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DotW, Whichford Show, Back to School, New Ins and Car’s the Star

As I sit here and finish off this week’s edition of Sheldon’s Times the sun is shining, it is warm and the forecast ahead is good. Perhaps summer has finally arrived? Get your flip flops out quick, pull the cork on a bottle of rose with wild abandon and get the barbecue lit.
If you fancy a fun mid-afternoon outing we have places left on tomorrow’s Cellar Tour due to a late cancellation (2-4pm, £20/head) then call the shop in the morning (01608 661409) and we’ll book you in.
Tonight we have the usual articles plus a piece Amanda has written on returning to school. I have provided an update on the antics of the Whichford Show and we finish off with a smashing Car’s the Star.
On you go.

Dog of the Week

Here’s Finn the Fenlander. Sorry for the slightly blurred picture but he simply wouldn’t sit still. Fenlanders are generally bred as working dogs but I am not sure how much active work Finn does. He certainly knows how to woof a biscuit or two down.
Thank you to Steven for bringing Finn over. Always a pleasure.

Whichford Show

On Bank Holiday Monday the Whichford Fete and Flower Show took place on the village green. I’m delighted to say it was very well attended. For my sins I was asked to judge the Homemade Wines and Spirits category in the show. Following a boozy night before, Trish and I made our way to the marquee for 11am on Show Day to begin the tasting. To my surprise and delight (!) there were rather more entries than we had expected.
It was certainly the case that the flavoured spirits (gin and vodka) were the most palatable items on the table. One particular Sloe Gin stood out and was awarded first prize with little hesitation. The homemade wines were a little more challenging. Being used to wines made from grapes, having to dive into these concoctions produced from parsnip, elderberry, damson and rhubarb was both exciting and daunting at the same time. Following the palate cleanser which was the homemade lemonade category we finished up with cordials which were a little easier on the constitution. A big thank you to all who put entries into the show, not just in wines and spirits but across the board. It is your efforts that makes the show so interesting and fun. And well done to all of the category winners, a great job.
During the afternoon I was able to borrow a dog and enter the Most Handsome Dog/Prettiest Bitch competition in the fun dog show. Jackson is already known to many of you, he certainly is to me and we entered the ring to stand among fierce competition. After a little barking and some excellent posturing I am pleased to say Jackson was awarded 3rd prize. I think it was his bow tie that clinched it.
Thanks to Debs and Tim for the doggie loan, it was excellent fun. I am only sorry that Dougie didn’t get a prize in the Puppy category and he will be too old to enter next year. Maybe he will be able to surpass Jackson’s success in the Handsome Dog class in 2022.
It was so good to be able to attend the show, meet friends including many readers of Sheldon’s Times, enjoy a pint (or three) in the pub and generally relax and be ‘normal’. A huge thank you to all of the volunteers who put their personal time and effort into making these events such fun. We are all immensely grateful. And a final thank you to all of the Sheldon’s Times readers who attended and everyone else who came along. It is your attendance that makes the show a success. Next year I will be baking bread again, be warned.

Back to School

Amanda has put this next article together for you to gently ease you back into a routine, although some of the bottles might not help you get up in the morning.

This year continues to be a little nuts – September is here and whilst we are still waiting for Summer to start, it’s time for the children to go back to school!

We know from talking to our lovely customers that the new school year brings mixed emotions. Gin sales to frazzled parents have been on the rise over the past 2 weeks. Many of you are having celebrations to say goodbye to children off to University and some of you are getting ready to go back to the classroom yourselves (a shameless plug for my WSET Classes which start next week).

I have started gently reminding (aka nagging) Shane to start thinking about Christmas stock and to distract me, he’s tasked me with putting together a list of wines with a ‘back to school’ theme. So, for those of you who are missing that ‘new school year’ feeling – this is for you!
Maths – Figuero 4, 12 and 15 from Duero del Duero, Spain. The numbers represent how many months the wine has been aged for in oak.

