Yapp Brothers Blog

Festive Feasting  »

December 18th, 2014 by Tom Ashworth

The Yapp team spend a great deal of time discussing food and wine combinations with our discerning clientele, particularly in the run up to Christmas, so we thought we would share a few of our own plans for the forthcoming festivities.

Christmas Eve

Bianca who is heading off to join friends and family in her native Holland will be rustling up a serving of bitterballen (deep-fried and crumbed balls filled with a creamy meat ragu), devilled eggs and platters of cheese or charcuterie. She’s packing half a dozen Crémant de Limoux to kick start the party.





Jackie will be cooking baccalau (salt cod) which is a popular dish in Italy, Spain & Portugal on Nochebuena. She’s grabbing a couple of bottles of Irouléguy Blanc if we haven’t sold out, if not then the bold, herby Bellet Blanc.





Christmas Day

The Catanach clan are staying put in Wiltshire and keeping it traditional. Vouvray Mousseux Brut as an aperitif will be followed by a magnum of Gigondas: Domaine Saint Gayan 2009 to accompany the free-range turkey. Hamish is hoping the 1.5L format will leave a splosh for the cheese course. To finish, they’ll wash down an organic Christmas pudding with Banyuls Réserva Domaine la Tour Vieille.


Chambolle Musigny 2007


Tom will also be roasting a turkey (partnered with his last bottle of Chambolle Musigny 2007) and imposing mandatory brussel sprouts on unsuspecting Colombian and Lebanese guests. Not to be too mean, he’s serving canapés of bunuelos (cheesy dough balls, and also slang for a bad driver) and figs with ricotta. Both dishes are rich and so the cutting edge of Dumangin Extra Brut will be required.


Fresh figs with ricotta and honey - leitesculinaria.com

Fresh figs with ricotta and honey


Boxing Day

Jason will be returning from a restorative dog walk with neighbours to enjoy a clove-studded glazed ham along with a magnum of Fred Filliatreau’s Vieilles Vignes.

We hope this has provided some inspiration.
Merry Christmas!



Advent Artwork  »

December 10th, 2014 by Jason Yapp

Back in the olden days before Facebook and YouTube, when we could still coerce our progeny into communal craftwork, we decided to resist the commercialisation of Christmas and create an in-house Christmas card. What began as a bit of a lark has now become a labour of love and as the festive season looms we struggle to come up with a new idea and then execute it. Looking through the roll call of previous efforts some don’t seem too bad while others are definitely best consigned to the recycling bin.

Here are a few highlights:


Scissors christmas card


This early effort was nice and simple and a surprising number of friends and relatives actually made paper-chains from the template.


Aardman Christmas Card


This homage to Aardman Animation was more fiddly than it looks but was well received at the time.


Casino Royale Christmas Card


This effort was inspired by the great credit sequence from Casino Royale – perhaps it would have worked better as wrapping paper!


Lego Christmas Card


Lego™ was the order of the day back in 2010!


Mistletoe Christmas Card


This simple line drawing has a certain je ne sais quoi but it was Alfred’s mistletoe that really finessed it.

Of course, if you want a really good card design you need to call upon a professional and not a bunch of amateurs. Our friend Glen Baxter never fails to raise a smile with his annual Michaelmas missives.


Glen Baxter Bike


You can never go far wrong with a really apposite photograph.


Saint Nicolas


My Dad took this snap of a statue of Saint Nicolas in Auxerre back in the 1970s. I really like the terracotta tones and the serendipitous letter sticking out of the letter-box.

At the time of writing we’ve just taken delivery of some glorious ‘Grapevine’ greetings cards by graphic artist Emily Burningham at our shop here in Mere.


Emily Burningham


I think it might be time to put away the coloured card and PVA glue and leave things to the professionals. Incidentally, if you’re stuck for last-minute gift ideas we’ve also got some luxurious cushions in the same fabulous print.



Festive Favourites  »

December 4th, 2014 by Jason Yapp

December is a bit of a crunch time here at Yapp Brothers so I plan to do all of my shopping as locally as possible or on-line. The secret of a stress free festive season lies in prior planning so here is my personal guide to items I recommend as gifts to others or (even better) oneself!


1. I Dress Myself
The ‘go to’ purveyor of groovy T-Shirts for kids or ‘young adults’ as they despise to be called; as modelled here by the junior Yapps. They’ve got impeccable environmentally-friendly credentials to boot and only deploy solvent-free inks. Check them out at: www.idressmyself.co.uk


I Dress Myself


2. Addictaball
I bought one of these fiendish spheres for a juvenile acquaintance a couple of Christmases ago and I had hours of fun much to their chagrin. You have to guide a ball bearing around a devilish maze by skill and gravity alone. No batteries or relatives required.




