Celebrating a year of C&B

To mark a year since we decided to jump into the world of C&B, Will and I wanted to highlight a few of the people that have helped us along the way. We feel very lucky to have the support of these wonderful humans! 

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Luca and Rosy, Two Spoons

These two are a real bundle of joy. We love our meetings with them, and their endless enthusiasm and encouragement. Luca kicks us off with his fabulous cocktails, while Rosy cooks up a storm. We love their sense of adventure, and look forward to seeing what they both rustle up for our next tasting.

Kat Waters

One sunny January afternoon, we got some photogenic pals together in a room with us and some wines. The results are many of the pictures you see on our website, taken by our friend Kat. She truly captured the joy of the afternoon. Find out more at www.katherinewaters.co.uk.

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Christian Denereaz

We first met Christian back in May at our very first event at Two Spoons. He's an Honor Oak local and our most avid taster. Christian brings his eccentric charm to all of our tastings, where we catch up about his allotment and his motorbike. Cheers, Christian!

Assorted Housemates

To James, Ella, Ali, Emily, Adam and Natalie. Thanks for putting up with us commandeering our shared spaces with our noise, glasses and vintage TV watching. You're all gems.

 

 

Our lovely tasters

We couldn't do any of this without you people filling our tastings with raucous laughter and joy. 

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Thanks all! Looking forward to the next year.

Jo x

Behind the scenes at C&B

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As you know, because you’re here, C&B do monthly tastings and private wine events. Pretty different affairs but they share something in their conception: the flavour and feel have to be right for the occasion. Basically, that just means the right wines, nice polished glasses and a lovely room to drink them in. Simple really, Goldilocks.

As we approach our one-year anniversary next month (scream!) we thought we’d share a little glimpse of what has become, so far, the beating heart of C&B behind the scenes. 

Choosing the wines

We’ve got no time for wine snobs, and no time for inverted sneering at expensive booze either. To fit the bill, a wine just has to be a) good and b) feel right for the occasion. 

For our barbecue event a few weeks back, this meant having some fun fizz. Ca di Alte’s cheerful Prosecco frizzante was a sub-£10 joy to kick things off, before pouring Charles Heidsieck's decadent NV champagne (RRP £47). Something for drinking in the park with a disposable barbie, something to swank with at a garden party.

The still wines that followed were all about showing you can drink well for way below a tenner: classy southern French roses, cheap Portuguese over-performers. But also that sometimes it’s worth splashing on something spenny. Michel Richaud’s incredible, brambly, low-intervention Cotes du Rhone is a hefty £22 but by far one of the most loved wines we’ve shown this year.

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Jo and I spend gruelling afternoons and evenings tasting a huge variety of wines. It is a burden, but eventually we whittle our portfolio down to the things we really love ourselves. These are the wines we bring to tastings.

The dirty back office bit

By the time we’re in front of a group of lovely tasters, we’ve done a load of vile and dirty things so you don’t have to! A veritable panoply of joys, but my three favourites, without doubt:

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Jo, loving it

  1. Licensing! When we host at home with you, and for some reason your house isn’t licensed for the on-premises consumption of alcohol, we have to make sure we’re above board. Enter the magnificent Temporary Event Notice! A piece of paper from the council that means we’re not signing ourselves up for a spell in her majesty’s finest. It’s a pain but actually very easy, nothing to fear. And who doesn’t love a little bureaucracy to make the wine taste all the sweeter?
  2. Monthly ops meetings! At the beginning of each month we get together to look at the enormous sums of money we’ve made :/  We review what’s been wonderful and not so wonderful. The final agenda point is - stick with me - emotional wellness: do we hate each other yet? If no, we eat something extravagant and have a few bottles to celebrate. If yes, dunno yet - AOB?
  3. Glass polishing! Oh glass polishing, how do I love thee. 1am, post tasting, 120 dirty glasses to wash and polish before the fruit flies emerge. Nothing finer than a couple of hours spent reflecting, washing, digestif-ing, polishing. Ready for the next C&B outing. 

