Prohibition lasted 5,072 days – makes a 31 day detox in January seem trifling!

Fellow Wine Lovers,

If you think it’s glum now, imagine how you might have felt 96 years ago in the US?

On January 16th 1919 the 18th Amendment to the US constitution was ratified which, a year later, resulted in the nationwide ban on alcohol, more normally known as Prohibition. This lasted almost 14 years, which is 5,072 days or 724 weeks and 4 days in common parlance.

Makes a 31 day detox in January seem trifling.

And then we read, slightly after the event admittedly, an article that in April last year appeared in a number of newspapers: A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims was The Independent’s take on it, whilst the Daily Mail led with: Bottle of wine a day ‘is not bad for you’: Leading scientist also claims those who exceed recommended dose could live longer than teetotallers. This sounded much, much more exciting than Prohibition (even if, on reading the article, the science was somewhat flawed) and certainly more in line with our business plan.

So we have struck a sensible balance here at Park Vintners – not a bottle a day but also not 5,000 days without a bottle!

Although, saying that, we have actually tasted a reasonable amount since last week. The sparkling wines we opened last Saturday from Hoffmann & Rathbone went down an absolute storm with masses of positive feedback – I have to say the last bit of the Blanc de Blancs was a treat with some oysters on Saturday night!

Sunday was freestyle wine drinking in the comfort of our own homes but once we were back in the saddle on Monday, we very soon found ourselves on a DLR to Shadwell. Wapping, previously known as the wrong end of nowhere, is now firmly on the map for tastings, courtesy of the recently re-launched exhibition space that is Tobacco Dock. Here we found ourselves fully immersed in Gallic charm and culture as we tasted our way through a large spread of wines from the Loire Valley – we thoroughly enjoyed them and, if everything goes according to plan, you will also get to sample them in the not too distant future, watch this space.

The rest of the week has been very dry, so as we approach the weekend we really need to get some wine open for tasting in the shop, as I’m sure you’ll agree. In June last year we tasted these two wines on the same weekend as Glastonbury and they injected some southern European sunshine into those stormy nights – hopefully that same sunshine will appear in our glasses tonight?!

Leira Seca Vinho Verde Alvarinho e Trajadura 2013, Minho, Portugal – £10.49
From the sloping banks of the Minho River, which is the natural border of Spain and Portugal. Ripe, soft, stonefruits on the nose which continue onto the palate, where they are joined by deliciously crisp lemon and lime citrus notes. These characteristics are then tied together in a lingering fruit zing finish with evidence of ripe apple and even some hints of minerality. We likey a loty.

Quinta do Correio Tinto 2011, Dão, Portugal – £10.49
Wayne first met Luis Lourenço at a talk on Portuguese wine. He is one of the Dão regions innovators, staying loyal to his regions grape varieties, but really shaking up how the wines are made. This wine has a large percentage of the Jaen grape variety, giving it a real crunchy juiciness. The Touriga Nacional brings a bit of grip and darkness whilst the Alfrocheiro adds some perfume to the blend. Just the ticket on a cold January evening!

Last but not least, we have made a resolution to be better organised this year. We all know resolutions are there to be broken but at least our hearts are in the right place. Putting the resolution into practice we have organised a schedule of tastings, which will be added to over time I’m sure, but in the meantime here are the first confirmed dates:

Cheese and Wine tastings – 8pm – £20 per person
Thursday 12th February, Thursday 12th March, and Thursday 16th April – usual rules we source fine cheese, match some wines and then you tell us how marvellous we are at choosing cheese but did we really think that wine would ever work well with it?

The ‘Definitely No Sauvignon’ Tasting – 8pm – £20 per person
Thursday 26th March – A few of you have asked us to put this tasting on, so we will. We will open some of our more esoteric wines for your delectation and have a jolly fun time doing so. Wayne has given this tasting a working title ‘Weird Grapes’ but don’t let that put you off!!

That’s it for now, if you want to join any of the above tastings then please just reply to this email, phone us on 020 8944 5224 or come and say hello in person.

Did we mention 16.6666% off six bottles until the end of the month – well now we have!

As our friends in Muswell Hill always say – Plead the 21st!!

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