Back to School

Fellow Wine Lovers,

The Stoke Mandeville Sports Event kicked off in big style this week and with 4,000 athletes competing, I’m sure we can look forward to thrills, excitements and disappointments over the next week or so.

This week also saw the annual Tomatino Festival in Buñol in Spain, where participants threw 120 tonnes of tomatoes at each other in a tradition that started in the 1940’s. Double-check where your passata is from is all I’m saying.

Channel 4 has come under fire for its presentation of the opening ceremony and I have to join in: Jon Snow, white suit with a white shirt, what were you thinking?

The story that gave me the biggest smile was about procrastination.  Craig from Bedfordshire bought a book entitled “52 Steps To Defeating Procrastination” and never read it.  I have to say that struck me as almost artistic!

Wine School

The six-week term starts at 8pm, Wednesday 19th September, here at the shop.  It goes on for 6 consecutive weeks, costs £150 per person, and in this time you will taste around 60 different wines.  Homework is all on a practical basis, and you can do as much as you want!  

Haven’t signed up yet?  Full details attached for those of you who’ve been boozing snoozing in the sun somewhere – there are just a few places left.

Cheese & Wine Tasting

Thursday 20th September at 8pm, four cheeses, with six or so wines (whites as well as reds) to match.  Tickets are £15 per person as usual, and there are a few spaces left…


For September we have teamed up again with Wines of Chile for a closer look at the country’s wines.

Chile is a long, thin, and many would say, fairly isolated country.  To put this in context, pin the top of Chile to John O’Groats and you’d find the bottom hanging out in Niger around the Southern Sahara!  

Isolated by the Andes that run the length of the country’s east, and then barely 100-150 miles to the west you’ll find the Pacific Ocean.  This isolation very often works in the vine growers’ favour since many vines grow on their own rootstocks, whereas in most other parts of the world this is not the case as vineyards have been ravaged (most notably in the late 19th century) by a root eating louse known as Phylloxera.  Chile is protected, and strict quarantine regulations aim to keep it that way.

The long thin nature of the country gives a variety of microclimates and different soils, all bringing little bits extra to the party.  Running along the coastline we have the Humboldt current, which brings a cooling influence to those vineyards closer to the sea such as Casablanca and San Antonio/Leyda.

All this folks adds up to some very interesting wines, which we hope to explore with you all over the coming weeks.

Tasting This Weekend


To ease us all gently back in to it, we will be tasting the three wines we carry from Oyster Shack.

These wines are all from the Central Valley which stretches south from Santiago, in the corridor between the mountains and the sea.  Within the valley are a number of sub-regions with specific geographical traits – Maipo, Cachapoal, Colchagua, Curicó, Maule, Itata, Bio-Bio and Malleco.  We will look more closely at these regions as we proceed through September, but for now we’ll keep it simple with the Oyster Shack wines.

We have Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Chardonnay 2010 and Merlot 2011 they all cost £6.99 and will be open from this evening – see you after 5pm!

Transfer window closes at 11pm, put your offers in…

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