Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Fellow Wine Lovers,

We suspect that when she accepted the part in the Government production of the Wizard of Oz, Priti was hoping for a shiny pair of red shoes. Sadly for her, the more of the script she reads out at the despatch box the more she realises she is playing the part of The Tin Man. Nonetheless, it’s an impressive role to win given how many candidates could’ve been at the audition! The role of Scarecrow was already cast and there is certainly some confusion as to how he’s in charge of the Emerald City at the beginning of this production rather than the traditional end. We think the producer has Matt Hancock down as Dorothy, he looks like a rabbit in headlights at the lectern and we think inside he’s just wishing he was home. Has anyone seen his shoes? That probably puts Kier Starmer in the role of Lion doesn’t it?

So, not content with giving assaulters of statues potentially a larger sentence than assaulters of women, the Home Office has come up with another ridiculous idea. Following the trashing of their plan to send asylum seekers to empty oil rigs, they have now decided to process the said asylum seekers on an island. At the moment that island is unnamed but Gibraltar and the Isle of Man have ruled themselves out and we’ve tried to contact the Mayor of Canvey but to no avail.

We thought perhaps it could be a reward to the people of the Isle of Wight for their outstanding development work on the Test and Trace App, until we remembered we were stopping overseas development schemes. Last year’s idea of Ascension Island still seems a bit far-fetched, I mean who’s going to pay for the 4000 mile flight? Turkey is another idea they are floating and Priti definitely went to the same people management classes as Erdogan. I would ask you this, as we come out of lockdown with rising unemployment, what sense does it make to offshore jobs? Not to mention the cost of the flights or the contradiction with the Governments declaration of a climate emergency. Perhaps Turkey has been mentioned in a deterrent capacity, but how can we be sure that asylum seekers have even seen Midnight Express? I tell you wine lovers, it’s a mess!

Meanwhile in a firm show of commitment to “Levelling Up” the BBC has pledged to move 400 jobs out of London. Not all of the details are available but it appears Salford will benefit rather than Turkey, and there’s a good chance of a BBC version Coronation Street without adverts! Leeds, Cardiff, Glasgow and Birmingham all look to benefit too as the Beeb starts to host more shows outside of London. News that more of the Proms concerts will be hosted outside of London has us puzzled as we thought there was but one Albert Hall. That said, we look forward to the Wizard of Oz going on tour, and understand the Scarecrow already has personal appearance booked in Hartlepool. 

In European news, there has been a lot of hot air about vaccinations, the lack there of and the rights of the EU to impose tariffs till their fridges are full. However, we know that all you’re really interested in is the Milan-San Remo bicycle race on Saturday. This 299km race is the first of the season’s Monuments and only two Brits have won it, Tom Simpson in 1964, and Mark Cavendish in 2009. Cav described it as “the easiest race to finish, but the hardest to win”. This year, the bookies favourite is Mathieu van der Poel and his form thus far makes it difficult to argue, but I do have a nagging feeling about Julien Alaphillipe who out-sprinted both him and Wout van Aert on a stage at Tirenno-Adriatico last week.

Congratulations to Team New Zealand for successfully retaining Auld Mug in the America’s Cup. I don’t know about you but the idea of hanging over the side of one of these 100kmh yachts on skis terrifies me.

Closer to home the Six Nations draws to a close on Saturday too with games at 14.15, 16.45 and 20.00 – looks like I might struggle to fit the cycling in!

Whilst I’m here, I’d like to mention a new beer we listed recently, SlyBeast Lager (£2.80). The Slybeast microbrewery is the brainchild of Lee and Keris from the Pig & Whistle and is based just down the road in Wandsworth, continuing a tradition that has lasted on the site since 1533. The malty and citrus notes make it the perfect tipple for coping with the excitement of back to back Six Nations.

A local beer brewed by South Africans, now that is something I think we can all embrace.

That’ll be enough from us this week, we’re nearly there so wear a mask, have a jab, wash your hands and drink some wine.


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