Not cooking with Bulmers: Txakoli, Mencia and Cidre Breton

Fellow Wine Lovers,

There’s no denying it, one of life’s greatest and guiltiest pleasures is Wikipedia. It is also a rich seam of trivia suitable for an unimaginative email writer on Friday 8th August – and here I am.

Here is a short list of things related to today which will hopefully make you life and soul of the party at the bar in the Tower & Poppy tonight.
I suggest you open up your account with the question – Any plans for New Year’s Eve? Only 145 days remaining until the end of the year.
Now you’ve got their attention you can follow up with the double-whammy – Not only was Ronnie Biggs born on this day in 1929 but exactly 34 years later, in 1963, the Great Train Robbery took place!

Six years later in 1969, whilst Ronnie was sunning himself in Australia, photographer Iain Macmillan was taking that photo of a zebra crossing in Abbey Road, replete with Beatles in varying footwear. This is a cue for lengthy discussion over the hidden meaning of this album cover ably supported by pub logic and pint confidence that should last until closing time.

Should you need any other titbits to season the conversation you could always mention that in:
• 1974 – President Richard Nixon announced his resignation as President of the United States on national television – the exact same day that ‘big’ Brian Harvey, of East 17 fame burst into the world.
• 2008 – the China Olympics started
• 1988 – Princess Beatrice born
• 1985 – Toby Flood born
• 1981 – Roger Federer served up
• 1961 – The Edge (U2) was born David Howell Evans, in Barking, to Welsh parents.

Now, if that last fact doesn’t earn you a pint then I give up. Slainte!

Not much more to report from here on Arthur Road.

As it’s Friday, we’ll open some tasting bottles this afternoon, so before you go to the pub to impress your mates with your new found knowledge, you might want to pop in and see us for a quick gargle to wet the whistle, as it were. I’m off to Spain next week so to get the mood going I will be opening a couple of Spaniards.
I fancy a bit of a change to start with so will pull the cork on the unique Ameztoi Txakolina Txakoli 2013, Getariako Txakolina – £14.29.
Growing in the Basque country, Txakoli is made from the local Hondarrabi Zuri grapes (which of course you already knew) and is the perfect match for the seafood pinxos served in San Sebastian. Fresh and appley with a delicious spritz, it has been likened to the wine equivalent of a wet sponge on a hot day – refreshing!

For the red wine lovers we are striding across to the northwest (Galicia) where we find Casal de Paula 2012, Ribeiro – £13.99. This is a bit of a blend using grapes most of us haven’t come across before: Ribeiro Tinto, Mencia, Brencellao, Ferron and Souson. Very reminiscent of ripe Loire valley reds with some bramble and hedgerow fruits and a nice fleshy finish. A good food wine that went down a treat at our cheese tasting in June.

Come in and taste them both, fabulous after a warming tube journey!

Lastly, a reminder. Mike, the butcher across the road, is closing his doors for the last time at the end of next week, which is a huge loss to the area. If you haven’t popped in there recently take the chance whilst you still can because they won’t be back.

Which leads me to a comment made by one of our customers this week, who had made a special trip to buy a bottle of our Cidre Breton:

When you buy such a lovely piece of pork from the butcher there is absolutely no way I’m going to cook it with Bulmers!

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