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DotW, Hot Weather Bottles, Bordeaux City Report, Cognac Cocktails, New In and Car’s the Star

Tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times is unashamedly French focused. Trish and I have recently returned from our first pleasure-trip to France since 2019. Cognac and Bordeaux were the two main destinations. I had not visited Bordeaux city before, what a fabulous place. Cognac is well known to us but it was great to return and explore a little more of the area.

But before we dive into all of that, a quick shout out to John, our regular reader from down under. It seems John got such a kick out of the Poms beating the Wallabies last weekend that he fell over on the way home. He’s now sporting a new hip. That’s some way to celebrate an English victory over our antipodean adversaries but we’ll take it. Thank you John for doing us proud and we wish you all the best for a speedy recovery.

Let’s press on with tonight’s instalment.

Dog of the Week

This is Snow. He’s the campsite dog in Cognac. He runs the cafe/bar on site. At least that’s what his owner says he thinks he does. A Staffy of course, with a lovely friendly temperament. He was certainly a pleasure to have around as we demolished a portion of moules-frites and another of steak, cooked ‘saignant’ of course.
Unfortunately I didn’t catch the owners name so this one will just have to go out with a big thank you to all the team running the campsite in Cognac.

Hot Hot Hot! Wines for the sunny weather.

With the temperature set to rise to the mid thirties early next week and some good sunshine over the weekend, here are the team’s top picks for the hot weather.

Jude: obviously it is Puech Haut Argali rose 2021 (£16.95), the Provence-styled wine from the Languedoc. Jude got in first with this one, I think all of us would have picked it!

Esther: being a cider fan, Esther’s summer garden tipple is Pearson’s Medium Cider (£2.95/500ml bottle). Cold, fizzy and refreshing, the perfect drink with the barbecue.

Amanda: for me it has to be Rezabal (£13), the Basque-region white that has a slight spritz. Fresh, a touch saline and delicious in the sunshine. A bargain too.

TrishAntinori Tenuta Guado Al Tasso Vermentino 2021 (£21.75), because has a light, fresh, fruity style, lighter in body than the Solosole Vermentino so easier to drink on it’s own or with food.

ShaneDonnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese 2016 (easy for you to say, £45), a superbly made off-dry Riesling which weighs in at just 8% alcohol making it the perfect mid-afternoon garden sipper without the risk of getting tipsy in the sun.

Difficult to choose, isn’t it. My advice: buy one of each then do your own experiment over the weekend. But I would say that, wouldn’t I?!
…and just in, a Sheldon’s On Tour photo. This bottle of Rezabal has ‘made it home’, albeit in the French part of the Basque region. Driven all that way by a Sheldon’s customer to enjoy looking over the Atlantic. And according to the enthusiastic consumers it tastes even better there than it does here. Why is it wines taste so good while on holiday?!
A big thank you to Adam and Marina for sending the shot through. Enjoy your amazing trip.
If any of you have photos of Sheldon’s wines at large feel free to drop them over and we’ll do our best to include them in future editions of Sheldon’s Times.

Bordeaux City Report

Trish and I were lucky enough to spend a few days in Bordeaux city last week. So impressed was I with the city that I thought I’d write a short article about it. Back in the early nineties Bordeaux was generally viewed as a stop off point if you were travelling through, but now it is very much a destination town. Back in 1995 Alain Juppé was elected Mayor of Bordeaux. By all accounts this man had a vision for the city and commenced a progressive investment programmme, introducing the  excellent tram network, upgrading the quayside and generally tidying the town up. He left his mayoral role in 2019 and the results of his efforts are clear to see. The city has a great feeling to it. The majority of the buildings have been cleaned, the monuments and museums are welcoming and interesting and more recently the city has built La Cité du Vin, a comprehensive, fun yet educational centre dedicated to the topic of wine.
La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux
La Cité du Vin is described as “a unique cultural centre dedicated to the universal, living heritage of wine. It offers a spectacular journey around the world, throughout the ages, across countless cultures and civilisations”. I spent a couple of hours there and thought is was thoroughly enjoyable. The visit ends with a trip to the top floor, a ‘degustation’ of a wine of your choice and time to take in the views down the river to the historic centre of old Bordeaux.
The city itself is a mixture of broad tree-lined boulevards with narrow city streets between. The town is small enough to walk around, although the trams and buses are always on hand for those with tired feet. There are plenty of great cafes and restaurants and for wine lovers there are also a number of excellent wine shops. Aesthetically my favourite was L’Intendant, located on Place de la Comedie opposite the Grand Theatre. Over five floors it is set out like a giant spiral cellar. Very impressive.
L’Intendant in Bordeaux – an exceedingly good wine shop.
Generally speaking I found wine prices a little higher than we sell for here in the UK, but that didn’t stop me taking time to browse. The collections in the shops are a dream for wine-lovers, from entry level bottles to the very finest wines available from the best vintages.
With just two days to explore, the most cost effective way to get about was with a 48 hour ‘Citipass’. For 41 euros this pass gave me access to public transport (trams, buses and river boat) plus most of the museums and monuments. It also included a guided tour of the city (you choose boat, walking or town train). Great value. I visited negotiant cellars in Chatrons, walked the 230 steps to the top of the Tour Puy Berland for a great view of the city, a fabulous digital art exhibition and more. On my second day I found Bus Route No 4 and took it to the city outskirts, getting off at the stop named Parc Haut Brion – located directly outside Chateau Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion. A pilgrimage I have wanted to make for some time.
The new reception centre at Chateau Haut Brion
(the iconic Chateau is tucked away behind a wall)
I would certainly recommend Bordeaux for a two to three day city break. Plenty to do, but if watching the world go by is more your thing then taking time sitting in a cafe with a coffee, beer or glass of wine is also a great way to spend your time. Trish and I agreed, we would certainly go back, we just need to find the opportunity.
As far as wines are concerned, we enjoyed some delicious bottles. We are a little spoilt for choice here in the shop as far as Bordeaux is concerned, but that didn’t stop us discovering new gems. Watch this space – some will be making an appearance in the shop in the near future.

Cognac Cocktails

On route to Bordeaux we stopped in Cognac for a couple of days. Cognac is also a lovely town, albeit much smaller than Bordeaux. The central square, Place Francois 1er, has a number of lovely cafe restaurants with a nice fountain in the middle. While there we visited one of the Cognac houses and at the end of a comprehensive tour we were invited to drink a Cognac cocktail. Generally speaking I am not a big fan of mixing Cognac with anything other than perhaps a large ice cube when served as an aperitif. On this occasion we were offered a drink made with the house VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) with apple juice and a squeeze of lime, served on the rocks. It was delicious, refreshing but still with complexity coming from the aged eau de vie. This made me think we need more Cognac cocktails in our life. In fact we need more cocktails in our life full stop.
For Cognac cocktails it is not necessary to buy expensive spirits. VS (Very Special) and VSOP are perfectly placed as a base when mixers and other spirits are going to be added. I would recommend the following:
Filloux COQ Grande Champagne at £43.50
Godet No.1 at £40
It is also worth considering Armagnac for cocktails, we would recommend the Sigognac VS at £37.50. For those feeling patriotic, we also have Somerset Cider Brandy, the 3 year old at £34.95 will do just the job.
We also have a wide selection of fruit cremes (alcoholic), syrups (non-alcoholic), bitters and other goodies. I am thinking of booking a cocktail workshop soon. If interested let me know by replying to this email. In the meantime, empty out your spirits cupboard, see what you’ve got and start mixing.

New Ins

We are delighted to have received our allocation of the new release from Bollinger. Following on from the two previous Pinot Noir releases (PNVZ15 & PNVZ16) we now have PNTX17. This is again a Pinot Noir based wine, the dominant vintage is 2017 (although it has reserve wines aged for up to 15 years in the blend) with the fruit coming from Tauxières (hence TX). Tauxières sits on chalk which lends the wine a level of mineralogy and precision.

For those of you who want all the detail, here’s a rather good (and comprehensive) tasting note from Richard Juhlin:

“The wine is almost completely dominated by the extremely exciting and rare Tauxières Premier Cru, which is one of two villages classified 99% on the Grand Cru scale. Despite an impressive vineyard area of 237 hectares, it is extremely rare to come across champagnes dominated by this fantastic Cru. A cooler microclimate and a thinner soil layer with even more compact chalk than sunny Bouzy make the wines from here lighter and more elegant than Bouzy but stronger than Verzenay which is also part of this exciting Blanc de Noirs with predominantly base from 2017. Here is also a small splash of Avenay to give a little buttery roundness to the cuvée with its low dosage of 4 grams. The reserve wines that always come from magnum bottles under low pressure make up 48% from three vintages in 2016, 2009 and 2006. In total, half of the wine is made in oak barrels and the other half in steel tanks. The result is very beautiful and personal. The scent has features of lead pencil, juniper and freshly lacquered boat together with more classic coffee notes, rose petals, apricot and peach. The taste is vivid and multifaceted with a lively precision, lighter fruit aromas than you normally find in Bollinger’s wines. Even cassis is one of the more unexpected aromas in this finely tuned complex symphony. Very impressive and exciting champagne that really makes me want to taste more and that I will look out for to add to my private cellar.”
92-94 pts Richard Juhlin

I’m pleased to say that we are holding the price of PNTX17 at the same level as the previous PN releases:
Bollinger PNTX17 75cl bottles: £80
Bollinger PNTX17 150cl magnums: £200

I’ve also pulled out a few treats and placed them in the cellar:

2008 Philipponnat ‘1522’ (£78) – a wine that was a little sultry on release, a recent bottle has told me this has come round well.
NV Egly Ouriet Blanc de Noirs ‘Les Crayeres’ (£180) – needs little introduction to those in the know, a great, fully ripe fruit 100% Pinot Noir Champagne made in limited quantity.

2004 Chateau d’Armailhac (£80) – produced by the English side of the Rothschild family, ready to drink.
2009 Reserve de Leoville Barton magnums (£90 a mag) – second wine of Leoville Barton in a very good vintage, a steal.
2010 Batailley (£83) – dependable Claret just entering it’s drinking window.

