#2 The Strangest of Questions

TNG Blogpsot#2

People mainly ask us about wine, but every few days we get questions that are straight out of Monty Python.

We think it comes from our friendly faces and customer banter, but sometimes these non wine questions just come out of the blue. We are open 7 days a week so sometimes it’s the simple fact that our doors are open for business more than other shops.
We run a little list at certain times of the year to see which member of staff can boast the most left of field conversation. Everybody loves as Top 5…

Top 5 to date in reverse order:

5: “we’ve come from Australia, do you sell the wine we buy down the road?”
4:  “we’ve come from California, do you sell the wine we buy down the road?”
3: “ oh I thought you had a restaurant here?!”
2:  “
1:  “do you sell malted milk biscuits?”

But most of the questions are wine related. We spend a vast part of our time talking to customers, explaining wine flavours, styles, wine making techniques ( but keep it lite!) and what wine will be most suitable for you. This is a massively rewarding and enjoyable thing to do, as you must remember that our product is one you want to buy. Not a run of the mill daily life item, but something alive with individuality that you can connect with like nothing else.

Of course some of the classics never go away, and are part and parcel of the life of an independent wine merchant. Do these sound familiar?

Top 5 reverse order:

5:  “ I can’t drink French wine it gives me a headache” ( Impressive to have tasted them all )
4:  “ do you sell English Champagne?” ( nobody does!)
3:  “ They keep all the best stuff for themselves don’t they?” ( that old chestnut )
2: “ I don’t like Chardonnay, but I love Chablis” ( easy does it )
1: “ I had a wine the other day with no sulphites in, do you have any?” ( here we go again…)

The rich tapestry and sometimes downright bonkers questions mean that this job is varied and fun, and there tends to be quite a lot of laughter in our lives.

Pushing people’s taste buds into the unknown has been part of our job from day one, and we’ve found that immensely satisfying. Introducing people to grapes like Picpoul, Cortese, Albarino, Tannat, and Gruner Veltliner, plus being at the forefront of local wine production and it’s promotion has carved out our niche.
Don’t just take it from me, just ask our customers.

#1 Pink and Proud

TNG Blogpost #1

Rose wine is a bit naff, no? Far from it I hear you bellow, Rose wine is the drink to be seen enjoying this English summer. But it’s the colour of your Rose that matters. Gone are the days of deeply coloured sweet and sticky wines that are more than half way to being a red wine in colour, and laced with more sugar than Haribo.

Nowadays it’s all about anaemic and pale rose, salmon pink, with a hint of ear lobe.

No really, the colour of your Rose matters.
Its all down to those Provencal wine makers who have nailed the pale rose style, in fact so much so that almost everyone else it trying to usurp them.
From 100% Pinot Noir wines from Marlborough New Zealand, to complete Garnacha wines coming out of Rioja, the message is the paler the better. Some are so light you can mistake them in the glass for white.

But what about fruit flavour, you know from the grapes. Well the grape varieties used are actually fruity little numbers, and when handled with kid gloves, can provide rose petal, raspberry and sublime juicy summer red fruits. In fact most winemakers seem able to manage this balance with aplomb. Maybe its anew understanding on the techniques involved ( which are like witchcraft ) but there does seem to be a worldwide understanding of delicate rose now.

What about the people drinking these wines? That’s where you come in.
The UK public are lapping it up, actually more like glugging it up, as quantities of Rose being sold are on the up and up. Some darker Roses still sneak into the mixed case, but 95% of it is the Provencal delicate style.  And Provence are still very much in charge of the top spot for prestige and presence. A cheeky pretender from a neighbouring vineyard strictly outside the Provence area can pick up huge sales quantities, but one you’ve had the real deal there’s no way back.

Size also matters ( yep ‘fraid so )
If you produce your wine in a Magnum or larger format bottle, then it’s Rose for all as these wines form the centre piece from a friends BBQ to full on “get the best crockery out” dinner party.
I mean who can resist 6 Litres of Rose?!

And for those of you who can think back and remember Rose in its 70’s form there is good news.
You can also use traditional Provence wine bottle as a snazzy lamp base, it’ll be just like the old days.

Except the wine is sublime and delicate and wonderful and refined and…


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