Summer is most definitely over. The autumnal equinox flew by us this past weekend. The Olympics, Paralympics and Victory Parade are a distant memory and the Jubilee- a shadow.

I suffered my own Post Olympic Depression Syndrome after an amazing two-and-half-weeks photographing London 2012. It is ill advised to recommend alcohol for someone suffering depression.  However, focusing on wine, is an enjoyable past time, so rewarding myself for the hard work with an interesting vino, is helping me overcome post-Olympic Blues.

That is why I cooked a special dinner and opened a bottle of 2010 LAM Syrah. It was a birthday present from SH Jones in Banbury. At £11.69 a bottle, it is extremely good value. The fruit flavours and acidity were strong and it had a very good length and the 13.5% ABV is reasonable. Interestingly, when needed, the creators crush the grapes by foot. Luckily the flavour is not affected.


What I didn’t realize until 4 days before the end of the Olympics was that they actually sold wine on site. (A reporter also told me there was a champagne and oyster bar at the park, a fact my boss to brief me in advance.) The wine I chose one late night on my commute back was a fairtrade chenin blanc. For £4.50 I got a 187ml bottle, from Stellenbosch. It wasn’t remarkable, however, it was crisp and tasty and lifted the end of a very long day. The other passengers on the 12.47 from Waterloo East will hopefully have forgotten the bubbly blonde working on a laptop while sipping from the small bottle. With an ABV of 13% it is a light wine that encourages responsible drinking.

The red wine on offer was from Brazil, the next host country. I didn’t get to taste the red at the Olympics, but I did explore another Brazilian wine from Bibendum (the official Olympic wine supplier for London 2012). The Quinta do Seival Castas Portuguesas has an intense aroma of cherries, greenery and spice. This well integrated wine is full bodied with a good length. If Rio 2016 is anything like this wine, it is guaranteed to be a success. You can buy it at for £16.95 a bottle, so it is definitely a special occasion wine.

Two events to savour:

Tomorrow,  7PM:  S H Jones, Cellar Shop, Tramway Road, Banbury will host a “Tour of France Wine Fair” for £5, visit

Saturday, 7:30PM:  Max Mason opens his new Big Bang restaurant in the castle quarter. While this isn’t a wine event, there will be wine, and cocktails. If it is anything like his closing party last year, it’s sure to go with a bang!