Car’s the Star

Continuing with the French theme, today’s Car’s the Star hasn’t been to the shop at all. As I pulled up in the car park at Chateau d’Yquem last Friday (the best sweet wine in the world?) it was clear that the French Porsche Club had arrived and were enjoying lunch. There were many cars present but I think my favourite is this rather smart GT2RS. A brute. I am no Porsche 911 expert but I reckon this is a GT2RS 991 model with a 0-62mph time of just 2.7 seconds. I think it must have been a GT-meeting as also present were a couple of GT3 (992 models) and some other vehicles which were beyond my level of knowledge. Photos available if you want to have a look.
A big thank you to Jean-Pierre for being at d’Yquem at just the right time for the photo. What a day for a comprehensive sweet wine tasting.
One last shout out for the Shipston Home Nursing Party in the Park happening on Sunday, 1-5pm at Alscot Park. Should be a great afternoon out. Plenty of shade in the park to keep cool. Click the link below for details.
Party in the Park details
That will do for tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times. Stay cool in the heat. Amanda, Trish and I will be here to look after you tomorrow. We’ll keep the ‘fridge well stocked throughout the day. Do drop by and pick up a bottle or two to quench your thirst through the coming days.


Shane, Amanda, Jude, Esther, Nigel and Trish

Your Bordeaux-city-loving, cold-booze-drinking, PNTX-admiring wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

Dogs, Cars, Port and Rum

Welcome to this week’s edition of Sheldon’s Times.

Well – what a crazy week! I can only apologise to my lovely colleagues and family for all the ranting, mainly about politicians.  Hopefully things will start to calm down now Boris has resigned, but I somehow doubt it. I promise that the remainder of this week’s Sheldon’s Times will be both rant free and politics free.

This week we have a pair of gorgeous dogs;  a couple of pieces inspired by our readers’ suggestions; a short piece on Rum to celebrate International Rum day and a show stopping star car; an update on your money saving tips and sporting news from last week. Starting off with something cheerful!
Amanda x

It feels like summer has finally arrived. The the flowers outside the shop are now looking fabulous. Carol has done a great planting job – Jude has taken over from me as chief waterer. For those of you who can’t travel to the shop in person, this one’s for you.

Update from last week.

Many of you have sent in comments and suggestions following my temporary takeover of the Sheldon’s Times last week. Some of them kind, some of them helpful and some I’m choosing to ignore!
John and our friends in Australia pointed out a gaping flaw in the sporting events – so apologies to our Australian readers. England are playing the Wallabies down under in a 3 match mini series. Sadly, England lost the first game but  have another 2 to make it up, with the next match tomorrow (Saturday) . John says “Go Wallabies”…..The next game is this Saturday (I say “Go Ingerlaaaand”)

Well done to England for a thrilling last day and win against India in the Cricket Test, and to the Lionesses for their win in the first game of the Football Euros. Bad luck to Northern Ireland  for last night’s loss.

Thanks to those of you who sent in your tips for spending less, inspired by last week’s article. Our very own Nigel took it to heart and has decided to cut down to one glass of 1961 Chateau Mouton Rothschild a day. I’m not convinced that this is going to save him money though….

Port Summer Cocktails

Alex B  has requested that we feature Port as a summer drink to enjoy at the end of a hard day working or gardening – thanks Alex, what a great suggestion.

This inspired me to have a rummage through my drinks cabinet at home and see what I have left from various festivities earlier in the year (AKA Christmas – sorry Shane , I’ve mentioned the C word in July). As luck would have it, there was half a bottle of Sheldon’s ruby port and an unopened bottle of Taylor’s chip dry White Port. Alex ‘s suggestion for summer cocktails is a brilliant way to use up Port before restocking for ‘festivities later in the year’. So,  we tried
Ruby Port with old fashioned lemonade and a slice of orange (totally delicious),
White Port and Tonic for those with less of a sweet tooth
and then he suggested Pink Port with ice, mint and ginger ale or soda.
(Pink port is usually made from a blend of ruby and white port, so I created my own …)

I can highly recommend all of the above as easy to make, easy to drink and very refreshing.  If you don’t fancy a cocktail, strawberries marinated for a couple of hours in of ruby port with a touch of freshly ground black pepper are gorgeous served with vanilla ice cream.

Food and Wine Combinations

Val (she with the superior knowledge of Chardonnay) has asked for more food and wine related content. I am delighted to oblige..

Earlier in the week I was lucky enough to be invited to supper with some fellow wine lovers, who also happened to be great cooks. It would have been rude to refuse! We tried various wines throughout the evenings but there were a couple of accidental pairings that stood out for different reasons. We started the evening with a previously untried sparkling wine. It was very dry and really too acidic for my taste – I was about to abandon my glass and take a rennie when I was offered an anchovy fillet, marinated in olive oil and vinegar. I took a swig of wine to wash it down, and could not believe the difference in the wine. Acid in food (the vinegar used to souse the anchovies) makes wine smoother and less acidic and the difference in my wine was incredible. It became smooth, fruity and very drinkable. In return, the acid in the wine cut through the oil in the anchovy marinade and allowed the subtle fish flavours to shine through. It was one of my favourite ever surprise matching moments. So next time you have an overly acidic wine, reach for the pickle jar!

The second pairings was not so successful, but equally interesting – later in the meal I was enjoying half a glass (work the next day) of a big, smooth, juicy Italian red wine called Verso Sud. The wine comes from Puglia in Southern Italy and is a favourite of many of our customers. It goes particularly well with cheese and pizza. I was relishing the final few sips as I tucked into a bowlful of strawberries, cream meringue and lemon curd. The sweetness of delicious dessert instantly made the wine taste harsh and thin.  Sugar in food makes wines taste much less sweet and fruity. Dessert wines are so sweet  that they can stand up the sugar in puddings that dry wines can’t. I left what was left of my wine until the end of the meal! Next time you have a glass of wine with dessert see what the impact is.  Thanks to Jamie and Fran for a fabulous evening.

If you would like to know more about food and wine pairings, come into the shop or drop us a line – we are always happy to help.


Dog of the Week

Now I hope I’ve got this right. This is Winston and Ginny who came to see us back in June. Getting these two to sit still for a second for us to take the photo was a challenge and probably torture for the two dogs. But sit they did and here we are.
Many thanks to James and Craig for bringing them both in. Goodness. I hope I’ve got that right. I am sure I’ll hear about it if I haven’t.


Saturday July the 9th is World Rum Day.  We are always thrilled by such events and Jude has put together a special Rum display in honour. Rum is a liquor made by fermenting and then distilling sugarcane molasses or sugarcane juice The distillate, a clear liquid, is usually aged in oak barrels. Because of the raw ingredients it is sweeter and smoother than Whisky or Gin. The colour of golden and dark rums comes from oak aging or caramel colouring.

Rums are produced in various grades. Light rums are commonly used in cocktails, such as Mojitos and Daiquiris whereas golden and dark rums were typically consumed neat but are now often drunk with mixers. Premium rums are made to be consumed either straight or on the rocks.

Rum plays a part in the culture of most islands of the West Indies. It has famous associations with the Royal Navy (where it was mixed with water or beer to make grog) and piracy (where it was consumed as bumbo).  If you fancy celebrating World Rum day we have a nice selection of rums from around the world, including the locally made Burning Barn range.

On the subject of spirits, Carol announced that the Sheldon’s ghost was up to his tricks again this week down in the cellars. One of the little lamps used during tasting events had inexplicably switched itself on. If anyone can shed some light (!) on how this could have happened, we may all sleep better.


Teacher’s Presents

It’s coming to the end of the school year. Time for all parents to stock up for the long, long  summer holidays and many of you have already popped in for thank you gifts for the teachers.  Last year we surveyed all the teachers that we knew and asked them what they most appreciated as a present. The answer was fairly unanimous. The best gift was a hand written note from the student and second was a bottle of nice wine – nothing extravagant, but just something easy drinking to enjoy at any time.  Most also said that they had enough mugs and candles to last a lifetime!  You know where to come!!


What’s On 

We have our monthly Cellar Tour and tasting on Saturday 16th July, 2-4pm . Tickets are £25 per person and this covers a tour of the building and extensive cellars, with an amusing and informative narrative from Shane about the history of the shop. This is followed by a tutored tasting in the cellars with 4 of our current favourite wines from the shop.  We still have a few places left  – just phone the shop on 01608 661409 to make a booking.

Calling all Classic Car owners

Last week we mentioned the upcoming fundraiser for Shipston Home Nursing, Party in the Park at Alscot Park. Rebecca has asked us to ask all you the classic car owners out there to come along and show off your lovely cars  The cars will be along the wonderful tree lined avenue at Alscot Park and it promises to be a great day out and a fantastic cause. If you can come and take part, contact Peter by emailing to find out more

Talking of cars …….


Car’s the Star

On one of our recent lovely sunny days we heard a roar in the car park and watched this fabulous electric-blue Maserati pull up. Now I am no Maserati expert, but I reckon this is a GranCabrio. The model has the tag ‘Rarely seen, always heard’. No wonder we heard it before we saw it. Powered by a 460hp 4.7 litre V8 engine, 0-60 in 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 179mph, this is a car that is going to ruffle any hair-do.
Many thanks to Mike for bringing it over. Any time. We’ll always know it’s you because we’ll here you a mile away before you arrive. Unless of course another Maserati swings by – it has been known to happen.

The weather looks like it is going to be amazing for the weekend and next week – hot, dry and sunny. Get the gazebos and barbecues out. Jude and Amanda will be here to welcome you and help with whatever you need to stay cool – Jude is busy building a stack of rose as I type…
We would like to wish Will DD the best of luck in the Iron Man event taking place on Sunday in Cirencester – and to all of you doing something equally nuts!
From your politics hating, anchovy-loving, grog-swilling gang at Sheldons.


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

Dog of the Week, New Ins and Car’s the Star

Welcome to the latest edition of Sheldon’s Times. Shane has decided that I have had too many holidays and should therefore give him a break by writing the email on the next couple Fridays. Of course, I am totally going to abuse the power and write about all manner of things that wouldn’t normally make the cut – so if you have any thoughts on what you would like to read about, let me know…
This week, talk in the town has mainly been about the rising cost of living and the various sporting events that are currently happening. Some of us have the joy of school sports days to attend and many of you are taking part in healthy pursuits, or going to watch some of the great events that are happening this weekend. So tonight’s edition is going to be focussed on how to drink well without spending too much (sorry Shane!) with a sporting theme for good measure. Our old friends Dom, Margaux and Gevrey might not get much of a mention this week, so if the high end wines are what you usually enjoy most, you may want to focus on the dog and the car pictures. For the rest of you, we also have Top Tips on Drinking Well on a Budget, a couple of New Ins, the Introduction of 2 new Wine Bundles and a fun survey on What to Drink Whilst Watching Sport.
Apologies for any formatting issue – I’m a techno numpty
Amanda x.

Dog of the Week

Say hello to Ziggy. A very energetic, excitable woofit ready to leap at anything. The proud owner told us Ziggy has a touch of Border Collie, a splash of Labrador and some other bits in there. Ziggy certainly ate like a Labrador. What a sweetheart.
Many thanks to Sarah for bringing Ziggy along to see us. A real treat for us and a few treats for Ziggy too.

