Archive for September, 2012

SITT Autumn 2012 – the definitive indy tasting.

Posted on: September 26th, 2012 by Andrew No Comments

Just back from the now bi-annual Sitt tasting in London (thats Specialist Importers Trade Tasting) in Northumberland Avenue. Normally a short walk from Waterloo but today a short cab-ride because of the rain.. (more…)

Paul Ryan and the $350 burgundy

Posted on: September 20th, 2012 by Andrew No Comments

Great story by Mike Steinberger in Slate magazine a couple of months ago ( see how up to date I am) about then Congressman but now Veep hopeful Paul Ryan consuming a bottle of 2004 Echezeaux in a fancy restaurant in Washington. Apparently this had caused some controversy there and Steinberger’s take on it was that it wasnt really a story – America is now a bigger wine drinking nation than France after all – so what if rich politicians drink expensive wine – they probably do it all the time. He was more concerned that at $350 dollars, the wine, from Jayer-Gilles, was from the poor 2004 vintage and thus very overpriced for a wine of middling quality. My experience of Burgundy is too limited to pass opinion on Jayer-Gilles of any vintage and it is years since I have drunk Echezeaux, Grand or no. I do however recommend the rather less “exalted” burgundies from the 06 vintage that we have on our list, fleshy, ripe and delicious. (more…)

Quantock Abbey Wine Services

Posted on: September 19th, 2012 by Andrew No Comments

If you are having a wedding and need top-notch bar service with all the trimmings contact Chris here

Signature Catering

Posted on: September 19th, 2012 by Andrew 1 Comment

Great food and a great bunch of people – if you want great catering contact Signature Catering here

St Emilion Classification system – the end of the black comedy?

Posted on: September 12th, 2012 by Andrew No Comments

Unlike Medoc, where the 1855 Classification has essentially ossified the hierarchy of Châteaux so that the best endeavours of owners and vignerons will never raise a châteaux higher than it is already, St Emilion has a new one every ten years or so. However it would seem that despite the ostensible retrial every decade, this system had also ossified. Wines that were Premier Grand Cru etc remained so even if new owners or very old ones had consistently failed to come up to scratch. Why this should have been so is not something I can answer. Presumably it was all the usual reasons.


Crowcombe Court – An Indian Summer tasting

Posted on: September 12th, 2012 by Andrew No Comments

This autumn we are holding our (late) summer tasting at Crowcombe Court on Thursday 27th October. All of you on our mailing list in the area will receive an invitation. But in case you don’t and you would like to come, don’t hesitate to contact us in the office on 01963 440404

Chris will be on hand with a selection of our wines that we think will make good Autumn drinking and the event will kick off at 7.00 PM.

We look forwrad to seeing as many of you as can make it.

Dont mention the Olympics part 2 – the actualité

Posted on: September 2nd, 2012 by Andrew No Comments

As we all now know, the Olympics was a great success, proving all the naysayers (including me) wrong. Nothing went wrong substantially, all the transport worked and Weymouth wasnt a ghost town. We did marginally better than I had hoped as three of our trade customers in the town took on most favoured status with the men with money and got through a lot of wine, especially in the higher price brackets. Great for us as I am thoroughly bored of selling entry -level rubbish and relished the opportunity to move some classy wines. Chief sellers were Bourgeois’ Sancerre followed by Naulin’s Premier Cru Chablis and Bailly’s Pouilly Fumé. All of which in their current vintages are drinking exceptionally well.

The one black spot was the demise of the Bayside Festival which had promised great things and failed to deliver. Probably a lack of planning- those with money went to the restaurants and bars and the festival ended up with everyone else! There is only so much interest in Tribute Bands even if they are of Earth Wind and Fire.

I cant see the Paralympics attracting the same level of interest but perhaps I will be proved wrong again. -Ill let you know.

Dont mention the O——–s part 1. Sponsors versus local suppliers

Posted on: September 2nd, 2012 by Andrew No Comments

I wrote this before the event but didnt get round to posting it. Read this and then my next post to see how reality differed from conjecture.


As an honorary Dorset wine merchant we take pleasure in supplying a number of venues in and around Weymouth and the arrival of the Olympic Games should be a reason for celebration for them and us alike. Most of the talk up to now though has been about empty rooms and people staying away in droves – Why? Well for one thing sailing is not a spectator sport – its probably best viewed on TV from the comfort of an armchair – also the weather which had been so bad until this week was not conducive to a trip to the beach – especially if one had to pay to get a view.

For us moreover, we have lost in the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy a good client who regularly ordered over the summer for the variety of functions that usually go on there. Not this summer. The RYA and Locog have replaced all the staff and suppliers with suitably “accredited” ones – I guess from big companies who have paid big to be allowed to supply – after all this is how the modern Olympics are substantially financed. Local firms like us lose out. However I’m more sorry for the staff who have all had to leave and be replaced by contractors. I’m really not sure why but I’m sure the organisers have a good reason.

Meanwhile in another part of town and through the good offices of our friends at Chalkstream Wines we will be supplying some of the drinks at the Bayside Festival, which I hope to take the kids to later in the week and will write it up if the mood takes me. Lets hope the poor weather forecast to return next week is not as bad as earlier in the month and that the crowds really do arrive. We could all do with a midsummer filip. If you go, the main alcoholic drink on offer will be Chalkstreams’ own PET bottled Beach-life, which if you like it, is available to purchase here. Give it a try – I think it is rather good.

With a bit of luck and a fair wind then things may turn out all right over the next two weeks. Let us hope so and of course we wish our sailing teams all the best.


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