One man does not make a team and anyone can win on their day.

Fellow Wine Lovers,

With a nod towards the 1992 headline ‘It’s The Sun wot won it’ we will take no responsibility whatsoever for Gavin Williamson’s rapid exit from the Cabinet this week – I’m fairly sure that Carrie doesn’t read our weekly missive and, to be honest, GW has been a dead man walking for too long so it really was time for him to go. 

Anyway, Boris has reshuffled his pack, partly because he needed to but also, more significantly, because he was told that this is what proper and serious Prime Minister’s do every now and then; and of course, as we all know, Boris is the embodiment of proper and serious.  The exciting news is that we get lively Liz Truss to look after our interests abroad; Dominic Raab, who previously did this job but was found asleep on his lounger as Afghanistan unravelled, has somehow become Deputy Prime Minister; Nadine Dorries, whose audition piece on I’m a Celebrity… Get me out of here! in 2012 got her suspended, clearly impressed someone as she is now Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport; and Michael Gove, Teflon clad and immune to irony it would seem after the emergence of some particular unpleasant speeches from his youth, is in charge of the levelling up agenda.

So there we have it, Boris’s dream team, proper and serious and leaders in their fields and definitely not just his mates and yay-sayers.

Away from the political arena, we see that Elton John has postponed his upcoming UK tour until 2023 due to the need to have an operation on his hip.  Very sensible, Reginald – if only Tom Petty had taken similar advice we would still have him in our midst.

In sport, we saw the return of Ronaldo to much fanfare and let’s be honest, he did what he is paid to do from game one.  However, he couldn’t stop them losing to Young Boys in Europe, which goes to show that despite appearances, one man does not make a team and anyone can win on their day.  Let’s hope this is true for the Europe players picked for the Ryder Cup.  John Rahm is world #1 but he next highest ranked European is Viktor Hovland at #13 – between these two sit 9 of the American team.  The lowest ranked American is Scottie Scheffler at #21 – 8 Europeans sit below him.  Let’s hope Europe have their day!

No real wine news to speak of.   We’re being encouraged to go to the pub and dine out still but we’ve also all read about the dearth of hospitality staff available.  Apparently, employers need to be more open-minded when it comes to employment contracts as staff want to be able to work more on their own terms.  Many of the predominantly younger potential employees want is greater flexibility, variety and control over their working hours; effectively they want the zero hours contracts just as Keir Starmer is calling for such things to no longer be allowed.  Obviously, in the long run this doesn’t work because when all your staff decide they don’t want to work on Friday nights what do you do then?  Sorry, we’re closed, doesn’t bode well for business survival….

Some scattered sunshine yesterday evening took you all off to the pub it would seem but hopefully tonight you’ll be keener to drink back at home.  With this in mind, I’ll have a couple of bottles open for you to taste – this week I’ve decided to go Italian, as is very often my wont:

Produttori del Gavi ‘Gavi Mille 951’ 2020 – £15.49 – is the white choice – made at their winery overlooking the historic Gavi fortress, this cooperative has been making wine for over 65 years.  Aromas of pear peach, apricot and yellow plum greet us on the nose whilst on the palate we have the same fruit characters with hints of almond in the background.  Dry, light and moreish, a perfect aperitif!

Castel Firmian Merlot 2018 – £13.99 is this week’s red, from Trentino, right up in the northern-most part of Italy.  Wayne has always had a bit of a soft spot for Italian Merlot so it was no surprise that we really enjoyed this when we tasted it, lovely damson fruit character with a touch of leafy herbiness.  The wine spent just 3-4 months in oak barrels and has a lovely juiciness and drinkability, with some fine tannin just to keep it honest.  Being Italian it matches well with all sorts of food choices, perhaps a cheeky burger if the sun makes another showing?

And finally, we said goodbye to Sir Clive Sinclair this week.  Inventor of the pocket calculator, affordable computers, hand held televisions and of course the C5; a man who often invented things we didn’t know we needed – I mean, hand held TV’s and electric vehicles, you must be kidding?!

And that’s that – have a lovely weekend!

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