Wines from Spain, Gran Reserva Rioja 2001, Arthur Road Christmas Lights

Fellow Wine Lovers,

It’s all thanks to you.  You never asked us to open here on Arthur Road, you never lobbied for extra wine shops, Merton Council received no petitions.  Nonetheless, we opened up here without so much as a by your leave, filled our shelves with fun you don’t find in Tesco, in Wine Rack, or the pub – put white wines and Champagne in the fridges, stuck some of our favourites in the window, put blackboards outside telling you what was going on and generally made a nuisance of ourselves.

And in spite of all this, you all came to visit us.

We opened wine on Saturdays, put on monthly Wine and Cheese tastings, got winemakers in to show you their wares, filled up 6 week wine courses, did private tastings at people’s houses/schools/churches, provided wine for weddings/christenings/knees up(s?)…

And still you came to see us.

We bugged you to ‘Vote for Us’ in Time and Leisure – you did, bless you – and we won Best Wine Retailer 2012.  Two Septembers on the trot, we inundated you with info and wine tastings from Chile – twice we came Runners-Up in the Wines of Chile Independent Wine Merchant Awards.

And you know what, all this has happened in less than 2 years.

So as they say, time flies.  Monday 3rd December sees us celebrate our second birthday, the onset of our third Christmas on Arthur Road, and the official start of silly season.

However since our big day falls at the start of the week, when we will obviously be drinking fizzy water and green tea, eating our five a day and going for a long healthy run, we’ve decided to pop celebratory corks this Friday night and Saturday.  Wayne also celebrates another birthday on Saturday (how many does one man need?), so frankly it will be taxis home come 8pm on Saturday night…

We had thought long and hard about how we could celebrate – too cold for a street party, speed dating would be too weird, some helpful customers mentioned a supermarket sweep style affair (thank you, but no), others a drink the shop dry event (must explain the difference between on- and off- licences), but then Spain rang us up and solved all of our problems: how about a Spanish tasting with some nibbles kindly provided by Brindisa? ¡hola!, we said to ourselves…

All we need is for every single one of you to come and see us over the weekend so that we can thank you individually for your support over the last two years and hopefully, via the medium of food and wine, we can bamboozle you into supporting us for the next 200 years!

As an enticement here’s what we’ll be opening:

  • Mas Macià Cava Brut NV – £9.89a fresh and creamy Cava with complex flavours of apple and stone fruits, herbal notes and some nutty yeasty influences from its time spent on its lees.  Good acidity and a long, crisp finish.
  • Macià Batle ‘blanc de blancs’ 2010 – £16.49 – A blend of Prensal Blanc and Chardonnay.  This stunning white is from Mallorca.  Local variety Prensal Blanc provides a light structure of herbs and white fruit character to set off the appley Chardonnay.  Think Condrieu meets Burgundy in a Spanish nightclub…
  • VIña Zorzal Graciano 2010 – £10.49this wine, from Navarra uses one of the lesser known Rioja varieties, Graciano.  We love this grape for its ripe, round, elegant fruit, its softly integrated tannins and gentle fruit development.
  • Bodegas Ontañón Gran Reserva Rioja 2001 – £25.49‘it has a traditional, dusty, sandalwood-scented bouquet, while the palate has a freshness and vitality lent by the acidity.  Fresh dark cherry, boysenberry and wild strawberry fruits combine well on the silky smooth finish that urged you to take another sip’ 91 Points – Neal Martin – Robert Parker Wine Advocate August 2012
  • Bodegas El Maestro Sierra Oloroso – £9.99 – Aged in solera for 15 years, this is a complex wine oozing hazelnut and spice aromas with a rich textured palate covered in nuts and spice once more.  Superb value especially given its complexity.  Wayne has his gaze firmly set on this wine, so if you want to try some I suggest you arrive before his sun disappears over the yardarm…

So that’s it – sport free, news free, no mention of Leveson, an email all about us this week, and of course you.

You never invited us, we turned up anyway, you checked us out, we stayed, we thank you!


Alex & Wayne.

p.s. As you’re all coming to visit us, why not check out the turning on of the Arthur Road Christmas Lights at 4.15.

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