The Wine Gang will undoubtedly be familiar to many of our customers, but for those who are not the 'Gang' is made up of five of the UK's foremost wine writers and tasters: Tom Cannavan, Jane Parkinson, Anthony Rose, Joanna Simon, and David Williams.
The debate rages on about 'natural' wines and I, for one, am delighted that such a respected and great winemaker as Michel Chapoutier has now spoken out against this new trend, deriding it as a 'connerie'.
The Today Programme (never wrong of course) said this morning that psychologists have determined that this is Happy Monday (coming a mere two weeks after miserable Monday when the Christmas festivities are over). Why not celebrate with some cracking Burgundy? In keeping with the slightly austere feel of the beginning of the year, these too are bargains even if not in the Sale.
Dreary day in London town, but no day so dreary it cannot be lightened by adding to our occasional series of visiting producers on Patrick's motorbike. The old Ducati ST4 has been worn through pounding round the restaurants of London, and has been replaced by an even more ancient Sneeze sorry Cagiva 'Grand Canyon' which was obviously previously owned by a real fair-weather and weekend-only biker, since he had only managed 4500km in ten years.
The Last Shot - end of a season. This week-end saw the end of the shooting season, for me at least, and what a season it has been. Please don't get me wrong, I am not out there biffing pheasants every week-end like many of my successful banking and lawyer friends.
Moreua2010 BURGUNDY - some thoughts and recommendations Last week we saw what has become the annual round of tastings of the new Burgundy vintage put on by the merchants and importers, mostly for journalists, but also for trade and private customers.
An Estuarine Christmas with the Sandemans The Sandeman family are heading to the depths of South Devon to spend another Christmas in the Goodshelter estuary, inland from Salcombe. Not actually 'in' the estuary, of course, but in the beautifully secluded and remote cottage which sits on the edge of the water at the head of the creek.
Great Whites by Jancis Robinson In Jancis Robinson's penultimate round up of seasonal wines in the FT Weekend Magazine she highlights some of her selected 'great whites', to accompany the sparkling and red wines already published over the previous weekends. There's nothing quite like six of the best from Jancis! South African Sauvignon with class: Dombeya Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Stellenbosch £10.
PINOT PERFECTION Bodega Chacra, Argentina. When we introduced Bodega Chacra’s Pinot Noirs from Argentina two years ago, they were initially met with some scepticism. How could a country famous for producing monster Malbecs, brimming with rich, ripe fruit and high alcohol possibly produce Pinot Noirs which were anything other than monsters too? Well, Bodega Chacra is quite simply unique.
Dazzling reds for festive fare - selected by Jancis Robinson In Jancis Robinson's Top 100 festive wines: part two, published in the FT Weekend Magazine, she selected a number of cracking wines from Lea & Sandeman. Only four were published in the magazine because of space issues, while the full list is on her site JancisRobinson.
BUBBLY TREATS for the festive season. Jancis Robinson recommended 25 'bubblys' in the first of her 'Top 100 festive wines' series, in Saturday's FT Weekend Magazine. Many of them were highlighted as stocked by Lea & Sandeman (indeed some are direct imports of ours), and here is that selection together with her tasting notes.