Gin, Chianti, Barolo and Ego

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Enough, already – enough of the ego, or is it id, either way I’m sick of it?

Look at all the sordid activities going on in Hollywood.  The torrent of allegations against Kevin Spacey and his rampant inability to keep his hands to himself has sullied his whole oeuvre.  We’ve got the Weinstein case.  We’ve got a growing list of actors and writers and directors amongst them Ben Affleck, Dustin Hoffmann, Steven Seagal, Oliver Stone and even George Bush Sr.  Accepting that accusations are only accusations until guilt is proven, it still doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

Look at all the sordid activities going on in Westminster.  Around a dozen MP’s accused of misconduct and half of them confessing to it.  Alongside this we’ve got a Foreign Secretary totally incapable of understanding from his diplomatic advisors that every word he says is recorded and analysed and that even the slightest mis-phrasing can put peoples life at risk; and we’ve got a, now ex-, Development Secretary whose extra-curricular meetings in Israel, again without any diplomatic support, have got us all asking – what was she thinking?

And what is the one thing that perhaps all these people have in common?  An ego, a sense of self-worth above the norm.  An ego that has such girth that it blocks out a lot of common sense and reality.  An ego that says, effectively, I can get away with this because I am who I am, I am a very important person and I am beyond reproach, advice and retribution – do you know who I am?

“He was really cocky, had this big grin on his face like he was going to get away with something” Carrie Stevens

Sick of it.  Apologies for the rant, here’s to happier times.

Happier times

I’m sitting here, writing this, in what can best be described as an armchair of flavoured Gin – I know, what’s with all the moaning and ranting.  Anyway, our delivery from our pals up at Foxdenton Estate that was due to arrive on Monday has just turned up and the only place to put it was around my escritoire.  My left arm rest is the Recognisably Different Sloe Gin (£24.99), that numerous of you have enjoyed as a winter warmer for numerous years; perhaps more exciting though is my right armrest.  Last time we spoke to Nick at Foxdenton he very kindly sent us down a few samples of his other fruit fancies – specifically his Apricot and his Rhubarb gins.  Now the apricot was like drinking alcoholic jam, which was great in small doses but actually the consensus was that it was all a bit too sweet.  The Rhubarb, on the other hand, was an instant hit.  Sweet and rhubarby as you would hope but with just enough tartness in the finish to keep it honest.  So we bought some, hence armrest number two.  It comes in a particularly smart 35cl bottle and has a delicate pink hue (which our sample didn’t, to its detriment probably) and seems likely to fit perfectly into a stocking in the early hours of 25th December.

Foxdenton Recognisably Different Rhubarb Gin (£14.99).

Even happier times

As intimated above, we have been gathering more stock in this week, which makes us happy and ideally you too in the long term.  A few examples below:

From France we have found another magnum from a cracking vintage, the Chateau Lamothe-Cissac, Haut-Medoc Cru Bourgeois 2010 – £36.99.  I’ll bring this if you organise the rib of beef.

From Italy, we see the return of Riecine di Riecine 2012 – £52.00, which is, in their own words, “our ultimate expression of the best wine that can be made from Sangiovese – true to the vineyard and the very essence of the Gaiole terroir, capturing everything that…. is the essence of Riecine” and also their Riecine Chianti Classico 2015 – £22.99, of which wine critic James Suckling wrote: “A firm and silky red with blackberry and tile character. Medium body and a flavorful finish. Drink now.”  He then proceeded to give it 92 points and proclaim it as the best Chianti Classico 2015 – we already knew it very was good and now you can too!

Plus we tasted the totally stonking Borgogno Barolo Riserva 2003 – £48.00, which has oodles of delicious fruit from this warmer vintage and is absolutely singing right now.  We’ve always wanted to get a Borgogno wine on the shelf but have missed out in the past – not this time though!  Finishing off Italy, and a bit more wallet friendly we have managed to list the Feudo Antico Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2014 – £11.99, our previous M d’A went missing so it’s nice to have a replacement.

For the more spirited amongst us we also have some new delights:

Delamain Pale & Dry XO Cognac – £97.00 – real artisanal cognac with an average age of 25 years – smooth, delicious and very smart.

Antica Quaglia Ciliegia Liquore – £22.00 – cherry brandy or is it bottled Bakewell tart?

Antica Quaglia Orange Brandy – £35.00 – really pithy Seville orange notes with hints of Terry’s Chocolate Orange between Grand Marnier and Cointreau in flavour and far superior to both.

Antica Quaglia Fernet – £24.00 – classic aroma of herbs and medicine and old apothecaries, bitter and sweet, herby with a touch of mint decent length – a real hangover fix style, whatever a hangover may be…

Park Brewery Park Porter 4% – £2.59 – a Porter from our pals in Kingston and not at a stupidly high alcohol level – perfect seasonal drinking.

Happy Hour

And so it shall come to pass that at around 5pm this evening the weekend shall commence.  Drinks will be drunk all around the country and we will open a couple of bottles here for your tasting pleasure.

The white will be an old favourite of ours – Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2016 – £18.99 – we’ve been buying this ever since Kevin Judd left Cloudy Bay in 2009 to set up on his own and have never been disappointed; judging from sales it would seem you’re also fans but if you want to double check, swing on by…

The red will be another newbie, Casa Silva Pinot Noir 2015 – £17.99 – from the Colchagua Valley in Chile this is a proper cool climate PN with a nose filled with red fruit notes, strawberries, raspberries and a subtle background note of cinnamon and spice from the French oak it spent 12 months reposing in.  Excellent length of finish and a real pleasure.

So that’s it from us.  Without wanting to get political, wear a poppy, don’t wear a poppy, we don’t mind but do perhaps just take a minute tomorrow to reflect.

Best wishes,

Wayne & Alex

P.S. should you need to hear more ranting, between us we can happily orate on a broad sphere of topics: cycling without lights on, using mobiles whilst driving, not indicating at roundabouts or indeed any junctions, fly-tipping, large lorries in central London, dog waste to name just a few….

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