Covid-19 Policy


DotW, COVID, EUROs, Guest Beer, Brexit, New Ins and Car’s the Star

customers wearing covid masks in wine cellar

Seems we are in for a spell of good weather – about time. Trish is talking about getting the barbecue out this weekend! Sounds serious. I’d better choose some barbecue wines.
Tonight we have a first – a single-owner dog and car edition of Sheldon’s Times. Amanda has written her final word on the EUROs (thank goodness) and as some of you have asked, we have written an article about the implications on the business thus far as a result of Brexit. Only read if you are interested. One article I would ask you to pay attention to is the Covid Procedures Update – we will continue to wear masks in the shop, you do not need to but may we ask that you are respectful of others that choose to. We have a couple of New Ins and a new Guest Beer to top things off. On you go.

Dog(s) of the Week

Say hello to Minnie and Ellie! Two lovely spaniels that popped into the shop last week. It was a job taking the photo, the pair wouldn’t sit still. That’s spaniels for you.
A big thank you to Michelle and John for bringing them both in…not in the Porsche (see below).

Cellar Tour Restart – Sat 7th August

We will be running our Cellar Tour event on the 7th August, 2-4pm. This will be the first event we have run since the start of the pandemic. The price is £20 per head, which includes a glass of nice cold fizz, a quick tour of the premises and chat about the history followed by a fun, informal tasting of 4 wines. Places are still available, if you’d like a fun afternoon out then call us on 01608 661409 and book a place or two. Full refunds will be given in the event of us not being able to go ahead, no question.

COVID Procedures Update at Sheldon’s

Next week sees the relaxation of Government rules relating to COVID19. While the legal requirements are changing, at the time of writing the recommendations appear to be in favour of the continued use of face masks in confined spaces, including shops. From talking to you, our customers, there appears to be a mixed response to the rule changes. This is understandable when we consider some of us are considered more vulnerable to the effects of the virus than others. Here at the shop we (meaning those of us who ‘work’ here) will continue to wear masks when customers are in the shop. It will be at your discretion whether you wear a mask or not. All I would ask is that out of respect for others, if you choose not to wear a mask and see other customers wearing masks in the shop please be mindful, observe social distancing measures and be patient. Hand sanitiser will remain available, please feel free to use it.
We will of course continue to monitor the situation in the local area and if we feel case numbers in and around Shipston are increasing too quickly we may re-instigate the wearing of masks for all customers in the shop. This will be done to protect both you and the people who work at the shop. Here’s hoping we don’t end up there.
EUROs Final Instalment
I did warn you that Amanda might want to have a last say on the football. Here it is.
The football may have finished, but if you are missing the excitement and want to finish the ‘game’ with me:

This week, every time you think back to last Sunday’s result, have a large gulp of whatever comes to hand quickest with an abv above 40%. I’m finding that the Nikka from the Barrel Japanese Whisky at 51.41% is quite effective.
I’m now preparing for the Olympics….

Amanda x

Guest Beer – YONDER Sub Culture

We have decided to introduce a guest beer every couple of weeks. We will bring in limited quantities of each beer, pop them on the shelf, announce the arrival in Sheldon’s Times and see how you get on with them. There is also the added benefit of Amanda and I having to try each beer as it comes in – usually the last thing we do on a Friday evening.

The first guest beer is YONDER’s Sub Culture (£3.75).
Yonder Brewing is a modern farmhouse brewery based in the Mendip Hills, Somerset. They describe themselves as having three passions: foraging, flavour and fermentation. As well as good ‘standard’ beers, ales and lagers they also brew sours. We’ll give one of the sour beers a try soon, but for today we thought we’d start the Guest Beer series with a well made Pale Ale.

This mixed fermentation pale ale is made using British grown Jester and Olicana hops and has been finished with a little Brett fermentation to add extra complexity and flavour. Regular readers may remember a previous article about Brett (Brettanomyces, a naturally occurring yeast that adds savoury flavours to beer and wine). We’ve just tried it here in the shop. It has a distinct tropical fruit nose, on the palate it has a lovely fresh, zesty zing to it. We think it is delicious. I think Amanda is taking one home.

