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DotW, Cellar Tour, New Ins and Car’s the Star

Good news: Jude has said she will probably come back next week so it seems like we have a new member of the team! In her first stint with us she has been bold enough to recommend a new acquisition for the spirits and fortified room – see below. A bit of a retro bottle if you ask me but I reckon some of you will wind back the clock and give it a (re)try.
Tonight we have mostly a list of New Ins. I’ve been spirits shopping, partly by request but also because I fancied getting in a few things that fit with our ethos here in the shop – the slightly quirky nature of our little emporium. There are also some more serious New Ins in the form of some good Spanish, a case of excellent Italian, a couple of Bordeaux wines and a decent Chablis.
Due to a cancellation we have some unexpected spaces on the November Cellar Tour. Saturday 6th November 2-4pm at the shop, just in case you fancy a fun (and slightly liquid) afternoon out.
Press on.

Dog of the Week

First up I’m disappointed to say we have another editorial correction. Two weeks ago we had Tiggy the Cockapoo. Such a lovely, fluffy friend. The mistake was crediting Wendy and Mark with ownership. It turns out Wendy and Mark were only babysitting Tiggy for a few days. The true owners of Tiggy are David and Deb. Apologies to all concerned. My mistake. Note to self: Must try harder.
Tonight we have Pippi. A Dachsund/Terrier cross perhaps? One thing we do know is that this little dog is just 6 inches high (when standing) but a mighty 17 inches long.
A big thank you to Mandy for bringing Pippi in to see us. The best things come in small packages. Unless it is wine of course, then large format reigns every time.

November Cellar Tour – 6th November 2-4pm

We’ve just received a call to let us know that a party has postponed their attendance at our November Cellar Tour. This means we have some spaces left. If you fancy some fun on a Saturday afternoon then call us and book on. We start with a glass of fizz, take a wander around the premises and cellars whilst chatting about all things wine related, then settle somewhere for an informal tasting of 4 wines, including some of the shop favourites. Price is £20. Call 01608 661409 to book.

New Ins

A real mix up on New Ins today. We’ve got the return of some super organic wines from Italy, albeit under a different label design. I’ve been shopping for some new (fun) spirits and we have the unexpected return of a fabulous Rioja, in limited quantity only. And a few more bits in the usual categories.
First up we have the return of two wines from Sibiliana produced in Sicily. We have had the wines in the shop before, but the label was different. Both Sensale Bio wines (a Grillo and a Nero d’Avola) are certified organic, they show their respective grape varieties well and are brilliantly priced at £8.95 a bottle. At that price how can you resist giving them a try?
In the spirits room I have gone a little whacky with the following:
Dubonnet (£9.95) – “If it is good enough for the Queen it is good enough for me” is the quote that Jude used to justify her first purchase for the shop. I have fond memories of seeing the Dubonnet adverts on the sides of old buildings while driving around France. A fortified wine with herbs, spices and the all-important quinine to give it a bitter edge. Drink on the rocks or mix with gin (if you feel a little Regal).
Frangelico (£17.95) – an Italian liqueur based on toasted hazelnuts with coffee, cocoa and vanilla.  I have got a few bottles of this in because a customer asked for it. Good over ice cream apparently, but also a useful cocktail cupboard ingredient. Or pour freezing cold Frangelico into a shot glass and knock it back.
Limoncello Liberty (£16.95) – we’ve finally decided to take the plunge and stock a proper Italian Limoncello (previously we had a British one from Blackfords, very good but not original Italian which is what you have been asking for).
Metaxa 12 Star Greek Brandy (£39.95) – if you are going to dare to drink Greek brandy, for goodness sake, don’t blind yourself with the 3, 5 or 7 star stuff. This 12 star bottle (which means 12 years old) is the real deal and should be enjoyed neat like a good Cognac.
Torres 20 YO Imperial Spanish Brandy (£50) – I have been a fan of the wines of Torres for many years, both from Spain and their holdings in Chile. This is proper aged Spanish brandy, for those who fancy a decent alternative to Cognac or Armagnac and don’t want the Metaxa above!
We have also restocked on Pernod, Ricard 51, Nikka From the Barrel, Nikka Miyagikyo, AncNoc and a whole lot more.
A bit of a top-up on fine wines too:

2014 William Fevre Chablis Montee de Tonnerre 1er Cru (£79) – good premier cru Chablis from this best-of-recent vintages.

2015 Giacomo Conterno Barbera d’Alba Cerretta (£60) – we had a bottle of the 2009 of this wine last weekend (thanks Derwin) and I was so impressed I have picked up a case of the2015.

2010 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza (£47.50 for bottles, £95 for mags) – I never thought I would see this vintage in the market again having sold the last two mags last weekend (thanks Matt, Bruce said it was wonderful). But 2 cases of bottles and one case of mags popped up on the grid. The price is up on the last stock but it is such a good wine I think it is worth it.

2015 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux (£90) – a restock on the second wine of Palmer from a great vintage. This wine is designed to be drunk earlier than Chateau Palmer, so could be broached now, or hold.

2010 Chateau Rocheyron St Emilion GC (£97.50) – continuing to build our stocks of right-bankers for all you Merlot-lovers out there.

Car’s the Star

What a beauty. A Jag XK120 in absolutely fabulous condition. And if you look carefully you can see Richard the owner sitting in the drivers seat. XK120s were built from 1948 until 1954 and the name comes from the projected top speed of the car – 120mph. I am not sure how I would feel about pelting along at 120mph in one of these today. That said, Richard was very generous and took me out for a short spin, a real treat the car is simply sublime.
Many thanks to Richard for bringing the car along, having such a super chat and taking me for a drive. Fabulous.
The weekend ahead looks very much like today weather-wise: chilly with sunny spells and some cloud, but thankfully little rain. Whatever you have planned, make sure you have a decent bottle or two to hand. Amanda, Trish and I will be here tomorrow to look after your every wine-and-Dubonnet need. Pop in and say hello.

Shane, Amanda, Jude, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol

Your Limoncello-loving, Pippi-measuring, XK120-adoring wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

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