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.
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:
- 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?
- 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?
- 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