Friday, 15 March 2013

Wales - after a long winter

It's that time of year again - smiles all round as it's 'caravan opening' weekend. Hubby and I do miss going to our little getaway over the winter but it would be a little too chilly.

This weekend is the moment so Saturday we'll be up early and off up the M6 before joining the windy Welsh A roads to the Cambrian coast. It's quite interesting to travel there in the winter as we see so much more when the trees are bare. Quite often we spy a small holding or cottage we've never noticed before because it is usually hidden in summer greenery.

I wonder if we'll enjoy another snowy view this visit - the scenery is stunning whatever the weather but I do love to see the snow hugging the mountain tops.

Snow on Cader Idris
The car will be laden with new supplies- food, household stuff, toiletries and most importantly a 'few' bottles from our cellar.

Some of our French favourites from our trip to Calais Wine, Majestic and Pidou will be moving to Wales along with a very special bottle of Willunga 100 from SH Jones when we went to the Matthew Jukes 100 Australian Wine Tasting.  I think we'll have steak or welsh lamb to go with it.

Here's Matthew Jukes' report from the Leamington Spa tasting event:

8th February 2013 SH Jones, Leamington Spa

REPORT – To my shame I have never been to Leamington Spa before. I cannot remember a more beautiful city centre, with chic shops and boutiques, all immaculately tended, and the noble Spa at their heart – I will return. I strolled past the smart SH Jones shop on Regent Street on my way to the Angel Hotel where the tables were set up, groaning under the weight of no less that 48 of this year’s 100 Best. It was great to see seven of the representatives of the various wineries/agencies arrive (including Andrew, all of the way from Brown Bros. HQ in Australia) to help the SH Jones team pour the wines. We needed the help because this event was not only sold out it seemed to have attracted a few thirsty opportunists, too. With around 100 people speeding through the wines in just two hours it was a helter skelter ride. I managed to ‘tell the story’ about every single wine which must be a record, too! Some of the Banbury SHJ squad came on the train to investigate the SHJ sibling operation in Leamington, but on the whole the audience were new to me and new to Aussie fine wine. I do hope that this event has not only ignited the passions of the Leamington SH Jones team, ably led by Tom, but also the assembled tasters. Leamington is apparently a pretty traditional place when it comes to wine habits and so it is about time that this striking town felt the thrill of great Australian wine running through its veins.

Staying with the wine theme - always a favourite of mine - Hubby and I have a very difficult task over the Easter school holidays. We need to drink 3 bottles of Champagne or sparkling wine as school are putting on The Wedding Singer and they are needed as props - I wonder why they asked me :-)

We did make a small start on Mother's Day as we had a bottle or Codorniu 1551 - very nice, quite light with a mass of bubbles. We enjoyed it just hubby and me late evening after a lovely day. Our daughter came home from Uni for the weekend (3 hours each way by train) and we took both sets of grandparents to The Abbey (Party at the Pub) as our son was working behind the bar
Bottle number 1
Thankfully I had no chocolates - still on track for my Slimming World target in time for retiring in July :-) and leaving work too means there is more time for trips, events and special occasions.

One trip definitely on our list is Tesco Wine Fair - this must be our 6th or 7th year and is an absolutely wonderful weekend. The 2013 dates are:

7-8th September - Manchester
21-22nd September - Birmingham
5-6th October - London
12-13th October - Bristol
26-27th October - Edinburgh
The venue have not yet been announced but we are so excited that the Fair is coming to Birmingham as that means a day trip on the train AND a weekend trip to either London or Bristol - yes we will go twice as it is such a good event !!

Of course Tesco Wine is available all year round and there's a great forum at Tesco Wine Community so although the Wine Fair is once a year the fun is never ending.

That's all this time but next weekend we are on a huge adventure which includes:

Alfie Boe - Birmingham - Cardiff

I'm counting down and trying not to get too excited just yet!!

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