A wild mix of news, expert advice, and inane ramblings.
Scroll down for recent blog posts from the staff at Tiny’s, or use the links below to find older posts.
By Rachel, 1st December
It’s come round quick this year, or at least, it feels like it after months of… nothing… and I reckon we all deserve a nice break, with plenty of food, presents, booze, and other treats. Whether you’re having just a cosy, 1 household celebration avec zoom calls, or you’re heading off to celebrate with 2 other households, we wish you safety and all the joy in the world.
Please remember that we still have a maximum capacity for safety reasons, so we recommend getting any Xmas shopping done early (unless you reeeaally love queuing in the cold!) You can also skip the queue by ordering for collection! All of our stock is listed on our website – just send over what you would like to email@example.com And if you’re feeling a little stuck for gift ideas, we’ve got plenty of options on our website!
This month’s staff picks pair well with Xmas dinners, evenings round the fire, mince pies, party hats, food comas, and three households’ (😮) worth of cheer! And if you’re in the giving mood, they’ll make great gifts too 🎄🎁🎄🎁
Tiny’s Bag O’ Christmas Essentials £99
Christmas in a bag! Perfect for a gift, or just an easy way to stock up for the holidays! We’re not gonna force you to drink it all in one day… but if you’d like to, we’d recommend the following pairings!
Aperitif/Canapes – J Laurens Cremant de Limoux – A light and citrusy fizz.
Light Starter/ Fish Course – Gavi di Gavi Nuovo Quadro White– Peach, pear, lime and gooseberry.
Christmas Roast – Bodegas Piedra Prohibida Red – Bursting with rich and juicy red berry flavours.
Christmas Pud – Fernando De Castilla Cream Sherry – Sweet, smooth, flavours of nuts and citrus.
Cheeseboard – Krohn Ruby – This mature port has notes of sweet plum, cherry and hints of spice.
Nightcap – Pohjala Cellar Series Cognac BA Stout – Sweet, rich, smooth, with plenty of cognac flavour!
If you’d like to see more of our Xmas suggestions, there’s loads more on our website.
Langoa Barton St Julien 2009 £99 (2011 £72)
The prestigious Langoa Barton are a 10th generation wine producer from the left bank of the Bordeaux region. Langoa Barton were awarded 3rd Classified Growth status in the 1855 classification, and they’re one of the longest-standing families of winemakers in Bordeaux. The grapes for this gorgeous red (Cab Sav, Merlot & Cab Franc) were grown on gravelly soil on gentle slopes overlooking the river. They ripen quite early, allowing plenty of time to develop full, rich flavours before harvest, which are then enhanced by aging the wine in French oak. We’ve got two vintages of this very special wine – 2011 and 2009. 2011 was a great year – the wine has rich flavours of strawberry and black cherry fruit, with powerful notes of spice and leather. And if 2011 was a great vintage, 2009 was an extraordinary one. This wine is a true celebration of the Langoa Barton style. The composition is rich and complex, with notes of wild flowers, strawberry, black cherry, toasted bread, spice, and dried fruit. A firm, structured body with tasty, almost mellow tannins and remarkable density. With already a significant bottle age, these reds are delicious now, but will also age well for another 20 years.
Pago Ayles ‘A’ de Ayles £14
This gorgeous red is from the Aragon region in North East Spain. Wine nerds would be interested to know that this wine is from one of the world’s newest DOs (Denominations of Origin – the classification and rules system of the wine world which determines what makes a Rioja a Rioja, a Champagne a Champagne etc. – it’s a little like the rules about Cornish Pasties… but A LOT more stringent and complicated!) The ‘Vino de Pago’ system came into legal being in 2003, and is the pinnacle of the Spanish classification system. Pago means “single vineyard”, To become a certified pago, there are several requirements: the pago needs to be owned by the winery who produces the wines, the pago has to be within a registered DO, and the pago has to demonstrate unique characteristics that make it worthy of receiving the status. To my knowledge (and Googling expertise), Ayles is one of 17 certified Pagos. Their vineyards produce extraordinary grapes due to the extraordinary terroir – the extreme weather fluctuations ensure a long, slow ripening season which intensifies flavour, and the stoney, clayey Tertiary soil imparts minerality and clings to little rainfall there is in the area. We’ve got a few of Ayles’ wines in – this one, ‘A’, is a fresh and juicy blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Elegant, yet intense notes of fresh red fruits, ink, spices and final floral character. Full bodied with moderate tannins.
