Spirit of Christmas

Fellow Wine Lovers,

According to absolutely everybody with a vested interest, we now have only 18 shopping days until Christmas – no vested interests here, just thought you’d like to know!

By an astonishing coincidence during this period we will be open six days a week, Monday through Saturday until 8pm.  To keep us out of the pub we will also be open on the two Sunday’s surrounding Christmas between 12 – 3 for some gentle shopping and chat, should you so desire.

(‘Hit them early with the sales pitch’ the instructor said, ‘then soften it with a self-deprecating anecdote…’)

So we are now three years old.  Tuesday was the momentous day, celebrated, somewhat bizarrely in my household, by a feast of Haggis, neeps and tatties.  Talisker 10 year old as the gravy – top notch.  However, I digress.  It became apparent quite soon after we sent last week’s email that our my train of thought can drift perpendicular to the norm and sometimes clarification is needed, so here is my official statement:

Last Friday, 29th November I commented on some items that had appeared in the news at a particular time and related them to the opening of our shop on the cold Friday that was 3rd December 2010.  All the news articles were from that day – if I knew the Thunderball numbers before the draw has been done I would be in a very different place right now!  I know we weren’t playing Ashes cricket last week and that Gavin Henson isn’t currently on Strictly….

As a result I apologise to everyone that was misled – I am a bad, bad man.   A touch disappointing though that the news has changed so little in 3 years that it all the headlines still seems plausible…

(‘Now focus them back onto the here and now…’ interjected the instructor as the whole email started to ramble off track)


December is brilliant.  We get to open bottles that for the rest of the year we gaze longingly at and all with the purpose of finding ‘that’ wine for Christmas day.  As with most of what we do here, we don’t have a definitive, one word solution – just a whole bucket full of great ideas for what to drink on December 25th. 

One of my customers this week said it was almost treasonable not to drink a couple of bottles of Champagne whilst decorating the tree, another swore that his wait on Amazon was only made bearable by the presence of a bottle of claret, a third always stocks up on fancy spirits at this time of year since, for him, Christmas is all about cocktails.  We sent them all off into the night laden down with treats galore and now it’s your turn.

This weekend we’ll be tasting a little bit of Italy as we like Italy, just a little.

The white will be the ever popular Roberto Sarotto Gavi di Gavi Bric Sassi Della Maddalena 2012 – £12.99.  The Sarotto family has been making wine on this estate since the 1800’s but have only bottled their own wines since Roberto Sarotto graduated from winemaking school. The 50 year-old Cortese vines, grown at altitude in the Maddalena vineyard, deliver a crisp wine displaying ripe, rich white peach flavours, a stony minerality and a long fresh finish.  Delicious.

The red will be a new listing that we’ve had our eye on for a few months now: Antonio Vallana Gattinara 1998 – £33.99.  Excellent Nebbiolo from Piedmont does exist outside the words Barolo and Barbaresco and this one, with a decent number of years on the clock, has your name written all over it


Following on from a successful week out and about at a number of different schools I find myself surrounded by open bottles of spirits – just don’t ask.  Anyway here’s a quick list of what spirits we have right now, and what you can taste…

Bepi Tosolini Cividina Tipica Grappa £27.99       

Colazingari Sambuca Fina £22.99    

Saliza Amaretto Veneziano £25.99    

Limoncello £21.99            

Mamont Vodka £35.99 COME AND TASTE!

Zuidam Dutch Courage Dry Gin £33.99 COME AND TASTE!

Dodd’s Gin £37.50           

Cremorne Gentleman Badger’s Sloe Gin £24.49    

Doorly’s XO Barbados Rum £32.49  

Ardbeg Uigeadail £60.00         

Clynelish 1997 Coopers Choice Bottling £55.00    

Finlaggan Old Reserve Islay £29.99 COME AND TASTE!

Nikka from the Barrel £37.69  

Maxime Trijol VSOP Cognac Grande Champagne £48.00        

Chateau du Breuil VSOP Calvados £34.99  

Clos Martin Folle Blanche VSOP £34.59      

Romate Solera Reserva £21.49            

The King’s Ginger £22.99 COME AND TASTE!

Kingston Black Apple Aperitif £9.99 COME AND TASTE!

Angostura Aromatic Bitters £8.99    

Creme de Cassis Briottet 15% £13.99

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