Moving swiftly on from my love of morphine to my actual day to day partner drug – wine!
I checked on google and everything and the ‘Institute of Masters of Wine’ website says that there are currently 312 masters of wine living in 24 countries around the world. One of them, James Handford, runs a wine business that supplies us and we are lucky to have benefitted from his advice and wonderful wines for the five years since we opened. In that time I have often wondered how we can get more of his knowledge, enthusiasm and fabulous wines to actually impact and benefit our customers. Although we change our wine list twice a year it remains a relatively static and sadly finite collection of bottles.
But inspired by, borrowing from…wholesale stealing from – however you choose to express it…. the lovely and wonderful Sager & Wilde I have agreed with James an exciting new way for him to thrill and delight adventurous and engaged wine drinkers..
Each week starting this week James is going to wander around his shop and send me a mixed case of 12 bottles, starting out with four wines, three of each that he thinks it might be interesting to offer here as a special one off. There really isn’t any specific guidance for him – one week he might do a theme, one week it might be a country - another some quirky things might catch his eye. In order to make this accessible we will put a flat £ mark up on each bottle consistent with one of our ‘pouring by the glass’ wines – so hopefully if James picks a nice bottle this will represent a great value opportunity as well. If we find we sell all the case in the first two days after they have arrived then we will up the weekly delivery. I hope this provides a great opportunity to get access to really interesting and special wines chosen by a real expert with over 20 years of selling special wines.
If you have any thoughts, comments, suggestions or feedback then as ever I would be delighted to hear it.
This seems an opportune time to also mention that we have also set the date for our next ‘DRINK THE LIST’ which is on the 17th April (yes the day before your long weekend so you can really come with intent) – I’ve written it up before on here but to save you scrolling down here is the basics again, do call, email or twitter if you fancy coming:
Here is a re-blog (?) of something I did to explain drink the list last year…same principle this week, come and guzzle as much wine as you like - drink only champagne and puligny montrachet or try every one of 80 odd bottles, it is your call…..
On the [17th April] we are holding our third DRINK THE LIST event. I’ve bedded down the new wine list and am pretty pleased with some of the new wines that I’ve got on the shelves, as well as the welcome return of one of my favourite wines - the St Ennemond brouilly. However, even my staff seem to find it difficult to explain the event so here it is in summary:
•we take lots and lots of bottles of wine upstairs to our lovely dining room, and then open a bottle of every wine on the list, from house to the 2001 Poujeaux, 2007 Mikulski Meursault and champagne
•guests come upstairs, grab a glass and help themselves to as much of any wine as they like, drink and repeat until we sadly have to ask them to leave at closing time
•you can if you like simply drink the most expensive wine we have (£65) and as many bottles of it if you like - or you can range across the list trying different price points, countries, colours. Compare a sancerre and otago sauvignon; finally pin down the difference between a bordeaux and burgundy; oak and unoaked; try some natural (unfiltered and sulphite free) wines, or just grab and glug….
•we will feed you some simple and stomach lining snacks to stop you falling over
Why do we do it? Well I enjoy it and it is a great opportunity for me to refresh my knowledge of the list and check that it is balanced and drinking well. Underlying it originally was the idea that if regular users of the pub came they could find which wines we have they like the most and then choose the right wines when they come next, helping them to enjoy their visits more. In theory…
For guests it is like a great drinks party - inevitably our friends end up mingling like at a good party but some people come in big groups and have a great boozy night out with a bunch of mates. Do contact the pub if you fancy coming and kicking off the ultra long weekend in style…the full list can be found on our website.