(When I finally kick the bucket, I hope that the quality of the above pun is mentioned in at least one of the many tearful obituaries}
I am writing this on a quiet Thursday afternoon at the very tail end of March. This was supposed to be a pretty basic update on shop mask/social distancing policy, but I guess that will have to wait another three weeks.
Instead I’ll use this space to let you know how I’ve spent some of the Christmas takings and to give you a heads up about some (minor) tweaks to our opening hours in April.
As a nation, we are (probably? - who knows) opening up a little bit recklessly and haphazardly - but there is a clear desire amongst the body politic and the general population to pretend this pandemic is over. Whether this will lead to more lockdowns and misery down the line is anyones guess, but one thing is certain - the wine trade is back in full swing. The M8 is thick with unfurloughed reps shuttling back and forth with samples of generic primitivo and trade fairs are bustling with semi inebriated wine types, mingling together and huddling around spitoons.
This has allowed Mark and myself to go shopping for interesting stuff.
For a while we have nursed a desire to get in some more niche booze, secure in the knowledge that even if it all gathers dust for a while, the business will be kept afloat by sales of Vinho Verde and cat wine. So we set out last month to sample all the ridiculous top-shelf goodies that we fancied the look of (regardless of whether we thought they were commercial or not) The results are beginning to make their way into the shop now: Fancy vermouth from Alicante, our first Californian Pinot, organic orange Malagousia, very, very old chenin blanc and a bunch of others. A real hodge podge of boozy delights, the only common factor being that one or both of us really enjoyed them.
For now they are crammed on to our shelves, rubbing shoulders with bottles of more “sensible” plonk - but this leads me onto the second part of this blog..
We will be closed for a couple of days in the middle of the month because we are going to have the joiners in, adding an additional layer of shelving throughout the shop. This will not only allow us to display our new finds with the respect they deserve, but will give us the space to exhibit our current range in a more orderly fashion.
The plan/hope is to fit more booze into the shop, without the display becoming confusing or overwhelming. It will also allow us to expand our range of malts. There is no realistic hope of us becoming a full-blown whisky store, but we love the stuff, it sells well and we could certainly improve our selection. Hopefully, by the time the tourists return, we might have a respectable range.
To allow the work to take place we will be opening at 6pm on Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th It’s certainly possible that we might open earlier, but a lot depends on the quantity of sawdust/mess. We will also be spending the Thursday shelf stacking and rejigging displays, so although we will be open, everything might be a bit topsy-turvy.
We will also be closing at 7pm on Monday 18th for our long delayed Christmas night out. We’ve had to postpone it twice, and the guys have worked really bloody hard - so the shop owes it to them (and myself)
Have a lovely easter and we hope to see you soon,