Pazo Señorans Albariño £21
Pazo Señorans sits on the coast of Galicia in Western Spain. Their vineyards are cultivated on a pergola system on granite rich soil, 10 kilometres from the sea. The cool sea breeze and acidic soil provide the grapes with their individual, fresh, aromatic flavours, characteristic of Pazo Señorans. The grapes are hand picked, before being immediately pressed and fermented in stainless steel to preserve their bright freshness. This Albariño has notes of nectarine, fresh figs, orange zest and white flowers. Dry, citrus flavours lead to a mineral-driven finish. A satisfying balance of power and finesse.
Fernando de Castilla Antique Pedro Ximenez £36
Pedro Ximénez grapes are harvested and dried for up to 2 days in the hot September Spanish sun. Fernando De Castilla’s sherries are all from individual soleras, bottled without blending, cold stabilization or filtration of any kind in order to preserve the subtlety, purity and distinctive aromas of these premium wines, and are bottled in clear glass to show off the wonderful colour of these wines. This sherry spent around 20-30 years in barrels. It is a concentrated, pitch black liquid, with all the drama and intensity you would expect from a 20 year old plus PX. There is coffee, liquorice, sweet tobacco, prunes, figs, raisins, tea and a dozen other fleeting scents with a surprising lightness and delicacy. An incredible, seductive, luscious and wonderful sherry.
Krohn 2007 Colheita £27
In the century and a half since its foundation, Krohn has built up an outstanding reputation and produce a wide range of beautiful styles. Their ports (with the exception of the white) are made with Touriga National, Touriga Francesca, and Tinta Barroca grapes, and they come from the highest quality vineyards – the magical combination of terroir, locality, aspect, incline and low-yielding vines. The vineyards are on single-row terraces on steep hillsides, ensuring the vines have plenty of sunshine and the best soil quality. They keep to traditional methods – the vineyards are biodynamic and organic, the grapes are picked by hand, and the highest quality wines are still trodden by foot. A hot summer followed by a showery September makes the 2005 vintage intensely flavoured and sweet. Full-bodied with layers of black cherry, dark bramble fruits, grippy tannins and vibrant acidity. Delicious now, but will age well. We recommend decanting.
Nyetimber Classic Cuvee £45
Made in a classic Champagne style, this English sparkler is a great alternative for a bit of festive fizz. Nyetimber is a world-renown sparkling wine producer from the South of England (where the climate is very similar to the Champagne region). The Nyetimber vineyards are spread across different sites in Sussex, Hampshire and Kent – the areas were chosen for their chalky soil and gentle south-facing slopes, to ensure the best quality grapes. The wine is made using Methode Champenoise (barrel-aged still wine is re-fermented in bottle to make it sparkle) and then aged in their cellars for about three years for added complexity. Notes of toasted brioche, honey, almond, pastry, and baked apple with a zingy citrus twist. Chardonnay 55-65%, Pinot Noir 30-40%, Pinot Meunier 5-15%
Põhjala Öö XO £8.50
A bit of an indulgent treat, this beer is from Estonian brewery, Põhjala (pronounced pee – /r/ee – la, with one of those guttural phlegmy noises in the middle). It’s a special version of their Öö Imperial Baltic Porter, which has been aged for four months in Cognac barrels. At 11.5%, it’s a little dangerous, but oh so worth it. A silky smooth texture of dark malts, with sweet flavours of jammy red fruits, cognac, liquorice, and honey. Hints of molasses mix with those of rich dark chocolate, espresso, and muscovado sugar, all balanced with elegant tannins and a hint of spice.
Pilton Scarlet Sharpe £7.50
Pilton are artisan cider producers from Somerset and they make traditional keeved cider – that’s cider that is fermented naturally with wild yeast. This shockingly pink liquid one is a flesh-fermented-barrel-aged blackcurrant wine, blended with naturally sweet keeved cider and dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria and Mosaic. Ripe red fruits on the nose, sour currants on the palate, dry cider tannins on the finish. It makes an excellent alternative to Port with a cheeseboard!
