Xmas feature – first look

I’m totally pumped about this. I can’t wait to bring it out properly, although if you watch the insta stories you’ll already have some idea.

I completely missed Christmas last year which sucked. It wasn’t really in my control and I was gutted. This year I’m making up for it and coming in hot.

So I’m working on the feature, which is intended to be about gift giving but will also have something for the people who’ll be entertaining over Christmas and wanna break out some awesome stuff.

Releasing this week. Get ready.

100 days – update

It’s been 27 days now, with only 2 (planned) exceptions. Can’t remember the first one, the second was an 18th.

Overall, my skin has improved, my sleep quality (not duration) has improved, my fitness (and ability to train harder) and my resting heart rate have improved too – it’s great.

The impact is so large because of how much and regularly I’ve been drinking over the last 12 months or more. The compound impact of it makes a difference all around.

That’s why responsible drinking is so important.

The big time health stuff that the doctors and health pro’s talk about is important, but it’s the day to day issues that can affect the most people in the most regular way.

Even though I’m selling wine, I’m promoting responsible drinking.

You don’t have to have a bottle of wine a night – that’s probably not a good idea really. You can enjoy a good bottle of wine a couple of times a week maybe, rather than a poor bottle every night.

Generally speaking I drink spirits and wine – gin and whisky are my go to drinks but vodka can make its way into the mix too. It’s very rare I drink a beer/lager really. I think a lot of people are becoming the same.

The price points appear to be merging a little, so it’s maybe just as easy to buy a bottle of gin as it is a box of beers. Then a couple of gins per night and it soon racks up.

I want to try and encourage everyone to drink more responsibly, whether you drink our wine or not.

I’ll keep the updates coming as we go.

See ya. x

Quitting drinking for 100 days

If you follow our Instagram then you’ll have seen a lot of me talking about quitting drinking for 100 days. I actually stopped in 31/8/19.

A bunch of people have said “but you run a wine business” and that’s exactly the point.

I’ve quit drinking thanks to my self awareness. I realised I’ve been putting myself under a lot of pressure recently and coping (at least in part) with a fairly large alcohol intake, which really doesn’t help at all and isn’t great for short or long term health.

I also want to promote responsible drinking. Yes, I run a wine business, but that doesn’t mean I want to promote unhealthy habits. I’m a slave to my impulses, readers of this may or may not be. I want to be clear that it’s not all about balancing your social events around alcohol. That’s not healthy either.

I also want to take better care of my body. I train a lot. It’s harder with alcohol especially when it’s compounded over days and weeks, so I’m focusing on getting back into great shape during these 100 days. You’ve only got one body that carries you around for your entire life so looking after it is important.

I’m keeping everyone on insta updated daily via the MORNING COFFEE vlogs I do, but I’ll also be posting regular updates here so please check them out.

Love x

MORNING COFFEE VLOG SERIES

I’ve started vlogging during my morning coffees, mainly for IGTV but also putting them up on our YouTube channel.

I’d love for you to take a look.

How do you regulate your drinking?

As a business selling wine, this might not seem like the normal thing to talk about, but it’s actually something quite important.

We’ve all seen the warnings about drinking in moderation, but that’s an instruction, do we need to go deeper?

Now more than ever I see drinking as part of the entertainment, with friends or family. It isn’t always the kinds of wine we sell – it could be beers or spirits etc – but it’s always a loose part of the fun. No one seems to get really drunk and it doesn’t get out of hand.

Yeah in the summer the frequency increases a little because of the weather, the BBQs etc, but mostly it’s fairly relaxed.

But I wonder where that blurs. Not where it becomes a problem, before that, when drinking becomes the entertainment.

I don’t want to rant or lecture in this post, or cast and aspersions, just ask the question in a responsible way.

Commentary on: ARMADOR

This is an interesting one.

An organic Carmenère from Chile which has, in my opinion, 2 huge cannons that fire almost simultaneously.

It’s very fruity up front (with plenty of depth too) but with a huge taste of liquorice which was a little overwhelming for my taste. My friend, who loves liquorice really quite liked the wine – so there’s that subjectivity again…

It’s well made, packed full of ripe dark fruit and is complex in the other flavours that are packed in.

The 2016 (pictures) was 86% Carmenère and 14% Malbec

The maker

This one is quite close to home for me given my own maritime roots.

Dan Odfjell, a member of the Odfjell ship owning family from Norway started the vineyard where they believe strongly in sustainability.

Their website states “In the bygone days of sailing ships, wine was the drink of choice on long voyages. Today Dan Odfjell, a norwegian shipowner, perpetuates his legacy by making wines to sail from Chile across the seven seas”

Our opinion

Sadly, not one of my favourite wines. I enjoyed the punchy flavours and the complexity of some of the underlying elements and really appreciated the story, brand and craftsmanship behind this wine, but because I’m not a liquorice fan it really put me off so I wouldn’t drink it again. That does not detract from how well made and fantastic this wine is, but if you don’t like liquorice then it might not be for you.

