Christmas is Coming!

Fellow Wine Lovers,

There are now 10 days until Christmas – I know this because my junk mail has told me.

Uniqlo, Runners Need, Amazon, Buyagift, Kew Gardens and even Surrey County Cricket Club have been warning me that I risk missing out on their latest offers and that I really, really must hurry.  Even the cheeky so-and-so’s at the Wine Society were putting the hard word on me.  Yesterday, there were 11 days until Christmas and on Tuesday there were 13 days – how do I know?  Because Uniqlo, Runners Need, Amazon… you get the gist.  However, my daughter wishes me to believe that there are only 9 days left because you don’t include today or the 25th in the count and, in fact Dad, because she is going away next Friday to her cousins’ house that, actually Dad, there are only really 6 days until Christmas properly starts…

So, I will now revise my opening statement, there are in fact just 6 days until Christmas – we all know this because my daughter has told me!

Whilst Theresa, Brexit and a Tory rebellion dominate the front pages, it is sport that really helps us keep a sense of perspective and, as often happens, it is the world of football and, within that, the world of José Mourinho, which provides us with the appropriate balance we need.

For non-football fans, here’s what you missed and I’m not sure it will encourage you to become fans in the near future.  Manchester United hosted Manchester City and lost the match 2-1.  After the match, it is alleged that Mr Mourinho made a complaint that the City team were ‘over-celebrating’ their victory and thus weren’t showing United, the losers, enough respect.  In a surreal re-invention of what is normally known as ‘handbags’, a scuffle ensued in the tunnel during which milk, water, plastic bottles and even the occasional punch are alleged to have been thrown, proving once more that footballers are the hardest sportsmen around.  Oh, and the concept of ‘over-celebrating’ – what is that, Jose?  Is that similar to over-laughing, over-smugly smiling and having an over-estimation of one’s own worth?!

Having said all this, I was on the verge of grabbing the Cravendale when I heard what Jonathan Ford of the FAW (Football Association of Wales) said of the requirement for a new Welsh national coach:  “We have always favoured Welsh people because arguably the passion is there.  Somebody said this earlier, Welsh most definitely, foreign possibly but definitely not English.”  Apparently he has had to apologise and put on his hair shirt in order to avoid a sticky international incident resulting in borders closing and a wall being built – who knew the world of football was so very sensitive?  Oh, hang about…

In other news, Donald Trump is 71 years old and has never apologised for anything.

Hopefully cycling isn’t hitting another serious doping scandal – we’ll have to wait and see; hopefully the English cricket team can grab something at the WACA – Day One was a decent day, Day Two started well until Steve Smith turned up again and it seems that Jimmy Anderson has yet to recover from the deeply psychologically traumatising Duckett dousing he received recently; however Steve Finn insists recent disciplinary lapses are not reflective of a drinking culture in English cricket.

In other news, Sir Ian Botham is to launch an English Sparkling Wine next year as part of a new wine range, and is already a partner in Botham Merrill Willis wines with Bob Willis and Geoff Merrill, superstar winemaker, who he met whilst on an Ashes tour in the 70’s…

Anyway, enough of what other people are drinking, what about us here in Wimbledon Park?  It all seems to be gearing up a bit now, parties are going on, pre- Christmas Christmases are being celebrated almost every day of the week and instore talk of turkey and smoked salmon seems to be on a perpetual loop – and we love it!

This weekend, to help with our drinking choices over the festive period but from less traditional areas, we will be opening Herbert Hall NV – £29.99 – our delicious fizz from Marden in Kent; we’ll be opening Quinta de la Erre Albariño 2016 – £15.99 – a cracking wine from Galicia; and we’ll be opening Spencer Hill Latitude 41 Small Batch Pinot Noir 2014 – £21.49 – from Nelson, NZ.  Plus, knowing Wayne’s expertise in persuading corks out of bottles of Port, I suspect we shall open something fortified too but I’m not sure what yet!  Of course, we will have an array of spirits open, including the Foxdenton Rhubarb Gin – £14.99 – that is challenging Prosecco as a top seller and is certainly going to get the award for best newcomer!

That’s about it really from us this week, only about 5 minutes left until Christmas I’m told, don’t forget our Wine Course starts in very late January and makes a perfect gift for that wine fan in your life – £150 for 6 weeks of vinous education, sounds good to me!

We’re off now to buy José some earth boots (thanks Galliano) to help him keep his feet on the ground and then have a chat with David Gower about his £1,000 fine for hiring a plane and buzzing the Carrera Oval during the 1990/1 Ashes tour – proper misbehaviour!

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