Good week for some, not so good for others…

Fellow Wine Lovers,

This has been a very good week for fountain pen manufacturers and their colleagues in the headed notepaper business.

Stubbing out her breakfast stogie, Thérèse was one of the first to put quill to parchment and then five junior ministers followed her lead.  Suella quickly wrote Rishi a letter but, as so often with Mrs Braverman, her timing was off.  Then, in a move quite typical of the way Labour likes to react to Tory activities, Kier managed to part company with eight shadow ministers and two parliamentary private secretaries.  I think, perhaps, there might be some trouble in paradise….

Still, the good news is that Call me Dave is back on board, thankfully not in the Treasury though, given his track record in financial services.  Oh, and he got an immediate Life Peerage which has no doubt got Nadine plotting her next move…

Meanwhile, Nigel F from Downe hasn’t resigned.  He has spread himself a bit thin though, travelling down under to earn about £1.5 million for eating termites whilst simultaneously going to court in London to sue NatWest for debanking and, cough, reputational damage – he clearly has no idea of the irony…

In our world of wine there was a bit of sad news.  No resignations, just redundancies. 

Both of us cut our retail teeth working for Oddbins – Wayne mainly running the famous Fine Wine department in the Battersea superstore, whilst Alex was more nomadic – Balham, Clapham South, Clapham, Dulwich, Blackheath, Bellevue Road, Kennington and even Battersea had their doors darkened by the bearded one.  Both of us persuaded the powers that be to pay for us to take our WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits and amazingly we both passed.  We learnt a lot about retail, we learnt a lot about people and we learnt a lot about shoplifting.  We also helped train a number of now very influential wine buyers who, when we met them, were in charge of sweeping the floor and stocking the fridges.

But now, it seems those days are gone.  We have been informed that, having failed to find a buyer for the estate, Oddbins has closed all of its bricks and mortar operation and reverted to web sales – no floor sweeping or fridge stocking there – and considering they only had 2 Champagnes and 1 Cremant under the CHAMPAGNE & SPARKLING dropdown on their website, I would say the doctor’s diagnosis would be DNR.

RIP Oddies – if anyone needs a job, we’ve got a spare broom and plenty of fridges!

In happier news, The Sports Business Awards 2023 Ceremony took place last Friday at The Hurlingham Club.  The Awards aim to recognise and reward achievement by the teams behind the scenes that facilitate sporting excellence and endeavours, saluting and championing their resilience, adaptability and resourcefulness.  The award for Best Sports Community Scheme – Football was won by our very own local heroes – Dons Local Action Group.  For a charity that was founded in March 2020, this is a brilliant achievement and well deserved!

So, how about we raise a tasting glass to this achievement?

The white we have on tasting this weekend is Sameirás Blanco 2022 – £18.99 – which is made from 5 grapes that simply trip off the tongue – Treixadura, Albariño, Godello, Lado, Loureiro – all indigenous to the Northwest of the Iberian peninsula.  A really quite exotic pineapple and nectarine nose with touches of mandarin and similar orange fruits on the palate followed by a beautiful dry/savoury finish with hints of pithy acidity as it fades we haven’t shown this since May 2019, so it’s well worth a revisit!

The red is a bit of an old favourite and very much of the season – Le Seigneur du Raveil Vacqueyras 2019 – £19.99.  Originally formed by 7 passionate winegrowers in 1956, today the Cave de Gigondas has increased to 78 members across 128 hectares in Gigondas whilst also taking in vineyards in Vacqueyras and Beaumes de Venise to bring the total to 260 hectares.  We loved this wine from the first mouthful – blackcurrant, black cherry, blackberry all make an appearance leading to some plum character on the finish with a dollop of spice to tidy it up.  Classic Rhône quality and poise.

That’s it from us, what’ve you been up to?

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