Lockdown bottles + the emerging glories of Brexit

View of the Cairngorms eastwards from above Newtonmore

View towards Creag Dhubh

Lockdown bottles

With Covid spiralling out of control in the UK, especially in England but also rises in Scotland, it looks like we will be in the Highlands for some long time, so hoped for trips to Lisbon and the Loire are likely to be some way off. Last week saw the weekly recorded total of new infections hit 417,570. It is well possible that there many more actual cases which remain undiagnosed. It is now estimated that one in five people in England may have Covid. Last week deaths in the UK from Covid totalled 6407. Again the true figure is likely to be higher as only those who die within 28 days of being diagnosed are recorded as Covid fatalities – a way of massaging the figures.

As the two photos above show staying in the Cairngorms has its compensations, especially on fine sunny days that highlight the snow-covered mountains. Unfortunately these days are all too often interspersed by dull, rainy days slightly lifted by the sun, when you can see it now setting at 16.01 as opposed to 15.34 on 18th December 2020. Lockdown has also necessitated trying some different wines – unfortunately fewer Loires than usual.

Here is a few we have tried:

I mentioned in last week’s post The Wine Society’s excellent 2014 Exhibition Rioja Reserva sourced from La Rioja Alta that we drank on Christmas Day. We enjoyed a second bottle of this soft, velvety, spicy Rioja with a plumb roast pheasant (a bargain @ £4.45) from Simpson’s Game in Newtonmore, who deliver throughout the UK and internationally, although I fear international deliveries may have been disrupted by the glories of Brexit.

Staying with The Wine Society they have an excellent selection of wines from Jerez. The complex, rich Maribel Amontillado from Sanchez Romate is one such delight – a fine apéro for a chilly winter’s evening.

We have also been buying from Aldi’s branch in Aviemore. Overall their selection is good and frequently offers great value. Disappointments are rare but this Brouilly 2019 failed to excite. I have bought some good Beaujolais from Aldi before – a 2018 Beaujolais Villages springs to mind. Unfortunately this Brouilly (£6.49) although drinkable was rather anonymous. Perhaps we have been spoiled by the very good characterful Gamays from the Côtes d’Auvergne that we drank with great enjoyment during and after our visit to the Auvergne in June.


the emerging glories of Brexit:

Here is a link to The New York Times article (9th January 2021) on some of the multiple wonders of Brexit now becoming clear with the end of the Transition Period.

By Eshe Nelson

  • Published Jan. 9, 2021Updated Jan. 11, 2021, 5:49 a.m. ET

LONDON — Britain started 2021 in a new relationship with its biggest trade partner, and it has immediately brought a litany of headaches and lost business.

Within a week, implications of the Brexit trade deal with the European Union are being felt by businesses up and down the country as food deliveries are delayed for not having the right customs paperwork, logistics companies halt the shipment of goods, and retailers discover their supply chains might be obsolete.

After decades inside the European Union’s customs union and single market, Britain’s businesses have unearthed new challenges and changes every day.

Here’s a sampling from the first week: the details are here:

I strongly suspect that the next few weeks will bring other Brexit delights…


Musical recommendations:

Next week I intend to follow David’s excellent initiative and offer a post without wine – or virtually without. The post will cover some of my favourite musicians and their CDs. This post has in part been triggered by the appalling scenes in Washington when Trump’s terrorist mob stormed the Capitol resulting in five deaths. The only compensation is that it could have been so much worse with a number of America’s leading politicians executed on the orders of the ‘President of the United States’.

Richard Barnett sat in Nancy Pelosi’s office and left this notice on her desk:


The note left on Nancy Pelosi’s desk echoes the late Tom Petty’s most famous song – ‘I won’t back down‘. I am sure Petty would have been horrified that a Far-Right thug had used his words. Indeed in June 2020 Petty’s estate sent a cease of desist and desist letter to Trump’s campaign when they used the song at one of their rallies. The song was written after an arsonist set fire to Petty’s home in 1989 – fortunately Petty and his family escaped.

I won’t back down: Tom Petty

Well, I won’t back down
No, I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back downNo, I’ll stand my ground
Won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my groundAnd I won’t back down
(I won’t back down)
Hey, baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground
And I won’t back downWell I know what’s right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my groundAnd I won’t back down
(I won’t back down)
Hey, baby, there ain’t no easy way out
(I won’t back down)
Hey, I will stand…

I won’t back down first appeared on Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever album
Jim remains European

Une réflexion sur “Lockdown bottles + the emerging glories of Brexit

  1. David Cobbold

    Hi there Jim, all the way up there in the Highlands. The Cairngorms hold many childhood memories for me, more so in spring or summer than winter.

    As to the Tom Petty song, I can only recollect a version by the man in black, aka Johnny Cash. Is it the same one ?

    All the best to you. We stay European, definitely !


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