Issue 184
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Biting its thumb at social norms English Wine Week is, brilliantly, nine days long and starts Saturday. As such, we've been bending the ear, patience and cork-popping skills of our very favourite rising Somm — Abigail Connolly. Here are the patriotic drops you'll find in Cheval Blanc in honour of this calendarally flexible knees up. 
White — Litmus, Pinot Noir
Abi says: "Aaaah — it's so delicious. And pretty unusual — only a couple of English producers are using Pinot Noir to make white, which they do by macerating the white grapes and none of the red skin. The stone fruits really come through, and it's got great oak."
Try if you like: Village burgundies 
Eat with: A rich fish or chicken dish to complement the yeasty, buttery notes.
Price point: 🍷🍷🍷
Sparkling — Hattingley Valley,
Classic Cuvee

Abi says: "Made using the Champagne method, Hattingley Valley attracts the weather and soil conditions of the Chablis and Champers regions, providing good acidity and a bit of age. Great value for the quality compared to the big names."
Try if you like: A young Veuve Clicquot
Eat with: A light fish dish, like cured salmon, or as a summery aperitif.
Price point: 🍷🍷🍷🍷
Rosé — Camel Valley, Pinot Noir
Abi says: "When I visited Camel Valley's vineyard in Cornwall, there were a lot of very good wines but the rosé really stood out. I'm not the biggest rosé drinker but with lots of fruit going on, this is what I go for when I do drink pink."
Try if you like: Sancerre rosé
Eat with: Beetroot and feta salad. The acidity will work well with the tartness and slight sweetness of the beets.
Price point: 🍷🍷
Orange — Litmus, Bacchus
Abi says: "Litmus is really pushing boundaries — this is the first orange wine I've come across from a UK producer. And here the Bacchus grape retains all its natural grassy notes whilst the slight oxidation and oak ageing adds subtle tannins and nuttiness."
Try if you like: to experiment
Eat with: Aged cheese, cured meats, or some subtle spicy dishes.
Price point: 🍷🍷
Red — Sixteen Ridges Early Red
Abi says: "Produced about an hour from Brum, on a sheltered Worcestershire hillside, Sixteen Ridges' early Pinot Noir is the best example of English red I can find, and a great intro. It's light bodied, with cherry, raspberry and earthy vanilla notes to both aroma and palate."
Try if you like: A typical Loire Valley red
Eat with: A light pork dish. Or white meat with a rich, strong sauce.
Price point: 🍷🍷🍷
All wines featured are available by the glass and the bottle while them stocks do last.


Would a 12-year-old you be furious if they knew how little time you now spend playing football? You need to right that most egregious of wrongs and dig out the ol' boots and shinnies, because PlayFootball has launched in the Jewellery Quarter and the facilities and location are Messi-grade ace. With 5-a-side and 7-a-side 3G surfaces (3G tech allows the ball to bounce like it would on grass) and Championship size indoor Futsal pitches, it's got post-work kickabout with colleagues written all over it. All league matches are officiated by FA qualified referees, too, so if over-zealous opponents was what ended your Premier League-bound playing days, then you're fresh out of excuses. It's Time to Play and the 12-year-old in you knows it. Get thirty minutes' free pitch hire by quoting "ICHOOSE" when booking on the phone. More


Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds have something pretty significant in common — none of them are Birmingham. Beyond The Tracks is a completely new, three day festival, bringing proper good musical artists including Editors, Ocean Colour Scene, Orbital and Maximo Park to Eastside, between September 15 and 17. Be in with a shot at winning a pair of tickets for the whole weekend (face value of £270) by liking this post. Or make your attendance a dead cert by buying your spot (from £54.45) right here.


The Pirates of the Caribbean series gets a mild return to form in this surprisingly not-bad retread of the first film. The vendetta-pursuing villain is this time played by Javier Bardem, and it’s best if you don’t dwell too long on unpacking the film’s byzantine mythology and instead sit back and enjoy a succession of set pieces that are among the franchise’s best. A routine involving a guillotine is enjoyably macabre, and there’s a romping feel that stands in contrast to today’s non-Marvel blockbusters’ need to up the grim quotient. Times


For Saturday work, we went with an ice-cream cart. Opting for a slightly different vibe, Kieran Crowder spent his teens helping out at a crematorium. Four decades later, art Crowder secretly created — integrating liberated remains from the crem's general furnace in ways we don't completely understand — can be found at the JQ's Turner Fine Arts. Here Lies includes Die Then Work Faith, Remember? (pictured), at £1,950.00 for a limited edition print or £50,000 for the real deal. Crowder's also on the lookie for further remains... Takers?
Venue: Marmalade at The Rep, Broad St, B1 2EP; website
Choice: Chicken Supreme (£13.75) Chooser: Jules, manager

Marmalade's got blue-violet potatoes that have been cultivated in France since the early 19th century, and you can totally eat them without a flux capacitor. As a more general point, they've also got a summer update to their menu. The potted hot smoked mackerel (£6.50) comes with slightly sweet, super fine, gin preserved shallots, and we like. But it was the old skool sounding Chicken Supreme which took the You Choose glitter crown tiara for the week. Served in a rich but not overpowering whole grain mustard and cider sauce, glazed peas and chicory bring the freshness, while the crushed purpley perfection of the Truffe de Chine provide the chat, and a dollop of nutty deliciousness that just gets us like YOU never could. Summer tip: Their twist on an Aperol Spritz, taken on the terrace while people-watching, is a decent answer to the city centre's almost unforgivable shortage of beer gardens.  
  • Enjoy BBQ and beer minus the DIY coal drama this Saturday, at No21 Digbeth. In addition to Jamaican, and British grilled goods Chef Stack's bringing the Yankee with pulled pork, ribs and brisket gear.
  • Rob Brydon is standing up while you sit down, at Symphony Hall, on September 28. Join himfrom £30.50
  • The next edition of Rofuto's Shibui Supper Club is on Sunday. The five-course sharing menu is £40 a whirl
  • It's your last chance to catch RCFA's spring exhibition, which finishes June 3. Very lunch-breakable, wouldn't you say?
  • Sarehole Mill is your target destination for Sunday. There'll be plants and books and vintagey things, as well as plenty of street food, free entry and a comp'ed drink on arrival. Cheers y'all
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"I shall drink no wine before it’s time! OK, it’s time."
- Groucho Marx
WORDS: Katy Drohan, Andrew Lowry, Tom Cullen
IMAGES: Matt Spalding (Editors)

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