Pomona Island Home For the Holograms £9
The boys from Salford’s Pomona Island Brewery have brewed this outrageously festive maple and chestnut imperial stout. Chestnut beer has a surprisingly long history in Europe – chestnuts have been used in brewing since Greco-Roman times, and this sweet, nutty ale is still a thriving industry in parts of Italy (birra alle castagne) and France (bierre aux marrons). Pomona’s interpretation is a rich and decadent stout – plenty of roasty malt flavours, with nutty chestnut and sweet maple.
Tilquin Pinot Gris £30
Tilquin are a Blendery based in the Senne valley in Belgium. They do not brew themselves, instead, they buy in fresh lambic beers from various Belgian producers and then take over the intricate process of barrel aging and blending. The process of blending beer from many different breweries means that the product is incredibly complex, and it ensures that their beautiful house style is consistent, year in, year out. Tilquin have taken their house gueuze, A L’Ancienne, and have aged it with pinot gris grapes at an intensity of 28%. The grapes have added a delicate fruity sweetness, and tonnes and tonnes of complex musty and yeasty notes – one for a lambic connoisseur.
We would like to thank everyone coming through our door. The uncertainty this year has been a bit tough, so we really appreciate your custom.
Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, and all that jazz.
Lots of love,
Tiny’s Crew x
By Rachel, 5th November
I actually wrote the November newsletter just before lockdown was announced… but then everything changed again, and we had to scrabble about to work out what the rules were and whether we could and should open (plus, my lame puns about fireworks now seemed a bit out of place!) But we are open for the forseeable, we have plenty of hand sanitiser and disinfectant spray, and we are gearing up for Christmas! So here’s our news and picks for the month!
Speaking of the run-up to Christmas, we’re offering Beer Advent Calendars! We thought this would be a great way to help support the hard-hit brewing industry, while also introducing some beer-based joy to the festivities! For £125, you get 24 hand-picked craft beers, all festively wrapped up and numbered. We’re making these to order, so please send us an email if you’d like one!
This month’s staff picks pair well with Bonfire Night back-garden sparklers, cold nights, and snuggling under blankets on the sofa. We’ve also chosen a few smokey tipples to help re-create that ~bonfirey vibe~ indoors.
Ardbeg Corryvreckan £90
This whisky is perfect for lovers of peat and smoke – I reckon it’s the smokiest thing in the shop. Named after the nearby famous whirlpool, this Islay single malt is powerfully peaty and immensely satisfying. Flavours of peat, tobacco, slightly medicinal clementine peel, burnt herbs, roast chicken crisps, smoked meat, spice, and a tangy, salty finish. Corryvreckan is an intense dram that we simply love.
Pilton Ten £4.50
This dry keeved cider was made to celebrate Pilton’s 10th birthday. This artisan cider producer from Somerset makes gorgeous cider, full of complex flavour. This one started out as a clean bittersweet keeved cider from 2019, that was then blended with a smooth, low tannin 2018 Jonagold cider and other ciders from multiple barrel-aged batches. The result is a layered, full-bodied, dry cider. A perfect accompaniment to roast lamb or robust beef stew.
Alasia Barolo £23
From Araldica is Piemonte’s most forward-thinking co-operative, situated in Castel Boglione, in the heart of Barbera d’Asti territory. This is Araldica’s top tier Barolo from selected vineyards. The grapes are grown on sustainable and eco-compatible vineyards, trained on a low Guyot trellis, before being hand-harvested, fermented in steel and matured in Slavonian oak casks for three years. A fine, expressive style with lightly smokey and floral aromas with richness and structure. Dark plum, leather and delicate violet aromas, plus notes of woodsmoke and brown spice. A full, firm and ripe red with rich, powerful flavours. All balanced by ripe tannins, complex savoury notes and a long finish.
Alpha Box & Dice Golden Mullet Fury Semillon Viogner £20
This Ozzy orange wine is complex, exotic, and completely bonkers. The grapes, Semillon and Viognier, come from the same plot in McLaren Vale – the vineyard has a sand and clay soil, and is close to the beach, which gives the grapes lovely briney notes. The Semillon is picked when just ripe, right after losing green capsicum flavours and the Viognier is picked before it develops apricotty characteristics, keeping the blend crisp. The grapes are co-fermented on their skins for three weeks before spending 18 months in oak (70% in aged barrels and 30% in re-worked (Phoenix) barrels). A pithy, textured wine with exotic and complex flavours of guava, capsicum, spice, almonds and smoke. Try it with curries – particularly Thai Green.
