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Wisteria, DotW, Capion, Labels, Hot Weather Wines and Car’s the Star

Some fun articles in tonight’s Sheldon’s Times, including Amanda’s top advice for drinking in the hot weather. We have a smashing DotW, we are giving you advance notice of an in-store tasting a week tomorrow, we have a superb tasting note and a couple of lovely cars. No New Ins tonight (well actually we have had some, but I am saving them for next week’s email). Press on.

The best Wisteria in Shipston?

I am sure those local to Shipston will already know this house well. In May it is simply dripping with Wisteria flowers. When passing I couldn’t help taking a picture of it. As it turns out, the residents are both keen customers of Sheldon’s so had little problem agreeing for the photo to make an appearance in Sheldon’s Times.
Many thanks to both Susan and Glyn for the permission. Keep up the amazing gardening work, the place looks lovely (and I have yet to see the back garden) and we look forward to seeing how your sunflowers are getting on.

Dog of the Week

Here’s Sienna, a smart little fluffball. Lovely temperament, well-mannered and rather photogenic. She spent quite a while in the shop whilst we sorted out some bits for her owner. She was quite happy having the occasional treat and milling around the counter area.
Thank you to James for bringing her over to spend some time with us – welcome any time. A proper pocket-sized furry friend.

Wines for hot weather

While we have been sweating in the shop, Amanda thought you might like a little guidance on what type of wine to drink in the hot weather. Here goes.
This week has certainly been a scorcher and many of you have been looking for suitable wine recommendations to quench your thirst. Here are our top tips for pleasurable wine drinking during the warmer weather.

1. Avoid higher alcohol wines. High alcohol wines have more body and are less refreshing than lighter bodied wines. Coupled with dehydration from perspiring more than usual, they will make you drunk faster and are likely to give you a headache fairly quickly. Wines that are lower in alcohol (under 13% abv ) are lighter in body and won’t make you as sleepy!  As a general rule, wines that come from cooler climates are lower in alcohol than those that come from hot countries, and white wines are usually lower in alcohol than reds.
2. If you like your wine to be cold, choose wines with plenty of flavour. Not all wines respond well to being chilled as it can suppress the lovely fruit flavours. Select white wines which have intense fruit flavours as these will taste best once the wines are chilled. Lightly flavoured wines can be a bit dull once chilled.
3. Sparkling wines love being chilled – the bubbles are smaller, last longer and the sparkle makes them extra refreshing. Look for good quality  fizz with lots of flavour – be it Prosecco, Cava, Crémant, English sparkling wine or Champagne.
4. Some red wines taste great chilled! Most don’t, as the tannin in red wine tastes harsher and more bitter if the wine is chilled. Reds with light tannins (such as Beaujolais, red Burgundy, Valpolicella or Loire Valley Cabernet Franc ) can be served lightly chilled as they come from grapes with thin skins and lighter tannins and are refreshing and fruity. Most rosé wines have light tannins – the paler the rose, the lighter the tannins.

So, taking the above factors into account, my recommendations for enjoying in hot weather wines are as follows:

Sparkling wines – Any of the English Sparkling wines as they are light in body, yet have lots of lovely fruit flavour. Gusbourne, Nyetimber and Lyme Bay are all great warm weather wines. If you are feeling very brave, we have a sparkling Aussie Shiraz, Miss Molly, which is served chilled. Just make sure that you are having it with a  plateful of barbeque food though as it’s a humdinger!
Whites – Any of our Rieslings, Sauvignon Blancs or Albarino varieties.
Chilled Reds – Fleurie or Beaujolais Villages, Les Petits Grains Cabernet Franc, Joseph Drouhin La Foret Bourgogne Pinot Noir,  Allegrini Valpolicella.
Rose – This really is the perfect time to drink rose. It doesn’t really matter which  – choose the one that suits your sweetness preference and consider if you are eating or just enjoying a drink in the sun.
Whatever you are doing over the summer holidays we have a great range of wines for any occasion and are always delighted to help you chose wines which suit your taste and budget.

