Covid-19 Policy

Lockdown III, Stocktake, Stay Local and Bin End Sale

Ok, so the email sent out last week wasn’t produced in my finest hour – a number of typos, autocorrection mistakes and a whole section duplicated. Many thanks to those who pointed them out, your assumptions were correct – as one of you put it, I was ‘half baked’ (thanks Trouble). Please forgive me – it was New Year’s Day after all.

Tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times will hopefully be more coherent. After a quick word on Lockdown III operating procedures we have an update on this week’s labour of love – our annual stocktake. A new article follows, highlighting one of the great fellow businesses we have in Shipston. Over the next few weeks we will put different Shipston businesses in the spotlight, all of which have a common theme – quality. Finally we are giving you advance warning of a soon-to-be-announced Bin End Sale. Many of you will be thrashing about saying “But Shane doesn’t do discounts!” Think about it as a way of us clearing space for new stock, and at the same time giving you a bargain. Whispering Angel anyone?

Sheldon’s Operating Procedures for Lockdown III



There is not much to say regarding Lockdown III other than a general sense of deja vu. We are grateful that we are categorised as an ‘essential service’ and as such can remain open to serve you. Many of you will elect to stay at home, we are taking orders over the telephone (01608 661409) and email ( Deliveries locally are free. We are also open to shoppers and the usual rules apply – facemarks please, respect social distancing for both the benefit of other shoppers and the Sheldon’s team members and please be patient if we have to restrict the number of people in the shop. We have hand sanitiser for you to use when you enter and we are on hand to help you find what you are after swiftly and efficiently.

Sheldon’s Annual Stocktake Complete

While it is a little self-indulgent to talk about our own internal processes, it seems right that we should share with you the key stats from the annual stocktake that we completed today.



Bottles in the shop: 22,817
Accuracy of stock: – 21 bottles
Counting Winner: Amanda

Of course I am deeply unhappy about us having been inaccurate by 21 bottles, but Esther assures me that this is not too bad considering the overall total. We’ll try harder over the course of this year, I simply will not accept this level of error this time next year… ūüôā

Many thanks to all of you for bearing with us while we completed this major annual project. Closing the shop for 4 days was a big decision but it allowed us to press on with only minor interruptions resulting in higher accuracy and speed than we would otherwise achieve. And for those of you who came and rapped on the door, rang the bell, called on the phone and generally wouldn’t give up until we served you – we thank you too. Those minor distractions were also welcome.

Why is the stocktake so important? An accurate picture of our stock means we can serve you with confidence regarding the wines available, we can identify gaps in inventory, source new wines in interesting new categories and generally run a better business. Ultimately you should be the beneficiary of the exercise. Thank you again for your patience. We are now OPEN FOR BUSINESS again.

Stay Local
Shipston on Stour
The town with (almost) everything

A key point in the Government’s messaging is Stay Local. We are blessed with a number of market towns in our vicinity each of which seems capable of meeting almost all of our general needs. Shipston is no exception. In the next few editions of Sheldon’s Times I thought we would take a pause from the Who Am I? article and highlight a number of the local businesses in the town that subscribe to the same ethos as us – quality first. Many will be familiar to you but perhaps we might mention somewhere you have not yet tried.

Turners Grocery Store and Fish Shop
5 Market Place, Tel 01608 661545



Turners is a bit of an institution. Paul Turner has been running the shop for 18 years. With his dedicated, knowledgable team of 7 they make it their business to source locally where possible with a real emphasis on the quality of their products. Turners is the undisputed king of fruit and veg in the town. The shop is unrivalled with the most amazing selection of fresh fish and seafood – by far the best in the area.



A bit like Sheldon’s, you will get the best out of Turners by having a conversation with Paul or another member of the Turners team. Talk to them about what you are cooking and they will help. Fresh lobster? See you on Friday. Smoked salmon? Sliced or a whole side? Soft, squishy, caramel flavoured Medjool dates? Right here. And tomatoes that taste, well, like tomatoes. Like any good independent specialist they may also be able to prepare your fish for you (skin off, filleted, boiled if lobster, etc). Over Christmas I had squid (fabulous scored and quick-fried with a little chorizo), potted brown shrimp (on brown toast), a side of smoked salmon (whenever I felt like it) and prawns the size of sausages (tossed in a hot chilli and garlic butter). Proper sprouts too. Not the toddlers in the supermarket, proper golf ball sized ones. Paul gets up at 3.30am most days to go to the market to source the very best for you. If you haven’t given Turners a try, do so, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Then bask in the warm glow of having supported another local business while following Government guidance at the same time.

