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DAD'S THE WORD

Just in case you’ve forgotten, Sunday is Father’s Day. Unfortunately the big day is now a bit too close for us to get online orders there in time, although to be honest most Dads are probably so used to waiting around for their kids, that if a present arrives a couple of days late, he might not even notice. The good news though is that there is still time to get yourself to one of our shops. So in this edition of Oddnews we’re offering up some sound fatherly advice for anyone looking for a little late inspiration…

If your Dad is a bit of a red wine-loving maddo, try him on La Folle Noire d’Ambat (a bargain at £10). “La Folle Noire” means “the crazy black”. We have no idea what “Ambat” means. Wikipedia suggests it is a mythical hero from Malekula Island, Vanuatu. But this wine is from just north of Toulouse in the South of France, so we’re not quite sure that can be right. You can’t always trust the internet though. The producer, Domaine Le Roc’s, website says about this wine: “Cette cuvée appelle à grignoter, à saucissonner et soutient remarquablement la conversation.” If you put that into Google Translate it suggests nibbling on something quite unexpected, which would definitely provoke the remarkable conversation that it also says it is a good match for. But enough of that. Made from 100% Négrette (a descendent of an ancient Cypriot grape variety) this meaty and manly red has received high praise from critic Jamie Goode, who gave it 92 out of 100 and declared “I just love this wine.” Recently described by another wine writer, Andrew Campbell, as “simply bizarre”, this eccentric little red is quite the adventure…

If you were thinking of buying Pops a bottle of whisky this year, don’t just buy him the usual, explore his adventurous side and plump for something a little out of the ordinary. We’ve fallen in love with the picturesque Balblair distillery. Opened in 1790, it is the oldest distillery in the highlands (making it even older than wild west legend Buffalo Bill). Rather than producing whiskies with fixed aged statements (e.g. 12 year old, 15 year old, 18 years old, etc), they bottle only the casks that have reached perfection each year, creating wonderful vintage malts that capture a snapshot in time. It is also an incredibly friendly place; on a recent visit, we loved that Distillery Manager John MacDonald greeted the postman by name (we have to admit that we don’t know our postie’s name, but have decided that we will find out next time he comes round). When you make a whisky, the first step is to make a beer, which is called the wash. At Balblair the smell of the wash is like that of a delicious fruity weissbier. This beer is then distilled producing a new-make spirit, which is then aged in oak barrels. We have never tasted a richer, fruitier or more delicious new-make spirit than Balblair’s. The fruitiness carries all the way through their whisky making process, and when you uncork a bottle of Balblair 2001 (currently on offer at £38), it erupts with apples, lemons, oranges, pears, pineapples, custard cream biscuits and vanilla. Smooth, but remarkably fresh, this whisky is the perfect way to unwind after an adventure, buffalo-related or otherwise. We’re now wondering what Buffalo Bill’s daughters would have answered to the following question…
McCain really posed one of the 20th Century’s toughest conundrums with this one. Although the little girl in the advert was pretty confident that she’d solved it, we think we have a better idea… why not have both? Forget taking the old man out for an expensive meal or having to labour over a hot stove, simply grab a bottle of Canard-Duchêne Authentic Brut  (currently on offer at £20) and head to the chippy. Champagne with fish and chips is one of life’s decadent little pleasures. If you haven’t tried it, or more importantly, if your Dad hasn’t tried it, treat him this Sunday. The full but fresh style of the multi award winning Canard-Duchêne (IWSC Silver, Decanter Bronze and IWC Bronze) makes it the perfect choice. Daddy or chips? Both please and a side portion of Daddy’s Sauce and maybe some mushy peas.

That’s all from us, but while we are talking of mushiness, we’ll leave you with a clichéd, but nonetheless factually accurate, quote from tennis star Maria Sharapova…

“Without my Dad, I wouldn’t be here.”