Complaint: JP Chenet

I thought I’d upload a couple of my old complaints that have been sitting in my Hotmail for absolutely no reason at all.  Maybe one of you will chuckle.

This was from when I used to live in my crap flat, and when I started the complaint in June 2011, I had a miserable job with a witch of a manager and drunk a lot of wine.  JP Chenet wine, to be exact.

It would often be a herculean effort to get the corkscrews out.  Here goes:

Dear JP Chenet

I love your wine, however, it is very difficult to get into a bottle. Ordinary corkscrews are not good enough. I have to smash the bottle to get to it’s contents, surely this is wrong?

Kind regards James


Dear Mr Winfield,

I am writing with regards to your message below regarding one bottle of our JP Chenet 75 cl. You mention that “it is very difficult to get into a bottle”.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to let us know the problem you experienced. Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

This matter has been taken seriously by Les Grands Chais de France. The cork used to bottle this JP Chenet is a synthetic closure. We have chosen this kind of cork for some of our products in accordance with our customers. Indeed, synthetic corks offer many advantages. They guarantee perfect aromatic neutrality and avoid getting any “corked” wines. They are less permeable to oxygen than natural corks and allow a better preservation of the wines. This is the reason why synthetic corks are more and more used in the wine industry.

However, as you noticed, some bottles might be difficult to open. This phenomenon is related to several factors:
– the diameter of the cork
– the shape of the neck of the bottle
– the diameter of the neck of the bottle
– the way of using the corkscrew

We are aware of the punctual difficulties sometimes encountered by our consumers when try to uncork the bottles. We work on this particular point in relationship with our cork supplier to whom we will transmit your feedback. Furthermore, we constantly make some internal testings and extraction strenght studies in external laboratories.

Please be assured we do our best to make wines of quality in nice and smooth bottles. JP Chenet wines are also available in screw caps bottle (25 cl) or in flexible packagings (3 L , Isipacks) in many stores.

As a goodwill gesture, we will send you some JP Chenet gifts hoping that despite this event, you will still continue to enjoy our wines in the future.

Best regards.

Address supplied.
Dear Mr Winfield,
Thanks for your address. You may exchange the bottles, who is the retailer?
Kindest regards.
JP Chenet
The retailer was Tesco.
Dear Mr Winfield,
We work in partnership with TESCO, you may get an exchange or re-imbursement by going to the Customer Service Desk. They will raise a formal complaint to us and will invoice us by return.
Hope this helps.
…11 months later with at least some wine consumed.
Dear JP Chenet
You may remember that I wrote to you to complain about the awful corks in your bottles last year.
I was placated somewhat by the lovely gifts, including the pencil and more importantly, the corkscrew.
And then the wine became easier to get into during the summer – and as you are French, I knew there was no point in writing to you to say thank you during the summer months because nobody works in France between July and September.
However, during the autumn and winter months, the bottles became incredibly difficult to open.  I am a stubborn sod at times, and I kept persevering – you don’t know the difficulty and danger created by spending 20 minutes on a regular basis with a knife trying to destroy the corks, especially after coming home from a nightclub in London at 10am and the fragility of my body – and mind, after all the alcohol and narcotics.  Thankfully I am a man of lower to middle class so my place in society is not affected by destroying corks.
I have now given up which is a shame, as JP Chenet rose was my favourite wine.  I now have to drink crap South African wine or whatever the hell my local shop is selling, that actually has a screw top so it can be opened.  I have saved myself a lot of time.  And I guess I am more sober now.
I did quite like the challenge but you have gone too far.
I have attached some photos of the mayhem that your plastic corks have caused.
I wish you all the best for the future.
Love from England x
Dear Mr Winfeld
Thank you for your informative e-mail and the self-explanatory pictures. We very much appreciate your feedback and the time taken to explain this new bad experience with our synthetic closures. We are really sorry that this happened again and apologise for the inconvenience caused.
There is a solution to still continue to enjoy your favourite wine. I would like to offer you some 18.7 cl JP Chenet Rosé in screwcaps sold also in TESCO’s + some accompanying glasses.  Could you please confirm your address -James Winfield, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx – and provide me with your telephone for delivery purpose only.
May I take the opportunity to advise that you may contact us at anytime, there will be someone to listen to you in all seasons.
With my kindest regards.
JP Chenet
Hi JP Chenet
Thank you for your response, I didn’t know that your wine was available in screw cap bottles so I very much look forward to trying this.
My address is as below and phone number is xxxxx.
I am very happy to hear that you work during the summer too – I was always told that the whole of France didn’t work in August and September.
I look forward to telling all my friends the exciting news.
Kind regards
…A large box full of small bottles of JP Chenet duly arrived.
I no longer drink JP Chenet wine but the last time I did buy a large bottle – it had a screw cap.

1000 Blog Posts

I’ve reached 1,000 blog posts.  Would would have thought it?