Beat the squeeze – Our top tips for drinking well on a budget

There is no get away from the fact that everything is increasing in price and we are having to think about how and where we spend money.  With the help of our lovely customers we have come up with  tips for still drinking great wine whilst spending less overall. Basically, it involves drinking less, spending less and/or wasting less. Simple!

Top tips for drinking less

1.Cut back on drinking days – Some of you, including Shane and Trish, have great will power and can chose to stop drinking on certain days of the week, or even for weeks at a time.

Some of us want to drink regularly but want to reduce the quantity.

2. Change glass size – Personally, I like to have 3 glasses of wine in an evening. Bizarrely, I’ve discovered that psychologically, 3 small glasses is just as good as 3 large glasses, so I simply swap to a much smaller glass and a bottle lasts 2-3 days. This only works if I put the bottle in a different room though!
3. Jude’s tip is to buy slightly more expensive wineThis puts it into ‘I can’t open that on a Tuesday, I’ll save it for the weekend ‘ category.
4. Don’t keep unopened bottles in the fridge – far too tempting. The act of having to chill a wine can be enough to put you off completely, or at least reduce the drinking window.
5. Esther’s top tip is to buy half bottles – enough for a couple of decent sized glasses, but still cheaper than a full bottle. We now have a great selection of quality wines in half bottles.
6. Break the ‘6’Oclock habit’. Instead of opening a bottle of wine, take the dog out for a walk, or do something else distracting that you enjoy (you can let your imaginations run riot here….) 

Tips for Spending Less

Spending less doesn’t necessarily mean buying lower quality, or even less wine.

Swap regions – Many famous wine regions charge a premium just because of the name. So, if you enjoy Châteauneuf du Pape, try a wine from a neighbouring region instead. Vacqueras, Gigondas and Cotes du Rhone made from the same grapes, same climate, same producer yet can cost half the price.   Most famous regions have neighbours that produce excellent  quality wines. Come in and ask us to show you which they are.

Swap countries – this will definitely be a stretch for some of you die hard Francophiles out there, but Italy, Spain and the New World Countries in particular have some amazing wines at very reasonable prices. Lower land and production costs, along with more reliable weather are just some of the factors that result in lower prices.

Swap grape varieties –There are some lovely well-made wines which are now coming through made from local and indigenous grapes from lesser known regions around the world – many of them under £12.

To encourage you to be more adventurous with trying some of these wine we have put together a couple of Summer Six bundles – reds and whites at just £60 for 6 (see below).

Tips for Wasting less
How often do you get left with one glass worth at the bottom of the bottle – just so you didn’t drink the whole bottle? I would usually start off the next night with this one, but that’s a slippery slope into opening another bottle.

Use a wine preserver  Corovin systems and even simple vacuum pumps are great for making wines last longer once they are open. No more excuses for drinking the whole bottle!

Freeze any leftovers – pour wine that you aren’t going to have in the next couple of day in an ice-cube tray. This can then be used for sauces and cooking with – instead of wasting the fresh stuff!
Esther’s top tip – plan meals around the wines that you will be drinking so that you can have the same wine/s over 2 nights and still match with the food. (That one is for the very planful amongst you)

Come in and talk to us about making your budget stretch further. Just make sure you don’t ask Shane.

This weekend’s sporting events and what to drink with them

One of my favourite pastimes is matching films to drinks (try it before you knock it)
As a bit of fun I have extended it to Sporting event in honour of the incredible International Sporting Events that are on this weekend. Not being a huge fan of some of the upcoming sports, this was a bit of a challenge so I had to enlist the opinions of many of this week’s customers – with some interesting results …

Cricket – England v India at Edgbaston, First Test  – This one I can do, as an avid cricket fan. It’s a long day, so Pimms, Sparkling wine English Digby Sparkling rosé  and Lyme Bay Classic Cuvee. Finished off with a big robust Trastullo Primitivo
Wimbledon – Stressful  matches with the few remaining British players – Emotion white Colombelle from the South of France (very gluggable)
 Mixed doubles – easy drinking rosé such as the soft and fruity Cantele rosato

British Grand Prix – a big red, such as the Australian Jester Shiraz, or Italian Amarone. If our favourite driver / team wins  maybe a bottle of Italian sparking wine such as Divici Prosecco. Apparently the drivers no longer celebrate with champagne on the podium. Since 2021 Ferrari (nothing to do with the car) have provided traditional method Italian sparkling wine to spray into the faces of their rivals. Everyone is economising!

Interestingly, I have discovered from talking to a couple of local racing fans that they don’t actually drink alcohol whist watching the race as they need to concentrate. They also like to watch it without the distraction of other people, then get together to discuss it afterwards.

Tour de France – Cycling. Something very hydrating and low alcohol. Smashed Lager, Pale Ale or Cider –  0% alcohol. (See New Ins below)

Fishing – Not an international spectator sport, but many of our customers this week are keen fishermen/women and have gone fly fishing. Judging by the amount of alcohol they take on their trips, it is a very sociable affair that involves a lot of drinking. Scottish whisky, such as the Speyburn Braden Orach (Gaelic for ‘Golden Salmon’ found on the river Spey ) was the drink of choice of one customer surveyed who was off up to Tyneside to fish this weekend. He was following that up with a magnum of Gardera Bordeaux (It’s okay -its only £26.95)
I shall be interested to hear how many got away….

England is hosting the Football Women’s European  Cup starting  on 6th July,  and we will be getting behind the English and Northern Ireland teams throughout the tournament. I think this one will require something quite strong and distracting – possibly Gin or neat Bourbon.   Next week we will be having the return of the International football team drinking game by popular demand.

New Ins

Just a couple this week and a returner.
Smashed Cider 0% Apple Cider – Thank you to Will for recommending this lovely refreshing cider. Esther, Jude and I tried it with our lunch, and all agreed that it was delicious. Slightly cloudy with aromas of freshly crushed apple. Pleasantly sparkling with a clean fresh taste. £1.95 for 330ml
2021 Sacha Lichine Single Blend Rosé – A simple, refreshing Grenache-based rose made by Sacha Lichine , producer of Whispering Angel. Lovely as a summer aperitif £14.95

Back in
2020 Mottura Negroamaro del Salento  – A medium bodied, easy drinking red with soft, ripe red fruit flavours and low tannins. £9.95

 Summer Six Bundles

As mentioned above we have put together  a couple of Bundles of Whites and Reds for Summer. All great value and an opportunity to try some different grapes and regions.

The reds are soft and juicy with low tannins for easy Summer drinking and the whites have been chosen for their fresh flavours. Each box of 6 costs just £60

Calling All Car Lovers – 17th July at Alscot Park

On Sunday 17th July our friends at Shipston Home Nursing are hosting a “Party in the Park” at Alscot Park just south of Stratford upon Avon. General details are available on the SHN website and social media pages.
There will be a gathering of classic and performance cars at the event. As I know how enthusiastic some of you are about our four-wheeled friends I thought it worth mentioning. Turns out if you are particularly keen you can take your pride and joy along. If you fancy taking a car please email Peter Barnett-Hunt for details and to register your vehicle. Peter is on Only 100 cars will be on show so jump in early. Bearing in mind Alscot is rarely open to the public, this is a great opportunity to enjoy the park with likeminded friends and family. And you will be supporting our selected charity for 2022 which should give you a warm glow inside (very much like a glass of fine Claret).

Car’s the Star

We had a couple of Land Rovers recently, both of which were ‘relatively’ modern editions. Today we are reaching back. A Series IIA and by the position of the headlights (on the wings rather than in the central grille) suggests this is a late 1960’s or very early 1970’s build. This particular vehicle has had a full rebuild, including a base metal respray. Immaculate condition and great fun!
A big thank you to Will for bringing it down so soon after the completion of the work. Like having a brand new ‘old’ Land Rover. It will never be quite as clean again. I certainly hope not.
That just about wraps it up for this week – the weather forecast over the weekend looks a bit iffy, so pack your macs if you are out and about. Summer is due to return on Monday with next week looking glorious.
We would like to congratulate Ed and Chloe who are finally having their Wedding Celebration Party this weekend – have a great time.
Jude and Amanda are both in this Saturday to help you with your wine requirements to watch the sport with, so please come along and put them to the test (subtle pun intended).
Have a great weekend from your cost conscious, armchair sport fan, dog loving, cake munching team at Sheldons.
Shane, Carol, Amanda, Esther Jude, Trish, Carol and Nigel x

DotW, New Ins and Car’s the Star

It’s all about wine tonight. Well, almost. We of course have a gorgeous DotW and a super Car’s the Star but the bulk of tonight’s Sheldon’s Times is focused on a set of delicious New Ins this week. We have new roses, new wines from Paris (“Paris?” you ask), new wines from Sablet, some massive and ridiculously rare bottles of South African red and a slightly crazy new sweet wine. And of course a couple of attractive additions in the Claret category.
But before you move on, spare a positive thought for Harry and Charlotte who are getting married this weekend. Hip hip hooray! Best wishes to you both and here’s hoping for a fantastic day.

Dog of the Week

This is Rolo, or perhaps it is Rollo, I’m not entirely sure. What I do know is he is an avid chewer of shoes and eater of the finest Iberico ham. And he has a particular penchant for doing all of the aforementioned activities at dinner parties. How do I know this? Because I was there. Full of life, forever excited and ready for anything. What a star.
A big thank you to Andy (and by association Lou) for bringing Rolo/Rollo in to see us. If you see him out and about, mind your shoes. You have been warned.