J Perrier NV £42
A new wine on our shelves, this classic sparkler is great for any celebratory moment (and any ordinary moments tbh). Founded in 1825, Joseph Perrier has been owned and run by the same family since 1888 from the base in Châlons-en-Champagne, home to three kilometres of galleries. The NV Brut Champagne is a chardonnay-dominated blend, and has been aged for three years before release in order to fully develop rich flavours. This wine is a perfect balance of delicate freshness, with complex richness – flavours of green apple and vine peach bring a fruity touch, with a nice roundness on the palate, and a long and refreshing finish. Enjoy as an aperitif, or, if you’re being extra fancy, with gravlax.
Vault City Pear and Vanilla Sour £7.50
This Dundee based brewery has made a name for itself recently by making EXTREMELY FRUITY beers. These juicy little numbers are just so damn refreshing. This one is sweet, comforting, and full of decidedly ~autumnal~ tasting pear flavours. The sweet cakeyness of the pear and vanilla is balanced by lip-smacking tartness.
Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen £3.50
Have you ever thought: “I’d like a beer that tastes like bacon”? If so, this is your lucky day! It might sound a little mad, but bear with me! Schlenkerla is one of the last few remaining producers of traditional smoked beer in the world, but smokey beer used to be the norm. The intense smokey flavour comes from the method of malting, where the grains are heated using a wood fire – before the invention of modern malting methods, all beer would have had this smokey flavour from the wood fires. The delicious smokey malt is then made into a gorgeous clean lager in Schlenkerler’s own lagering cave. You’re gonna have to trust me on this one – this beer is fantastic (if an acquired taste)!
Jute Bag £9
Made out of eco-friendly jute, these bags are big enough to fit 6 bottles of wine or beer, and there’s a nice protective divider to ensure your precious cargo doesn’t get smashed! It features a cute wee drawing of our shop (drawn by our very own Rach), and it would make a lovely present – especially if filled with booze 😉
Remember, remember to enjoy your November (preferably with something alcoholic!) We also all have to look after each other – check on your neighbours, donate to food banks, support your local area, wash your hands, and keep safe!
Lots of love,
Tiny’s crew x
A Flock Of Squawks
By Rachel, 15th October
Squawk is one of Manchester’s most exciting craft breweries, roosting under the archways by Piccadilly station, and we’ve just got in their full range! They brew a mix of styles – from mega hoppy and hazy IPAs, to traditional British stouts, to fun and fruity sours! I promise you, there’s something to suit everyone – Murphy (our shop dog) is particularly partial to the Pavo pale 😉
With a small team of 3 three (well, five if you include the Doggos, Archie and Bernie!), Squawk Brewing Co is the kind of small, independent Manchester business that we all need to support right now.
And not only is the beer an excellent local tipple, but the cans are beautifully illustrated by local artist, Camille Smithwick, so they make an excellent present! At the moment, the full range includes the beers listed below – but watch this space, because I’m sure they’ll be brewing up something new very soon!
Pavo Pale – A classic british pale: low strength and with a refreshing bitterness.
Toco Pale – A lovely 5% pale stuffed with American hops for a fruity/citrussy kick!
Fuli DIPA – Mega juicy, mega hazy, and mega mangoey! With a soft and rounded body.
Bower Session IPA – Dried pineapple, juicy tropical fruit and resinous pine.
Cursor Raspberry Sour – Tart, but beautifully balanced by fruity sweetness and a dry finish.
Tyto Espresso Stout – Smooth, roasty coffee and chocolate flavours, with a light sweetness.
Passer IPA – Juicy, with tropical flavours of fresh mango and grapefruit zest.
Falco DIPA – A luscious sweet body and big flavours of fresh clementine juice and orange peel.
Corvus Stout – Dark and bitter, like my soul. Big flavours of toast, roasted coffee, and chocolate.
Orio Ekuanot Sour – A lively balance of fruity and bitter hops, with a light tart base.
Lori DDH IPA – Sweet and peachy hop flavours are balanced with a touch of pineyness.
Cali DIPA – Lemony and peachy, with a refreshing body: a real shot of sunshine!