Stay Local – support Turners!
Sheldon’s Bin End Sale – advance notice



The stocktake inevitably reveals wines that are surplus. This is usually because we want to move forward to the next vintage of a wine or because we are planning to discontinue a line. Other reasons may include minor damage to bottles (nicked or stained labels, damaged capsule etc). This January we are planning to move some wines at a discounted price to make space for new lines and vintages. More details to follow, expect more information in next week’s email.

But to get you started, here’s the first offer. We have some bottles of rose left over from last season and we have decided to put both Chateau de la Deidiere 2019 (our ‘house’ Provence rose) and Whispering Angel 2019 on offer to make way for new vintage stocks.

Chateau de la Deidiere 2019 75cl bottles Рusually £12.50, now down to £10 a bottle.

Whispering Angel 2019 75cl bottles Рusually £18.99, now down to £15 a bottle.



I know it isn’t really rose weather, but on the upside we did dodge the snow today. I say put the heating on, pop a straw hat on and a Hawaiian shirt and pull a cork from a bottle of cool rose before dinner. It might just remind you of the summer last year, or encourage you to think of the one ahead.

Limited quantities, while stocks last or until I change my mind. WIGIG. Fill your boots.

More offers to follow – things to cheer us up as we work our way through January.

That just about does it for tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times. Nick at Paddock Farm promised me he’d so a similar stock count. Not of wine of course, but of sausages made at the Butchery. I suspect it eclipses the¬†bottle count here in our¬†‘off-licence’.

Shane, Amanda, Esther, Nigel, Trish & Carol

Your bog-eyed-from-counting-bottles wine (whine) team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

DotW, Stay Local, New Ins and Sheldon’s On Tour

As we all return to the usual order of things following the festive break, so does Sheldon’s Times. We have a backlog of DotWs to get through (no hardship in that) and following the stocktake we have been busy restocking the shelves. Our Stay Local article this week is in support of John Lyne Home Hardware. We are lucky to have a general hardware store in the town where you can buy pretty much anything. Oh, and there is a Sheldon’s On Tour picture too, of sorts.

Here we are, half way through January already. Those of you who are committed to being good this month – keep up the hard work. We have some low alcohol beer and cider in if you want to give it a go – see New Ins below. For the rest of us, keep drinking well, lots of lovely bottles here in the shop for you.

Dog of the Week

My oh my! Please join me in welcoming Jackson and Dougie to the DotW hall of fame. When this was taken (before Christmas) Dougie was just 13 weeks old. He lives at the other end of New Street and beyond, quite how those little legs get him all the way here I don’t really know. That said, I did see him being carried last week so maybe he needs an occasional helping hand. Simply adorable.



A big thank you to Tim and Deb for bringing them both in. A real pleasure. This might be the start of a run of DotW pups…

Stay Local – support John Lyne Home Hardware

Last week we talked about Turners, the fruit, veg, fish and seafood institution here in our very own Shipston-on-Stour. This week we are focusing on another type of quality. John Lyne Home Hardware is one of those shops that seems to have just about everything that you might need for general home and garden maintenance.



At first glance it looks like a small shop selling rubber gloves and washing up bowls. On entering you soon realise that this shop is Tardis-like, with three rooms stretching far back behind the main frontage. The shop has a kitchen and homewares section, an electrical department and a room dedicated to general hardware and useful garden accessories. This morning I noticed a new and exciting selection of toys too, although Trish says I am not allowed to bring any more red tractors home. The team have a paint mixing machine, if you have a favourite colour they will match it for you and mix the paint on site in just a few minutes. No need to trek to B&Q or Dulux in Banbury. When we started doing zoom wine tastings in the first Lockdown where did I go for sample bottles? John Lynes of course. Pop in and see Andy and the dedicated team of 4 who will find just about anything for you. If it isn’t on the shelves, perhaps it is out the back. Just ask.

Stay Local – Support John Lyne Home Hardware

New Ins

Following the big bottle count last week we have spent most of this week replenishing core lines to ensure continuation of availability for you. We were down to our last few bottles of the top sellers but are now fully stocked again.
First up for our New Ins this week are a couple of bottles of no/low alcohol beer and cider. Lucky Saint comes highly recommended as a low alcohol (0.5%) lager. The good news is this is low alcohol with real flavour and at an introductory offer of just ¬£1.95 for a 330ml bottle it is also a bargain (usual price ¬£2.10). As it happens I am drinking one right now as I write Sheldon’s Times. Quite a wheaty nose and good body on the palate, very good. We also have Hogan’s High Sobriety, a 1% cider. No scrimping on the production method with this cider, apples are still pressed and fermented but to a lower alcohol level. Light, fresh and gently sparkling this is a great alternative to the full alcohol version. ¬£2.25 for a 500ml bottle.