Brexit and the Wine Market – the view from the independent merchant

To say it has been ‘interesting’ to observe the effects of our departure from the EU from the standpoint of an independent wine merchant is an understatement. We have seen both immediate changes in the supply chain and some changes that have taken longer to appear. None of the changes so far have brought benefits to the way in which we operate.

Additional paperwork associated with bringing goods into the UK: while duty and VAT rates in the UK have not changed, the requirement for the production of extra paperwork to bring goods into the UK from the EU has placed an extra burden on the supply chain.

Additional security and import checks at the border: necessary checks and security at the border is having the inevitable impact on timescales for bringing goods into the UK.

There have also been a number of indirect consequences of Brexit in the supply chain, the one that is hitting us the hardest is the shortage of drivers and equipment (containers) to bring wine into the UK.

All of the above issues are driving costs up which we are seeing across all methods of us buying wine. Where we are bringing wine in direct we are being charged more to import the wine than last year; when we buy wine in the established UK wholesale market our buy prices are rising as others strive to cover their increased costs and maintain margins.

Unfortunately the costs are not restricted to EU goods only. Anything coming to the UK through the EU is also affected.

Our commitment to you, our loyal customer base, is only to raise prices when there is a direct increase in our purchase costs. We are not interested in using Brexit as a method of increasing margins. We also recognise that buying wine is almost exclusively a discretionary purchase and we want you to obtain the best possible service combined with great prices. We will do our best to absorb or mitigate as many of the additional costs as possible, but some price rises are inevitable as we continue with Brexit implementation. The most likely time for rises will be the arrival of a new vintage or new wines to the shop.

Thankfully we have a fair amount of stock that was purchased before these additional costs were levied, so we will be able to maintain prices across many lines for some time. Stocks of older vintage wines are mostly purchased in the UK and their price is determined by the market rather than transportation and customs clearance costs. The prices of these wines should not be affected in the short to mid term.

We appreciate your continued support while we all work out the long term implications of Brexit. I hope things will get better as the supply chain adjusts to the new ways of working, I’d like to think some of these additional costs will drop out, but time will tell.

New Ins

We’ve been busy restocking core lines this week so not a lot of New Ins this week, although some of you party-types might be interested in:

2005 Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste ((Pauillac) DOUBLE MAGS (£500/DM)

I might have stumbled across a magnum of 2013 Y de Yquem if anyone is interested, in perfect original packaging (please enquire otherwise it is heading home). And we have just received our full allocation (12 bottles!) of Cantine Nervi (from Giacomo Conterno) ‘Il Rosato’ 2020 – £25. 11 bottles left.

Car’s the Star

I think it is a first that we have had both a DotW and a Car’s the Star belonging to the same owner in the same edition of Sheldon’s Times. But here we have it. Being a long-term Porsche-lover, Michelle has recently treated herself to this rather nice 911 convertible. A gift to herself, and as a director of nursing who has had to endure rather challenging times (a.k.a. hell) over the last 18 months, I think she deserves it.
Thank you Michelle for bringing both dogs and car to see us and a big thank you for all that you have done for all of us throughout the pandemic.
That completes another edition of Sheldon’s Times. We are set for a scorcher this weekend – perhaps summer has finally arrived? Certainly feels like rose weather – now where did I put that bottle of Il Rosato?
Oh, and don’t forget World Shiraz Day next Thursday 22nd July – we know how much you love International grape variety days (not). As usual we have lots if you are looking for an excuse to drink. Who needs one of those?
Amanda, Trish and I will be here as usual to meet your every wine, beer and spirit-related need tomorrow. Drop in and say hello. Not even the dogs here bite. Whatever you are up to, have a wonderful weekend.

Shane, Amanda, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol

Your Minnie-and-Ellie-loving, guest-beer-enjoying, rose-hopeful wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

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