Last weekend of the school holidays, what better reason for a celebratory glass of wine!

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Creative juices ebb and flow and it seems, with the end of August just passed, that we are currently definitely on an ebb tide, struggling to find a Friday email to write.

Alex is back from holiday, for sure, but since his children are persistently avoiding the return to school life, he is finding it noticeably harder to concentrate at work.   Visions of what damage they are inflicting upon each other and the dog whilst left to their own devices at home, do little to enhance his focus.  On the other hand, Wayne has only 8 days to go until he sets off to the sunshine and, as a grandmaster of ‘demob happy’, is already sporting espadrilles and a goofy grin.

With this dream-team at the helm of the Weekly Wine, what could possibly go wrong?

‘Keep it simple and write about what you know about’, were Wayne’s words as he wandered off downstairs to combi-wax his surfboard and moustache, ‘and don’t make things up – people can always tell when things are made up!’

So, what do I know about?  Not a lot it would seem, having done some serious evaluation.  I seem to have a little knowledge about a lot of things but not a lot of knowledge about anything in particular.  I know lots of different ways to get to Croydon from Wimbledon by car; I’m quite good at judging distance on a golf course; I used to know all the words to Bob Marley’s Redemption Song.  None of these, however, are worthy of mention in a wine email.

‘….and if in doubt, write about cycling, that’s what I’d do…’ opined Wayne, on his way out to the park with a deckchair and his skateboard.

Genius, that’s why we pay him the big bucks.  Next week, Sunday 11th September to be precise, La Vuelta a España rolls into Madrid for its last day – hopefully Froome will be in the Maillot Rojo and much celebration will ensue.  However, we intend to celebrate this race in a different way, on the Friday before, the 9th September.

For the last couple of years, we have linked up with Pearson Cycles over in East Sheen and created a cycling related tasting.  2014 saw Wayne liven up various stages of the Tour de France with wines from the relevant regions.  2015, it was the turn of the Giro d’Italia as, once again, he found interesting trivia about past winners of the race and their love of all things vinous and neatly coupled this with mountain stages and fine Italian wine.  There was even an opera singer.

This year, as would make sense to any cycling fans, it’s the turn of La Vuelta to get the Wayne treatment.  He has done an astonishing amount of research, has learnt Galego, Catalan and Euskara in order to be able to pronounce all the wines and places correctly and has lined up a frankly delicious tasting.  Rumour has it even Sean Kelly may turn up – he did last year.

If you fancy coming, it’s taking place in the Pearson Shop in East Sheen and starts at 7.30pm next Friday evening.  We are just the entertainment, so have nothing to do with ticket selling, but tickets are available for £25, through the Pearson website –

It’s fun, it’s informative and it’s a change of scene – who’s with us?

For those of you not keen on Sheen

We’ve had a look at the calendar and have set a some dates for tastings over the next few months:

Thursday 6th October at 8pm – Wine & Cheese Tasting – £20 per person

Thursday 10th November at 8pm – Wine & Cheese Tasting – £20 per person

Thursday 1st December at 8pm – Christmas Fizz Tasting – £30 per person

Wednesday 7th December at 8pm – Christmas Wine & Cheese Tasting – £20 per person

The Wine and Cheese tastings follow the same simple format that we have had success with over the years – we buy four cheeses and then endeavour to match half a dozen wines of varying hues and dryness and see which ones work the best!  For the Christmas Wine & Cheese tasting Wayne will review beforehand the cheeses and wines we have tried throughout 2016 and select the winning combinations – these cheeses and wines will be that we will enjoy on 7th December!

The Christmas Fizz tasting is a complicated affair.  We will make a selection of suitably festive sparkling wines and Champagnes, Alex will sharpen his knives and carve some smoked salmon and much fun will ensue.  As always, we will explain how Champagne is made and how Prosecco differs from Cava and then taste away.  As I said, complicated.

If you would like to attend any of these tastings then do please drop us a line at, or telephone us on 020 8944 5224, or better still, come and see us in the shop!

We will hopefully add a couple of other tastings into the mix over the next few months, we will know more after a couple of meetings next week.

Something for the weekend

And now it seems we approach the end of the email.  I just need to mention what wines we are tasting this weekend and you will then be free to go…

A new listing you might have missed over the summer is De Bortoli Yarra Valley Regional Reserve Chardonnay 2014 – £12.39.  Whilst we are constantly led to believe that Aussie Chardy is the devils work and should be consigned to Room 101, sales would beg to differ.  However, the days of over-oaked, overblown and overfruited wines are, as they say, over.  ‘open nose, crisp on the palate, restrained ripe fruit, crisp touch of mineral, gently creamy, decent finish.  Over delivers at this price.’  Obviously that’s just our opinion, come and see if you agree.

An old favourite that stoically sells itself without any fuss or fanfare is our red for this week.  Meerlust Red 2012, Stellenbosch – £13.49.  We have a long history with this wine, ever since it beat a number of more expensive Bordeaux in a blind tasting we held.  Classic cassis, plum and spice characters, lashings of black fruit and a lingering finish.  We mostly sell this wine by the six box as it has such broad appeal and makes for an excellent ‘house’ wine.

So that’s that, I think, the ebb turned into a flow.  A quick addendum to the Pearson Tasting: as we will be in Sheen for 7.30pm next Friday, we will not be here.  As a result we will be shutting at 7pm on Friday 9th September – apologies.

For many of us this is the last weekend of the school holidays, what better reason for a celebratory glass of wine!

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