I really should say something profound.

But I seem to be lost for words.

I cannot remember who suggested that I should get a blog.

I would like to thank them.

It has been a revelation.

It has changed my life for the better.

I have quite a few blogs now.

Some of them are even quite popular.

I guess I’m not going to make a living from any of them.

But I really enjoy writing a blog post.  Especially if it is funny.


Lent 2016

Every year I give up something profound for Lent.

I feel that it is important to show my humility and make a sacrifice on an annual basis.

In previous years, I have given up such delights as paper clips, French swear words and zebra crossings.

There was a year that I gave up semi-colons – which would have been a nightmare if I was learning how to code back then.

And last year I gave up eyebrow grooming.  A quarter of my eyebrow hairs grow twice as long as the others – I had proper old politician bushes by Easter.

Clearly I have thought long and hard as to what would be most suitable to give up for Lent this year.  It took quite some time to decide but I have decided to give up:

High 5’s.

Yes from now until Easter there will be no High 5’s.  You can offer me a High 5 but I cannot attempt to complete it.  I can offer you a High 5 but again, I cannot complete it.

Handshakes and High 10’s are fine.

Wish me well on my humble and profound sacrifice.

May I take this opportunity to thank Jesus, Moses Odubajo and Ronaldo for their continued inspiration throughout my life.

2016 Goals

Now birthday season is long out of the way, it is time to set myself some goals for the year ahead.  Or the next 11 months anyway.

I’m never sure this is the most exciting post ever, but I like posting it so there.


Lose Weight – My original plan was to get down to 87kg last year, then 83kg this year.  Given that I failed, I’m amending this to 85kg this year (I’m currently 91kg as of writing).

36 Day Detox – I’m upping it by 5 days this year (in effect an extra weekend, eeek!) and including processed meat such as bacon and sausages.  It started on 27th January.

Get On My Bike, More – I’m aiming to be able to cycle 12km in a single stint by the end of the year.  I can currently manage 6km.  I will be going for a ride most weekends that I’m not partying, and some evenings when it is light.

Vegetarian Day – I have cut down the amount of meat I eat – not for any other reason than trying to manage my calorie intake.  However I still always eat meat every day so I am going to go one day without eating any meat to see what happens – this does not include those days post-nightclub where I am too fucked to eat.

Pie Day – You can work this one out for yourself.


2 New Countries – If I go to 2 new countries a year for the rest of my life, I will have been to a fair proportion of the planet.  I’d particularly like to go to Romania and Switzerland this year, but I’m not too fussy over the exact countries.  Dipping my toe into Scandinavia appeals, as does Athens.

1 Party Holiday – The obvious choice will always be Ibiza and assuming I can find appropriate dancing partners then this is likely to happen.  Alternatively maybe a festival abroad such as Sunwaves, or if I don’t do Ibiza, then book Mexico next January for BPM.

1 UK Adventure.  There are still some areas of the UK that are unexplored for me.  Cambridge and Brighton being two examples of places that I really should have been to.  Others such as Newcastle, Liverpool and Bristol I have been to, but to a very limited extent.  I live in a fantastic country and I want to explore more of it.

Cricket – I want to go to a new cricket ground, and also to watch a 20/20 game live.

Castles, museums and country houses – I want to visit at least one countryside-based grand house, and one London-based museum, or similar cultural experience.

See Ricardo Villalobos.  It is my only must-do clubbing adventure.

Go clubbing 6 times.  Not fussed where nor who to see.

Fabric birthday.  Best party of the year.


Free Code Camp – There is a really good website which is helping me practice my coding skills.  I want to be at least close to completing the Front End certification by the end of the year – say 2/3rds done.  Given that the certificate takes an estimated 800 hours, this is quite some objective!

JavaScript – I particularly want to focus on learning JavaScript this year, and try to get more of a handle on it.  It really is very difficult to learn.

SASS, PHP, Angular, React & CSS Animations are other languages/areas of web development that I would like to at least like to start learning.

Portfolio – I must have a portfolio of a few websites very shortly.

Become 100% fluent in Spanish.  According to the app that I use, anyway.  Duolingo reckons that I am 41% fluent right now.  I can read it pretty well but speaking and listening are so much more difficult.

Cooking – I want to get another cookbook from another country, and also expand my knowledge of salads.  Yes, you read that correctly.

Learn About Music – At some future point when I am not spending huge amounts of time studying web development, I would like to learn how to make music.  My goal for this year, is just to do some little thing about it.


Blog Refresh – I aim to refresh all of my blogs, giving them a slightly different feel at the very least., with the exception of the recently-launched blogs.

Top Tunes Blog – This I aim to professionalise.  Unfortunately what I want to do costs a bit of money so I keep putting it off.

Weather Forecasting – I’m currently close to 2,400 readers on my weather forecasting page.  I want to reach 3,500 by the end of the year and also I intend on starting a new weather project via a new website I am soon going to be building.

