Like a Spinal Tap Speaker We Go Up to 11

Fellow Wine Lovers,

This week, we’ve mostly been cold but we really should get over that because we’re not in the coldest part yet.

Also this week we have mostly been failed.  Words have failed us too often lately and it doesn’t feel terribly much like we’ve reached the end of this cycle.

So, we’re back to wearing masks in shops and trains and suchlike.  However, suchlike doesn’t actually encompass much else unless you happen to be in a hair-dresser, nail salon, bank or caught walking down a school corridor by the local bobby and fined £200.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that I want to wear a mask down the pub or in a restaurant but it does feel like this policy on masks is a little piecemeal.

Thérèse Coffey then took measures to help her avoid any awkward moments at the upcoming Number 10 shindigs by discouraging mistletoe kissing, seemingly blissfully unaware that ‘snogging’ is an all-year-round activity and not just reserved for December.  George Freeman then joined this free advice service, saying that the government wasn’t trying to tell the public who they should kiss and where, which we all agree might be a little too prescriptive and invasive.  Boris has yet to join in with his tuppence, perhaps because his advice might be slightly different regarding kissing strangers.

Speaking of the Johnson, seems that whilst he was upstairs reading nursey rhymes to 6 month old Wilf this time last year, his buddies were getting loaded on eggnog downstairs, partying like it was 1999, fiddling whilst Rome burnt and generally observing the famous lyric from Killing in the Name – all whilst we were wearing masks everywhere, seeing no one outside our bubble and exchanging Christmas gifts in chilly lay-bys on the A3.

Before we leave Westminster, we mustn’t forget everyone’s favourite mansplainer, Jacob Rees-Mogg, who seems to be in trouble for lending himself £6 million to buy a house in Westminster…. is there perhaps some sort of financial manipulation going on there Jacob?!

In the rest of the world we have vaccines, boosters, more vaccines, a variant that perhaps can avoid such vaccines and then talk in Europe of mandatory jabs and fines for non-compliance.  We’re both on board with the roll-out, have stepped up every time we’ve been invited to have an injection but at the same time we are a little discombobulated by the words ‘mandatory’ and ‘fines’ – not sure anyone wants to go too far down that road… although Germany now seem more than happy to poke that bear, banning the unvaccinated from shops and bars!

Words fail us.

Back in the world of booze, the panic surrounding Champagne shortages was dealt another deadly blow last night as we hosted our annual Sparkling Wine and Champagne Tasting – Thirsty Thursday is no misnomer and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves like they were at a senior aide’s leaving do.  Much fizz was consumed and I think it fair to say that there were no outright winners or losers and the absence of Prosecco from the list was not greatly missed!

For those of you unable to attend the tasting, fear not, we’ll open a bottle of Champagne today for you all.  For on this day, Friday 3rd December 2010, we opened the Park Vintners doors for the first time!  So, when you consider that Wayne just celebrated his 30th birthday earlier this week too, means we should certainly crack open a bottle of bubbles or two, no?

Lété-Vautrain Brut 204 NV – £30 – 3 bottles for £75

This champagne has been our house fizz for a couple of years now and is a constant delight.  A blend of the usual suspects, 50% Pinot Meunier, 25% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir this is an ideal aperitif champagne, crisp and dry with complex apple and stonefruit notes with a touch of breadiness and dried fruit on the finish.  However, don’t take our word for it, come and try it yourselves!

Whilst we’ve got you in the shop, why don’t you also taste the wines we’ve got open?  And perhaps a drop of the perennially popular Foxdenton Christmas Gin?

Valenciso Blanco 2019 – £21.99

We think white Rioja is an oft overlooked style and works particularly well with much of the festive feasting.  A blend of 70% Viura and 30% Garnacha Blanca fermented and then aged for 9 months in Caucasian oak barrels it has complex aromas combining pretty, floral characters with preserved lemon, truffle and smoky notes.  The palate is broad and well integrated with nuts and stone fruit characters, fresh candied peel, minerality and crisp citrus acidity on the finish.  A delicious broad mouth-feel and a great length finish cap it all off – we generally cannot understand why we don’t sell this by the caseload!

Marco Abella Mas Mallola 2017 – £27.99

A classic rich and fleshy Priorat made principally from Grenache and Carignan.  The style of wines from Priorat comes from the arid soils characterised by slate strata known in Catalan as licorella.  Marco Abella has 23 hectares of land, distributed over four different vineyards located between 450m and 700m altitude, which make their wines uniquely refreshing. They believe firmly in biodynamic viticulture and follow the principles throughout the vineyard and the winery.  Polished and rich, with firm dark fruits and a bit of grip to keep it honest, this is not a wine we open very often but, as the Philadelphia girls once said, it is my birthday!

So come and try some sumptuous wines on what promises to be a cold weekend and help Wayne celebrate his multiple birthdays. 

We finish with an apology after a longer missive – clearly words haven’t failed us that much!

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