Big Brother is watching you!

Fellow Wine Lovers,

As I sit here by the pool, 30 degrees registering on the mercury, a sea vista to the front of me, the rolling hills behind me and a Tinto de Verano to my right, a wave of nausea nostalgia washes over me as I wonder what is going on back in Blighty.  No television here, no English language radio, the buzzing and clicking of cicadas only supplanted by the whining of mopeds, the shrieks from the tennis court and the gentle popping of corks…

Is there anyone left in Wimbledon Park, I wonder?  Certainly, when I joined the airport queue at 4pm last Friday there seemed to be a lot of people in front of me and very soon double the amount behind me.  The flight was full but fortunately no unaccompanied teenagers were booted off, nobody tried to open the door at 30,000 feet and we departed well within the 38 hour delay record that was in the process of being set by Thomson up in Aberdeen.  Arrival was suitably sun drenched and sweaty, the hire car was a ‘similar’ model to the one we had requested and thus smaller of course, whilst the offer of extra insurance and a GPS was dismissed by my wife with some very agricultural language not usually heard on the Costa!

By Saturday, happily ensconced in the hammock, it was time to review activities back in Arthur Road, via the newly installed antler mounted CCTV cameras that Wayne didn’t know about until now (assuming he can read this email whilst out on his bike).  Initially I thought I had the screen on pause: no cars were passing, no pedestrians hoved into view, nothing stirred.  Then Wayne wandered across the shop, put some beer in the fridge, stood in the doorway surveying his domain, shrugged, turned around and went back to the counter where, I suspect, the Tour de France was being surreptitiously viewed.  At this juncture I fear I might have dozed off for an hour or two, a combination of a un-chlorinated chicken luncheon and such desperately uncompelling viewing but, when I awoke at around 6pm your time, there was Wayne, once again in the doorway, followed by the same shrug and, entertainingly, a very Jackson-esque moonwalk back to the counter!

Thus it would seem that there is someone left in Wimbledon Park, his name is Wayne and he’s keen for customers or, at the very least, a dance partner!

So, as I said, in the absence of television and English language broadcast I can only guess at what has been making the news this week, so here goes.  Trump has tweeted something inflammatory that has caused the Republicans to bury their heads in their hands once again; a footballer, talented but no Ronaldo, has been sold or potentially sold for 40 times Gary Lineker’s salary; we are struggling in the cricket; some scare story about Brexit, probably linked to border crossings, as it’s holiday time; articles about how boring/exciting Jordan Spieth/Chris Froome/Joe Root is; Theresa May; Jeremy Corbyn; Southern Rail; Lady Di…. am I close?


Having watched enough CCTV footage to convince me, I have decided that Wayne can take an early bath this Saturday, and in fact every Saturday through until the end of August.  So, he will be closing the doors promptly at 7pm tomorrow, and the 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th August too – you have been warned!

Before he closes, however, he will be busy selling spaces on our 6 week Wine School that starts at the beginning of October (details attached) and will also be tasting a couple of wines with all you lucky punters still in SW19.

The white this week is one we haven’t had on taste for over a year, which is very surprising since it’s a wine that oozes summertime: Leira Seca Alvarinho e Trajadura Vinho Verde 2016, Minho, Portugal – £11.49.  Alvarinho and Trajadura are grown on the sloping banks of the Minho River, which is the natural border between Spain and Portugal.  It’s as deliciously crisp as you’d imagine with lemon and lime citrus notes, lovely stone fruits flavours and a crisp long finish.

Staying in northern Iberia but at the eastern end, the red of choice this week is Celler de Capçanes Mas Collet 2015, Montsant, Spain – £13.99.  Once you’ve crossed the French Border, skirted around Barcelona and hit the outskirts of Tarragona, take a hard right into the hills and you will hit the region of Montsant after about 20 minutes.  Its relative proximity to the French border means that Carignan and Grenache are still very much in charge here but not without a fine showing from Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Aged for 9 months in barrique this is deliciously rich, smooth, balanced, polished and frankly, utterly delicious.

And that’s it from me for now, it’s hot and I need a swim.  If anyone is in Arthur Road today or tomorrow do pop in and see Wayne, have a glass of wine and a dance and don’t forget to wave at the deer on top of the beer fridge!


Wayne & Alex

PS if anyone owns a small business, read this link, I think we’ve all been there!

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