New Ins

Our relentless quest to find new and interesting wines continues. And boy do we have some interesting wines in this week. Ever heard of ‘cooked wine’? I thought not. Well you are just about to….
Vin Cuit de Provence
Production of this extraordinary wine from Provence, made without the addition of sugar, alcohol or other ingredients is somewhat unusual. After pressing, Grenache grape juice is ‘cooked’ up to 95 degrees C in a cauldron over a naked flame which reduces the volume of the juice by some 25 to 30%. Once reduced, the juice is chilled and allowed to ferment, which usually takes around a month. The finished wine is 12% alcohol with residual sugar in excess of 200g/l. Once bottled, it is ready for that season’s festive period.
It is traditional at Christmas in the region to serve a ‘gros souper’ of fish and vegetables (served on Christmas Eve, the Provencal equivalent of our Christmas dinner), followed by ‘les 13 desserts’. The 13 desserts represent Christ and the 12 Apostles and are served after midnight mass. This is when Vin Cuit is served. Delicious sweet wine with 13 desserts – what’s not to like about that?! I first tried this wine a month ago and was utterly stunned. My notes simply say “Mulberry fruit on the nose and a yummy, jammy palate”. Don’t wait until Christmas as we only have 12 bottles in stock (well, 11 coz I am having one) – £50 a bottle.
Large Format Newton Johnson Pinot Noir
A rare acquisition indeed! We see very few large formats from South Africa. Magnums are like hens teeth and anything larger is almost unheard of. We are delighted therefore to have been offered just a few magnums and jeroboams (3 litres) of Newton Johnson’s Family Vineyards Pinot Noir from the 2018 vintage. We grabbed them straight away.
Just three magnums available (£85/mag) and three jeroboams (£200/jero). Probably never going to be seen again.
New Rhones
We’ve also bought a little Rhone from a producer called Domaine Les Sibu, based in Sablet. The village of Sablet sits between Gigondas to the south and Seguret to north. We are in beautiful southern Rhone countryside here, just under the shadow of the Dentelles craggy outcrops. Sablet is currently classified as Cotes du Rhone Villages but is likely to gain ‘Cru’ status like it’s neighbours shortly.
When I tasted both the white and the red I was impressed. The white is a blend of Grenache Blanc has good intensity yet remains light on it’s feet without the oily texture sometimes present in southern Rhone whites. The red is a classic GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) blend with a little Carignan thrown in for good measure. Again I thought this was an attractive fresh style of wine representing more modern winemaking in the area. And both wines are great additions to our Rhone range.
Les Vignerons Parisiens
Les Vignerons Parisiens is the first and remains the only winery based in Paris. Set up by Matthieu Bosser with two partners: oenologist Emmanuel Gagnepain and biodynamic viticulture consultant Frédéric Duseigneur, the winery is based in the 3rd arrondissement. The story of Les Vignerons Parisiens is such a good one I shall refrain from putting my own spin on it, instead I shall use the words of our good friends at Dreyfus Ashby, the inspired UK importer:

The biodynamic and certified organic grapes are sourced from four different growers (to which Emmanuel and Frédéric already consult), located in the communes of Visan and Sabran in the southern Rhône. Although the project only started in 2015, the partners have built up and intimate knowledge of all the vineyards they work with over the past 15 years.

Whilst the traceability of the grapes is known to the exact parcel, the wines are not allowed to carry any mention of appellation, for two reasons. Firstly, since they are vinified outside the region (some 500km north of the vineyards in Paris) and secondly because all but one of the cuvees produced are single varietal wines for which no regional appellation exists. The wines are therefore all commercialised as Vin de France.

The grapes are harvested by their own team of pickers, usually between 6am and noon. The whole clusters are carefully placed directly into small lug-boxes which are then loaded onto pallets and transported by refrigerated trucks where, after at least 18 hours of cooling, they are crushed the following morning at the rear of their small (organically certified) cellar on the Rue de Turbigo.

If the sourcing of the grapes was relatively straightforward, the greatest challenge was the 18 months it took negotiating with the Paris authorities to gain the necessary customs documents to be allowed to make wine within the capital. Around 15% of the production is sold from the shop-front, mostly to locals who have quickly adopted them as their house wines.

Following a tasting of the range we have selected two wines for the shop:

Les affranchis (£20) – a rather unusual blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Marsanne and Rousanne, this wine showed a melange of different flavours and struck me as being both interesting and a little different.

Boooom. (£24) – another interesting blend, this time Gamay with Cinsault. My notes say “low tannin, fresh, clean and very drinkable. Definitely one to consider” so here it is, give it a try for yourself.

Naturally we also have a few items which sit in the Sheldon’s mainstream:

2009 Haut Bergey (£45) – solid wine from Pessac Leognan, Graves. We have had it in bottle, mag and imperial formats previously and it has always sold out.
2010 Haut Bergey (£45) – ditto
2005 Chateau Beaumont (£39) – we’ve had younger vintages in but never the 2005 before.
2005 Chateau Cissac (£40) – oh-so-drinkable Haut Medoc, always a best seller for us when we get it in so strike while the iron is hot
2010 Chateau Cissac (£35) – ditto

New Rosé Wines
With it having been so warm recently (although today and yesterday seem decidedly cooler) we have brought in a couple of new rosé wines. One is here by request, the other because it fills a gap. Both were tasted before being ordered and both fit the quality criteria for the shop. Don’t be fooled though – they are quite serious wines. A bit more than your easy-drinking Provence rose this time around…
Abbé Rous Collioure Réserve des Peintres Rosé (£15.95) – many of you will recognise Abbe Rous, they produce the wonderful Banyuls we have downstairs. It comes from the area on the Mediterranean near Spain. This rose is a blend of 65% Grenache Noir, 20% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah. This is part rosé de saignée with a 12 hour maceration before pressing. Fermentation takes place at a low temperature and is bottled at the end of the year of the harvest. Don’t be fooled by the pale colour, this is a rose with real red fruit flavours and a long finish. The label celebrates the famous harbour views of the church in Collioure, much captured by local and international artists.
Moulin de la Roque Bandol (£20) – Bandol is located on the Mediterranean coast of France just south east of Marseille. Known for growing the Mourvedre grape which is well suited to the warm climate, the region is well respected for its age-worthy reds. It is also known for rosé made using the same grape either as a single varietal wine or a blend. The wine we have is a blend of Mourvedre, Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. While the wine is pale in colour it is very much considered a ‘vin de garde’ with the ability to improve with age, although the vast majority of it gets drunk within a year of the vintage release. A friendly wine for summer drinking in the garden with the ability to partner well with food.

Car’s the Star

What a treat – a Mercedes 190SL. This model pre-dates one of my favourite cars (the stacked headlight Mercedes 280SL from the late 60’s/early 70’s) it being in production from 1955 through to 1963. By all accounts it was released as a more affordable alternative to the 300SL gull wing. It has many similar styling features and looks pretty ‘Americanised’ to me, designed to fight off two seater sports cars from over the pond. The car takes it’s name from the engine – it is powered by a 1.9 litre straight 4 cylinder engine, hence 190SL.
A big thank you to Mr & Mrs N for bringing it round to see us. Any time.
I think that will do for tonight. I’ve just taken a look at the weather forecast for the coming days and it looks like it is going to be OK if not brilliant. This weekend Trish, Jude and I will be here to see to your every wine need. Oh, and as a final reminder it is the ‘Last Night at the Proms’ tomorrow night – the Shipston Proms that is, so get yourself into town tomorrow evening and have some fun.


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

Your shoe-saving, SL-loving, Boooom-drinking wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

DotW, English Wine Week, Father’s Day, New Ins & Car’s the Star

How are you doing? Warm? Hopefully you have had time to enjoy a little of the mini heat-wave we have been experiencing. After last week’s Shipston-fest we are back to wine this week. We have taken delivery of some excellent New Ins this week, albeit with a bent towards Champagne and Italy. No issue with that. As usual we top and tail with a dog and a car…well, cars actually. And a final reminder about Father’s Day. Push on and enjoy the last of the sunshine.

Dog of the Week

We haven’t had an updated picture of Viv for quite a while. He first came to us as a wee puppy. Puppy no more. He is not quite fully grown, but is now a big dog nonetheless. And of course he oozes cuteness.
Many thanks to both Emily and Charlie for the regular Viv visits and playtime. Always a pleasure.

Celebrating English Wine Week: 18th – 26th June

Amanda has written a short article about English Wine Week which starts tomorrow. A good attempt at addressing some of the consumer concerns over this emerging wine producing region which has such high potential.
Just some of the English wines we have in the shop
This week we are very excited to be supporting English Wine Week. From Saturday 18th to Sunday 26th June.  English wines are continuing to grow in popularity as the quality improves and there is a desire with many of us to support the local economy. English sparkling wines in particular are now World class and they form a core part of our range. We often get questions about English wines so here’s a list of the most commonly asked, with the answers…

Are English wines any good?
Definitely! There are some excellent quality English wines and as the vines grow older and the winemakers gain more experience the quality of the wines is continually improving. The climate here in England isn’t warm enough to grow many familiar wine grape varieties, however some the varieties which thrive in cooler conditions are well suited to the English climate. Varieties such as Bacchus, Dornfelder and the Champagne varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are all growing well in England.

Why are English wines so expensive?
The quality of the best English wines rivals the quality of other wines at the same price point, so perhaps they are not that expensive in relative terms. There are however several other factors to consider. The climate in England is unpredictable and a good crop is never guaranteed. There are no economies of scale in England yet as wine is not being produced in sufficient quantity to gain these benefits. Land, labour, materials and winery facilities are all expensive when compared to some other wine producing regions. Unlike many other countries, our Government doesn’t subsidise English wine growers. Most vineyards only survive through making extra income from wine tours and tastings.

How do English wines compare to those from other countries? 
The cool climate and long daylight hours in summer mean that the grapes have a long time to ripen. This allows a broad range of flavours to develop. Sugar levels don’t usually get as high as they do in warmer climates so the wines tend to be lighter in body and lower in alcohol. Perfect conditions for the production of quality sparkling wines. Still white wines are usually aromatic, crisp and light bodied – just right for summer drinking. Reds are also light in body and refreshing although quality for reds is variable so shop around to find a style you like or talk to a quality independent wine retailer like Sheldon’s.

Why should I buy English wine when it costs more than a similar wine from another country?
As mentioned above, the best quality English wines rival wines from other regions at the same price point, so it is not always true that English wines cost more than similar wines from other countries. Also it is a tough job producing wine in this country. When we support the English wine makers by choosing their wines and visiting their vineyards we allow them to continue to produce wine and invest in the vineyards and wineries. As the vines in the vineyards mature the quality of the wine will continue to improve and with higher volume production the prices should become more competitive. With climate change causing havoc across many of the traditional wine growing regions, now could be the time to invest in the long term future of English wines.

Why not use English Wine Week as an excuse to try something different this weekend?  We will have a bottle of one of our favourites open in the shop on Saturday for those of you who pop in and want to try before you buy.

Amanda x

Here’s our list of personal favourites from the English shop selection:

Amanda – Digby NV Leander Pink (rose sparkling wine, £32 a bottle). Great for it’s combination of fresh fruit flavours, balanced acidity and a long finish. Perfect for this hot weather.

Trish – Lyme Bay Shoreline (still white, £15.95 a bottle). Well made English white with Bacchus and Seyval Blanc which has characteristics between Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. This blend is like a well made Sauvignon, but not from France or New Zealand.

Shane – Nyetimber 2014 Blanc de Blancs (sparkling brut, £49 a bottle). While we have better quality English sparklers, I think this wine represents great value for money, even when placed against Champagnes at the same price point. It has a distinct taste, perhaps a proper definition of English wine.