We have added just a handful of interesting new lines to the Bordeaux range:
2009 Chateau Bourgneuf (Pomerol) Р£45
2010 Chasse Spleen (St Estephe) Р£47
2009 Alter Ego de Palmer (Margaux, second wine of Ch Palmer, a rare find in this vintage) Р£120



I am also particularly excited about the arrival of just a dozen bottles of Rolly Gassmann’s 2014 Kappelweg de Rorschwihr Riesling (easy for you to say) at ¬£35.99. This wine sits right next to our favourite shop Riesling (Bott Geyl Schlossberg 2014, ¬£34.50). I have loved the wines of Gassmann for some time, from dry to medium sweet styles. The name of Gassmann is definitely better known than Bott Geyl, but is it a better wine? This dry Riesling comes from vines that are managed following organic and biodynamic principles, although the vineyard itself is not certified. The description that comes with the wine reads as follows:
“This Riesling¬†displays a powerful character with layers of ripe stone fruit and underlying citrus notes, balanced by a racy acidity culminating in a long finish.”
My plan is to try it next to the Bott Geyl and see how it compares, assuming you lot haven’t bought all of this first batch by the time I get round to it.



Spot the difference: both label and taste?

We announced the discounted sale of the 2019 roses last week, namely Chateau de la Deidiere 2019 (was £12.50, now £10) and Whispering Angel 2019 (was £18.99, now £15). We sold about 50% of the remaining stocks on Saturday so if you want to pick some up at this ultra-low price, now is the time to do it. Yesterday we received the first small shipment of the new vintage of Whispering Angel 2020 (£18.99). Why not buy a 2019 and a 2020 and see how they compare? If you find little difference you know where to spend your money (while stocks last on the 2019s).



We’ve also restored stocks of Dom Perignon 2009, we have enough vintages to form a decent vertical now (2002, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010 sounds like a fair run and a lot of fun).



Finally for New Ins we have a wine that has recently been in the press. In Decanter‚Äôs recent article The best Brunello di Montalcino wines: Expert reviews, Michaela Morris puts Brunello Conti Costanti ahead of all other 2015 Brunellos tasted ‚Äď even suggesting it is superior to the estate‚Äôs exceptional 2010 Riserva which she awards 97 points. We are lucky to have stocks of the 2015 wine but snap it up while you can, the 2016 vintage is following on its heels as soon as the 2015 runs out. ¬£78 a bottle.

Sheldon’s On Tour – Moggy of the Month

OK, we don’t have a Moggy of the Month article, so we’ll badge this one under Sheldon’s On Tour because the picture includes a lovely bottle of Edward Sheldon Champagne. And this little kitten, called Kora, is pretty cute. As a Maine Coon, she is going to get rather big (Maine Coon is one of the largest varieties of domesticated cats).



Notice the tree in the background Рa last reminder of the Christmas just gone. Thanks to Emily and Phil and of course to Kora for standing still for 7 seconds for the photo. Every time I go round to deliver she makes a dash for it.
That’s nearly it for tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times. Just a couple of final points:

1. Nick at Paddock Farm did indeed calculate the number of sausages made at the butchery last year – approx 158,000. That’s a lot of sausages. Slightly more than the number of bottles of Sheldon’s Champagne we sold. We’ll aim higher this year (on Champagne sales, not sausage consumption).

2. We are still working on the inclusions for the Bin End Sale. Bear with us just a little while longer. We’ll have it sorted by this time next week. We are preparing a new room in the cellar to lay everything out to make it easy for you to peruse.

3. Based on the emails I get on a Friday night, many of you seem to enjoy¬†spotting the errors I pen¬†in each edition of Sheldon’s Times (accidental of course), so much so that it has become a sort of quiz in its own right. With that in mind I have embedded 4 deliberate errors in tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times. Can you find them? Extra points if you can find any more…

Here’s wishing you all wonderful weekends. Amanda, Trish and I will be here tomorrow to sort you out.

Shane, Amanda, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol (rightly self isolating in anticipation of the jab)

Your facemark-loving (no, this is not one of this week’s errors, but a throwback to last weeks ST), Jackson-and-Dougie-adoring, Maine Coon-inquisitive team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars



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