Firefighters Free Puppy, Brangelina Barrel, Barton Chenin Blanc

Fellow Wine Lovers,

As it’s half term, it’s a bit of a slow news week but here are four contrasting headlines that we saw in the trade press over the past few days:

World facing ‘deepest’ wine shortage in 40 years

‘Panic buying hits Arthur Road – barely a bottle left on the shelf’ admits puzzled wine shop owner Wayne Blomfield.

Not entirely true of course, but Morgan Stanley have reported that demand exceeded supply by a mere 300 million cases in 2012 and that, coupled with the smaller 2012 and 2013 vintages, could result in a bit of a supply issue.  More of us are drinking wine, less is available, prices will go up.

Hopefully this might see the demise of some of the bottom shelf, industrial producers – oh hang on, no such luck…

Yellow Tail celebrates one billion bottles

All you need to know about these wines:

·         The sweetened-up, Kangaroo labelled, jammy disgrace targeted at the Coca-Cola generation has produced its billionth bottle – made even more shocking by the fact the brand was only first produced in 2001

·         That’s at least 5 billion glasses of plonk

·         It retails at around $5 in the US

·         They have also created a $100 bottle to try and drag the brand out of the gutter – ??

·         Could any of this publicity puff be related to the hard fact that Casella Wines, the owners of Yellow Tail, this year posted a financial loss for the first time, suggesting consumers could be trading up or switching to other brands/rivals

·         Still not quite enough of a shortage of some wines it would seem…

Barrel of ‘Brangelina’ wine sells for €10k

Admittedly the money went to charity, but really, 10,000 euros?

Firefighters free puppy from wine rack

The shop over the road is likely to be re-inventing itself as a hair salon in the very near future, and when the staff heard their jobs were at risk they resorted to some extreme, hostage taking measures. 

However, once 999 had been called, the intervention of some brave fire-fighters ensured that the 10 week old Labrador puppy was released unharmed and the staff arrested.  Maybe.

Marathon update

He’s in.

We were truly overwhelmed by all the helpful suggestions we received for getting Wayne a place in the marathon.  Suffice to say he got on the blower straight away to all the relevant parties and eventually secured himself a number plus a hefty fundraising target. 

He’s happy to do anything to raise money as long as it’s mostly legal and he will still be able to run afterwards!

This weekend

We’ll both be here – the first time for a couple of weekends – and hopefully you’ll be here to, stocking up before all the wine runs out.  We’ll have bottles open – one old favourite and one new boy – both of whom have travelled from South Africa.

Barton Vineyards Chenin Blanc 2012 £9.79 from Walker Bay is silky smooth with apple and pear aromas, more pear and hints of citrus on the palate and a zingy, crisp finish.

Laibach Pinotage 2012 £15.69 from Stellenbosch is a bit of a rarity for us – a Pinotage that Wayne actually quite enjoys.  Not nearly as smoky/burnt-rubber/earthy as some can be, far more red fruit and, dare I say it, elegance – trust me, you should try it.


Still a couple of seats left at the table for our Sparkling and Champagne evening on Wednesday 27th November – when I say a couple, I mean three but you get the gist – £25 per seat, cash is king.

It seems to be all about Aussie in sport at the moment – the Ashes is slowly creaking into life, we’re hosting them at Twickenham tomorrow and we’ve got the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday 5th November – should go off with a bang!

Anyway, hopefully see you all over the weekend to discuss strategy for dealing with this upcoming shortage!

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