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DotW, Guest Beer, Champagne, Sherry revisited, Shipston Spokes & Car’s the Star

Hello wine-lovers. Sorry for the late edition tonight, we have been hosting a great tasting at the shop tonight – more about that in next week’s edition. Lots to get stuck into in tonight’s Sheldon’s Times. We have the introduction of Viv, who loves chewing ears (as I found out to my cost), a new Guest Beer, the arrival of more Champagne, a report on the Sherry tasting this week and an announcement of another new exciting business venture here in Shipston. And of course course we finish with a car, but this week it is something a little special, in an Arthur Daley sort of way. On you go.

Dog of the Week

Say your first hello to Vivienne, or Viv for short. Viv is a boy, named after the punk-styled star of The Young Ones (tip for the youngsters out there, you probably won’t know what I am talking about here, but if you Youtube The Young Ones you’ll soon get the drift). This photo was taken in late September one his first outing to the shop. Look at those paws. He’s going to be a bruiser.
We have been taking some “growing up” pictures of Viv as he develops, much like we did with Chester. To that end you may see Viv in another picture in tonight’s Sheldon’s Times. A big thank you to Charlie and Emily for sharing the journey with us.

This Week’s Guest Beer – Battledown West Coast IPA, 5.2% (£2.95/500ml bottle)

Battledown Brewing Co. is based just down the road on this side of Cheltenham. Named after the old Saxon settlement of Battledown, the brewery claims to be one of the oldest in Cheltenham. Like others, the team at Battledown used the lockdown period to upgrade, installing new brewing kit in 2020 which allowed them to expand their range of beers.
The beer that we have selected for our guest beer this week is the Battledown West Coast IPA. It weighs in at 5.2% and like the rest of the beers inthe range it is made using local Cotswold spring water from the hills behind the brewery.
Battledown Brewing Co describe the beer as having “A gorgeous dose of resin and grapefruit. Clean and crisp, our Battledown West Coast IPA  puts those old-school, New World Titans Cascade and Amarillo at centre stage.”
Amanda and I have just tried it and we say ”    “

Hooray! Champagne arrival!

There is a lot of noise in the press at the moment about Champagne and the possibility of a shortage. There are many truths in this. Some of our suppliers of key brands (I won’t mention which ones here) have no more wholesale stock available in the UK and they won’t restock until after Christmas. By good fortune Esther and I placed an order for Sheldon’s own label Champagne six weeks ago. Turns out it was an excellent decision, we were told two weeks ago that no more orders would be shipped this year.

I am delighted to say our two pallet order arrived today. This will give us continuity throughout the Christmas period and beyond (depending on how thirsty you are). On the shipment is our brut Champagne in four format sizes: halves, bottles, magnums and jeroboams, plus a restock of the Sheldon’s rose Champagne. The costs of purchase and of shipping have all gone up, but Esther (the real boss here in the shop) has given me permission to hold the prices as they are until the end of 2021. We reckon Edward Sheldon Champagne is one of the best value Champagnes available today. As a reminder:

Brut Halves: £13.49
Brut Bottles: £23.99
Brut Mags: £52.00
Brut Jeros: £110.00
Rose bottles: £27.50

Fill your boots while we have it. It remains the single best-seller in the shop, for good reason.

Sherry Week Success

Amanda has done a short write-up on the Sherry event we held this week in honour of International Sherry Week.
You may have missed it, but this week has been International Sherry Week and we don’t need much of an excuse to drink one of the best value, most underrated wines in the world!
Sherry tastes best when it is served with food so we chose to host a Sherry and food matching masterclass down in the cellars which was well attended and great fun.
“Salut!” – Sherry tasting in the cellar on Wednesday

For those of you that couldn’t make it but would like to have a go yourselves, we matched the following, with amazing results:

Fino Sherry with black olive tapenade and smoked trout canapes
Palo Cortado Sherry with crispy duck pancakes and chicken liver pate
Pedro Ximenez lusciously sweet Sherry soaked sultanas, topping stewed apple and Greek yogurt
Moscatel sweet Sherry with mince pies

We have a great range of dry, medium and sweet Sherries in the shop and would be delighted to help you to choose one to tantalise your tastebuds (yes, I have been sampling the produce this afternoon).
Many thanks to all of those who participated on Wednesday.
Remember, Sherry is for life – not just for Christmas.

Amanda x

New Kids on the Block – Shipston SPOKES

Following on from the opening of MADMOLLY last week, this week we have the arrival of another gem in the town.
“A good old fashioned family bike shop”
Join me in welcoming SHIPSTON SPOKES into the town. It is great to have a new bicycle shop in Shipston. The wonderful owner, Stuart, has been hatching a plan to turn his hobby into a viable business operation for some time. The result: Shipston Spokes. Located at 7-9 Church Street (just opposite the CoE Church and next to the Shipston Chippy under the arches) Shipston Spokes is currently an operation of two halves – a bicycle shop with accessories on one side, a bicycle workshop on the other. And Stuart has further plans for expansion, but more about those when they come to fruition.
Stuart in his newly refurbished and laid out bicycle shop:
Shipston Spokes
Stuart has bikes to suit every age, type and ability. Some great kids bikes, some sensible riders for the fitness folk out there and the newly-popular electric bikes for those of us who live at the bottom of a hill. Stuart’s goal is to bring affordable quality to the family, so you don’t have to budget the cost of a small house to get a decent pair of wheels. And his stock of accessories is excellent. I particularly like the selection of saddles. You get to a certain age where the sports saddle just isn’t comfortable any more.
Get yourself along to Shipston Spokes, try a saddle or two out for size and have a chat with the ever-enthusiastic Stuart who will undoubtedly be keen to talk about all things bike-related and more besides. Stuart is as enthusiastic about bikes as we are about wine. Quite a commitment!

Car’s the Star

I simply couldn’t resist putting this photo in as this week’s Car’s the Star. OK, we have had the car before; and yes, the dog in the photo is Viv. But who’s the handler in the jacket? You wouldn’t buy a second-hand car off him, would you?
Arthur Daley would have been proud to have such a Minder (again, youngsters out there, hit Youtube). This is the real side of Shipston. All class. If it wasn’t for the giveaways in the background, this could have been taken in the 1970’s, right? Thanks to Stephen for letting us “borrow” the car.
That’s it for this week’s edition of Sheldon’s Times. Tomorrow is the Whichford Christmas Fair (1000-1330hrs) at which we will ave a pop-up where we will be serving the very same Champagne that has arrived on todays delivery. Lots of other goodies there too so come along. £5 entry to include a coffee and a mince pie. The Champagne is extra! It is taking place at The Old Rectory, just follow the signs when you get into the village. If we don’t see you there, perhaps we’ll see some of you in the shop tomorrow. Weatherwise it looks like more of the same in the days ahead – mostly cloudy with a chance of meatballs.
Shane, Amanda, Jude, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol
Your Viv-loving, Spokes-welcoming, Sherry-bingeing wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars
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