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Robert Louis Stevenson famously observed that “wine is bottled poetry”. Inspired by this thinking, for this week’s Oddnews we are adopting a little poetic off-licence…
This year, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has described cuts in art funding as being “totally barbaric” and has warned that we could end up with a “country full of Tescos and not theatres.” Now there isn’t much a wine merchant like Oddbins can do to help the arts, but there is one inspiring thing we have in abundance: WINE. So we popped a couple of corks for a group of North London poets, who then penned a few odes to wine (which were luckily shorter and less raunchy than Pablo Neruda’s Ode to Wine). The results can be seen on the posters hanging in our windows or you can read them in our new blog post. Don’t worry if poetry isn’t your thing, we aren’t going to start talking in rhyming couplets or five beat rhythms (iambic pentameters – yes, we’ve done our research), but you might see the odd limerick, song lyric or verse popping up in our shops. However, if poetry is your thing and you feel inspired to put pen to paper, then pop them in the comments section of our blog, or if they are short tweet us using the hashtag #bottledpoetry. We don’t care how quick, childish or foolish, we think lurking inside you is a poet, even if you don’t realise (or should that be "know it"?).
That’s a haiku, that is. A haiku is a short Japanese poem of 17 syllables in three phases of 5, 7 and 5 (the one above doesn’t quite fit that structure as we think it's been translated). To illustrate the technique, we've written the following little whisky-inspired haiku…

Drink Monkey Shoulder
Johnnie Walker Odyssey
And Bowmore Darkest

It’s not so hard, this poetry stuff. Alright, we’re not going to win any awards for that one, but it's an educational little segue into announcing that, amongst others, we currently have the cheeky Monkey Shoulder (was £29.75, now £27.25) whisky and raisiny Bowmore Darkest 15 Year Old (was £56.75, now £51.75) on special offer. The observant amongst you may also have noticed that sandwiched within our haiku was the brand new, "super-premium", limited edition and mind numbingly astonishing Johnnie Walker Odyssey (£729). Only 60 bottles of this whisky have been released on these shores and we have secured a couple. So if you are a whisky collector, a malt connoisseur or you were just really inspired by our awful haiku, grab one now before they disappear as quickly as our haiku writing skills.

Judging by a sideways glance through our wine-stained windows, it seems that the hot weather may be petering out. But fear not, because you can take summer with you wherever you go with a bottle of our new Marieta Albariño (£8.50). It's packed with the juicy fruit of summer - peach, lemon, melon and apple - and a pinch of sweetness that makes it the perfect partner to Asian food or a last ditch picnic. The only thing that we found that comes close to being as refreshing as the finish on this wine, is taking of all your clothes when you are devilishly hot.That’s all from us, now what in the blazes rhymes with Gewurztraminer?