We’ve Found A Brick

Fellow Wine Lovers,

How’s your week been? We’ll confess to having had better ones if we’re honest. We received an alarm signal at about the midpoint of that biblical storm on Wednesday night and Alex was dead chuffed to test the waterproof nature of his jacket with a stroll in the rain just before midnight.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a false alarm, as some kind person had presented us with the gift of an old London house brick. It turns out that 24/7 glaziers are less 24/7 when the rain is falling and by the time someone had been and boarded up the damage the rain had actually stopped. A rather sleep deprived Alex set off for home pleased with his jacket’s performance but somehow a little disappointed with the performance of human kind.

Fortunately, little was stolen. When you’ve been in the game for 20 years you only ever put dummies in the window so that the other dummies can’t get away with much. So, leave nothing in your cars folks and if anyone is missing a brick…

If all of this wasn’t enough, I’ve just discovered that the history I understood to be true has been torn up. Imagine that, for decades I’ve been wrong, and not just me, possibly all of you too. Scientists writing in the journal ‘Nature’ have discovered that Christopher Columbus was not the first European to sail to America. Dating some wood at a Norse settlement in Newfoundland, it seems the Vikings arrived around 1021 AD, almost 500 years before that slacker Columbus!

Whilst we’re getting the bad news out of the way, some people will be devastated to hear the price of Marmite is on the rise. We’re surprised to discover it’s not covered by the energy price cap!

We’ve just had this year’s World Porridge Making Championship (yes really!). Normally, it takes place in Carrbridge, which is bona fide proper Highland Scotland but this year it was held virtually (Zoom Porridge?). Anyway, top spoils were taken by Dutch food blogger Miriam Groot for her oat arancini with mushrooms and white wine. I don’t know about you but I’m unconvinced that I would find the recipe in my book filed under porridge.   The top 10 included two Americans, two Australians, one cook from Germany, two from England and one from Scotland. They each won a hand-carved spurtle which is a 15th century Scottish wooden kitchen tool, used for stirring porridge. Looking at them, I’m not sure you could pick up arancini with them.

It’s got to that stage of the football season where managers decide to change their commute and Sam Allardyce updates his LinkedIn. Bruce is out at Newcastle United, Nigel Adkins is out at Charlton Athletic and Kevin Maher is in at Southend United. Mourinho could be under a spot of pressure too, it’s not often you see an Italian team taking such a drubbing; maybe they were unsettled being that far north?

Whilst writing this piece I have just discovered there is a computer game called Football Manager. Who on earth plays a game that fires you in October? Is Super Mario in charge at Naples? I have so many questions.

We’ve had a chat with HR and we’ve decided that we’re making Alex Employee of the Month for services to the late night economy of Arthur Road. With that done, should we taste some wine?

We thought we’d visit Portugal this week for some good everyday drinkers.

The white corner will be inhabited by Ai Galera Mistico 2018, Tejo – £9.49

Tejo, a region east of Lisbon, has been overlooked for too long but, as we’ve said before, Portugal is where the value is at and this blend of Fernão Pires and Verdelho is a fine demonstration.  Golden yellow in the glass, entirely unoaked and with a lovely soft, satisfying, juicy fruit character.  Wayne likes the thought of some grilled sardines; Alex thought some lemon sole, so we’re definitely looking seaward!

Whilst leaning on the bar in the red room will be Terra Boa 2018, Beiras – £9.49

This is from the granite based uplands by the Spanish border, grown between 500 and 700 metres altitude.  A blend of predominantly Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz, with a 10% splash of Cabernet Sauvignon, its bramble and plum aromas are very appealing. Generous and supple on the palate, with fresh red cherry and blackberry leaf characters, fine tannins and a touch of spice on the juicy finish.  Our food match – some slow cooked pork with a bit of spice rub and some couscous, wonderful!

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