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DotW, Cooking with Heros, Zin/Prim, Goodbyes and Car’s the Star

This week Shane & Trish have been taking a short break (mostly spent drinking and eating), so this week’s Sheldon’s Times comes to you from Amanda and Esther who have been ably managing the shop. We have our usuals of DotW and Car’s the Star, but the meat in the sandwich this week is a little different. We have an article about a new book written by one of our local authors, the money for which goes to the Royal British Legion. Amanda has written a fun article on Zinfandel and we have the announcement of some retirees from the shop. Bottles that is, not staff members. Enough. Crack on.

Dog of the Week

What discipline! And what a great photo. This is Parker, patiently waiting for the OK to tuck into his treat. The added drool makes the picture. What a good dog.
A big thank you to Jonathan for bringing Parker to see us. So many visits in the past and we didn’t even know you had him.

Cooking with Heros – support for the RBL

It won’t be long before we are buying poppies. Before we get there we are delighted to support local author and Military Veteran Squadron Leader Jon Pullen (retired) in raising funds for the Royal British Legion Centenary (RBL) by stocking his new book in the shop. Jon, who lives in Newbold-on-Stour, has been working with more than 150 personnel from across the Military Family to produce the RBL Centenary Cookbook ‘Cooking with Heroes’. The book divides the UK and Commonwealth in to 100 different regions and for each region members of the RBL identify a ‘Local Hero’, someone who has made a great contribution to UK Defence; these military personnel then present their stories. Alongside these tales of courage, determination and often sacrifice, military chefs from across the Services, alongside a number of illustrious guest chefs including Jamie Oliver, the Hairy Bikers, Rick Stein, Ainsley Harriott, James Martin and many more provide a recipe that reflects the food culture of that region. These recipes are predominantly regional and often represent forgotten foods brought back into the 21st century.
The Warwickshire contribution tells the story of Corporal Arthur Hutt VC, the first person from Coventry to win the Victoria Cross on 4 Oct 1917 at the 2nd Battle of Ypres where he showed conspicuous courage not only taking command when his Officer and NCOS had been wounded but also saved the lives of several of his Platoon. The recipe in his honour is the wonderful Warwickshire Faggots, Onion Gravy and Braised Peas written by Private Sophie Phillips, Army.
Jon has signed all of the books we have and is very happy to provide personalised message if requested. The books are on sale for £20 with every penny of the cost being donated to the charity. So far the book has raised around £100k with the team aiming to reach £150k by the end of the year. The books are beautifully produced and would make a wonderful Christmas gift with the added benefit that all of the money goes to support our Armed Force Personnel and Veterans.
Jon Pullen (author) at one of the many War Graves sites across the UK and Overseas
Support the RBL and Jon by popping in and buying one (or two) of these wonderful books. You know it makes sense.

Why I love…..Zinfandel

The wines classes have started up again and I am enjoying both teaching and having a reason to try a wide range of wines again – good, bad and ugly! The past 18 months of drinking nothing but Sheldon’s wines has made me “a bit soft“ (as my Northern Dad would say)…

One of the grape varieties we cover in the class is Zinfandel and it is one of my favourites. Many people know Zinfandel because of the sweet Californian rose wine, bizarrely called ‘White Zinfandel’. This one always divides opinion on courses – the fact that Shane won’t stock it says a lot about where he stands on this one! Zinfandel grapes are used to make a deep coloured red wine. The rose was created almost by accident from juice that was bled off to make the red wines more intense. The rose is now the best selling wine in the USA!

For making red wine, Zinfandel is a really interesting grape. It needs a hot climate to ripen, California is perfect as is Southern Italy, where the same grape is called Primitivo. The grapes in a single bunch don’t ripen evenly which results in some underripe berries and some very over ripe berries at harvest time – this naturally adds instant complexity to the flavours of the finished red wines.

Young Zinfandels and Primitivos are full of red and black fruit flavours, with chocolate and spicy hints. They are full bodied and very gluggable due to ripe tannins. They are also great value for the quality of wine. Our Organic Trastullo Primitivo (£11.50) is a firm favourite, as is the Californian Old Vine Scotto Zinfandel (£10.75).

For those of you who like something a little more structured and serious, the famous Ridge Vineyards in California produce fabulous Zinfandel-dominated blends. Geyserville and Lytton Springs wines are complex, age-worthy and fabulous (we have the 2018 in now at just under £50). As the nights draw in and the armchair in front of the fire beckons, I’ll be reacquainting myself with the joys of red Zinfandel.

Time to say Goodbye….

This week with Shane being out of the shop we don’t have any New Ins to share. Instead, Esther and I thought we would take the opportunity to let you know of a few of the wines that it’s time to say farewell to, or perhaps adieu is more appropriate (aka ‘last chance to get them now before they are gone’). Some wines are seasonal and once they run out we wait until the next vintage – our lovely rosés fall into this category. Other wines have to go to make way for the constant stream of great new wines that we get in. The shop is now bursting at the seams and we are either going to have to build a bigger shop or start operating on a one in one out policy – wines that is, not customers this time!

First up for the chop are some wines from Italy and Spain
We are continuing to update the Italian and Spanish sections as well as looking to source wines from other up and coming European regions. This means that the following wines will be gracefully bowing out for now.
2019 Schola Sarmenti Fiano (white) £13.95
Cincinnato Castore Bellone (white) £12.25
Cincinnato Polluce Nero Buono (red) £12.25
2020 Bardos Verdejo (white) £10.00
2018 La Garnacha Olvidada (red) £12.00
2018 Sottano Seleccion Torrentes (white) £16.00
We still have some stock left of most of this season’s rosé, but we are down to the last few cases of some and will not restock until next spring. If you have an event coming up, or want to keep a couple bottles handy for the lovely sunny afternoons we are currently having come and bag them sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Car’s the Star

From memory this visit was a relatively late Friday afternoon fly-by. It is of course an AC Cobra replica. It looks amazing and don’t be fooled – by “replica” don’t think this isn’t a serious piece of kit. A 5.7 litre Chevrolet engine sits under that bonnet, capable of producing all of the power you might want and more.
Many thanks to Tom for dropping by. For what it is worth, we heard you coming long before you pulled in.
The weather for the weekend ahead looks a little mixed. Some sunshine, some showers as we roll forward into Autumn. The leaves on the Chestnuts and Hazels are already turning. Amanda and Lauren will be in the shop tomorrow to fill your bags with the last bottles of rose and anything else that might take your fancy.

Amanda, Esther, Nigel & Carol, (plus Shane and Trish in a(nother) restaurant drinking fine wine I suspect)

Your RBL-supporting, Primitivo-loving, Cobra-admiring wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

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