If you’re wondering about the relevance of the skateboard in the shot – I’m a skateboarder and have been since I was young. Mischief was the local independent skate store run by Bingo (google him) who sadly passed some years ago. We’re trying to represent him in a lot of what we do as an independent business from Teesside. You can also see the iconic Transporter Bridge, which is a prominent Teesside landmark on the board graphic.

commentary on: ANIGIOLINO MAULE – ROSSO MASIERI

Now, I’ve seen some pictures of this floating around on social media in the last week or two, so I decided I’d talk about this amazing red at the next opportunity.

This was the first red on my organic/natural wine journey way back in the heat wave of 2018 and it’s everything that I talk about all rolled into one.

Firstly I was nervous, as it’s a mix of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

It’s made as a natural, organic and biodynamic wine and just classes as low sulphite.

It is easily the best red I’ve tasted so far. So fruity with a medium body and mega fresh.

The maker

The site was born at the end of the 80s with a focus on minimal intervention. In fact, the philosophy of Angiolino Maule is on their website for all to see.

Our opinion

Fresh, fruity, easy to drink. Could easily be a summer wine as much as it could be a winter one on a cold night. I could imagine it going well with any social situation, any meal, any time of day. It really is fantastic and so authentic.

Steve’s scale

Best red I’ve had. No question.

If you’re wondering about the relevance of the skateboard in the shot – I’m a skateboarder and have been since I was young. Mischief was the local independent skate store run by Bingo (google him) who sadly passed some years ago. We’re trying to represent him in a lot of what we do as an independent business from Teesside. You can also see the iconic Transporter Bridge, which is a prominent Teesside landmark on the board graphic.

commentary on: DOMAINE DE LA VERPAILLE

What can I say about this one? This literally changed all of my beliefs.

First up, I’ve never been able to drink white wine – it used to give me the worst acid. Since I’ve started drinking lower intervention wines, especially those with even lower sulphites, I’ve been able to.

I’ve also never been a fan of Chardonnay. Actually, I’d actively avoid it at all costs.

My little French friend here however, overturned both of those things for me. I ordered 4 further bottles of this after my first try and shared it with everyone I know.

The maker

The vineyard was converted to organic in 2006 and was officially certified in 2009. The process is as low-intervention as possible. It’s “low sulphite” too.

Our opinion

It’s fresh, a little creamy and with just the right amount of acidity. We don’t do food pairings, but one night I shared this with some friends over some takeaway pizza and it was perfect. There were pics on our Instagram.

Steve’s scale

In my top 5 white wines ever.

If you’re wondering about the relevance of the skateboard in the shot – I’m a skateboarder and have been since I was young. Mischief was the local independent skate store run by Bingo (google him) who sadly passed some years ago. We’re trying to represent him in a lot of what we do as an independent business from Teesside. You can also see the iconic Transporter Bridge, which is a prominent Teesside landmark on the board graphic.

commentary on: BAGLIO CATTARO CIELLO

BAGLIO CATTARO CIELLO

Orange wine.

I shared this bottle with some friends. One liked it, and found it quite refreshing, the other hated the idea of orange wine. I liked it too, and I’d go back.

It was introduced to me as an “entry level” orange wine, so I want to explore some of the quirkier stuff next time around.

The maker

We don’t actually have that much info on these guys, but it’s easily google-able.

Our opinion

Tasty with some interesting notes, like ginger!

Steve’s scale

N/A – I haven’t consumed enough orange wine. Not a bad place to start though.

If you’re wondering about the relevance of the skateboard in the shot – I’m a skateboarder and have been since I was young. Mischief was the local independent skate store run by Bingo (google him) who sadly passed some years ago. We’re trying to represent him in a lot of what we do as an independent business from Teesside. You can also see the iconic Transporter Bridge, which is a prominent Teesside landmark on the board graphic.

commentary on: FLEURY AOC CHAMPGANE – BLANC DE NOIRS

FLEURY AOC CHAMPGANE – BLANC DE NOIRS

I shared this 1/2 bottle of champagne with my mam the very day it was delivered.

It’s my intention to get this included in some of our boxes soon, including our specific sparking box which will be coming soon.

It’s low sulphur, which means they are 50% or less of their maximum allowed dosage (75mg/litre or less for whites and roses; 50mg or less for reds).

The maker

These guys go back a long way. To 1895 apparently. In 1962 they became the first grower in Champagne to convert to biodynamics. By 1992 the whole estate was converted.

Our opinion

This was super tasty, not too sweet and was coloured fantastically.

We don’t do food pairings – this would be good in the summer sun in your back garden.

Steve’s scale

N/A – I haven’t consumed enough organic sparking, although it easily passes most champagne’s I’ve tried.

If you’re wondering about the relevance of the skateboard in the shot – I’m a skateboarder and have been since I was young. Mischief was the local independent skate store run by Bingo (google him) who sadly passed some years ago. We’re trying to represent him in a lot of what we do as an independent business from Teesside. You can also see the iconic Transporter Bridge, which is a prominent Teesside landmark on the board graphic.