Fiddling Whilst Parliament Burns

Fellow Wine Lovers,

It seems our democracy continues to be torn apart quicker than a parcel at a five year olds birthday party. According to the Parliament website there are 764 Lords in the house eligible to scrutinise bills, investigate government activity and ask oral and written questions as well as debate.

This week the House of Lords passed the government’s Election Bill which abolishes the independence of the Electoral Commission. Of those 764 eligible to vote only 383 of them bothered. We don’t know about you but we think that putting the body designed to ensure free and fair elections under Government control is surely not the work of a functioning democracy, is it? You didn’t read about it in the papers because they were busily distracted by the crossing of legs and the arching of eyebrows.

In other news, peaceful protest has been criminalised, a DJ has resigned after allegations of sexual misconduct but three cabinet ministers and two shadow cabinet ministers haven’t. That’s our MP’s upholding standards in public life.

There are elections on the 5th May so do go and vote, it’s us the government is supposed to work for and the continued destruction of democracy relies on continued voter apathy.

Seems our valuation of Twitter was a bit off, the inimitable Ego Musk has maxed out his Amex with an apparent $44billion bid. Surely with that much money you could go to space or something, maybe even set up Thunderbirds in real life. From a secret island in the South Pacific…Tesla Island anyone?

Omid Djalili pointed out some good news though; we used to be able to get about £65 of fuel into the Volvo, now we can get £90 in! Taking a win where we can…

Growing up towards the tail end of the Cold War and witnessing the fall of the Berlin Wall, we naively believed that the world was heading in the right direction – that the time of missile crises, repression, persecution, invasions, right wing dictators and the like was over, and while there were still a few rogue bogeymen clinging on in places like Libya, Iraq and North Africa the spread of democracy was inevitable and would reach them in time…Unfortunately it seems our optimism was misplaced and the bogeymen are as present now as they ever were.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine affects all of us in a myriad of ways and in the wine industry we can point to availability issue of screwcaps and bottles that are no longer being produced in Ukraine, and the severe price hike of gas and fuel affecting all transport and production as the most obvious examples. And, while Ukraine is clearly taking the brunt of the physical aggression, they are not the only ones struggling as a result of Putin’s empire building efforts.

Georgia, for example, is also suffering – and let’s not forget that the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia were annexed by Putin in 2008, citing unnamed threats to ethnic Russians in the region. All of which sounds remarkably familiar but there was less international outrage.

For Georgian winery Teliani Valley, their biggest export market last year was Ukraine, to the tune of 2 million bottles. That market has disappeared in a heartbeat. Second biggest? Russia. Third? Belarus. Fourth? Kazakhstan.

We wanted to do something to help, and the best way we thought we could do that was to get some Georgian wine in your glass. So we’ll be opening Teliani Valley Kakhuri No.8 2020 (£15.99) a blend of Rkatsiteli, Kakhuri, Mitsvane, Khikvi and Kisi grapes. This is a white wine made using skin contact more usually the preserve of red wine making. It gives the wine an amber hue and a wonderfully rich texture. But do come and taste for yourselves it’s actually quite difficult to convey in words.

For those not aware, Georgia is often considered the cradle of wine, with archaeologists tracing the world’s first wine production back to 6000BC with the people of the South Caucasus.

On the red front, we’ll head over to a rather less war torn Sardegna for a drop of San Costentino Cannonau di Sardegna 2020 (£17.99) a medium bodied drop of loveliness. Cannonau is of course the name Grenache goes by when it resides in Sardegna.

Thunderbirds are go…

Wayne & Alex

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