Weekend tasting of Godello, Wine School & other wines.

Fellow Wine Lovers,
Two genuine quotes and two made up quotes to start us off this week:
‘I think the top contenders are also guilty because they let us win the title so early.’
Jose Mourinho after Chelsea lose 3-0 to West Brom
‘But I’m not a man like that. I’m not the kind of guy to cheat people of their money or let the fans down … that’s not what I do.’
Justin Gatlin, twice banned drug cheat, on leaving Beijing earlier this week
‘The food was brilliant but I think the restaurant has to take some blame for me choosing the wrong wine’
Anonymous customer from Wellington Road, after a meal at a Michelin 2 star
‘We don’t like to cheat our customers, we definitely don’t put a higher margin on Rioja, Chablis and Pinot Grigio because they’re the most popular and a lot of our customers always choose wines they recognise, that’s not what we do, we’re not here to cheat people of their money….’
Michelin 2 star discussing their £150 Table d’Hôte menu (not including wine)
So, what can we learn from these quotes? Nothing terribly new I think. Jose is still bonkers and still looking to assign blame somewhere, even though he has already won the title. Justin on the other hand has some serious delusions, possibly as a result of prolonged exposure to mind altering amphetamines and testosterone!
As for the other two quotes we can learn one thing: wine lists are impenetrable to a large number of us, with too many pages and lots of names we don’t recognise from places that we haven’t heard of. But then on the front page, in BIG LETTERS, we have the old rogues like Chablis and Rioja which leads us to breathe a sigh of relief and beckon to the waiter – ‘a bottle of Chablis and a bottle of sparkling water please’ – comforted by the feeling of familiarity and safety.
But what’s in the rest of the list? Treasures to be unearthed, new friends to be made, flavours to be discovered. Riesling from Clare Valley; Cabernet Franc from the Loire; Godello from Galicia; Negroamaro from Puglia – all very exciting and delicious, but how do you know this?
A number of years ago, a number customers came to us with this problem – they would regularly dine out for work and felt they needed to be a bit more exciting in their wine choices to show their clients that they weren’t unimaginative, path of least resistance, crowd followers. So, to help them break these bonds, we wrote them some notes about ‘other’ grapes. These notes were sipped, savoured and swallowed voraciously – and then they wanted more. ‘What about sweet wine?’ they clamoured; ‘tell us about Rosé’ and ‘how do I know if a wine is faulty?’ followed closely behind.
And before we knew it, we had 10 people sitting around a table, swirling, sipping and occasionally spitting as we walked them through all their vinous needs. The Wine School had been born.
That was 6 years ago and it is still going from strength to strength. We cannot claim to have trained any top Sommeliers or budding winemakers but we have broadened many a horizon and introduced many a new grape variety to an awful lot of happy people.
Now it’s your turn. Our next Wine School starts in just over 10 days time – Wednesday June 3rd to be precise – and continues on consecutive Wednesdays for a period of 6 weeks. We will teach you how to taste and then we will go off and explore wines from all over the world and of all hues. It’s a 6 week, 60 wine extravaganza of fun and education and at the end of it you can be sure that you’ll never be in the same boat as the unfortunate chap from Wellington Road!
Full details attached, it costs £150 per person all in, so sign up asap before you go away for half term and forget about it!!
Cock tales
Now we don’t normally have any issue with this charity dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals. They often have strong arguments for the prevention of animal cruelty which we find hard to disagree with. However they do occasionally drop the ball.
Apparently they have petitioned Britain’s oldest pub to change its name. It has had many names over the years, but since 1872 this pub in St Albans has been happily trading as Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, relating to its history of, yep you’ve guessed it, cockfighting.
They are suggesting the pub change its name ‘in recognition of society’s growing compassion for animals and in celebration of intelligent, sensitive chickens.’
First world problems, as Wayne is often heard to mutter….
Le Weekend
Tous le monde is going to allez away from Londres, sans doute. However if you aren’t joining the long grey smoggy snake down the A303 then come and see us in the shop, taste some wine and perhaps even buy some, sign up to our wine school and revel in the fact that London is half empty.
We’ll be tasting some hispaniels this weekend – Bioca Godello 2013 (£12.99) in the white corner representing Galicia and for red we have Joan Giné 2009 (£22.19) flying the flag for Priorat. They’re both awesome, neither of them appear on the front page of any winelist and we would very much love you to love them as much as we do!
That’s it from us I reckon, have a lovely weekend wherever it may lead you and don’t forget that since it’s a bank holiday we’ll be shut on Monday!
¡Hasta luego!

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