3. Glorious Greek Slippers
If you’re stuffed for a gift idea for a loved one, slippers are a fail-safe and unimaginative cliché that may meet with disapproval on the day but will be appreciated for months afterwards. These Hellenic head-turners come from the magnificent Frome ‘Independent’ market where I’ll be doing the bulk of my Christmas shopping next Sunday 7th December. www.thefromeindependent.org.uk


Greek Slippers


4. Chesil Smokery ‘Cold Smoked’ Salmon
I hope that if I keep banging on about how delicious Mark Firth’s peerless cold smoked salmon is he’ll cross my palm with fish. His Dorset-cured salmon knocks all supermarket offerings into the shade. Chez Yapp we enjoy it with scrambled eggs for breakfast or with sour cream and blinis at cocktail hour. They pre-slice it by hand to perfection which saves all-manner of hassle. www.chesilsmokery.com


Chesil Smokery


5. Scrabble™ for iPad by Mattel
How I filled the empty hours before I discovered this 21st Century take on the 20th century’s favourite word game I cannot imagine. I like to play against the computer which has an inexhaustible lexicon and, un-sportingly, favours multiple 2 letter combinations yielding improbably high scores. It can, however, be beaten if you find its weak spot – in ‘Settings’.


ipad scrabble


6. Das Boot by Lothar Günther Bucheim
This chilling auto-biographical account of a tour of duty on a U-boat during WWII was a smash hit with my Gentlemen’s Literary Association (alright Book Club) earlier in the year. Brilliantly translated by Alfred A. Knopf with a cracking cover illustration by Dan Mogford – the tension between hunters and hunted is played out against a background of sonic pings in this gripping nautical narrative. Just don’t read it in the bath!


Das Boot


7. Carhartt™ Watch Cap
Benny from Crossroads has a lot to answer for but these beanies are beauties as modelled by Alfred (Forest Green) and me (Forêt Noire).


Carhartt hats


8. Norfolk Bronze Turkey
I have one of these on standing order at Stourhead Farm Shop and they never fail to please. It’s always the centrepiece of our traditional Christmas dinner. My sister makes the watercress stuffing and bread sauce and we ‘devil and pull’ any left-overs on Boxing Day as per a medieval recipe revived by the late, great Jane Grigson. www.stourhead.com/shop/farmshop.html


Norfolk Bronze Turkey


9. Kirsty Almeida – Déja Voodu
I’ve been a fan of this Gibraltar-raised chantoose ever since I saw her live act a couple of years ago. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t enjoy this upbeat, funky, folky album except perhaps my Dad so I’ll definitely be getting him a copy!


Kirsty Almeida - Deja Voodu


10. Crozes Hermitage 2011: Alain Graillot – Magnum
Nothing graces a festive table better than a magnum – they’re big and bountiful and you have fewer corks to pull. Alain Graillot’s Crozes-Hermitage is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser – brimming with dark Autumnal fruit with cool, granitic undertones it will go down a treat with the turkey and should put a smile on everyone’s faces. www.yapp.co.uk/Wine-List/Rhone-Wines/Crozes-Hermitage-Wines/Crozes-Hermitage–Alain-Graillot-2011/


Graillot Magnum



Thanksgiving, Wine Matching with Turkey & The Ultimate Leftovers Recipe  »

November 26th, 2014 by Aysha Aziz

With our american cousins celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, we thought it was the perfect time to punt some ideas on wine matches with turkey.


Thanksgiving turkey


For roast turkey we would suggest weighty whites, such as Brézème or light to medium-bodied reds – Fred Filliatreau’s old-vine Saumur-Champigny springs to mind.
For a comprehensive analysis of roast turkey dishes, The Guardian’s wine writer Fiona Beckett (recently anointed IWSC ‘Wine Blogger of the Year 2014′) wrote a great review of the difference between US and UK turkeys on her excellent website.


Painted Buildings in Alsace



What to do with the leftover turkey? A Yapp family Christmas is not complete without ‘Pulled and Devilled Turkey’, an 18th century dish adapted by Jane Grigson in ‘English Food’. The combination of spicy dark meat and turkey breast in a creamy sauce is a winner. Most recently, pulled meats have become the new food trend in restaurants and supermarkets. In terms of food and wine matching, we would go with either a juicy, low-tannin red such as Beaujolais Villages: Cuvée de Vieilles Vignes, Le Petit Caboche or Savoie Mondeuse, or a white wine that will stand up to spices – Alsace Pinot Gris or Jasper Hill Riesling, perhaps?


Jasper Hil - Riesling - Georgias Paddock



Pulled and Devilled Turkey, Chicken or Pheasant: A Recipe by Jane Grigson:

  • 500g (1lb) Cooked Turkey Breast
  • 1 Leg and Thigh of the Turkey (preferably uncooked/pink)

Devil Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Mango/Peach Chutney
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcester Sauce or 1 Tablespoon of Anchovy Essence
  • 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Oil

Pulled Sauce

  • 200g (7oz) Butter
  • 300ml (½ Pt) Double Cream
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chopped Parsley

1. Pull the breast meat apart into pieces roughly 4cm long, until you end up with thread-like pieces. Strip the brown meat off the bones; divide into larger pieces than the breast meat.
2. Mix the devil sauce ingredients together and chop up any large pieces of fruit in the chutney. Dip the brown pieces of meat into the devil sauce. After, place the pieces of brown meat onto a foil-lined grill pan and grill under a high heat until the meat is brown and crisp.
3. For the pulled sauce, melt the butter in a frying pan, stir in the cream and let it boil for a couple of minutes. Keep stirring until you end up with a thick, rich sauce. Next, add the pulled breast meat to the sauce, stirring until the pieces are thoroughly heated through. Season to taste with lemon, salt and pepper. Place onto the centre of a serving dish with the devilled bits surrounding it.
4. Serve with homemade bread or a simple salad.