Ubereadoolische – This is being relaunched soon with a more modern look – it is also written in Drupal, which is a content management system that I wanted to learn.

Roast Dinners Around Reading – This finishes this year and I want to go out in style.

New blogs – I have ideas for new blogs, and I want at least one of them to replace Roast Dinners Around Reading.

Discard blogs – Some old blogs have to be disposed of.  Time is short.


Technics – I will be buying a pair this year, along with CDJ stands and some decent headphones that I will not let anyone borrow (ie steal) ever again.

Supermarket Slut – I want to test out all the major supermarkets to see if there is anywhere else that I prefer to Sainsburys.


Get out of Bracknell – Pretty self-explanatory.

Get a job – There is some uncertainty as to how long I will have this current job, so at some point I will need to start looking for another.  Ideally as a junior web developer, but the money would be low to start, very low, so maybe as a senior credit controller if I can find something interesting.

Laugh more – Quite simply I want to enjoy life more and I want to be happier.  Therefore I must laugh more.  Even if it is just a daily belly-laugh to weird out my colleagues.

Forgotten My Pass

Please can you return the pass to reception as it is a day
pass only.
Hi Reception

I agree with you that it is a day pass, however I have travelled back in time
by a week so I’m not due to return it for 6 days.
Security breach then…..
Hi Reception
I have spent 15 minutes reading
human resources guidelines and can find no reference to time travel being a
security breach.

That said, I understand your concerns, and as soon as I have replenished my
stock of duplicated uranium isotopes, I will be able to power up the time
machine so the pass is returned on the same day that I borrowed it.
Kind regards
Please can you give it to Anne
to bring over.

Hi Reception
Two people cannot travel on my time
machine.  I haven’t actually borrowed the pass yet in the space-time
continuum so this would endanger us all if I were to mess with the future.

Kind regards


My Books Of 2015

The Record Players – Bill Brewster

This was often a fascinating read – a collection of in depth interviews with some of the most important characters that there has ever been in the history of dance music.

I certainly felt a bit uncomfortable reading the first interview on the train – which was with Jimmy Savile.  Love him or not (possibly the latter), I have to say that he came across as a bit of an arrogant twat.

Some of the early interviews were fascinating, such as with the late John Peel – others not so much – there were too many northern soul kind of interviewees for my liking.

The disco DJs were enlightening, such as David Mancuso – though the hip-hop section was a little difficult to get through, especially the thick cliche’d Kool Herc.  Cannot say I found anything interesting about DJ Shadow…though Grandmaster Flash had a humbling story to tell.

Then it came into the soul of the book, Frankie Knuckles, Marshall Jefferson, then through techno originators such as Jeff Mills.

It then takes a UK-bias for the rest of the book, as we took over the running of the future of dance music – Terry Farley and Mike Pickering in particular had great stories to tell, even Paul Oakenfold was most readable.

Then it ends almost as lamentably as it begin, with Tiesto.

Many of the interviews were done 10 or more years ago, so it does read a little dated at times, and there are clearly so many modern heroes not featured  But then again it is all about the origins of the dance music world and it’s scenes.

Often fascinating, occasionally a chore, 8/10.

The End of the Party – Andrew Rawnsley

I realised shortly into the book that I was reading the second book in a two part series – I guess it should have been obvious as it took the second half of new Labour from 9/11 onwards to the 2010 election when finally they fucked off.

Yes it is all about the New Labour project and it is so readable – I was hooked from the off.

The central tenet is the dysfunctionality of the relationship between Blair and Brown – there are so many quotes from those close to the pair that have surprised even a Brown-hater like myself as to just what a nasty, selfish and barbaric man he was.

This is such a brilliant account of what went on, and very illuminating as to how the government was run…or perhaps wasn’t run.  I actually felt like I was in Downing Street as it all went on around me.

You’d probably have to be reasonably interested in politics to enjoy this, and be able to eat all 700 pages, but it is like a thriller, only you lived with the characters for much of your life.

A scary, thrilling addictive read, 8.5/10.

In It Together – Matthew D’Ancona

A book about the inner workings of the coalition.  What a great idea.

Split into 24 chapters, with the last 3 chapters literally whacked on at the end.  The chapters each deal with a separate area, such as health, education, Leveson…oh how dull Leveson was then and still is now.

Very few of the chapters provided any enlightenment to someone such as myself that follows politics studiously.  Several of them were utterly boring, such as the aforementioned Leveson chapter.

It really was a case of getting through it.

Maybe if someone picks it up in 20 years they will find it enlightening.  There was some limited background on the workings of the coalition and the friction – but it really was limited.  Maybe friction itself was limited.

Apparently there will not be a better insider’s account of the coalition for years.  There probably won’t be a worse.

Dull.  2/10.