We had high hopes for Olympic wine tasting.

Fellow Wine Lovers,

This week we learnt that loopholes are there for the taking.

We’ve seen that multinational companies can use loopholes like a back-to-front telescope so that they end up paying less corporation tax than your local shop.

We’ve seen that grammar schools can use loopholes and open another branch of the same school in a different town entirely. Wayne went to a grammar school, back when the world was in black and white and only the army or a farmer drove a land rover.  He says even then people wanted to stop them.

We’ve also seen loopholes in sport. Michel Platini is looking for one whilst on suspension and still enjoying the support of UEFA (hmmm!). The sporting loophole we had the most hope for though has snapped shut. News that Bridge will not be considered a sport has both of us feeling a little downcast today.

Not that either of us even know how to play the game (though we both know people that do), but we were fairly confident that we could make a strong case for another sport if Bridge made the cut.

We had high hopes for Olympic wine tasting.

Physically more demanding than Bridge, with a need for a certain amount of strength and technique to remove a cork, decanting also requires a deliberate skill set.

Then we come to the tasting itself, there are the breathing exercises need to bring the sniff into action, the agility required in swirling the glass. Then there is the slurping action, again a result of special breathing exercises, before exercising the control of the cheek muscles to perfect the final arc of expulsion, the spit if you will. So line up a flight of 80 wines and by the time you’re through, you’ll believe me when I say you’ll feel a little tired when you finish.

Sadly it was not to be: bridge didn’t make a strong enough case and the loophole tightened shut on us!

Christmas Cheese & Wine Tasting

Thursday 26th November at 8pm £20 per person

This is the last tasting this year with some places left.  We’ve reviewed the best cheeses we’ve had this year and will be serving them alongside some suitably festive drinking. Sounds like a jolly fine evening to me.

Shop Rioja

This weekend we will be “flopping it out” in the red corner, Wayne having persuaded Alex that the best course of action for a Shop Rioja exploration would be to open Roda I 2007 (£50). This stunning Reserva is made from 100% Tempranillo grapes grown on low yield 30 year old bush vines. Anthony Rose, writing in The Independent, said “This is a fabulous modern Rioja, whose rich, vanilla oak flavours coat a cherry fruitiness, with a nicely balanced acidity”.

Standing up in the white corner we’ll have a rather drop dead gorgeous Valenciso Blanco 2014 (£19.99). Almost as rare as an England team at the World Cup (they only make 12-15 barrels a year) this is a beautifully elegant blend of Viura and Garnacha Blanco with a fabulous texture and finish.

That’s it from us this week – as there’s no rugby on, you might as well come and book onto the tasting, try some exceedingly fine wine and take advantage of our 10% off 6 Rioja offer!

I’ll get my coat…

Wayne & Alex

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