Il Grillo di Santa Tresa. Vittoria, Sicily, Italy.
Demand for prosecco continues to grow unabated. But here at BinTwo we like to introduce you to something different. Over the winter we found this stunning sparkling wine from Sicily made with 100% grillo grapes. On a dreary February morning this bright, clean fresh little fizz opened a brief window to sunnier places. Some wines we debate endlessly before deciding to order it. With this one Kate, Harriet and I exchanged nods of approval and uttered two words… “oh, yes”.
Don’t just consider this a prosecco alternative; it’s so much better than that. Pale straw coloured with hints of gold, this wine has fine, gentle bubbles and a fresh fruity nose with hints of citrus and floral notes. Dry and fresh with really well balanced acidity, this fizz will slip down easily on it’s own but would also go nicely with shellfish.
We’ve never offered a prosecco by the glass here at BinTwo. But we think this fizz might just have earned a place on the terrace menu this summer. That’s how much we love it and we reckon you will too. It’s even organic and vegan friendly too – you can feel positively virtuous about drinking it!
Already great value at just £16.00 or a steal at £14.40 to wine club members!
Here at BinTwo we love dogs… L-O-V-E them! We’ve always welcomed them on the terrace as well as in the shop and even provide a little drink for our canine buddies. The word is obviously out as we’ve seen a growth in the number of four legged customers who come and visit us. Our pooch pals rarely cause us any problems. Here we speak to The Great Rustini, canine chum of our good friend Sean, about how they should make sure that their humans behave…
“Mr Great Rustini, thanks for joining us. That’s quite a mouthful of a name by the way”.
“No problem and you can blame my human. I mean, WHO would give a dog a name better suited to a magician? Just call me Rusty.”
“Thanks Rusty. And I’m glad you touched on the eccentric behaviour of humans. Y’see… we need to talk.”
“So I’m not in trouble? I thought it might be about when I was last in your place. I was a bit sandy from the beach and had to… clean myself up.”
“No – it’s not that. We welcome your… personal hygiene. You’re a dog – licking… everywhere is what you do. I just need you to have a word with your human. They love you very much and sometimes it makes them do things that seem a little… a little bit…”
“A little bit mad?”
“No! Not mad… obviously. Clearly that’s not what I meant to suggest, Rusty!”
“Well you should. They’re bonkers – all of them. I mean, there’s a range of nuttiness, but they’re all on the fruit loop scale somewhere.”
“Look – that’s not what I’m saying, I just meant -“
“Seriously – they are! My mate from down the park… his humans have created his own Facebook page! They write posts in his name and everything. All a bit offensive really – full of lots of canine stereotypes. And the outfits they make him wear for his profile photos – you wouldn’t believe the trauma they put him through. He hates Christmas – all those silly hats and the Christmas cards to his mates signed “from Max” – bonkers…”
“Riiiiight. Anyway, I’m definitely not suggesting that you and your mates’ humans are in any way mad. My point is that they just love you all very much and occasionally… very, very occasionally, some of them lose sight of the fact that not all humans love you as much as them…”
“So you hate dogs then.”
“NO! I love dogs! Especially you obviously. But some folk are allergic to dogs (my wife included) and some people just don’t want to play with you like your owners do. I’ve got to look out for those sorts of humans too so we need a few simple rules”.
“I get it – I mean you and all the other dog haters out there have a massive hole where your soul should be, but I get it… and have you thought about finding a new wife?”
“I DO NOT HATE DOGS! (and yes, frequently)”
“Alright – keep your hair on. I’m just kidding – I get what you mean. Down on the beach the other day there was this dog who was jumping all over a little kid. Kid was clearly terrified and the dog’s human turned up laughing saying the dog was “only being friendly” – that’s not on is it?”
“Exactly that – that’s the sort of thing I’m talking about!”
