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The Whole Hog - March 2021

Red and white wine glasses wine tasting

Wine Small Talk - Is the Future Virtual?

A ray of sunshine from Boris, so it’s fingers crossed for the key milestones up until June 21st. I don’t know about you, but I’ve made a couple of reservations at my favourite restaurants who all need our support.

Having contracted Covid in January, I know first-hand how well the NHS and Track & Trace supports those with the virus. Not all deaths can be prevented, but my experience during Covid was excellent. The first glass I will be raising will be to those incredibly selfless, talented and caring staff across the NHS.

During these unprecedented times, businesses, including Wild Boar, have turned to Zoom and Virtual Meetings. There’s nothing new about that, we’ve had video conferencing since 1964 (courtesy of AT&T) but what’s taken us all by surprise is the sheer scale and usage of Virtual Meetings.

This year we have hosted over twenty Virtual Wine Tastings, and with nine already booked for March, this trend isn’t stopping soon. But is this trend going to last, is it the future?

McKinsey or Deloitte probably have the answer, but here’s my two cents worth….

I recently spoke with an industry colleague. One of his customers, from a large accounting practice, said his firm had saved £18M in 2020 in T&A cost reductions, largely due to the use of Virtual Meetings (and lack of travel). And that was just the UK saving.

That’s a big number, one that will certainly catch the shareholders’ attention. Too big to ignore.

From international plc’s to SME’s, implementing Virtual Meetings can only save you money. This doesn’t mean we abolish in-person meetings, not at all, but I do believe Virtual Meetings (such as a sales meeting, training course or Virtual Wine Tasting) will become a significant part of our business and personal lives.

And it is not just about saving money.

A recent study in Sweden looked at the impact of increasing the share of Virtual Meetings across business. The project showed that CO2 emissions from travel per employee decreased by 10% (those participating) and CO2 emissions in non-participating companies increased by 9% in the same period.

What’s clear is that increased usage of Virtual Meetings is good for your wallet and, perhaps more importantly, is good for the environment, significantly reducing corporations carbon footprints.

We absolutely still need to travel and meet in-person. Some relationships are just too important, some agendas too sensitive, some missions too, well, mission critical. But we can and should look to increase the use of technology and Virtual Meetings for many genuine and tangible reasons.

Virtual Meetings are quick and inexpensive to organise (and cancel). Today’s standard of technology means meetings can be recorded and replayed, and provide crystal clear picture and audio quality.

And they can be fun! Yes, having cheese and wine along helps, but evidence shows that people who participate in Virtual Meetings find them more relaxing and enjoyable, so their participation and contribution increases and improves.

Huge cost savings, reduced carbon footprint, happy shareholders, high quality, audit trail, greater participation and contribution. Seriously, what’s not to like?

So, whilst a return to in-person meetings is vital, necessary and inevitable, my best guess is that Virtual Meetings are most definitely here to stay. Bravo!


David Alexander


Wine of the Month

Every month we will bring you as many as four fantastic wine deals – wines we have selected for their quality and variety.

These wines are discounted for our Wine Club members – we guarantee that you will not be able to buy these wines anywhere else without having to go deeper in your pocket. (Any price comparisons are correct at time of writing).

To kick us off, we have four delicious wines for your consideration….

White Wines

Louis Jadot Ladoix Le Clou D’Orge 2017

With grapes from the foot of the Corton hill, this is a classic example of excellent Chardonnay winemaking, rich, clean and a lovely finish. Superb.

£131/case of six vs. Wine Direct: £156

Zuccardi Fosil Chardonnay 2018

A world beating Chardonnay, from San Pablo in Argentina, Sebastian Zuccardi is a master. 95 Parker points says it all!

£221/case of six vs. Farr: £270 / Hedonism: £394

Red Wines

CVNE Viña Real Gran Reserva 2014

Who doesn’t love Tempranillo? Cherry, oak and cinnamon, this is an aged Gran Reserva for silly money. 92 points.

