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DotW, Christmas Carol, Guest Beer, Goodies, New Ins and Car’s the Star

I am usually the ‘bah humbug’ here in the shop but this year I have made a special effort to get in the mood. On Wednesday Carol was commissioned to commence the dressing of the shop with the stash of Christmas decorations we store in the loft (where else does one keep their decs?) We have a rather sad DotW, an interesting Guest Beer, just a couple of New Ins and an immense Car’s the Star. Come in and admire Carol’s handiwork, the place looks quite festive and smells of mulled wine. See if it gets you in the mood too.

Dog of the Week

This is Meg. A Patterdale Terrier. She visited the shop back in January but unfortunately I didn’t make a note of the lovely dog’s name nor the name of the owners at the time. It is with great regret that I missed the publishing opportunity back then because poor Meg has since passed away, back in August no less. It is the first time we have seen Tom since and it filled us with sadness to learn of Meg’s passing.
Many thanks to Tom for coming by and reminding me (shaming me) of the missed post and for giving us the up-to-date picture. So this is an ‘in memoriam’ DotW. Good luck to both Tom and Rosemary for your time ahead.

A Christmas Carol

Wednesday was the 1st of December. After some amount of pressure from the team here at the shop I finally relented and fetched the Christmas decorations down from the loft. It took Carol approximately 7 seconds to dive into the first box and pull out the baubles. Two hours later and the shop was transformed into a veritable Santa’s Grotto. Well, perhaps not, but there are certainly some festive items dotted around the place.
We have seen a noticeable uptick in Christmas-related shopping. Bearing in mind there are only 3 weekends before Christmas, it comes as no surprise that folk are getting in the mood. Yes, I really did say just 3 weekends ’til Christmas!

Guest Beer – Titanic Brewery Plum Porter – £2.95, 4.9%

With the weather rapidly changing and having officially entered the winter season, we have decided to go for a rich, dark ale for this week’s Guest Beer.
Titanic Brewery was founded in 1985 in Burslem, Stoke on Trent with the single aim to make great beer. Starting with just a single brew – Titanic Premium (now called Anchor) – they now brew over 20 different beers of all shapes and sizes. Original production was just 7 barrels, but the brewery has grown and now delivers over 4 million pints a year.
The beer we have selected from this amazing Brewery is their Plum Porter. Titanic Brewery describe the beer as follows:
“Plum Porter is our infamous, strong, dark porter that has re-defined the sector. By combining the sweetness of plums with the hoppy flavour of a porter we have bagged a winner. A well-rounded porter with fruity, sweet notes over a backdrop of hoppy flavour.”
As has become customary, Amanda and I have just tried the beer and we say “a nice plummy nose, lighter on the palate than expected, fruity with a bitter hoppy aftertaste. Nice bottle”
And now for the geeky bit. What is the difference between a Porter and a Stout? Well it seems the line is a little blurred, but the main difference appears to be that Stout is made from roasted malt, whereas a Porter is made from unroasted, dark malt. The presence of roasted malt results in coffee flavours in a Stout which are not usually present in a Porter. But with the availability of so many different types of malt these days, the brewer can made a beer that tastes like a Stout but uses unroasted malt, and vice versa. Clear?
And finally on the Guest Beer front, we sold all of the Box Steam Brewery Soul Train last week – was rather a hit with many of you (including Trish).

Christmas Goodies @ Sheldon’s

Unsurprisingly Amanda has been busy here at the shop creating little parcels of goodness to make your Christmas shopping that little bit easier. We have the ever-present bottles of Sheldon’s Champagnes beautifully wrapped in fancy cellophane with a bow on (£26.99). We also have the return of the Cotswolds Distillery Gin gift bags, each bag contains a Cotswolds Distillery Gin Coppa Glass, some gin, a Fever Tree tonic and a Cotswolds Distillery ‘beer mat’. The £10 bag contains a gin miniature and a 200ml tonic bottle, the £22.50 bag contains a 200ml gin and a 500ml tonic.
Amanda has also been creating some other interesting gift packs. We have a a 4-bottle ‘dinner pack’ containing a bottle of Champagne, a lovely Chardonnay, a drinking Claret and a bottle of Sheldon’s Ruby Port, nicely wrapped up all for the tidy sum of £65. And finally we have the ‘half bottle 6-pack’ containing a fabulous selection of high quality half bottles for £80, ideal for food matching fun.
If you are after something specific or a certain bottle, we can make up a pack for you to suit. Just pop in or give us a call, we’ll discuss your requirements and put something together for you. We currently have plenty of gift boxes (cardboard and wood) and loads of wrapping.

New Ins

Today we have the return of a favourite of ours – 2010 Chateau Ramafort. We held this wine in the shop for some time late last year and early this, but then ran out. We are delighted to have been able to source a new batch of the same (and particularly fine) 2010 vintage.
As a reminder, Chateau Ramafort used to be owned by the Lafite side of the Rothschild family. In the1990’s Domaines Lafite upgraded the vineyards and excavated cellars at Ramafort, cellars which remain the largest in the Medoc. At 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot, this is classic Claret in every regard at a sensible price for a super vintage. £20 a bottle.
We also have the return of 1996 Sociando Mallet (£80/bt), surely the last of this we will ever see.

Car’s the Star

It is only last week that this beauty roared into the car park. A 1925 Chrysler B70 by all accounts, but it has had a few alterations. The owner and I were examining the chassis, including the extra 6 inches of metal inserted to extend the length of the car. Certainly plenty of legroom in the back as Rob is demonstrating in the picture.
Many thanks to Josh for manoeuvring the car into the perfect spot for the photo. No mean feat, this car has the turning circle of a cruise liner. And I reckon the clutch can be a little tricky too. But what a joy to have such a piece of history in Shipston.
That’s it for the first festive Sheldon’s Times of the 2021 season. Just two more to go. We are already fed up of Christmas music in the shop but that is only because we are here all of the time. Pop along, admire the decorations that Carol has put up and buy a glass of mulled wine while browsing the wine collection. Weather wise it looks like a bit of a mix up over the coming days, overcast with the occasional shower. Sounds like perfect shopping weather to me. Amanda, Trish and I will be here tomorrow to service your gift-buying needs.

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

Your Meg-missing, Tinsel-loving, Porter-guzzling wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

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