Tasting With The Wine Gang  »

November 25th, 2014 by Andy Wadsworth

For the third year in a row it rained cats and dogs on the day of The Wine Gang Tasting. However, it didn’t dampen the spirits (or palates) of the many imbibers gathered together last Saturday, in the Georgian splendour of The Guildhall in Bath.


The Wine Gang


We were on hand to show a dozen wines, many of which feature prominently in our Christmas Offers brochure – do get in touch if you’d like a copy. Judging by the comments from the crowds gathered around our table our wines were a big hit with tasters.


The Wine Gang, Bath 2014


Our own award for ‘Best in Show’ (in white) should probably go to our gooseberry and elderflower infused Quincy, with our Saint-Pourçain – a subtle blend of Chardonnay and little-known, local variety Trésallier – making a strong bid as the surprise find of the day. Top spot in red was our Gigondas 2007 – from one of the best southern Rhône vintages in many a year. Sumptuously styled by Yves Chéron (who runs the highly-regarded Pascal Frères négociant house) this red is packed with chest-thumping red fruit flavours with a classic cigar box and spice finish. Perfect for the winter season.


The Wine Gang - Yapp Brothers


If you missed us at The Wine Gang in Bath there’s still a chance to taste a huge range of wines that we are recommending for festive drinking. Our two-day Christmas Sale is a fabulous opportunity to ‘try before you buy’ ensuring that you replenish your wine rack or cellar handsomely for Christmas and the New Year.

Don’t miss out our Christmas Tasting and Sale is this Friday 28th & Saturday 29th November from 9.30am to 5pm. The tasting is free so there’s no need to register, and don’t forget to invite family and friends.

Hope to see you there!


Yapp Christmas Tasting and Sale
Friday 28th & Saturday 29th November 9.30am to 5.00pm
Yapp Brothers Ltd. The Old Brewery, Water Street, Mere, Wiltshire, BA12 6DY.
Tel: (01747) 860 423



Southern Symbolism  »

November 19th, 2014 by Jason Yapp

I was hosting a tasting for WSET diploma students last week and an inquisitive attendee from Korea asked me what the embossed crossed keys on the bottle of 2011 Châteaunueuf-du-Pape from Le Vieux Donjon symbolised. I was able to elucidate with a degree of professionalism that Avignon-based Clement V had been installed as the first of the ‘exiled’ Popes in 1309 and that his successor John XXII built his summer residence up-river in Châteauneuf’ between 1318 and 1333 giving the town both its name and its enduring links with the head of the Catholic church. I knew that the keys of Saint Peter symbol denoted a bottle of authentic château-bottled wine but I did not know that it was the great visionary Baron Pierre Le Roy Boiseaumarié himself, creator of the seminal Appellation Contrôlée system, who devised the embossed bottle as a way of distinguishing Châteauneuf’ from lesser pretenders. You can see it here on the only vintage I have to hand which is older than I am – a bottle of 1964 Chante Cigale but it was actually introduced in 1937 just one year after the appellation originated.


Chante Cigale 1964


It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and like many nifty ideas Baron Pierre’s raised relief has been ripped-off by all-manner of upstarts.


Baron Pierre Le Roy de Boiseaumarié

Baron Pierre Le Roy de Boiseaumarié


20 kilometres away in Gigondas they’ve opted for a shield a hunting horn and some foliage while across the river in Lirac they’ve got a spikey shield and what appears to be an arc de triomphe – although it might be a Cyclops robot – I’m extemporising here.




The pesky plagiarists of Vacqueyras have gone for a shameless bit of recessed cross key imagery while down in Corsica we get the majestic Moore’s head, a scallop shell, Neptune’s crown and a couple of Mer-people to boot. Obviously quite a broad brief on that one with understandable nautical leanings.




What really put a fly in the ointment though is that a whole bunch of Châteauneuf’ vignerons begrudged paying the subs for their right to deploy the Pontiff’s portal-opener imagery and, about a decade ago, introduced the controversial, rival embossed Mitre-bearing bottle. Traditionalists were incandescent and siblings stopped speaking to one another but to this day both symbols vie for supremacy. Personally I prefer the Baron’s original emblem but there is plenty of decent wine that ends up in ‘pointy hat’ bottles.


Chateauneuf-du-Pape mitre bottle


Not that the Baron was entirely original himself. Are great ideas always inspired rather than freshly forged? As this 1858 bottle of Bouzy illustrates wine-makers were embossing bottle-necks at least 79 years before the syndicateurs of Châteauneuf’ staked their claim.


Bouzy - 1858


The 2011 Vieux Donjon was unimpeachable by the way. Not a blockbuster but lots of briary garrigue berry fruit and gentle, spicy undertones against a background of supple tannins and cracked black pepper. I am sure the Baron would have approved!