Author Archives: James Wrobel

GRENACHE!

  We love Grenache. Despite being a cheap workmanlike grape, it somehow manages to be the backbone of some of the world finest wine. It’s spiritual home is the Lower Rhone ( or maybe Northern Spain ) but it’s grown with great success all over the world. Being soft in tannin, high in booze and […]

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Origin Unknown

Get your nanoviolins at the ready, because I am going to open this piece with a long gestating compliant on behalf of the booze retail community. It goes without saying, that when deciding what to fill our shelves with, we sample the wares of new and unfamiliar breweries. Thankfully, the breweries are keen to help […]

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Grin and Bear It

  When I was first enlisted into the army of Bacchus, ( over a quarter of a century ago now- bloody hell! ) my recruiting sergeant came in the form of a pork pie hat wearing, brown bear called George It was the pre-Loaded era, and when not swaggering about as and early exemplar of […]

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Don’t have Lao Khao, man.

A couple of weeks ago a good friend and colleague returned from a family holiday in Thailand bearing gifts- a couple of innocuous looking bottles of Thai booze. I naively assumed they would just be your bog-standard domestic lager in a fancy foreign bottle, but I was very wrong. Once in the glass, it was […]

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Flowing Bubbles

For our Spring tasting dinner, we’ve decided to pop a few corks, get busy with the fizzy and treat ourselves (and you) to an explosion of bubbles. We’ll shy away from the well trodden path of champagne (for budgetary reasons) and Prosecco (because there’s little to be said) Instead, we’ll offer you seven very different […]

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Over To You

Heather is a force of nature: works like a demon, knows her shizzle and always coming up with new ideas for nonsense to do in the shop. Her latest wacky scheme is to harness the collective talents of you lot for our Friday evening tastings. We know plenty about beer, but most importantly we know […]

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GREETINGS POP-PICKERS!

We play music in the shop. Plenty of people notice, and we get lots of nice comments. Once, we played the Grease movie soundtrack and people were dancing. (Have you noticed we have a mirrorball that gets switched on at the weekend?) Another once, a fella was very sniffy about the music I lined up […]

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WE GOT THE FUNK

    We’ve given you the first couple of months off, which should be plenty enough time to let your livers (and wallets) recuperate, but it is now about time to kick off our 2018 Sunday wine dinners. Due entirely to public demand I have put my scepticism to one side and the shop now […]

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Stock and Barrel

I am a dyed in the wool sceptic when it comes to the use of fancy barrels for your limited edition overpriced beers. Far too often they are used to add value to an otherwise underwhelming beer. Worse still, is when a brewery takes an existing brilliant beer and decides to gild the lily by […]

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Keep Them Sweet

It’s probably news to you, unless you’re part of it, but a small kerfuffle (with possible big implications) ran through the beer industry through the latter half of 2017. A complaint to the Portman Group (the alcohol industry body that regulates/oversees marketing) led to the censure of Wales’ Tiny Rebel brewery and rebranding of their […]

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