Carol – Lyme Bay Pinot Noir Rose (still rose, £17.95 a bottle). Because Carol loves a slightly off dry rose!

Come in and pick up a bottle or two of English wine – if you havent tried it yet you might just be pleasantly surprised.

Father’s Day – a final reminder

I’m sure you don’t need reminding, but hey, here it is anyway.
Remember – the best Father’s Day gifts either fit in a toolbox or come in a bottle. We are here for you (for the latter).

New Ins

Of the greatest importance in the New Ins this week is the delivery of not one, not two, not even three, but four pallets of Sheldon’s Champagne. With challenges over supply we went as large as we were allowed with this order. I don’t suspect the newly-arrived two thousand plus bottles will last us through the remainder of the year but at least it gives us continuity for a few months. We are only receiving standard 75cl bottles now, no halves, magnums or jeros I’m afraid, which means we’ve got what we’ve got in these other format sizes in the shop, when they are gone they are gone.
Sheldon’s Champagne arriving in volume
New regulations on importing goods into the UK have necessitated the addition of a back label. This includes the name of the importer (Sheldon’s) which is the essential piece as far as customs is concerned. With the space available we have also included a brief description of the Champagne. We also have a simpler foil and collar. All in all it looks a touch more modern. Rest assured it is the same juice in the bottle, produced by our longstanding friends at H Blin in Vincelles, just west of Epernay.
Inevitably costs have increased with the new label. We have also been subject to fuel surcharges and other levied costs. However, our commitment to holding the price for a full twelve month cycle remains firm. £24.95 a bottle until the end of 2022 or until stocks run out (if we cannot get any more).
We also have the arrival of the latest edition of Jacquesson’s 7-series Champagne:
Jacquesson 745 (£65) – based on the 2017 vintage
Just a few other New Ins this week, mostly building on our Italian presence. For those keen on new releases, we have just received our enormous (24 bottle) allocation of Tignanello 2019. Here goes:
2021 Guado al Tasso Vermentino di Bolgheri (£21.75)
2019 Tormaresco Pietrabianca (£27.50)

2019 Poggio alle Nane Le Mortelle (£67.50)
2018 Prunotto Barbera Pian Romualdo (£26.95)

….and the big boys…
2020 Cervaro della Sala (£69.50) – Antinori’s top flight Chardonnay. Grab it while you can. We only have 12 bottles.

2019 Tignanello (£140/bt) – amazing Sangiovese blended with Bordeaux varietals, this is considered one of the top super Tuscans. We also have limited stocks of 2018 (£140) and a little 2009 and 2008, some with damaged labels but otherwise perfect (both £150 a bottle, please ask).

Car’s the Star

Imagine the moment when these two cars pulled into the car park late one Saturday afternoon. I was almost beside myself. So exciting to have non-identical twins at the shop. I think I was way more excited than the owners. The cars of course need no introduction – Land Rovers the pair. Both Defenders, both 90s. The origins of this model date back to 1984. Seeing them in the car park reminded me that during lockdown I said we would have a Land Rover event in the car park when we were allowed to play again. I’ll come up with a date and we’ll get you all to pop over.
A big thanks to Angus and Charlie for co-ordinating your visits (by accident), almost a matching pair.
That will do for this evening. Hopefully you are sitting in a garden somewhere enjoying a nice glass of something cold. That’s what I will be doing in about 15 minutes. Amanda, Trish and I will be here at the shop tomorrow. As the forecast is for a change in the weather why not use the time to pop by and pick out a few nice bottles to see you through the weekend. The sun and heat returns next week and we will soon be in full summer.


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

Your Land-Rover-loving, Tignanello-admiring, English-wine-drinking wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

DotW, Father’s Day, Shipston Beer Festival, Shipston Proms, New Ins and Car’s the Star

This week’s edition of Sheldon’s Times is mostly dedicated to our home town of Shipston on Stour. We are ‘en fete’ – with the start the Proms tonight and the beer festival tomorrow. Two weeks of celebration, fun and music. Take a close look at the Proms schedule, if you haven’t committed some time to enjoy an event or two, do so. Many of the activities are free to attend, throw yourself in. Also in tonight’s missive we have a familiar DotW, an even more familiar Car’s the Star, some interesting New Ins including some more wines from the Italian tasting and Jude has been up to her old tricks with the display shelf near the till. Press on.

Dog of the Week

The moment this dog walked in the shop I thought “I know that breed. It’s a Portuguese Sheepdog!” He looks very much like Hamilton, our friendly pub dog at The Royal Oak, Whatcote. But I was wrong. This is Brinkley and he’s a Korthals Griffon. The breed name comes from Eduard Korthals, a Dutchman thought to be responsible for creating this magnificent beast.
A big thank you to Lindsey for bringing Brinkley in to see us. A real pleasure. And so well behaved for rather a large hound. Anytime.

Jude’s Father’s Day Fancies

No sooner had the Jubilee weekend finished, Jude was out packing away the flags and dismantling Jude’s Jubilee Jumble. What next? Father’s Day of course. The special shelf has been stocked with Whisky, Rum, Cognac and Armagnac. All blues and blacks and oranges, not a pink bottle in sight. We also have many other Daddy Goodies in the shop, some might say we have nothing else other than Daddy Goodies. I beg to differ. We have Whispering Angel too.
No excuses – get your Father’s Day gifts now and beat the rush. There’s a chance we may run out of bottles, such is the enthusiasm for these commercially invented celebratory days. Don’t dither.
Robert and Yoko’s beautiful garden in Whichford
While we are on the topic of Father’s Day, a quick reminder that the local village of Whichford holds it’s National Gardens Scheme Open Day on Father’s Day each year. Seven gardens across Whichford and Ascott will be open for the afternoon, starting at 1.30pm. Admission is £6, refreshments will be available (in support of St Michaels Church) and it will make for a smashing afternoon out. More details can be found by clicking the button below:
Whichford & Ascott NGS Open Day

Shipston Beer Festival – Saturday 11th (tomorrow), 2pm-late

Tomorrow is the day of the Shipston Beer Festival. The festival is taking place at the Shipston Rugby Club, starting at 2pm
Our friend Mr Easton has been telling us what a fun afternoon it is going to be. Live music, kids activities, lots of beer and Prosecco and perhaps even some Champagne. A birdie told me there will be Phat Pasties there too – a must if you haven’t tried them, from our pals Paul and Laura just up the road. A free Shipston Beer Festival glass with each entry ticket, you will be encouraged to have it refilled on a regular basis. I’ll try to head down after shop closing, hopefully I will see some of you there.

Shipston Proms – Friday 10th to Saturday 25th June

Our second Shipston shout-out this evening is for the Proms. This eclectic music festival is kicking off tonight with Uncle Funk’s Disco Inferno at the Townsend Hall (tickets available on the door so if you are reading this thinking “What shall I do tonight?” you now have your answer) through to Saturday 25th June. The packed schedule includes something for everyone with events stretching over the town and into the local surrounding villages.
More details can be found by clicking the button below:
Click here for Shipston Proms website
We are lucky to have these events taking place here in the town. A big thank you to all of the people who give up their time and energy to make these things happen. It is these events, with the myriad of other activities throughout the year that makes Shipston the place to be.

New Ins

Just a handful of tasty New Ins this week:
Hawkstone Pils and Premium lager (£2.25 per 330ml bottle)
We announced the rebranding of Cotswold Brew Co to Hawkstone a couple of weeks ago. We sold through all of the first batch of 3.8% Pils and have restocked with both 3.8% Pils and 4.8% Premium lager. Come and get it while you can.
2019 Tasca Nozze d’Oro (£29, Inzolia/Sauvignon Blanc blend) – an interesting combination of flavours from two distinct grape varieties from Sicily
2020 Picque Caillou Blanc (£35) – nice to have a little more white Bordeaux in the shop
2021 Tormaresca Furia di Calafuria Rosato (£41, Puglia, Italy) – an amazing rose that we had at the recent Italian tasting. Negroamaro, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. A very funky bottle too and anyone who buys 6 gets a lovely box thrown in.
2014 Tormaresco Bocca di Lupo Aglianico (£77, Puglia, Italy) – another star of the recent tasting but we sold out of the first batch with orders on the day. Now back in the shop in limited quantity.

2004 La Rioja Alta ‘904’ magnums (£145) – 2004 was a favourite vintage of this wine for many of you and we’ve just picked up another 6 mags
2008 Vega Sicilia Pintia (£79) – we have younger bottles so I thought it would be nice to try one with a little age on it.

2018 Picque Caillou magnums (£55)
2009 Phelan Segur (£75)
2005 Leoville Barton (£145)

And finally (for Will):
1990 Gruaud Larose double magnum

Car’s the Star

Okay, I know we have had a car similar to this before. In fact we have had exactly this car as a previous Car’s the Star. So rare is it’s appearance at the shop that I couldn’t resist taking another picture and including it in tonight’s Sheldon’s Times. You’ve had all the blurb on it previously, so all I need to say is “Hello Ferrari 330 America” – one of only 50 made in 1963.
A huge thank you to Brian for dropping in just after closing and catching us before we packed up for the day. He arrived with us having come from a 330 reunion party. “But there aren’t many left!” I hear you cry. You’d be surprised.
What do you call a Saturday afternoon gathering of 330s? An exuberance of Ferraris? A great way to finish the week.
That will do for this evening. The weather looks pretty settled over the next few days, do enjoy it. Here at the shop Amanda, Trish and I will be here to look after you tomorrow. Hopefully we will see a fair few of you in the shop here to make some super wine purchases to enjoy over the weekend.


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

Your Korthals-Griffon-loving, beer-festival-drinking, 330-America-admiring wine team at Sheldon’s Wines.

Sheldon’s Times Platinum Jubilee Edition

On the basis that tonight is ‘Friday night’ for many of you we are sending out Sheldon’s Times a little early this week. With the prospect of four days of fun ahead of us, you will undoubtedly want to get into the swing of things early on. Tonight’s edition is of course Jubilee-themed. Every local town and village seems to have plans of some sort (all of which are different), we hope you manage to enjoy the days ahead and throw yourselves into the Jubilee spirit. On you go…

Dog of the Week

This evening our DotW is in fact many dogs. Her Majesty The Queen was surrounded by Corgis as a child and has owned Corgis and Dorgis (a Dachshund/Corgi cross) herself since she was 18 years of age. A Corgi called Susan was her first. Over the years The Queen has owned more than 30 Corgis in the period 1945 to present.
Sadly, The Queen’s pet Holly, the last descendent of her first Corgi Susan, passed away in 2016 and her last Corgi named Willow was put to sleep in 2018. Both Holly and Willow appeared in the 2012 Olympic sketch, with James Bond accompanying The Queen to the Olympic Opening Ceremony. Thankfully The Queen was gifted another Corgi in 2021 so she has good company.

