Glad Tidings

Fellow Wine Lovers,

So, it’s the first full week of December and news is inundated with the spirit of Christmas and goodwill to all.

The busiest giver of glad tidings has been James who, fresh from signing dodgy deals in Rwanda that filled us all with joy, encored by raising the minimum salary a skilled foreign worker would need to get a visa.  £38,000 is a lot of money, a lot more than £26,200 and a lot more than half of the population earn – if you want a visa now it would be better to retrain as a brickie or a plasterer rather than a master butcher.  The news that we paid Rwanda an extra £100m in April ahead of another £50m next year had us fuming to be honest. That’s a total of £290m spent on dog whistles and we are not even including the millions of pounds spent on legal fees. We could have employed 7631 more people at the Home Office on £38,ooo a year to sort it out properly.

Moving away from Westminster we then watched Boris squirming and fibbing in Paddington whilst Nigel was singing and stripping and making us squirm, all the way from Australia.  Meanwhile Rishi, our Prime Minister, has hit the bottom in the Conservative Home Net Satisfaction Ratings for the Cabinet league table with a whopping -25.4 points.  For context, Jenrick was at +6.6, Cleverly was at +10.6 and Badenoch topped the league with +63.4.  To quote Suella, electoral oblivion beckons… I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry.

Meanwhile, in news from niche sports, the R&A and the USGA have announced changes to the performance of golf balls.  I know, thrilling stuff.  Suffice to say, the idea is to stop the ball travelling as far as it currently does which in real terms means, for the pros, that their drives will now go no further than 320 yards.  If we consider that Rory McIlroy can hit a ball about 335 yards that would mean a 15 yard/4.5% decrease in distance – is that really worth all the upheaval?  A nice new business opportunity for rubber and plastic recycling companies though. John Rahm no longer needs to worry about how far he hits a golf ball, having just signed with LIV golf for a rumoured £450m. Perhaps he could start up a recycling company?

Anyway, that’s enough of the real world, let’s talk more about us.  Fresh from our last outside event of the year on Monday (thank you Emanuel), it’s now eyes down for the next couple of weeks as Christmas starts to lurch into view and the focus is entirely shop based.  With this in mind it’s probably best I let you know our opening hours going forward:








For those of you yet to dip into our Christmas offerings, the Claret case currently seems to be the most popular, closely followed by the Christmas Day case but all are starting to gain some serious traction, which is very exciting, once again we have attached tasting notes for your perusal.

And of course, the fabulous Foxdenton Christmas Liqueur (£25) is back in stock.  Made with Winslow Plums and a blend of traditional Christmas spices including Ginger, Clove, Cinnamon, and Star Anise, this is the ideal winter warmer.  All this needs is a mince pie and an open fire. However, it is equally at home in a glass of fizz or perhaps mixed with some Canada Dry to make it into a longer treat?  Anyway, we’ve got it here, open for tasting so you can make your own minds up!

But before you taste the liqueur, how about sampling some wine?   White, red or port?  Or all three?  Go on then, why not??

We’ll start with one of Alex’s festive favourites, in fact the last time we showed it was this time last year – Valenciso Blanco 2022 – £24.99.  A blend of 70% Viura and 30% Garnacha Blanca, this is sourced from 80 year old vines and then fermented with wild yeasts before lazing around for 9 months in Caucasian oak barrels.  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 and fresh candied peel, minerality and crisp citrus acidity on the finish.  The texture in the mouth was similar to a posh Graves but believe me when I say it’s unmistakably Spanish in style which is why I often pair it with the Christmas Eve fish extravaganza!

The red is one of the wines in the Christmas Claret Case – Château Puy Guilhem 2009 – £32.  Based in Fronsac, the stunning 18th century Château Puy Guilhem is located on the hills of Saillans overlooking Pomerol and Lalande de Pomerol.  This wine is from a stellar vintage and now showing some nice maturity.  Made using 100% Merlot, it has a very appealing developed nose with dark berry fruits and a hint of earthy spice.  The palate has a nice richness with full body, juicy and rich fruit with a lovely savoury note to finish – exactly what good Fronsac is all about!

And the port? Well. Let’s open the Krohn LBV 2016 – £18.99, which the eagle eyed amongst you will have spotted in our Christmas Day case.  Krohn ports always seem to punch above their weight for us and the generous plummy characters, freshness and pure berry fruit are surely the best way to end the day!

That’s about it from us for this week, that’s it from Boris and his gulf war syndrome side-tracking at the inquiry; roll on Monday when Mr Rishi Sunak will give his opinion on how history should view him!

Can’t wait.

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