“Honestly we can get away with anything… A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. As long as I stick my tongue out, smile and wag my tail then I’m untouchable. My human would let me off with eating that kid on the beach as long as I looked cheerful while I’m doing it. Right – what rules shall we agree then? We like coming to your gaff. Not everywhere welcomes us and, in fairness, you’re pretty cool about letting us in alongside everyone else. I’ll have a word with my mates in the park – in between a bit of important sniffing of each other obviously – and we’ll get the message through to our humans. Shoot”
“Thanks Rusty – I’d appreciate that. It’s really awkward when we raise it – your humans love you so much they sometimes take it personally. OK – first up we’d like you to be kept on your lead and under control. Clearly I know that you’re the boss in the canine/human relationship…”
“You’re damn right I am”
“… but you and your friends tend to go exploring when you’re off the lead and that means us and others might step on you or trip over you when we’re charging around serving people. Also we’ve had some dogs come wandering round behind the counter and into the food preparation area. I mean, who doesn’t like a Scooby Snack but that’s not on”.
“Well that one’s obvious – I imagine it’s creates some issues with your food hygiene inspections. No problemo. Rule number one – we stay on the lead and under control. Got it… go on.”
“You’re right about the food hygiene inspections. I have had one dog owner explain to me that canine saliva is cleaner than human saliva but the county council don’t really see it that way. Secondly, and this is the one that really upsets some of your humans, we’d like you to stay off the seats unless your owner’s brought some sort of blanket or other cover for you”.
“Hmmm. Not sure about this. I sit on the sofa at home and it’s damn comfy. The floor at your place – well… it’s not”
“I get it. I really do. But that’s your home and your human’s choice. A lot of people come into BinTwo all dressed up ready for a nice night out and they shouldn’t really have to worry about getting covered in hair. And, before you jump in, I know you’re not a breed that sheds hair. Nonetheless some people feel it’s not really hygienic for you to be sitting on the seats as your… your bits are obviously all a bit… naked. We’ve also had some damage with claws tearing the upholstery and it’s not cheap to fix when that happens”.
“OK. Can’t say I’m happy about it, but I get where you’re coming from. I’ll sort them out – they won’t give you any hassle. Rule number two – we stay off the seats. Anything else?”
“Just one thing more and you’ve already touched on it Rusty. It’s just asking your humans to be thoughtful and to not let you be a bother to other customers. Some people will love you just as much as your humans. But not everyone will. Some people are even… cat people”.
“Yes, I know. Anyway, it’s that scenario you spoke about on the beach. Some people are wary of dogs. Hard to believe I know, but true. They might be happy to say a friendly hello but they don’t want to play. Just occasionally your humans are so in love with you they don’t read the signs from other people. Can you help?”
“OK. So if I’ve got this right, we’re talking about three rules:
1. I stay on a lead and under control.
2. I stay off the seats.
3. I don’t bother people who don’t want to play.
Is that it?”
“Yep – it’s that simple”
“And if me, my mates and our humans stick to those we can all still come into the shop and hang out? You’ll give us the water and everything?”
“Well that seems fair. Deal!”
“Thanks Rusty. The moment you walked in I could tell you were a smart cookie. Now just go and sell the plan to you human for me”.
“Done – mine is a particularly odd one though isn’t he?”
“You’re damn right”.
I’ve always found that BinTwo customers are interested in the stories behind our wines. But generally within the trade there’s increased interest from customers in the way the wines they buy are made. This has encouraged, in some instances, an almost cult like reverence for terms such as natural, organic and biodynamic. But it’s often far from clear what these terms mean and whether winemakers are applying them consistently.
Over the winter we’ve worked hard to source some great wines that are organic, biodynamic and even vegan. Although we’ve struck up partnerships with some fantastic new suppliers and winemakers along the way, it perhaps shouldn’t have surprised me that some of our existing winemakers have been quietly making wines that fit into this space for some time. They just haven’t marketed them as such because no-one’s been that bothered.
If you’ve read our interview with Joe Fattorini about natural wines, then you’ll know I’m not convinced about that particular ideology. But we’ve tried to get under the hood of these increasingly common terms to help us make smarter choices about the wines we can offer to those of you who are interested. What hasn’t changed is that we continue to hunt down interesting wines that taste great, that are made by people who love what they do and that have a compelling story to tell.
Here, writing for Imbibe, freelance wine writer Darren Smith does a first rate job of de-mystifying ten on trend wine trade buzz words. If it’s fired up your interest, then look out for our upcoming events featuring biodynamic wines on 26th May and minimal intervention wines from South Africa on 15th June…