Sheldon’s Opening Hours for the Jubilee

As a final reminder, our opening hours over the coming days are as follows:

Thursday 2nd – usual hours 0900-1800hrs
Friday 3rd – 0900-1400hrs (we are taking the afternoon off)
Saturday 4th – usual hours 0900-1700hrs
Sunday 5th and Monday 6th – closed as usual
Tuesday 6th – back to regular hours

The only change to our regular opening hours is Friday 3rd where we will be closed in the afternoon. At all other times you will be able to purchase your Jubilee weekend treats as usual. Please also accept that we might be a little jaded on Friday morning, it being the morning after the night before. No shouting in the shop please. And if any of you want to drop a bacon buttie off it will be well received.

The Royal Household: The Clerk and The Yeoman of the Royal Cellars

Here’s a short article I discovered about the operation of The Royal Cellars, just for fun. It was written in 2014 so I hope Simon is still the Clerk. Read on…
The Clerk of the Royal Cellars is a part-time member of the Royal Household. They are usually an experienced senior wine merchant. The Clerk advises and supervises the purchasing and maintenance of the liquor for the Household, focusing on spirits and wines.
The Clerk will give advice on wine pairings for State banquets and other events. The Clerk of the Cellar also supervises the Yeoman of the Royal Cellars.
The current Clerk is Simon Berry, head of Britain’s oldest wine shop, Berry Bros & Rudd. In 2007 Her Majesty requested that Berry take over duties at Buckingham Palace.
Since 1698 Berry Bros & Rudd has traded in London. It has been a supplier to the Royal family since the reign of King George III. If you are wondering how long ago that would be, George III became King in 1760. (Ed: ah, marginally older than Sheldon’s then.)
To assist with recommendations for the wines, there is also the Royal Household Wine Committee.
If you’d like to read more about the Royal Household Wine Committee then take a look at this excellent article by Committee member Jancis Robinson on her website:
Royal Household Wine Committee article by Jancis Robinson
Along with a deputy and an assistant, the Yeoman is a staff member of the Master of the Household Department.
This position requires the holder to be responsible for the procurement of spirits, wines and beers for meals as well as for entertaining whether it be private or official in the Royal residences.
The Yeoman of the Royal Cellar keeps inventory and along with the Clerk of the Royal Cellars, makes certain an ample stock is at hand.
Robert Lange is the current Yeoman of the Royal Cellars. Lange received the Royal Victorian Medal (RVM) as part of the Queen’s 2014 New Years Honours List.
(Actually LinkedIn tells me Robert retired in April this year, so I am not sure who is the current Yeoman…any takers among the Sheldon’s community?)

New Ins

Wine content in tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times is restricted to just a handful of delicious New Ins:
2016 Carmes de Rieussec (2nd wine of Ch Rieussec) 75cl bottles (£25/bt)

2010 Chateau Bernadotte (£32)
2015 Allees de Cantemerle (£23) – last stocks of this before we move on to the 2016 of which we also have good stocks
2016 Chateau Cantemerle (£35) – just about drinking at 8 years of age, but also one for keeping
2000 Segla (£59, the 2nd wine of Rauzan Segla) – many of you ask for Segla so I was delighted to find a small 5-case parcel of the wonderful 2000 vintage. WIGIG.

And for those who like to go large:
2010 Clarendelle Jeroboam (5 litre) – owned by the Dillon family, Clarendelle is described by the team that produce it as being ‘inspired by Haut Brion’, Haut Brion being one of the five Bordeaux First Growths and the flagship wine of the Dillon empire. This Merlot based blend from one of the best vintages in recent memory will deliver enormous drinking pleasure and at £250 for a 5 litre bottle it also represents great value for money.
1998 Chateau d’Armailhac Jeroboam (5 litre) – need I say more? Fabulous Pauillac from the Mouton (English) side of the Rothschild family. Please enquire.

Car’s the Star

This week’s Car’s the Star belongs to, err, The Queen. It was a toss up between the Royal Bentley and one of the Royal Range Rovers. This Range Rover won, because the picture of Her Majesty is so cheery.
Research tells us that as Head of State, the laws applying to the roads do not apply to The Queen. This means The Queen is the only person in the UK who could drive around without a driver’s licence, not wear a seat belt and ignore the speed limits. However, our Queen does have a driver’s licence and of course has plenty of driving experience since she worked as mechanic and driver in the Second World War. And for her 96th birthday she took her Range Rover for a drive around the Sandringham Estate, by all accounts with the dogs in the back.
That’s it for tonight’s Platinum Jubliee Edition of Sheldon’s Times. I hope you have much planned over the coming days (or nothing planned if that is more your thing).
We’ve been checking the forecast every hour and as I write this on Wednesday afternoon it looks like we are in for a dry, warm spell ahead. Perfect weather for a garden party/street party/just a party or anything else you decide to put your hand to. Jude, Trish and myself will be here throughout the coming days, do drop in, wave a flag and buy some lovely wine. Whatever the weather may we wish you all a very merry Jubilee weekend.


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

Your Corgi-loving, Yeoman-of-the-Royal-Cellar-job-aspiring, d’Armailhac-jeroboam-drinking wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

Spring Colour, DotW, Jubilee Opening, Italians, June Cellar Tour, New Ins and Car’s the Star

What fun we had with the Italian Tasting last Saturday. Delighted to see many of you come along, apologies to those who wanted to pop in but for whom we didn’t have space. There’s a write-up in tonight’s Sheldon’s Times, including those wines we thought were outstanding and now have a place on our shelves.

Also in tonight’s Sheldon’s Times we have a reminder about the June Cellar Tour (places still available), our opening hours over the Jubilee long weekend, some wines for you to try in the shop tomorrow (with the proviso that you give us some immediate feedback) and a car that we have seen before, albeit in a different colour. But first, a bit of uplifting spring colour and a great DotW. Read on…

Spring Colour

I am sure you have all noticed, the recent combination of rain and sunshine with a bit of warmth has spurred everything in the garden and countryside on. The vibrant acid greens of new leaves everywhere is a sure sign that the spring is here and summer will soon arrive. At home the bulb irises have suddenly come into flower, producing a super display for us to enjoy.
These beauties only last a week or two at most so we make the most of them when they are out. Terry’s Cannas are shooting up behind, they will soon be in bloom too.

Dog of the Week

This is Badger. Yes, I know we have already had a Badger as DotW – you remember, the little curly-haired fella who gives us a high-five when he comes in. Well it turns out that Badger is not the only Badger. This Badger is a Whippet. Quite a large one, especially considering he is only 7 months old. He’s standing rather statuesque-like, facing the sunshine.
Many thanks to Ben for bringing Badger to see us. One day we’ll get both Badgers in at the same time. Now that would be fun.

Jubilee Opening Hours

We have been doing a straw poll around the town to help us decide what we are going to do over the Jubilee long weekend. I think we have settled (like some other shopkeepers) on the following:

Thursday 2nd – usual hours 0900-1800hrs
Friday 3rd – 0900-1400hrs (we are taking the afternoon off)
Saturday 4th – usual hours 0900-1700hrs
Sunday 5th and Monday 6th – closed as usual
Tuesday 6th – back to regular hours

So the only change is Friday 3rd where we will be closed in the afternoon to enjoy a cold beer in a garden somewhere. At all other times you will be able to purchase your Jubilee weekend treats as usual.

Italian Tasting

Last Saturday we conducted an Italian Tasting in conjunction with the wholesale business, Berkmann Wine Cellars. By the time we had included the ‘extras’ the guys from Berkmann brought along we had north of 30 wines to try. All were top notch and the range covered areas of Italy from the very north right down to the island of Sicily in the far south.
Some top wines from Antinori at the tasting
Wine styles presented at the tasting included a couple of Franciacortas (the ‘Champagne’ of Italy), some stunning whites made from both international and indigenous grape varieties and reds which were light and flighty right through to the biggest style fo all, amazing Amarone weighing in at a tidy 16% alcohol.
Thirty customers attended, each having the opportunity to try as many wines as they could sensibly manage. Throughout the three hour session, Amanda, Trish and I snuck down and tried the wines too. Based on the orders we received there were some clear favourites, some of which we have decided to trial in the shop.
Top overall seller and an amazing white: Leone d’Almerita made by Tasca – a delightfully tasty white from Sicily. Made from a blend of grapes (Catarratto, Pinot Blanco, Sauvignon and Traminer) this was a pleasant surprise, not least because it was the least expensive wine across the whole tasting.
Second favourite white: Plenio Verdicchio Castello di Jesi Classico Riserva from Umani Ronchi. We haven’t had a Verdicchio in the shop for a long time, this was a stand-out example which we all loved.
Top red: Prunotto Costamiole Nizza Riserva – an absolutely delicious Barbera d’Asti made by Prunotto (and part of the Antinorti stable)
Second red: San Leonardo by Tenuta San Leonardo. This is the first wine from San Leonardo, the second wine ‘Terre’ was also very popular and considered great value for money. The wines are based on Bordeaux varietals and produced in the Trentino region of Italy (up north). This wine showed lovely richness. It is a wine we have sold in other vintages, this 2016 showed really well among strong competition.
Shane’s special pick: Tenuta Tascante Contrada Rampante. Made from the fascinating Nerello Mascalese grape grown on the volcanic soils on the southern slopes of Mount Etna, the wine showed bright, light iridescent cherry colours in the glass. A proud, dense nose of red fruits and a weight and intensity in the mouth that goes way beyond expectations. Complex, with unexpected tannic structure and much fuller fruit flavours than the colour suggests. Not cheap at £59 but such an interesting wine.
We also sold rather more magnums than I expected of a particular Italian rose. The 2021 Tomaresca Calafuria Negroamaro Rosato Magnums have flown out. Perhaps it is down to the rather funky fish-adorned box and bottle that it comes in? All I know is that the juice inside the bottle was delicious.
For those who attended the tasting, all wines ordered are now available for collection.
All of the above are now available in the shop, albeit in limited quantities at this stage (see New Ins below). We also have some other bottles for sale that made an appearance. If interested, please just ask and we’ll take you through the selection.

June Cellar Tour – Saturday 11th June 2-4pm

Having completed the Italian tasting last weekend we are now looking forward to welcoming our next group into the shop for our monthly Cellar Tour. Because of the Jubilee weekend we have decided to delay our tour until the following weekend. The tour will take place on Saturday 11th June starting at 2pm. We usually commence proceedings with a glass of chilled fizz, have a tour of the premises and the cellars before settling down for an informal tasting of 4 wines. Price is £25 per head to include all of the wines. If you’d like to book please reply to this email or give the shop a call on 01608 661409. You are forgiven for throwing yourselves into the Jubilee celebrations, but do get your cellar tour booking in early to guarantee your place.

