Clear as gin!

Fellow Wine Lovers,

An extraordinary thing happened to me earlier this week. 

You know how you carry on your life month in month out, and time passes by quickly, and you get tied up in your day-to-day existence, and before you know it a whole year has passed, and that meet-up you said would definitely happen in a few weeks has never happened, and now it’s almost forgotten about…

Well, the other day, I stumbled around the corner and BANG!, blow me, if it wasn’t Summer just standing there with a ‘bet you never thought you’d see me again’ smirk on his face (because Summer would be a he, something to do with being unreliable and letting people down)!

‘Where the hell have you been?’

‘Europe, like the rest of the sensible people, but school holidays are over now, so I thought I’d hang out in Wimbledon Park for the next few days, drink some rosé, perhaps even come on your wine and cheese tasting on Thursday 20th September…’

I was impressed he knew the date.

And in the real world

Life goes on, cabinets get re-shuffled (shouldn’t it just be shuffled as it’s the first time of asking), east London still seems to be paved with gold, Mr Murray marches on and Prince Andrew skids backwards down the shard.  The best quote I heard was from one of the esteemed gents who descended after HRH, commenting on the panorama from the top:

‘The view was breath-taking, you could see the south coast, clear as gin!’  Clear as crystal, your days are numbered…

And in Wimbledon Park

For those of you that may have missed the announcements, we have two events coming up shortly.

Our 6 week Wine Course returns after the summer recess.  This starts on Wednesday 19th September and concludes on Wednesday 24th October, just before half term, very neat.  It takes place at 8pm and lasts between 1 ½ and 2 hours, and the whole course costs only £150 per person.

You’ll learn about whites, reds, fizz and sweeties plus you’ll get to try, if you want, some faulty wines to educate your palate – if you learn nothing else you will at least have tasted about 60 wines over the course, and you’re bound to like some of them.  Previous alumni have gone on to enjoy wine for many years, and this, I think, is not a bad premise.  So book a babysitter, or tell your other half they’re in charge of kids for the next six weeks, grab a likeminded pal and head on down.

Spaces still available, phone me or email me or visit me, I’m not fussy, and the wonderful world of wine will be demystified for you!

Then, Thursday 20th September sees another return – the Cheese and Wine tasting evening.  Again this starts at 8pm, costs £15 per person and is always an exciting night.  In a nutshell, drink wine-taste cheese-chat about it.  But it’s so much more than that, it’s food and wine matching heaven, new discoveries are made and common myths exploded, who could ask for more?

As before, phone, write, visit, you know the routine.

And in Chile

Wayne set the Chilean ball rolling last week and I will continue his theme.  We trod carefully last week with the Central Valley, this week I will be venturing to the northern end of the wine lands, visiting the Limari and Choapa valleys. 

The Limarí Valley is located 470 km north of Santiago and is both an old and new wine region. Vines were first planted in the mid-16th century but more recently winegrowers have been making good use of the cool sea currents just off the coast and the morning fogs, the combination of which creates fresh wines with a distinct mineral edge – De Martino Legado Reserva Chardonnay 2010 £12.49 – is our representative here.

The Choapa Valley is located 400 km north of Santiago at Chile’s narrowest point, where there is no distinction between the Andes and the Coastal Mountains. This small, very dry valley, which historically has been coupled with Limarí, consists of two sectors, Illapel and Salamanca.  Neither have wineries in place as yet, but vineyards planted on rocky piedmont soils are producing limited quantities of high quality Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.  De Martino Legado Reserva Syrah 2010 £12.49 – is our choice here, as I said, there are no local wineries so De Martino make the wine.

That just about rounds it off from me, wines open from 5pm this evening, rosé wines installed in the fridge, butcher has ordered more sausages and is sticking meat on sticks as I write, so let’s do it!


Alex & Wayne

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