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DotW, Wine Education, Sunflower Update, New Gin, New Ins and Car’s the Star

Before we get stuck into tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times, a quick notice about social media. Some of you may have spotted that we have become ‘active’ on a variety of social media channels – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to be precise. At present we are using articles from Sheldon’s Times through these channels, so if you prefer to receive updates via social media then look us up. We are @sheldonswine on Twitter, #sheldonswines on Instagram and Sheldon’s Wine Cellars on Facebook. I think I’ve said all of that right. A big thanks to Lucy in our extended team for helping us oldies get on with this. And thanks to those of you who have already ‘liked’ us (is that what you say?) – I saw Lawson and Sian had done just that, and Maria, and others. Magic.

Now then, tonight’s news: we have a couple of lovely doggies, an update on the sunflower competition (c’mon!), the exciting release of a new gin, some new ins and the obligatory car’s the star. Crack on.

Dog(s) of the Week

A long overdue photo of Milo and Luna in tonight’s Sheldon’s Times. Overdue because we had it on hold while the immediate threat of dog theft passed. I have heard fewer stories about dog nabbing recently but do keep me posted if you have had any recent problems. Thankfully Milo and Luna are rather more grown up now, hopefully less chance of them being swiped. Taking the photo was a little tricky – a pup and a boisterous teenager who wouldn’t sit still made it a challenge. But gorgeous, utterly gorgeous.
Thanks to Barry and Kerry for bringing them over. I have seen them in the town since, but not in the shop. I think a visit is long overdue.

Last minute WSET Course Availability

Amanda is running the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 1 in Wines course on Saturday 12th June at the shop. The course will run from 0930hrs to 1630hrs. All course materials, wines, lunch and everything else is included and if you get through the day you will be qualified to a Level 1 standard. We have just a couple of places left, priced at £155 per head, if you are interested in wine then this is a perfect way to learn about the topic, including how to taste. Contact us at the shop or reply to this email if you would like to participate .

Sunflower Competition Update

With the change in the weather has come an acceleration in the growing rate of just about everything in the garden. Trish’s sunflowers have spent a fair amount of time outside in the wind and rain and have developed healthy, thick stems. Now they can take full advantage of the sunshine and shoot up.
This mornings measurement was 34 inches for the tallest one. Get your tape measures out – we are just getting started and it looks like we have a competition ahead of us. Send us your pictures and measurements so we can track progress.

Amanda went on holiday last week. She watered her sunflowers before going but they have sadly passed over to the other side. One less in the competition!

Alfie and Ronnie have just sent in their latest update. Not bad at all. Game on.

Introducing Sheldon’s very own BADGER GIN

I have asked Amanda to introduce this exciting new product that we have had under development for the last year. Read on.
As regular readers know, we love to join in with any date celebrating one of our favourite grape varieties or spirits. Tomorrow is World Gin Day. We have chosen this day to launch a very special new gin that we have been keeping secret for a few months now, whilst we have been perfecting the recipe.

Those of you who have ‘done the cellar tour’  will know that in 1842 Sheldon’s was originally an apothecary – owned and run by Richard Badger (Edward Sheldon’s uncle).  As part of the medical licence, gin was made in one of the cellars under the shop. A few months ago, whilst clearing out an ante-room of the main cellar to create more storage space, Shane uncovered the original still. It was filthy and covered in over a century’s worth of debris, but amazingly has proven to be in full-working order!

Unbeknown to all but a necessary few, during lockdown we have resurrected the still and have been distilling our own Sheldon’s gin, with only a few minor tweaks to the original 1842 recipe. We are now proud and delighted to unveil our special house gin which we have called “Badger” in memory of the founder of the business.

We have made one hogshead barrel that has just been bottled and we are offering just forty two 568ml (pint) bottles of Badger on a first come, first served basis. The cost of each first edition bottle will be £127.99.

Badger captures the essence of Shipston and all it stands for. We felt it important to be as historically accurate and environmentally friendly as possible with the ingredients of the gin, so we have sourced everything locally. The base spirit is distilled from local grains, the water comes from the crystal-clear River Stour and the juniper is from Esther’s well-tended bush. For the other botanicals we carefully selected, hand roasted and crushed a traditional mix of ingredients. These included natural lanolin from the locks of wool collected from the barbed wire fence around the field at the back of Shane and Trish’s house; daffodil bulb oils from the lifted bulbs from the tubs in the shop carpark; Tulinurea from Jo’s favourite pet; Leylandii sap from the tree roots climbing down the cellar wall; oak wood shavings from the aged cases of Bordeaux wines (left bank, Cru Classé chateaux over 20 years old only). Finally we felt condensed crachoir ullage, once reduced to a syrup, makes a unique edition which gives the gin an attractive cloudy appearance and distinct tangy flavour.
Join us in celebrating  World Gin Day – other, less exciting and unique gins are also available….

Amanda x

New Ins

Well I was hoping to present you with a comprehensive list of New Ins this week but there have been a few hiccups in the supply chain. Wines that were supposed to be here a week ago have still not arrived. We have noticed a gradual clogging up of the distribution network and problems with stock picking and delivery. It appears to be an issue across the board (even our cardboard box supplier is grumbling), not confined to just one aspect of the wine delivery process or any single wholesaler or producer.
That said, we do have the following for you:
Cotswolds Distillery Summer Cup – £25.95
This is a summer concoction from our friends at the Distillery. A blend of the award winning Cotswolds Distillery Gin with Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherries, finished with spice and herbal essences. Some folk have referred to it as a Pimms equivalent, I think the use of aged, complex sherries gives this sunshine drink an extra dimension. Mix with lemonade or ginger ale and throw in some fruit and cucumber and you have the perfect starter for the afternoon.
Zucchetto Baccarat Rose Prosecco – £17.95
It is the first year that the production of rose Prosecco has been permitted. The wine has to contain at least 10% Pinot Nero, the Italian name for Pinot Noir. This new wine has 14% Pinot Nero in it, think summer fruits in a glass enveloped in brut Prosecco. Serve nicely chilled. This is not a wine with Champagne-style complexity, it is easy drinking wine for the garden. I reckon I could drink two bottles in one sitting. Tasty!
We also have the return of some old friends that have been absent from the shop, perhaps for a day or two:

2020 Cantele Rosato – the nice new Italian rose made from Negroamaro, at £12.50
2019 Telero Rosso – the excellent £10 Italian red from Puglia.
2018 Querciabella Mongrana – the last bottle sold yesterday, this is excellent Sangiovese with Bordeaux varietals from Tuscany. £16.95
2018 Quinta Sardonia ‘Sardon’ – a smashing Spanish red, deep and intense which left our shelves a month or so ago, we have been waiting for the shipment from the producer. £16.95

and finally…

2017 ‘Y’ de Yquem – the awesome dry white from the famed Sauternes house, Chateau d’Yquem

Car’s the Star

With over 2 years of weekly Sheldon’s Times behind us I cannot remember every car that has been in, so apologies if we have seen this beauty before. On this occasion I popped up to the shop to complete some mundane tasks on a Monday when the shop is closed. Look what I found in the car park.
We do love an old Porsche, just as we love most old cars. And new ones. And ones in-between for that matter too. Many thanks to Mr S for dropping by, always a pleasure.
That will do for tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times. The weather is looking good for the weekend ahead, perhaps rose weather has finally arrived? Get the barbecue on, pull a few corks and eat and drink with wild abandon.

Shane, Amanda, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol

Your sunflower-competition-winning, Milo-and-Luna-loving, gin-producing wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

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