Where Are We Going With This?

Fellow Wine Lovers,

We’ve seen a few of you back already; you’ve given us a wave or stopped in to say hi. We’ve heard about paddle boarding, surfing, Stormzy at Reading and fantastic tandoori monkfish. There’s been talk of the fabulous beaches of Devon, Gower and Hunstanton, mackerel fishing, wine tasting in Oia and surprising heat in southern Spain.

We have also heard some complaints, of midges whose bite is second only to that of the saltwater crocodile but a million times more persistent, of traffic which has a persistence of its own whether you’re on the A3 or the A303 but also the persistence of grey skies cropped up more than once.

Where are we going with this? A question you may well be asking yourself, and certainly one we ask ourselves most weeks – Who knows? As many of you regular readers will know what starts off as a random selection of observations on the week ends up as a selection of random observations with questionable grammar and poor punctuation, particularly if it was Wayne’s turn with the keyboard!

We might mention the time we’d set aside to watch the Belgian Grand Prix only to witness a 3 lap health and safety assessment that resulted in no race but an outcome awarded. As someone who took two days to dry his waxed coat off after seeing Senna win in the rain in 1989, this was a disappointing outcome.  Them’s the rules, them’s the breaks I guess but the cyclists at La Vuelta didn’t stop racing when it rained all the way up the mountain, down the mountain, along the valley and then up the really steep mountain into the fog did they? No, they did not but I feel like I’m complaining about weather again.

There have been some pleasant surprises, the sun appearing around the same time as most of you returning to Wimbledon Park is certainly a pleasant one. Abba announcing a new album is a somewhat unexpected one and a Park Vintners missive talking about memes is certainly a surprise. I don’t know if any of you saw Dominic Raab being questioned by Tom Tugendhat at the Foreign Affairs Committee but if there is a better meme for the kid who didn’t do his summer homework we haven’t seen it.

On the wine front, we bring you news that TotalEnergies is bringing a 100% renewable fuel for race cars to the market that they claim could reduce the CO2 emissions of a racing car by 65%. The fuel is made residues from the wine industry. The waste lees and grape pomace are turned into a bio-ethanol and then waste from feedstock is added making the high performance fuel. Let’s hope the race is for more than three laps, eh?

Following a tough year in French vineyards (and it’s not over just yet!), producers in Chablis are experimenting with electric wires to combat frost. This year some vineyards in the region lost up to half of their potential crop to late frost after 20 nights in 29 days in April suffered unseasonably low temperatures. Indeed, due to climate change it is a considerably higher risk than 20 years ago.

Two days ago we had hail reaping havoc in Ribeiro, that part of Spain where the light reds come from, near Orense. Fairly unusual we’d say, just before the harvest, and a tough reminder of the harshness of weather when growers have lost up to 70% of what was shaping up to be a good year.

We’ll be opening some wine this weekend and, given the forecast is finally for a bit of sunshine, we thought we’d assume a bit of barbecue action may be the order of the day. Wearing the white t-shirt (don’t spill the ketchup!) will be Cave de Turckheim Edelzwicker (£10.99) from the Alsace, a winning blend of Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner and Riesling that is dry and fresh with some lush green apple fruit and a fab aperitif whilst the coals warm up.

Sporting the red t-shirt (ketchup safe!) will be Maggio Family Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel (£14.49) hailing from Lodi where the family has been growing grapes since 1938. This is a fantastic partner to some low and slow pork if that’s the plan, but equally at home with a burger.

That’s probably enough of our random observations for one week. Do come in, shoot the breeze and taste the wine, who knows we may even know the cricket score!

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