Are you sitting comfortably?  Well then, welcome to the May issue of Oddnews.  We’re going to fill you in on all the mischief we’ve been up to and the much anticipated return of the Oddbins Wine Fair.  But before you venture a word further, if you haven't already, go and put some music on.  We don’t care what, we’re not judgemental, but we think that music is important.  Extreme-whiskered philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said that “without music life would be a mistake”, and this was echoed by the Barbadian musical conveyor belt, Rihanna, when she sang “please don’t stop the music”.  We’re proposing a wine and music adventure…Sound Wine Advice
Oddbins has always been a noisy wine merchant, but we’re about to crank it up to 11.  We want to take you on a magical mystery tour that’s more punk rock than wine shop.  Like Vivaldi, we’ve elegantly divided the year into four seasons and assigned each an unusual theme.  For the next few months our theme will be “sound”, and we’ll be kicking off the season with “music”.  There’s more to wine and music than just UB40’s “Red Red Wine”, scientific studies have shown that music can affect the wine you buy and how it tastes.  To give you a snifter: playing accordion music in a wine shop makes customers more likely to select French wine and Cabernet Sauvignon tastes better while listening to dark angry music.  Crazy huh?  All this got us thinking, if certain songs make some wines taste better, then there must be a perfect music match for every wine.  So we’ve dug deep in the crates and come up with a recommended song match for each of our wines.  We’ve put them all slap bang on our website in our Music & Wine Matcher.  All you have to do is buy a bottle of our finest and go online to see what we recommend you listen to.  But this is an open debate, we want to hear from you, if you disagree or have a better idea let us know.  You can do this via our website, by filling in a form in one of our shops or on Twitter using the hashtag: #oddbinsmusic.  The best wine and music matches will win prizes of festival tickets, cases of wine or even an honorary place on the Oddbins Music and Wine Matching Panel.  To find out more just read our manifesto online or pop into one of our shops.


Oddbins Wine Fair: The Return
Wine and music madness not enough for you?  Well we have some news that will definitely be music to your ears…

Boom!  The legendary Oddbins Wine Fair is officially back.  It will take place on 25-26 May 2012 at Victoria House Basement, Bloomsbury Square, London, WC1B 4DA.  Save the date, because we’re back with a bang.  There will be over 400 wines from more than 65 producers (wine, not record), masterclasses, loads of music, food, gifts and your chance to meet the winemakers.  More information will follow, so keep your eye on us.  If you would like to join in, either pop into your local branch to buy tickets, call us on 0800 328 2323 or visit our website.

More Mischief
The fun doesn’t stop there.  Fermented grape juice was never supposed to be stuffy and elitist.  Oddbins are eternal troublemakers and we say down with the wine bores and winosaurs, enough of the doom and gloom, let’s put the joy back…

So as well as launching our wine and music matching competition, we’ve been dabbling in politics.  Last week we chose seven wines that sum up each of the candidates for the London Mayoral Election.  With people voting today there’s still everything to play for, our OddGov survey puts one of the candidates out in front by a few bottles.  However, we’re keen to avoid a political scandal, we’ll leave that to the politicians and Murdochs, and so we’re keeping the facts and figures close to our chest.  We might let you know our results after the election.

If that wasn’t enough, we’re also remixing the tasting note.  So you can expect less “aromas of kumquats in a dirty plimsoll” and “meaty notes reminiscent of jerky on a thundery summer evening” on our website.  Instead you can expect giant wooden ducks, Chuck Norris, marauding vampires, Gil Scott-Heron, disappearing Iranian cities and a wine made by dogs.  If you don’t believe us, have a look at Canard-Duchêne, Gemtree Bloodstone Shiraz, Falanghina Biblos, Cigarra Shiraz Tinta Barroca, Berton Paddock Shiraz and Hunawihr Gewürztraminer.

If you have any ideas for more mischievous wine-related tomfoolery, drop us an email or get yourself on to Twitter or Facebook.  OK, that’s all from us.  We hope to see you in one of our shops, at the Wine Fair or online.  Until next time, pump up the volume and watch this space for more Oddbins shenanigans…