New Ins

Here’s the list of Italians that we have in from the Saturday tasting, all in limited quantities. We’ll see what you think, if you enjoy some of them as much as we did we’ll keep them on the shelves.
Ca’ Del Bosco (Lombardy):
Franciacorta Cuvee Prestige Ed 43 (Brut) – £44

San Leonardo (Trentino):
2018 Terre di San Leonardo (Cab Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere) – £21
2016 San Leonardo (Cab Sauvignon, Carmenere – £79

Umani Ronchi (Marche):
2015 Plenio Verdicchio Castello di Jesi Classico Riserva (white) – £27
2017 Pelago (red, Montepulciano, Cab Sauvignon, Merlot) – £40

Antinori (various regions):
2021 Calafuria Negroamaro Rosato, Tormaresca Magnum (rose, Negroamaro) – £48
2015 Pian della Vigne Brunello di Montalcino (red, Sangiovese) – £54.50
2016 Santa Pia Vino Nobile Riserva La Braccesca (red, Sangiovese) – £49
2019 Chianti Classico Riserva Marchese Antinori (red, Sangiovese, Cab Sauvignon) – £52
2018 Poggio alle Nane, Le Mortelle (red, Cab Franc, Cab Sauvignon, Carmenere) – £80
2015 Prunotto, Barolo Bussia (red, Nebbiolo) – £90
2015 Prunotto, Nizza Riserva Costamiole (red, Barbera d’Asti) – £52

Famiglia Cotarella (Umbria):
2019 Sodale, Lazio Rosso IGT (red, Merlot) – £27
2017 Montiano, Lazio Rosso IGT (red, Merlot) – £65

Tasca (Sicily):
2020 Leone d’Almerita (white) – £20
2019 Chardonnay Vigna San Francesco (white) – £47
2017 Contrada Pianodario (red, Nerello Mascalese) – £59
2017 Contrada Rampante (red, Nerello Mascalese) – £59

For those in the full Jubilee mood we have just received a small number of Whispering Angel ‘Jubilee Edition’ bottles (same price as standard bottles, £21.95). Sold on a first-come-first served basis, if you want to give your celebration a special feel why not serve your rose out of a special bottle? We also have Whispering Angle in magnum and 6 litre format if you want to go large (without Jubilee Edition labels).
Tomorrow in the shop we are going to open a few bottles for you to try, some of which we have in stock, others we would simply like your opinion on:

Sacha Lichine Single Blend Rose – from the maker of the rather famous Whispering Angel we have a bottle of his Single Blend rose which is made from Grenache and Cinsault grown in the south of France. We are looking forward to trying it with you.

If it has the style of Whispering Angel but is priced at £14.95 it certainly seems worth a look. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow. We’ve taken a punt and have brought this wine into stock.
The following two bottles are from a new stockist we are looking at. Both sit in the affordable category. You are invited to try them with the expectation that you will tell us what you think:
Flora and Fauna (Grenache Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc) – regional French white for easy drinking.
El Garbi Blanco (Garnacha Blanco)

Prices on both will be confirmed if we go ahead with an order, but both will be in the under £15 category. Certainly worth a try.

Nearly New In

This one is a ‘nearly new in’ because it isn’t really new at all.

We are now stocking Hawkstone Pils (3.8%) and will soon get Hawkstone Lager (4.8%). You may well have heard of the Hawkstone brand, in particular if you are a follower of a certain Mr Clarkson. The beer is made by the Cotswold Brew Co, whose Cotswolds Pils and Cotswolds Premium Lager we have been stocking for years. In collaboration and with some investment from Clarkson the Cotswold Brew Co have rebranded their product range as Hawkstone.

Same beer (subject to the usual Cotswold Brew Co tweaks and improvements), different name. I think that puts it in the ‘nearly new in’ category, doesn’t it? Love him or hate him, the beer remains good so we will continue to sell it as long as you still want to buy it…
And finally in the New Ins this week we have the following which we have managed to squeeze out of Gilles Remoriquet. The price is up on earlier releases on this 2016 vintage wine but I know how much you love it so I got the remaining 24 bottles on offer. It’s not out in the shop so ask me for it:

2016 Remoriquet Nuits St Georges 1er Cru ‘Damodes’ – £69 a bottle

Car’s the Star

Regular readers of the Car’s the Star feature will know that we’ve had a car like this before. A SAAB 96 V4, this example coming from the fine vintage of 1972. The car is affectionately known as ‘Barbra’, a slight joke by the owner about it’s looks at certain angles. All I can say is I love it, a true icon of the late ’60’s and early ’70’s.
Many thanks to Kris Kristofferson (aka Richard G) for bringing Barbra in to see us. Love the matching blue tyre walls.
That’s it for tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times. Weatherwise this weekend it looks like we are in for an okay Saturday with Sunday being a little cooler. Not too much rain forecast meaning more time in the garden having picked up on some top tips from Chelsea (on the TV) this week. Jude, Trish and I will be here to welcome you into the shop tomorrow, whatever the weather.


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

Your Barbra-loving, Italian-drinking, Iris-enjoying wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

DotW, JJJ, Shop Tasting, New Ins and Car’s the Star

I am so excited about this week’s Car’s the Star I can hardly contain myself. I did think about swapping this week’s order around, putting it at the front of tonight’s Sheldon’s Times but I know the DotW lovers among you would have complained.

As has become customary I start the week thinking “what are we going to put in the email this week?” and before we know it we have too much to say. Feel free to skip through as you see fit. Do pay attention to the Shop Tasting article and the New Ins. And it would be remiss of you to pass by Amanda’s Jubilee article. On you go…

Dog of the Week

Here’s ‘N’, a puppy dog in training to perform the work of a Guide Dog. No names here, at the request of the trainer. We are only using a letter. We weren’t allowed to pet this working dog, but as you can see Carol has made friends under strict instructions on how to handle him.
Such amazing work by both handler and dog. We are always in awe of what can be achieved through the intense efforts of the Puppy Raiser and of course the dog itself. A treat to have the occasional, well-behaved visit.

Jude’s Jubilee Jumble

There’s no stopping her, Jude has again been busy. The Easter display has been dismantled and replaced with Jude’s Jubilee Jumble.
To get you in the Jubilee mood, Amanda has written a little piece for you:
With just a couple of weeks to go before the Jubilee weekend we are starting to sell bottles of wine, beer and spirits in preparation for the celebrations. Jude has set up a mini display in patriotic colours and (most of) the team are getting into the party spirit and thinking ahead to what we will be doing to celebrate and more importantly what we will be drinking. So if you need some tips and inspiration for your own celebrations, read on …

Why not take a lead from Her Majesty The Queen and have a Gin and Dubonnet. Go local with a Cotswolds Distillery Gin. Or choose from the vast range of local and classic London Dry gins in the shop.

Our own Queen of Sheldon’s, Carol, is contemplating which rosé she will be celebrating with – maybe Whispering Angel or the English Lyme Bay Pinot Noir rosé? She’s keeping her actual plans close to her chest at the moment, keeping her options open.

Jude is going to be celebrating by working at the shop (sorry Jude). She is still making her way round the different wines we offer before working out what the final line up will be. This weekend she’s sampling the Plan B Riesling and Robertson Chenin Blanc as homework.

Shane is yet to fully embrace the joy of the occasion (bah humbug) and is currently only committing to ‘drinking copious amounts of something, probably in magnum format and almost certainly Champagne’ – that narrows it down a bit….. He will also be working in the shop. (Ed: Go large or go home!)

Trish will also be in the shop but will undoubtedly be joining Shane in his Champagne Magnum fest when the time comes – with possibly one of her favourite Rieslings thrown in for good measure.

Esther will be out of the country on a well-earned holiday with her family. She is getting excited about sampling the lovely wines of Croatia – particularly as one of our lovely readers whom we shall call ‘Bruce’ has given her a list of the best wines that he sampled on a recent trip there. Nicholas will be 7 on the Jubilee Saturday so cake will most likely be part of the celebrations in the sun.

I will also be on holiday – finally able to use up one of the many postponed trips to France that have been stacking up during lockdown. I shall be toasting everyone from a sunbed on the Ile de Ré, where the local delicacies are oysters and Pineau de Charentes. In reality I will probably be drinking beer and eating frites and saving my Divici Prosecco until my return.

If you would like some help choosing what will make your celebrations go with a bang, whether it be a low cost glugger to share with the neighbours or a special something to toast The Queen, please pop in and see us. As always, we will be delighted to help you find the right bottle for this remarkable occasion.

Amanda x

Italian Tasting tomorrow – all booked up

Earlier this week I wrote an article on the Italian Tasting taking place tomorrow to encourage you to attend, but it turns out we are now full. Apologies to those who were planning to walk in, I am afraid all of the spaces are taken. If you are booked in then we look forward to seeing you tomorrow – wear something warm, we will be in the cellars. For those not attending we’ll provide you with a full report on which wines were the stars of the show next week.

Walton Hall 10k final report

One final word on the Walton Hall 10k run in support of Shipston Home Nursing. I am promised one final donation which will take the total raised by you, our wonderful customers, in cash and online donations to…..


That is an amazing sum of money and well beyond my initial target of £2000. May I offer my sincere thanks to all of the donors. Rebecca from SHN has been in this week to pick up the hard stuff and she is over the moon. Give yourselves a hearty pat on the back for a job well done. Thank you. End of topic.

Shop Tasting

We have opened a couple of bottles from our friends at BBR for you to taste in the shop this weekend, please come and ask us if you would like to try a sample:
The King’s Ginger – a ginger liqueur specially formulated by Berry Bros and Rudd in 1903 for Edward VII. We’ve just had a shot in the shop and it is a tasty sweet liqueur with both the flavour and fiery hit of fresh root ginger, with the added lift of a dash of citrus oil. This is a perfect warmer on a cold day and also a magical ingredient in cocktails. I rather like the sound of a King’s Ginger hot chocolate – I might just try one tomorrow. I am sure the addition of this delicious 29.9% liqueur might be exactly what I need at 10am.

BBR No.3 London Dry Gin – named after the famous BBR premises on St James’s Street, London, this gin took two years to craft to produce what BBR consider the best blend of botanicals for the perfect G&T. And they are not the only ones – No.3 is the only gin to have been awarded ‘World’s Best’ four times in the International Spirits Challenge.

As a special treat we will give the first 10 customers buying No.3 London Dry Gin a No.3 notebook and matching ‘key’ lapel pin. Thanks Berry’s!