£129/case of six vs. Tanico: £146

Robert Oatley The Pennant Frankland River Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

The Pennant range is the ‘best of the best’, only 6 barrels of this poised and exquisite Cabernet Sauvignon were produced. Classic blackcurrant with soft tannins and tremendous length. Simply unmissable, 92 points.

£181/case of six vs. VINUM: £222


Monthly Member Offers

Say Cheese!

Selection of delicious cheeses

Cheese makes for a great partner. Whether drawing dinner to a close, a midnight cheese plate snack or as an accompaniment to a delicious glass of Pinot, most of us love cheese.

That’s why we have partnered with The Fine Cheese Company and put together a seriously yummy cheese offering. Here’s what you get:

  • 100g Waxed Farmhouse Cheddar

  • 140g Cotswold Blue Brie

  • 100g Brillat Savarin

  • 125g La Baronia Mozzarella di Bufala (from Campania)

  • 140g Heritage New Bath Squares (biscuits)

  • 140g Moscato Grape Nectar

  • 100g Moon’s Green Charcuterie Pork Beer Sticks

We will also throw in a half-bottle of the excellent Robert Oatley Signature Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, to at least get you started!


Wines Around the World

Decanter explores the Argentinian producers who have become the first in the world to age wine underwater.

In February 2020, Patricia Ortiz, founder of Bodega Tapiz, announced her plans to experiment with underwater ageing, placing "1,500 magnums of their 2017 Malbec-blend in crates at depths between six and 15 meters".

Read more about their experiment at


Wild Boar Events - Update

With the outlook more promising, we will soon confirm dates for our Wine Club Member Events, including the Gaja and Taittinger dinners. The message for now is, watch this space!

We do, however, have two new events that we will be hosting. All our Club Members are able to book tickets for these events, which will be held on May 26th and 27th 2021.

So, what have we planned……?

Pretty London hotel entrance

Fine Wine Dining Evening – Dukes Hotel, Mayfair 26th and 27th May

We have teamed up with our good friends at Dukes Hotel in Mayfair to host two Fine Wine Dining Evenings on consecutive nights in May.

Limited to five guests per evening (rule of six still in place), plus mine host, both evenings will take place in the 12 seat Private Dining Room within the flagship GBR restaurant.

Head Chef Nigel Mendham is crafting an exclusive, four course menu for Wild Boar and our guests. Each course will be accompanied by a selection of fine wines from our cellars – (a total of six fine wines).

Our Founder will conduct an informal ‘wine masterclass’ and lead an evening of topical discussion.

For those inclined, digestifs and cigars will be enjoyed in the Hotel’s Cognac & Cigar Garden after dinner.

Guests wishing to head upstairs for a great night’s sleep, can take advantage of Wild Boar’s very favourable corporate rate.

Each evening is limited to five guests and the cost per person (excl. cigars & accommodation) is £225.

“Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.” – Benjamin Franklin.

Wild Boar & Friends

Introducing our very own resident artisan sourdough baker, Eddy.

A man with a basket of bread

Eddy runs Ed Baker a micro-bakery creating sourdough bread and artisan food influenced by heritage recipes. Eddy is a supporter of the Real Bread Campaign and actively promotes the values of food made from genuine ingredients.

Wild Boar are thrilled to partner with Eddy to add a fun spin on the traditional wine tasting - a chance for our guests to learn about and enjoy some freshly made sourdough alongside their selection of wines.

Follow Eddy on at @iamedbaker or visit his website for more information!


March Members Survey

Every month we will conduct a survey to help us better understand our Members’ likes and dislikes, so we can better serve you.

It should only take a minute or two, your participation would be super helpful.

And there’s a prize draw every month, take part and you’re in the draw to win a delicious bottle of Louis Jadot Couvent des Jacobins Bourgogne Blanc 2018.



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