History – Taylors 1963 Port – I like this one because it’s one of the few things in the shop older than me….

Art – Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque Champagne – with an art motif dating from 1902.  The magnums make great lamp bases for added arts and crafts!

Sport – Mollydooker The Boxer. An Aussie Shiraz that always packs a punch. At 16% abv don’t drink it on a school night.

Music – Le Carillon de Vendome rosé from the Coteaux de Vendôme. Our favourite rosé for all-year round drinking as it has enough flavour to pair well with food.

Languages – Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöle Riesling Spätlese – don’t let the name put you off this fabulous, medium sweet, full-flavoured wine.

Biology –  Cuisse de Nymphe from The Oxford Artisan Distillery – translates as ‘blush on a maiden’s thigh’.  Say no more ….

I am sure that our eagle-eyed customers will find many more. Good luck to everyone starting a new year, course or adventure this September. You are never too old to learn.

Amanda x

New Ins

The New Ins list looks a little scant this week, not because we haven’t had many in, but because Esther is on holiday and she books all of our stock onto the till system here in the shop. When she is back next week, expect a bumper crop of goodies to choose from. For this week we have the following interesting items.
Baur Cremant d’Alsace NV (£19.95) – due to a shift in the supply route we had ‘lost’ this wine for a while but I am pleased to say it is back in. A tasty Cremant, the wine is a blend of 6 different varieties: Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It is made using the ‘traditional method’ i.e. the same way that Champagne is made. And it’s organic to boot.

2008 Paul Bara Comtesse Maire de France (£75) – We tried this last weekend and it is a full expression of fruit from what is a great vintage year in Champagne. The wine comes from 100% Pinot Noir fruit from the village of Bouzy (what is not to like with a name like that?) Lots of ripe fruits on the nose and a full palate make this a little more than a simple aperitif style. Serve with starters, it will also go with white meats.

2017 Donnhoff Oberhauser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett (£24.95) – another ‘easy for you to say’ wine from the Nahe region of Germany. This is elegant, fruity (grapey) wine with a slatey minerality from this steep vineyard. Off dry in style and only 9% alcohol makes this bottle the perfect sunny afternoon drinker.

2018 Joseph Drouhin Chassagne Montrachet Morgeot 1er Cru (£95) – a customer favourite returns in some volume but I don’t suspect it will hang around for long. One of, if not the best 1er Cru white from Drouhin.

2018 Joseph Drouhin Corton Charlemagne GC (£169) – one of my absolute favourites, this is very well made Grand Cru white Burgundy. Keep if you can, although it will be difficult to resist young.

2005 Chateau Sociando Mallet (£80) – we sold all of the 1996 that we could find, we have ploughed through a load of 2010s (and have a few left, a bargain at £45/bt) so it is nice to have some bottles from another great vintage somewhere in the middle.

2016 Dujac Morey Saint Denis village (£95) – Dujac. Say no more.

Watch this space next week for some pretty awesome Napa wines and a few nice aged Clarets.
Car’s the Star
You don’t see many of these around – mainly because Porsche only made 1270 of them and less than 50 came to the UK. It is of course a Carrera GT, the production run for which started in 2003 and finished in 2007. It is a mid-engine car, immediately behind the cockpit is a 5.7 litre V10 producing over 600 bhp. This is a serious piece of kit, be in no doubt.
Thanks to Adam for bringing it over on yet another sunny day in Shipston. I think this monster will provide many long years of happy motoring.
That’s it for tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times. Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts. Maybe we will get a blocking high and have the whole of September in glorious bright skies. Tomorrow Amanda, Trish and I will be here to help with all of your wine-related needs, pop in and say hello. And don’t forget the Cellar Tour tomorrow if you want a laugh.

Shane, Amanda, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol

Your Fenlander-loving, Dachshund-prize-bagging, Dujac-drinking wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

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