Going up West- the quest for wine.

Fellow Wine Lovers,

It’s a different world out there Wayne and I’m not sure I understand it.

Lately, we’ve been travelling up west at least once a week to tantalise our taste buds with wines of, sometimes dubious, distinction. We’ve been mingling with pencil-tie-sporting sommeliers, with dangerously cool people who own wine shops in North London, with voluptuously bearded East End pop-up bar public school boys, and also with people from the West Country.  It’s been a cocktail of diversity and it has sometimes left us bewildered by the world outside our SW19 cocoon.

It all started as we left the tube and walked around the corner into what smelt like an invisible sweet shop. Oh no, it was just someone vaping.


When was the decision made that huddling under awnings, sucking on what resembles a cross between a pimped biro and a Dr Who prop, that then expels ‘smoke’ that smells of candy floss, was the perfect replacement for smoking? You’re grown-ups – either smoke or don’t smoke – don’t make the Marlboro Man spin in his grave any faster.

The wine tastings themselves were less weird and actually quite interesting in places – there will be wines arriving over time, as fruits of our labours.   The observation we would have is that within the wine trade and perhaps elsewhere, there is such a thing as ‘venue fashion’.  Years ago Excel was all the rage.  Olympia seems to slip in and out of favour.  Currently, clubs on Pall Mall, One George Street, Lindley Hall and Tobacco Docks seem to be venues of choice – each of these hosting more than one event, to the extent that we started to feel like regulars.  Venue fashion, who knew.

And then, returning on the train we would settle down with the local freesheet and read stories that would once more bewilder…

We read about proposals to stop swearing in the Army.

I’m sorry but isn’t swearing and army in the same box as pope/catholic and bears/wood.   Apparently, thank G**, ‘the Ministry of Defence insists it isn’t about to ban swearing in the British army completely’ (BBC NEWSBEAT 23/02/16).

To put it into perspective, The Ministry of Defence, was referring to the use of abusive and insulting language towards new recruits. Bullying is bad.  There are plenty of examples of when things have gone too far in all walks of life.  Swearing is not nice but we do think the playground mantra ‘sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me’ could be applied here.

It’s the Army – there is a distinct likelihood that there are far more dangerous and scary things just around the corner, and we don’t mean people vaping.

Other selected headlines that caught our eye:

Donald Trump cements frontrunner status after big win in Nevada (The Guardian) – oh my…

New Zealand to make its first Prosecco (The Drinks Business) – why?

Cameron ‘put on a proper suit’ jibe at Corbyn at PMQs (BBC) – really, sartorial advice in the Commons?

Woman launches £4.2m legal bid against gastropub after tripping over rope outside venue (The Daily Mirror) – no comment…

Kylie Jenner is ready to retire’: Kylie on being tired of materialism and her Instagram persona (The Daily Telegraph) – yep, we had to google her but we kind of know what Instagram is… having consulted the kids

fuddy-duddy ˈfʌdɪdʌdi/noun informal: a person who is very old-fashioned and pompous

curmudgeon kəːˈmʌdʒ(ə)n/noun: a bad-tempered, difficult, cantankerous person

Meanwhile back in SW19…

Life is far less bewildering for which we are thankful. We buy wine, we sell wine and we make sure the fridges are stocked up.  This week we have taken delivery of a few new wines, three from a well established South African producer Uitkyk, a couple of cases of Chateau Beau Site 2005 from St Estephe, a couple of cases of Christophe Vaudoisey Volnay 2012 and a box of JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett Riesling 2011.  All wines that we will more than happily drink ourselves unless you fancy some!

There’s rugby splashed all over this weekend, kicking off tonight with a thrashing in Cardiff and then a mauling in Rome and a pasting in Twickenham tomorrow afternoon. As we mentioned before, we are offering Sambrook’s Battersea Rye (2.79), Park Brewery Killcat Pale (2.59) and Rocky Head Session (2.50) on a 6 for 5 deal.  It’s also mixable so hopefully there’s something for everyone there.

However, should beer not be your thing then we will have some wines open to taste. Looking through our files we were shocked to discover that we haven’t put Wairau River Pinot Gris 2014 (14.99), on the tasting counter since early 2013.  That all changes now – this is the wine we regularly recommend with spicy, asian food but also as a delicious aperitif.  As for red, we will be opening Chateau Montfaucon 2012 Cotes du Rhone (13.99), a wine that we used to sell when we had a shop in Clapham and have only just recently managed to get hold of again.  Wayne’s recent note says ‘nice dark spiced fruits, minerals, long finish, pleasantly warm like a baby Chateauneuf du Pape’.  Come and see if you agree.

That’s it from us, we’re off to buy some skinny jeans and some Banoffee Pie e-liquid for our e-cigs – don’t worry we’ll post it all on instagram later…


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