What do we know about running a business?

Fellow Wine Lovers,

First up, a bit of admin to save you having to read the whole email…

We’ve got a busy week of tastings next week, out and about in London town with our notebooks and our Christmas shopping lists, so our opening hours will be slightly unusual:

Monday – we will be back by 3pm, so will open then

Tuesday – CLOSED ALL DAY – multiple tastings, multiple different venues

Wednesday – open as usual

Thursday – we will be back by 3pm, so will open then

Friday – open as usual

Now, back to business.

The Guardian gave us two headlines that particularly caught our eyes this week and I’m sure you saw them too.

Rick Stein defends charge of £2 for condiments at Cornwall restaurant

UK’s biggest pub group to charge 20p more a pint at busy times under surge pricing

For those of you who focus more on the crossword and the sports pages, in a nutshell these two stories pretty much start and finish with the headlines.  Rick Stein has been accused of mugging his customers by charging £2 for mayo, for ketchup and for mushy peas whilst the owners of, amongst others, Slug & Lettuce, Yates’s, Be at One and Walkabout announced their intention to introduce dynamic pricing that will give customers the chance to experience Zimbabwean style price inflation in real time.  If I’m honest, I had no idea that Slug & Lettuce and co were still trading but I expect that’s because I don’t spend enough time around Leicester Square.

Anyway, for me, I think Rick could have avoided the bad press by just adding the £2 into the cost of the fish and chips – if you’re already charging £16.95 then make it £18.95 and give the condiments away ‘free’.  Not everyone will have them, so the costs will be well covered but hey, what do I know about running a business?

Actually, we have been practicing a form of dynamic pricing for a while now.  The way our system works is thus: whilst there is no one in the shop (quiet times) everything is free of charge, fill yer boots; however, as soon as someone comes in (peak times) surge pricing is enabled and everything goes up to the full ticket price on.  A simple yet effective business model, no one has every complained and I’m very pleased to show you some pricing transparency!

It does make me wonder though, if we are about to see bars going down the same route that budget airlines have long followed.  So, as opposed to ordering a pint and paying for it, we will now be confronted with an array of choices:

Would you like to pre-book a nice pint glass for £2 or shall we allocate you a slightly chipped one when you order?  Certainly you can buy a bottle of wine but there will be an additional £2 charge for opening it, is that okay?  Yes, sir, we do have a loo downstairs, it’s 50p per visit or you can pay for £2 for up to 5 visits….

Cannot wait.

The good news is I won’t be charging you for opening the wines that we have on tasting this weekend.  As the weather seems to be continuing fair until Sunday (when I’m playing golf in the rain) I thought we would stick at the lighter end for one more week.

Now, I can’t believe we’ve got this deep into the year without opening one of our most popular summer whites so, freshly landed from Portugal, may I introduce you to Vilacetinho Vinho Verde 2022 – £10.99.  Casa de Vilacetinho was founded in 1790 and is one of the oldest producers of Vinho Verde.  This wine is crisp and dry from south facing, granite slopes and is lively, zingy and zesty with citrus notes and a light spritz.  Perfect as an apéritif sundowner and recently went really well with a ramen and at only 10% alcohol, it’s also unlikely to give you a headache in the morning!

The red will be Italian, from beautiful Tuscany:  Calappiano Chianti 2021 – £11.99.  Owned by the Sensi family, the Calappiano estate dates back to Medici Florence and is steeped in history.  Today it has more than 200 hectares of vines planted alongside woodlands and olive groves situated in this natural heritage site.  A fantastic value Chianti, light on the palate but packed with red fruit flavours and perfect with a large plate of charcuterie.

Cannot wait!

That’s all from us, feels like it could possibly be the last weekend for formation Rosé drinking in the garden but have no fear, we’ve got you covered!

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