A Wedding Proposal…

Fellow Wine Lovers,

So, how does it feel now that the dust has settled and the wonderful reality is starting to set in?

I’m referring, of course, to that romantic proposal you received on Valentine’s Day last week!  Did he get down on bended knee?  Had she made your favourite pudding?  Were you in the pub?  Up a mountain?  On a beach?  Was there a ring at the ready or was it an impromptu number fashioned out of paper clips?  And did you say yes?!

Assuming that the answer was in the affirmative and that everyone has been told (heaven forfend we spill the beans before Aunt Phillida knows) then now you have a whole set of new challenges to face.

The prospect of a dress that costs more than your student loan debts and will hold its value in much the same way.

A tailored morning suit that will be prove to be a superb investment over and over again when you go to Ascot and the Opera and all the other society events during the season.  Except you don’t go to Ascot and you had the suit fitted when you had been going to the gym for months in preparation for the wedding and now, well, now you don’t seem to find as much time for weights and treadmills.

Soon, you’ll become an expert in marquee dimensions and hard wearing carpet; in flowers and place settings; in etiquette; in invitation writing; in smoked salmon mousse and many, many forms of chicken; in canapés; in cakes, too; perhaps even in wine and Champagne?

What we do

It’s here that we can help.  In the hundred years since we joined the wine trade we have helped out with all manner of weddings and their wines.  Deliveries to restaurants, hotels, marquees, fields, barns, beach-houses – you name it, we’ve rolled up in the trusty Volvo with a bootfull of red, white and fizz, some beer and a couple of nice bottles for the best man and ushers.  It’s what we do.

So if you, or anyone in your near vicinity, are planning on getting married soon and are looking for top notch wedding wines, we really should be involved.  We’ll match wines to food and to budget; we’ll then arrange a tasting of these potential wines with you, which is always the fun part; we’ll advise on quantities and potential pitfalls and we’ll deliver in the trusty Volvo.  It’s what we do!

What else do we do?

We run a shop – as I think most of you know!  The other day a chap called Tom walked in to this shop of ours and we had a chat.  Tom is a product designer and has come up with a rather novel and interesting approach to wine preservation that rather appealed to us.  He was going to send us some notes about his product but I suspect is up to his eyeballs in silicon and glass somewhere in his lab, so I’ll try and give you the gist.

In simple terms, it’s a redesigned bottle that you pour your bottle of wine into.  You then pour and drink from this, as you would normally, and when you have finished for the night but not finished the wine, there is a clever plunger action that expels all the air, thus preserves the wine.  I tasted a bottle that had been in this contraption for 7 days against a bottle of the same wine that had been opened 5 minutes previously and I have to say there was barely anything between the two wines – in fact the 7 day old one I slightly preferred!

The product is still being road tested, which is where you come in.  On 10th March, on the Friday evening, Tom will be in with a wine that has been in his product for 7 days and we will taste it against a wine we will have opened that evening – the same wine, of course.  Ideally, we’ll do a white and a red dependent on how many prototypes Tom has available and it would be great if you could come and help us taste the wines and give your opinion.  Don’t worry, we’ll remind you again over the next few weeks but thought it might be good to introduce you to the concept now.

It’s called eto, by the way, and here’s the website: www.etowine.com

eto | wine preservation decanter


Decant | Serve | Preserve – eto: wine preservation decanter. For wine as fresh as the first pour; tomorrow, next week, and beyond. Coming soon to Kickstarter.

And when we’re not doing that, what do we do?

My business making clothes out of cheese has gone bust – Turns out that fromage frays.

The first of Wine and Cheese tasting of 2017 went off last night with all the usual hitches.  Having done over 40 of these now, this is still Wayne’s best joke by far but, apart from this, it was a fantastic evening.  If you didn’t manage to get a space here yesterday, we still have a couple of seats left for the next one on Thursday 30th March and 6 places for the one on Thursday 25th May.  Both start at 8pm and both cost £20 per person – bring a joke.

And finally, what do we do at the weekend?

We open bottles of wine to help ease away the worries of the week.  This week we’ll be opening a white from Chile and a red from Portugal.

Aromo Viognier 2015, Maule Valley, Chile – £8.49 – We really rate this wine and have been selling it for almost 10 years now, one way or another.  Consistently great value and great quality this has lovely peachy-apricot fruit characters and a nice crisp finish.  Mellow and ripe and a great foodmatcher.

Ciconia 2015, Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal – £10.49.  A Ciconia is a kind of stork that settles on the plains here.  There’s no bird in the wine though, it’s a blend of Touriga Nacional, Syrah and Aragonez.  Plenty of berry fruit on the nose, spices and rich dark fruit on the palate with a bit of grip from the Touriga.  Something rustic on the grill would complement this nicely, perhaps not stork though…

And that’s us, done!

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