Rituals, Real Madrid, Itegem and Minervois

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Whoop, whoop!  Guess who has just scored 6 days of extra leave this year?  I reckon I can finish work on the evening of Wednesday 20th December and not come back into work until 3rd January – how good is that?  Plus I get to avoid the busy time in the shop and all the aches and pains – score!

This all came about on Wednesday this week and I can’t thank Wayne enough…  As is our wont, the working day doesn’t really start until one of us been across the road to Saucer and Cup for a couple of coffees.  It was Wayne’s turn on Wednesday, and once we had got through all the usual jokes related to how we would like our coffee today (sprinkles, peppermint mocha, cinnamon dolce, grappa, hahaha) he left premises.  As he left, another of his daily rituals*took place, as he slowly unfurled one of Switzerland’s finest smokes, a Villiger Export Cigar, the stogie of choice for south London geezers for decades now.  Right-ho, I thought to myself, cold coffee for me today, that’ll take him at least 20 minutes to finish….  *made up for the purposes of this email

So what was I to do with these 20 minutes of caffeine free imprisonment?  Well, what would you do?  Yep, I went online – and it was here that I came across an article that was going to change my holiday landscape forever…

Let me introduce you to Piala Inc, a marketing firm in Tokyo.  Following a message from one of the staff that non-smokers were working harder than their gasper fuelled colleagues.  Piala Inc is on the 29th floor and smokers have to descend to basement level to spark up – average length of time away from their desk?  15 minutes.  The CEO, having done some quick maths on the back of a fag packet, came up with the 6 days extra paid leave solution for the non-smoking staff.

Genius – and 25% of the staff have already signed up for it – I reckon I might push for 10 days and go skiing too!

Speaking of holidays, Carles Puigdemont has decided that the beaches of Tarragona hold no half term holiday appeal for him as he takes his family on the trip of a lifetime to Itegem in Belgium.  Apparently he can, technically, seek asylum in Belgium although success is far from guaranteed.  Quote of the week must be from Belgium’s deputy prime minister, Kris Peeters, stating “if you declare independence, you usually stay with your people”.  Ouch.

And speaking of ouch, the Spanish players at Real Madrid were clearly distracted by the activities of their Catalan neighbours as they leaked goals in the Champions League, to Tottenham, at Wembley.  No-one does that…

Also in sport, Marland Yarde has been given his marching orders by Quins and immediately signed for Sale – if he was finding it difficult to get to training in London, where he lives, what chance making it to Manchester?  Perhaps he should have a word with his fellow alma mater alumnus , Danny Cipriani, who’s bound to be able put him back on the straight and narrow!  Oh, and whilst talking of rogues and reprobates, the cricket starts down under on Saturday, without our #1 rogue, Mr Stokes  – 5 nil here we come.

Anyway forget about all that, it’s November now, which is the last buffer between us and Christmas.  We are slowly slipping wines and champagnes in through the door and have listed a couple of new wines this week which we are quite excited about.  We’ve got a new Pinot Noir from Chile (Casa Silva Cool Coast Pinot Noir 2015 – £17.99); we’ve got a new Malbec from Cahors in France (Chateau Vincens ‘Origine’ 2014 – £17.99), that Wayne tasted in June and I haven’t let him buy until the heating went on; and a very tasty Minervois from, um, AOC Minervois (Chateau de Parazza 2015 – £13.99) which we also have in magnum, for £27.99.

We’ll open the Minervois this evening  – a  blend of 40% Syrah, 40% Grenache Noir and 20% Mourvèdre, this is deep red garnet with cherry and raspberry compote notes, backed by red licorice undertones and a juicy acidity.  Floral and mineral details weave together on the crisp finish that is everything you could wish for on a weekend filled with bonfires.

And we’ll open a white, too, Ciù Ciù Merlettaie Pecorino 2016 – £13.99, to be precise.  As I think we have mentioned in the past, this wine is not made of cheese, Pecorino is a grape variety originally from the Abruzzo.  A pleasing floral nose with clean, pleasant and refined aromas of banana, broom, apple, hazelnut and plum followed by a hint of vanilla.  The mouth follows the nose, a slightly round attack however balanced, agreeable crispness, good body and intense flavours.  We first had Pecorino in 2005, when it first came into the market over here, and frankly are very surprised it hasn’t become a chart topper, however that does mean there’s more for us and our friends!

And that just about puts an end to this week’s ramblings – it was his turn on the Saucer and Cup run again and I can see him carrying back two coffees –  I’m just praying that the long lump of ash on his cheroot doesn’t fall into either of them… Amazing how much I can write in a fag break, eh!

Over and out.

Comments are closed.