Wine School, Pais and Riesling

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Disarray, that’s the only word for it.

Cycling magazines everywhere, amongst the betting slips and stacks of newly listed expensive wines.  I thought I left you guys in charge?  However, it seems August scathed Wayne marginally less than last year and, as each day passes, he is talking less to the spider (Leslie, apparently) upturned in the corner of the window, and has managed to cease addressing the deer on top of the beer fridge as ‘Master’.

We’ll get there.

Otherwise, it seems that his lordship has been keeping you pretty well informed about the world and its varying idiosyncrasies, with the occasional bit of wine punditry – a nice balance.

They say that going on holiday is the opportunity to take some time far away from your usual daily toil and to unwind all those tightly-bound stress knots that have surreptitiously built up in your belly over the previous 12 months.  And they’re right.  Even with a brace of children in tow, after two and a half weeks away, donnez moi has given way to laissez faire, and ‘are we nearly there?’ loses its potency after the first 1,000km of driving.

Special mention goes to my daughter who was fairly certain (as she is about most things) that she could see the sea – we were about 100km south of Madrid.

Doesn’t take long to get back into the flow of things and before you know it Angry Alex from Arthur Road is back in the chair.  What has particularly galled me today is the joint report by the Royal Society for Public Health and the weight loss organisation, Slimming World.  Obviously, I first came across this report whilst skimming through the BMJ over my muesli but I believe it may also been covered in things called The Sun, The Guardian and the BBC – whatever they may be.  Anyway, I’m sure you’ve read the article but, if not, the nub of it is that we are all eating more than we should, only this time it’s not our fault, it’s the fault of those naughty old retailers – fast food outlets, cafes, supermarkets and pubs, to name and shame just a few.

Allegedly, it’s all to do with the evil sales tool ‘the upsell’, previously only known to those on the inside, and we are powerless, yes powerless, to resist.  Picture the scene – you’ve have walked through the golden arches of health and longevity and approached the counter.  Whilst ordering your ‘healthy’ snack the kind person behind the counter, let’s call them an assistant, since that is their role, enquires as to whether you might like a side order, a drink or perhaps make it a bit bigger for 50p more – customer service, if you will.  It is at this point, apparently, that we all become transfixed by such an offering and buy the lot.  And an apple pie!

I’m not going to labour the point but, having spent all of my working life behind bars (!) or counters, I might have come across this shady ‘upsell’ practice once or twice.  It can be seen as a positive force to show a customer something they might enjoy (if you like claret then you might enjoy this chianti) or it could be through necessity (sorry, it’s 4.30pm on Christmas Eve – Bollinger is the only champagne we have left…) but if the ‘upsell’ was so darned potent and pernicious then trust me, you’d all be walking out of here with a case of Cristal under your arm, every time!!

Point made – caveat emptor, no one ‘makes’ you buy anything and when one does go into a fast food chain, well, the responsibility is on you really, isn’t it?

Sorry about all that, think I might need another holiday….

Moving swiftly on, and back onto safer shores perhaps, all the schools have now gone back I believe, certainly there are plenty of smart new blazers and clean shoes wandering around each afternoon which won’t look the same come half term.

So, they’ve all gone back to school, how about you?

As we’ve mentioned before I’m sure, our Six Week Wine School kicks off its new term on Wednesday 4th October at 8pm, here in the shop.  It costs £150 per person and is currently half full.  We have noticed in the last couple of days an increased interest, and indeed sign-up, almost as if a momentum is building.  If you want to be part of this momentum and learn more about what’s in your glass 60 different times in October and November then contact us straight away and in return for payment we’ll reserve your place at the table.

Wine School

6 week course on Wednesday evenings

Wednesday 4th October until Wednesday 15th November (half term Wednesday 25th October). 

£150 all in!

Elsewhere a footballer, famous for getting drunk and acting inappropriately, has got drunk and acted as expected.  Test cricket is running the risk of making ODI’s look a little bit laboured; Chris Froome keeps labouring up hills that most of us would struggle to walk up, and the US Open has an all American ladies semi-final round which, considering the paucity of quality in US ladies tennis of late beyond Venus and Serena, is a bit of a turn up.

And lastly, it’s the Denbies Half Marathon on Sunday – a beautiful run through the Surrey Hills with a wine tasting every two miles – who needs a medal – good luck to anyone foolhardy enough to be getting involved!

With wine tasting in mind how about a drop this weekend?  Having fully diluted my stresses whilst on holiday it seems they are slowly building up again, so what shall we try?

Tackling the white wine side of things will be Novas Gran Reserva Riesling 2016, Bio-Bio Valley, Chile (£11.19).   A new one in the shop this very week, made by the clever folk at Emiliana, and, just like its predecessor, is organic. The wine is crisp, dry, with lime fruits, a bit of minerality and has a lovely zesty finish.

Red wine will roll in from Itata in Chile courtesy of A Los Viñateros Bravos Volcánico País 2015 (£15.99). Over the years we have tried our fair share of wines from the grape variety País. Most of them, to be fair, have been a bit rustic, chewy and big but, somehow, just didn’t do it for either of us. You can imagine the eyes rolling when our chum Phil brought this in. We had to swallow our words, this is not like any of the others. Really lifted fruit on the nose, fresh and juicy, almost spritzy even in the mouth with really fine tannins. A proper vin de soif that’d be perfect with some slow cooked pork. Come along and taste it, tell us what food you’d have it with.

Oh, and whilst you here, would you like a case of Cristal with that?


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