dentist chair celebration one more time;

And finally, something that should maybe have happened ages ago:

Sol Brewed With Solar Power

No need to elaborate really on this great piece of renewable energy/marketing, we just wonder how long it will be before ‘produced using biomass energy’ becomes as much of a selling point as organic, low sulphite or vegan on a label?

I’ll leave that with you…

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