January Sale, Wine and Cheese Tastings

Fellow Wine Lovers,

A cold week, a foggy week and generally a week worth forgetting – a typical late January week if we’re honest with ourselves – and a week filled with comings and goings:

  • Mr Trump arrived demure and understated as ever, whilst Obama slipped out through the back door and giddily ran for the hills.
  • Zoe and Chris, from The Cake Parlour, finally made good on all their threats and shipped off back to Australia, just in time for Australia Day and 24 degrees in the shade – can’t imagine why they’d want to leave! The new owners of the Parlour seem very nice though, so I’m sure business will rock on.
  • It would also seem that, according to one of our sources (but we haven’t corroborated this with any of the hairdressers yet), Just Pause, beside the Post Office, has also left Arthur Road – certainly the windows are all blacked out and the shop has been completely cleared, so something is definitely afoot. Is this now the opportunity for one of you to open that Wine Bar we all know the area needs?  Or a hairdressers, perhaps!
  • As a country we’ve still left Europe but then, on the other hand, we haven’t quite managed it yet as there now needs to be another vote about a vote that we’ve already voted in – ah, the never ending layers of bureaucracy, surely that’s one of the things we were hoping to leave in Europe….
  • All the Brits left the tennis in Melbourne and the Open suddenly seems to have turned into a Veterans event.
  • And January has almost left us, and with it the 6 for 5 deal, but February is around corner, with its Six Nations deal to keep our weekends lively.

And we’ve been busy.  Monday was paperwork and deliveries; Tuesday found Alex trying to go to a supplier tasting and lunch in Farringdon, only to discover the event was on Wednesday; Wednesday was the start of Wine School and consequently all of Wayne’s jokes needed to be dusted off and given a good polish to honour the event; Thursday was Australia Day and appropriately, colder than the Baltic.   Most of every day we have been wrestling with Office 365, we’ve lost our Outlook Calendar, found it again on our phones, re-instated it on Outlook and then crossed our fingers each morning when we relight the computer praying that it’ll still be there.  And we’ve organised some dates for upcoming tastings.  And now it’s Friday, payday, hip, hip hooray!


Many of you have been on one of these, a significant number of you have been on two or three, and lots of you have never been.  None of these reasons should exclude you from coming to one this year.

We have developed a very good relationship with a French cheese wholesaler who, in a fortunate stroke of serendipity, is located in Wellington Works, which is more commonly known locally as the end of the road Alex lives on.  Anyway, the cheeses are great, not always French which is also great, and different every time – what’s not to like.  The wines come off our shelves and we always endeavour to select wines that will tantalise the tastebuds and complement the cheeses, rather than torture them.  2-3 kilos of cheese, 6 or 7 wines, bread and crackers – where do I sign up!

Dates are:

Thursday 23rd February

Thursday 30th March

Thursday 27th April

Thursday 25th May

Each evening will start at 8pm and we have a maximum of 12 seats.  The cost is £20 per person and, as places are limited, we ask that any reservation is supported by payment, to avoid disappointment!


We will have wine open in the shop this weekend, as ever.  As it was Aussie Day yesterday and we all wish we were somewhere warmer right now, we’re opening a couple of stonkers from down under.

Pauletts Polish Hill River Aged Release Riesling 2009, Clare Valley – £18.99

The name is a bit of a mouthful but then so is the wine!  Aged Riesling from Australia may seem like a market without demand but as the wine is so blooming delicious it just sells itself.  Honeysuckle, citrus, apples, orchard fruits in general, close your eyes and you can almost smell the shrimps blackening on the barbecue…

Paringa Estate Peninsula Pinot Noir 2015, Mornington Peninsula – £27.59

This may seem like a slightly awkward compliment but this is my second favourite Pinot Noir.  The first is from Oregon and has a suitably niche and elevated price tag and, significantly for today’s purposes, is not from Australia.  This chap, the silver medallist in a photo finish in the race to become my favourite, is from Mornington’s most celebrated estates.  Soft, ripe cherry red fruit, hints of spice in the background and an enormous pleasure to drink, which is a very Australian approach to winemaking and we fully support it.  Come and taste some before I polish it all off…

Should your cockles need more serious warming we do still have a number of our whiskies open, plus the sloe gin and of course King’s Ginger, the perfect foil to the cold weather.

Right that’s it from us, we’re off now, buoyed by The Donald’s confident assumption that Mexico will pay for the wall, we’re going to tell our neighbours to pay for a ski holiday!

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