Amanda x

In-store Event – Chateau Capion – Saturday 31st July

I am delighted to announce that we will have Howard Laughton, Director of Capion UK here at the shop on Saturday 31st July. We first came across Chateau Capion around 18 months ago, were blown away by the quality/price ratio of their wines and have stocked them ever since.
Chateau Capion is based in the Languedoc, in southwest France. The Chateau and estate dates back to the 16th century, but it is in more recent times that a new level of vitality has come to the estate. The current owners arrived in 2016 and brought immediate improvements in both vineyard management and winery operations. The estate achieved certified organic status in 2020, having completed a 3 year conversion exercise. Vines grown on the estate are predominantly Rhone varietals (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre for reds, Roussane, Viognier and Bourboulenc for whites), yields are kept low (20-25 hectolitres per hectare), grapes are sorted by hand, vinification of the different varieties is conducted separately in a gravity fed winery and only the very best wines end up in the final blends.
The range of wines that we hold from the estate is straightforward: two reds, two whites and a rose. The first wines are simply labelled Chateau Capion, of which there is a red and a white (£38 a bottle). The red is a blend of Syrah (60%), Grenache (30%) and Mourvedre (10%) and shows real fruit intensity. The white is similarly a Rhone-style blend with Roussanne (45%), Viognier (30%) and Bourboulenc (15%) with blossom on the nose and a peachy, buttery palate with a touch of spice.
The second wines are labelled Le Chemin des Garennes. A red and a white are produced (both £18 a bottle), the red includes a dash of Cinsault to add perfume, the white is 90% Roussanne, the remainder Bourboulenc and is a lighter version of the first wine. The team also make a rose, called Zefir, which is unusually 60% Syrah, 40% Grenache and is the first wine to be released under the new organic status. This is a gourmet rose, can be served on its own but also works with food. Best served cool rather than cold to get the full benefit of the aromas and flavours.
Howard will be here at the shop from 10.30am on Saturday 31st July, available to talk about the Chateau, the wines and perhaps pour a glass or two. Save the date, drop in and say hello and try some of the wines. I am sure you will be as impressed as we have been. I am certainly looking forward to trying all of the wines together. Get here early to avoid me getting drunk.

What’s in a label?

Amanda has written a fun little article on her recent project. Have a read!
This week we have been having a small celebration as I have finally completed reticketing every bottle in the shop. As part of our drive to improve the experience for our lovely customers, we decided to provide neater and more comprehensive description labels for each bottle. I can’t say that it was a totally pleasurable experience – mainly due to the newly stuck label holders which have an annoying habit of unsticking and pinging off – much to the amusement of Esther and Shane.
As part of the process I have rewritten the descriptions of over 600 wines and spirits. As we have tried most of the wines in the shop (!) this is not too difficult, but some of the more obscure wines need a bit of research. Reading wine descriptions can be bewildering and highly entertaining, and occasionally really annoying. I found myself having a debate recently about why it was unacceptable to describe a wine as ‘slutty’…
In our quest to find some of the most inappropriate wine descriptions Shane discovered a whole website dedicated to “the crappest tasting note of the year”.  Happily, none of mine were on there, but I’m sharing the winning entry with you, just for fun  – a description of Krug’s Clos du Mesnil 2006. The author is, sadly, anonymous.

Crappest Tasting Note of the Year
‘A wonderful colour, diamond bright, frost catching the earliest light, still-life pewter, tension already writ in sermons of flinty stone and an excited effervescence. Peach kernel, mid-morning honeysuckle, orchard fruit just harvested, crushed almond and soft spice; a soloist does not need to be monochrome. The palate is youthful, of course, disciplined yet self-assured, all the vigour of the vintage held back, tightly wound yet ludic. A flirtatious cadenza, hints of exotic fruit, and even lightly buttered toast, hinting at the path we should follow, footfalls echoing in the memory, down the passage to the walled vineyard. 98 points’

(Ed’s Note: What’s wrong with that tasting note? When I had Clos du Mesnil 06 the other week it tasted exactly like the note above…..)

Car’s the Star

The strangest things happen here at the shop. It was one Wednesday afternoon, just before closing time when there was a roar in the carpark and these two beasties turned up. A Ferrari Portofino and a Lamborghini Huracan. Who would have thought it?
It was a whistle-stop visit, mostly to swap over drivers. The owner (of both cars) ran into the shop, bought a bottle of wine (Belleville Pucelles 1er Cru, a fine choice), then the engines started up and they left as quickly as they arrived. No names, a modest amount of chat, but lovely to see all the same.
That’s it for tonight’s Sheldon’s Times. The forecast is for slightly cooler weather tomorrow with it hotting up again on Sunday and Monday. Trish and I will be here tomorrow to serve you with a smile, Amanda will be running a Level 1 WSET course down in the cellars. Whatever your plans are, have a super weekend.

Shane, Amanda, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol

Your Sienna-loving, hot-weather-enduring, Capion-tasting wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

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