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Irises, DotW, Cellar Tour, Sheldon’s TT, Aulis, Car’s the Star

Finally the sun is shining. We are sitting in the shop enjoying the extra light streaming through the windows. The bulbs are shooting up and the temperature is rising. What a joy.
Tonight’s Sheldon’s Times is mostly about dates for the diary – a reminder of the Cellar Tour coming up on Saturday 5th March (places still available) and a new regular tasting event that we are setting up on the third Thursday of each month, details below. Call the shop or reply to this email to book yourself on either. We have a report on a rather fun restaurant visit, a ridiculous Car’s the Star and a wonderful DotW. But we start with some flowers….why not?

Irises and Daffs

Is it too early to talk about spring? The flowers in the garden and at the shop don’t seem to think so. The irises at home are in full bloom, with the mini daffs planted in between beginning to show as well.
The tubs at the shop are in full south-facing sun so they always push up early. Subject to us not having a bout of unpleasant weather, the daffodil show at the shop should be grand in a week or so’s time – more to follow. And Carol is busy getting her seeds and seedlings in ready for planting out later in the year.

Dog of the Week

Say hello to Maple. A labradoodle that came to see us at the end of January. I can find 7 photos of Maple on my phone, some dogs just won’t sit still irrespective of how many treats are on offer. Maybe that’s the problem – too many distractions.
Many thanks to Andrew and Kath for bringing Maple in to see us. A special treat for us, that’s for sure.

Cellar Tour – Saturday 5th March 2022

We’ve just checked the diary and we still have spaces on the Cellar Tour on Saturday 5th March. The tour starts at 2pm with a glass of fizz in the shop. We have a quick chat about the history of the place and take a wander through the premises including the cellars. Finally we settle for an informal tutored tasting of 4 wines, finishing at around 4pm, occasionally a little later :-). The cost is £20 per attendee. The afternoon is fun and it will give you a warm glow inside. To book just call the shop on 01608 661409 during shop hours or reply to this email with your details and we’ll get in touch to confirm.

Sheldon’s TT – monthly ‘Third Thursday’ wine tasting events at the shop

To steal an unlicenced title (those who live in Whichford and/or are into cars will understand) we have decided to have a go at running themed tastings on the third Thursday of each month in the afternoon. The details of the inaugural event are as follows:
Theme: Sparkling wines of the World
Date: Thursday March 17th
Time: 2.00-3.30pm
Where: Sheldon’s Wine Cellars, Shipston on Stour
Host: Amanda Rowley (DipWSET)
Price: £25 per person to include wines, appropriate snacks and tutelage

We will need 8 confirmed attendees to make the event viable and will take a maximum of 12 for this first event. If successful we will offer further themed events on each third Thursday throughout the spring and summer months. To book please reply to this email with your details and number of places required, email Amanda directly at or call the shop on 01608 661409. We will write back to confirm your place and arrange payment. Places are offered on a first-come first-served basis.

One for the foodies: Aulis, London

Just over a week ago a small group of like-minded souls headed into London to convene for a foodies night. After a swift magnum of Dom Perignon 2008 at a convenient hotel we nipped round the corner to 16a St Anne’s Court in Soho to spend the evening at Aulis. The brainchild of Simon Rogan (of L’Enclume fame in Cumbria – congrats to Simon and the team for being awarded their third Michelin star last week), this small space in Soho started life as Simon’s ‘development kitchen’ but has since transformed into a perfectly apportioned 8-seater restaurant. Guests sit on one side of a long table and the two talented chefs, Charlie and Nico, work on the other side. The concept is simple. You arrive, you sit and the team produce 16 ‘dishes’ for you to graze your way through. Each dish may only be a mouthful or two, but every one is meticulously prepared and presented, to the point of being art as much as food. And what flavours! Absolutely fabulous.
I had a conversation when booking about wine. As a small restaurant the wine list at Aulis is not extensive, so Simona the restaurant manager was graciously accommodating when I asked if we could bring some bottles for an appropriate corkage fee. To match our wonderful supper we swept through the following, sharing the burden of cost and carrying as we made it a ‘bring a bottle (or two)’ night:
Bollinger RD 1996
Domaine Moingeon Corton Charlemagne 2018
Rene Rostang Cote Rotie 2005
Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou 1982
Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1982
Chateau Rieussec 1996 (half)
Fontodi Vin Santo 2009 (half)
A super night was had by all and we have vowed to return at a future date, assuming we can get a booking. If ever you find yourself at a loose end in London one evening, give Aulis a call and see if you can sneak in – they accept single diners through to whole restaurant bookings and the fare and experience is worth every single penny. A huge thank you to Charlie, Nico and Simona for looking after us in such an engaging and entertaining way. Definitely one for the foodies among us.

Car’s the Star

I don’t think we’ve had this bonkers machine as Car’s the Star before. I caught Henry in town at Taste of the Country and he agreed to pop round for the obligatory photo. A Bowler EXR-S, produced through a partnership between Land Rover and Bowler, the off road conversion company. It’s a beast, based on the Range Rover Sport, the vehicle has a 5.0 litre supercharged V8 engine producing a ridiculous amount of horsepower. It will go just about anywhere at just about any speed.
Many thanks to Henry for being such a good sport and whizzing round to see us. Nice number plate too.
That’s it for tonight’s Sheldon’s Times. The weather for the weekend ahead looks pretty great, with Sunday having a possibility of clear skies and lots of sunshine. Perfect for some much needed time in the garden, repairing the damage caused by the recent winds. Not that you’ll be doing that, you’ll be in front of the telly watching the Six Nations. Jude, Trish and I will be in the shop tomorrow, ready to select you some sunshine/rugby bottles to enjoy in the days ahead.

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

Your EXR-S-admiring, Aulis-loving, TT-introducing wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

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