New Ins

Some fun New Ins this week:
2020 Mendel Semillon (£18.50) – an Argentine Semillon, it ticked the quality boxes when we tried it so although a little unusual to pick up a Semillon from South America, we felt it merited a trial run – tell us what you think.

2019  Mellot Menetou Salon Les Thureaux (£16.00)
2020 Mellot Quincy Le Rimonet (£16.50)

2020 Chapoutier Bila Haut Blanc (£12.95)
2020 Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone Adunatio (£14.50)

2020 Jadot Bourgogne Blanc Couvent des Jacobins (£12.50 per half, £21.50 per bottle)
2020 Jadot Pouilly Fuisse (£30.95)
2018 Drouhin Cote de Beaune Blanc (£23 per half, £45 per bottle)

2018 Mendel Malbec (£23) – we have a great range of Malbecs from Argentina so why another one? Because the quality is there. If you are a fan of Sottano this is definitely worth a try.

2006 Penfolds St Henri Shiraz (£105) – we have had the 2010 in for some time so I thought it might be nice to get a few bottles of an older vintage. Such a good wine by the producer of Australia’s most famous wine, Grange.

2020 Jadot Bourgogne Rouge Couvent des Jacobins (£22.50 per bottle, no halves I’m afraid)

2020 Casanova di Neri Rosso di Montalcino ‘Giovanni Neri’ (£55)

2018 Chateau Poujeaux Double Magnums (£170 per DM)

…and finally…
2005 Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac. £200 a bottle. One nice full pristine case of 12 available if anyone wants the lot? A belter.

Car’s the Star

Now we’re talking! At last we have a proper car as our Car’s the Star. A Reliant Robin Mk 2 if I am not mistaken. Such an icon, dating from 1973 in it’s Mk1 form with the Mk 2 coming from 1989 onwards. What a car. No stability issues here, just a good, solid runner. A car we all know as the Robin Reliant but of course the maker is Reliant and the model is Robin. So it is a Reliant Robin.
Many thanks to Rob for bringing it round. I think it needs a name, don’t you? Send me your suggestions and I’ll submit to Rob – if we get any good ones we’ll announce the top three in a future edition of Sheldon’s Times. And well done ‘Robin’ for getting through your MOT!
That’s it for tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times. We have started to see the ramp up for the Jubilee long weekend, here’s hoping the weather is fabulous when it finally comes along. It is going to be sunny and warm tomorrow (I hope) and not too bad on Sunday so dust off the BBQ and visit your local wine shop for some lovely bottles to enjoy over the coming days. Trish, Amanda and I will be here to look after you tomorrow and guide those of you here for the Italian tasting to the right room in the cellars.


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

Your Robin-loving, Ginger-drinking, Jubilee-preparing wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

DotW, Rose, Tastings, Walton Dash (results), New Ins and Car’s the Star

We did it! But I won’t spoil the fun – the results of our Walton Hall 10k Dash are below. This week week we have a reminder of our near-term tastings, some interesting New World New Ins, a nudge on our favourite roses, a rare-as-hens-teeth Car’s the Star and a monster Dog of the Week. Why waste time reading this intro – jump straight in…

Dog of the Week

Well hello Winston! A rather large Rhodesian Ridgeback. I think all Rhodesian Ridgebacks are fairly hefty, but Winston was particularly large. We last encountered a Ridgeback when Trish and I popped down to Cornwall for dinner last year. It was a real treat to have such an impressive beast visit us in the shop. I reckon he’d eat you out of house and home. He certainly made short work of the treats we gave him.
A big thank you to Paul for bringing him in to see us. Just look at that frown – so adorable.

Rose time!

The time is here – rose time! We are delighted to have all three of our favourite roses here in new vintage bottling. As has become customary, we will run our usual competition throughout the year to see which of the three sells the best and is therefore crowned your top choice.
Chateau de la Deidiere (our house Provence rose): £13.95/bt
Puech Haut: £16.95/bt
Whispering Angel: £21.95/bt
We have good stocks of all three. Whispering Angel we have in both bottle and magnum format (and some halves of 2020 last vintage) and Puech Haut we have bottles, magnums and double magnums, the latter being for anyone wanting to make a statement at the village barbecue.

Sheldon’s Tastings – reminder of dates

A couple of dates to remind you of for tastings coming up:
Thirsty Third Thursday Tasting – Summer Wines
Thursday 19th May 1.30-3.30pm

(£25 per head)
With the change in the weather, the sun shining and the mercury finally rising why not book yourself on a fun summer wines tasting here at the shop? Amanda will be running through a series of summer favourites in this Thursday afternoon session so you can get yourself sorted for the season ahead. Booking essential for this one.
Italian Tasting
Saturday 21st May 2-5pm

(£20 per head, redeemable against purchases over £100)
On Saturday 21st we will be welcoming our friends from Berkman Wine Cellars to share with us some of their best wines from their portfolio from all over Italy. There will be representatives here to talk to you about the wines and explain terroirs, wine making approaches and family stories. For lovers of well made Italian wines this is one not to miss. Booking advised or you could take a chance and turn up on the day, but we may have to hold you if there are too many folk in the room.
To book onto either please email me ( or give us a call at the shop on 01608 661409. Both tastings will be held in the cellars so bring warm clothing, whatever the weather!

Walton 10k Dash – the scores are in!

Last Sunday saw your Sheldon’s Wine Cellars team attempt to complete the Walton Hall 10k charity run. Participation was the key theme with the objective of getting round safely, completing the course with a minimum number of injuries. Our group was split into two – those who were keen to walk the course and the less sensible folk who thought ‘running’ it was a better idea. At 10am we gathered at the start line with the other 190 participants. The hooter went off and so did we, shooting off like greyhounds out of their traps on our epic adventure.
Shane & Charlie before the race doing our Rocky impressions, with Derwin and Nathan (aka ‘the ringers’) in the background
The ‘flat’ course took us up an incline into the woods which soon turned into a hill followed by a mountain climb. Each member set their own pace, except me who had the benefit of a pacemaker in the form of Steve Cram, oops, I mean Nathan to keep me company. The group was soon well spread with the ringers shooting ahead and the walkers adopting a steady, sure-footed pace at the rear.
Jude, Esther and Amanda (the walkers) at the half-way point looking stressed and tired (not)
After racing through the woods, along a path next to the river, past the horses and all the way to Wellesbourne we then turned about and headed for home in the sunshine with a cool breeze. The long tarmac road back to the Hall was a bit of a slog but each team member came home in good shape, enjoying the positive reception of earlier finishers and Shipston Home Nursing volunteers as we crossed the line.
I know some of you want to know the times, so here we go:

Rosie: 51 mins
Derwin: 53 mins
Nathan: 58 mins (my paceman, he probably would have done it in half an hour otherwise)
Shane: 1 hour 1 min
Charlie: 1 hour 2 mins
Trish: 1 hour 15 mins
Esther, Amanda & Jude: 1 hour 52 mins (walking)

Each and every one of us was pleased with our results and with no major incidents it was considered a successful outing.

Of course the key purpose was to raise funds for Shipston Home Nursing, the local palliative care charity. Through your enormously generous contributions both on the giving website and through cash donations at the shop you have reached a total of over £3100. This goes well beyond expectations and is simply amazing. Here’s the latest Donors Wall of Fame:
Sheldon’s Wine Runners Donors Wall of Fame
You have been such a supportive community, you should all be very proud of what you have achieved. As a team we are so grateful for your support – both financially and for all of your positive comments of encouragement – it has made a real difference to the way we have approached the challenge. We all felt a sense of responsibility not to let you down after your extraordinary levels of generosity.
The team (minus Charlie who had to ‘run’ off to a lunch appointment) enjoying a drink after the run – Sheldon’s Champagne of course
Should any of you feel you would like to make a final donation you can do so by hitting the below button and then hitting the pink ‘donate’ button on the giving webpage.
Donate now to Sheldon’s Wine Runners
We cannot finish without saying thank you to all of the headline sponsors for the event (A Forsyth Farm Work, Tubbs End Farms, Hutsby Farms, G Hutsby & Sons) and particularly Paddock Farm Butchery for the incredible bacon and sausage baps readily available at the finishing line. And to the dedicated volunteers supporting the event with registration, marshalling, and all sorts of other support. And Rebecca, for your unwavering faith in the team.
A final huge thank you to you, the Sheldon’s Times readership from all of us here at Sheldon’s Wine Runners – you have been amazing. We couldn’t (and wouldn’t) have done it without you. THANK YOU!

New Ins

I’ve been weening myself off purchasing Bordeaux and Burgundy this week, instead we have some fun stuff from other parts of the world:
Big Drop Poolside DDH IPA 0.5% low alcohol (£1.95/330ml can)

Wildjac Natural Dry Gin from Bewdley, Worcestershire (£36.95)
Wildjac Fresh Citrus Vodka -ditto- (£36.95)

South Africa (all three of these will be on taste tomorrow, until the bottles runs out)
Steenberg 1682 Brut Cap Classique Sparkling Wine (£17.95)
Rustenberg Red Muscadel (£11.50 per half)
Rustenberg Muscat of Alexandria (£11.50 per half)

Napa, California
2018 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay (£60)
2018 Chateau Montelena Napa Cabernet (£70)

…and finally…
2016 Ben Glaetzer Eye of Ra Barossa Shiraz (£325)

Car’s the Star

We had car park mayhem last Friday. The combination of a 4-way traffic light system set up in town by BT (with no prior notice), a hearse, two funeral limos and two delivery drivers in the car park all at the same time made for a challenging half hour. In our favour however there was one particular car that got stuck in the car park which was no trouble at all.  It is a rare thing to see a car like this. It is an Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. Why rare? Because only 500 were made in Italy, only 40 imported into the UK with just 25 remaining on our shores.
Originally presented back in 2003 as a concept car, production ran from 2007 to 2010. While based on a unique platform the car shares some components with the Maserati GranTurismo and a V8 engine assembled by Ferrari. This is supercar territory for sure with 0-62 in 4.2 seconds and a limited top speed of 181mph.
Many thanks to Mr S for treating us – to both the car and some rather tasty cakes. Now that made up for all the car park craziness.
As the sun is beating down here in the shop and we are conducting a small tasting for research purposes, it is time I closed tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times. The weather is forecast to be much the same tomorrow. Lots of sun. We have plenty of summer wines to choose from here at the shop so pop over and pick up a bottle or two. Jude and I will be here tomorrow to find something right for the occasion.


Shane, Amanda, Jude, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol
(and Rosie, Derwin, Charlie & Nathan from Sheldon’s Wine Runners)

Your 10k-completing, deeply-donation-grateful, resting-for-12-months wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

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