I’m actually kind of serious about the glass polishing. And so’s Jo. We really feel there’s something lovely about the graft behind the innocent fun and boozing. Which is why we do it.

Catch you soon

Will x

Clement & Black summer faves (so far)

It’s no secret that we’re professionally thirsty, so it won’t surprise you to learn we'll only show wines if we’ve checked - and double checked - their worth. We’ve shown some absolutely stonking wines at our recent tastings, so we thought it would only be right to share the cream of the crop. They're all available to buy from us - get in touch via the form below if you'd like to place an order.

Vignerons de Valençay, Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Vin de Pays du Val de Loire, France

What’s the story?

Sauvignon Blanc in its home land: the Loire Valley. Made by France’s smallest co-operative, an outfit of two good friends, Sebastian Vaillant and Damien Bossier, making it close to our hearts. Their vineyards have a mixture of flinty and clay/stone soils.

What does it taste like?

The always-aromatic Sauvignon Blanc grape expresses its mineral and herbaceous side in its homeland. The minerality comes from the flinty soils, while the clay soils add body and fruit character.

RRP £9.99 / C&B price £8.99

 

 

 

 

 

Domaine Richaud, Terre de Galets 2015, Côtes du Rhône, France

What’s the story?

Marcel Richaud is a Southern eccentric. This wine is classified as generic Côtes du Rhône because he chooses to blend grapes from what could be big-name appellations. He works as if making fine Burgundy: judicious ripening, gentle extraction, little oak. “Galets”, the big stones which soak up heat and ripen the famous Chateauneuf grapes, provide a clue to quality.

What does it taste like?

Dusty, late summer berries and sunbaked herbs. Carried by a delicate acidity and bronzed muscularity. Lovably capricious, now brooding and spicy, now lifted and sprightly. A happy, delicious, characterful wine

RRP £16.99 / C&B price £15.29

 

 

 

Innocent Bystander, Moscato 2016, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

What’s the story?

We couldn’t finish our summer wine tastings without this classic, and it's gone down a storm every time. Innocent Bystander is one of the Yarra’s best producers, and the one to beat for value in the region. The sweetness of this wine comes directly from the grapes, the juice is fermented under pressure, then chilled so that the yeast can’t work. Filter that yeast out and you get this beaut.

What does it taste like?

Sweet, fresh red berries, sherbet, fizz. Loved this since first sip, it’s pure frothy fun!

RRP £9.99 / C&B price £8.99

 

 

 

 

Minimum order 6 bottles/£100

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C&B Monthly Wine Tastings in Honor Oak Park

We're chuffed to announce that the wonderful Two Spoons have asked us to collaborate on monthly wine tastings. We've really admired Two Spoons' ethos since they opened earlier this year, and are delighted to be partnering with a like-minded independent business that is rooted in the local community.

We had an absolute ball doing our first tasting on 25th May. Vibrant summer flavours from across the globe, stonking locally-sourced food and a truly joyful atmosphere. 

Come along!

Clement & Black tastings are chatty, informal affairs. Each month we'll pick a topic, and promise to deliver great wines, fresh food and entertainment. Good times, not lectures!

Upcoming dates:

29th June: New World vs Old World

27th July: Top BBQ Wines

24th/31st August (TBC): C&B/Two Spoons social

Introducing Clement & Black

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After months of talking and planning, we've finally got down to bizniz. With the help of our some seriously lovely, super clever mates and contacts, we've taken some photographs, written some wine lists and pressed go on our website.

We're pretty aching to start sharing our wines at your events. We want to make your evenings fabulous and keep you and your friends/rellies/colleagues entertained and feeling thoroughly indulged. We'll help you design a night that suits you. You're in charge, we've just got the glasses. And the booze. And we can tell you some stories about it, if you like.

Got questions? Contact us here, and don't forget to sign up to our newsletter using the form below so we can keep you up to date with upcoming events and *exclusive* offers.

Our launch tasting is on 25th May at new Honor Oak Park bar Two Spoons. Find out more and book tickets by visiting our tastings page.

Oh, and you can see what happens behind the scenes on our Instagram page. Bit bare at the moment, but we've only just begun x