August 21st 2022 (Sunday). Mr. Whitehead’s Cider Farm Visit. Alton.

We are delighted to invite you to our “Holiday Tasting” at Mr Whitehead’s Cider Company in Alton, on Sunday August 21st at 4:00pm.

Please remember your friends and guests are also welcome to join us – see guest pricing below.

We also have the chance to visit the local “Pub with no name” afterwards for dinner for those who’d be interested. See below for details for how to request a place.

We will start a Tour in their 6500 tree-strong orchard, so you would have to wear appropriate footwear as it can be muddy and uneven. You will be able to change into your wellies in their yard.

After the Tour and Tasting of some of their Cider and Perry you will receive a free bottle of Apple Juice and a bottle of cider. There will also be the possibility to purchase further Cider, Apple Juice and Cider Vinegar, from their shop area after the Tour.

The visit normally lasts about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on questions asked and interaction with the group. So we should be finished well by 6:00pm.

Depending on the mood of the group, we could all retire to a local hostelry, perhaps The White Horse, Priors Dean, for a group meal. Please indicate if you would like to.

Something to bear in mind is that the A32 at Farringdon might still be shut for scheduled flood prevention works. There is a diversion via Four Marks if you are coming from the A31/Alton direction.

Booking Details

  • Date: Sunday August 21st at 4:00pm prompt
  • Venue: Mr. Whitehead’s Cider Company Ltd., Windmill Farm, Colemore, Alton GU34 3PY (Map)
  • Ticket price: £5 for IBM Club Members, £10 for Guests and Associate Members
  • Ticket requests: Please include the names of everyone in your group in an email to bookings@binendum.org.uk
  • Dinner: Please indicate if you like to attend the pub dinner (or not) in your email

Please DO NOT send any money at this point. Once you receive an email acknowledging your request, please send payment in the usual way.

After payment is received you will get an email to confirm your place(s).

* PLEASE NOTE: Tickets are non-refundable (unless an event is oversold and the ticket can be allocated to the wait list).

COVID Update: Please note we are still following the COVID guidelines but as much of the event is outside, masks are not compulsory.

See you soon,

The WAS Committee

June 2022 – “Tour de France” with Bordeaux & Beyond

We were delighted to welcome back Tony Hill, owner of Bordeaux & Beyond, taking in several different Appellations, some famous and some not. Tony shared the individual stories behind the wines and the reasons he chose to import them.

Bordeaux & Beyond are a specialist importer that concentrates on wines from smaller independent vignerons in France that are not usually available elsewhere – wines made by people, not factories

Whether you attended the event or not, up until close of business Weds 22nd June, you can order the wines in quantities of 1 and up (normally only sold by the case) by downloading the order form here and emailing your order to Mike.

The wines were all individually made in smaller quantities, many were organic and the quality really shone through. The details of wines we tasted are as follows:

  • Ventoux Rosé, Dom Vintur, La Minette, 2021 (Cinsault, Grenache Rouge, Marselan, Mourvèdre) – £11.50
  • Mâcon-Verzé, Dom. Charmond, 2019 (Chardonnay) – £14.00
  • Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine, Cru Clisson, Dom de l`Epinay, 2017 (Melon de Bourgogne) – £18.50
  • Champagne, Domi Moreau, Cuvée d`Argent, Brut NV (Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir) – £25.00
  • Alsace Pinot Noir, Domaine de la Tour Blanche, 2020 (Pinot Noir) – £17.00
  • Saint-Chinian, Dom. Belles Courbes, Vielle Vignes, 2019 (Grenache Noir, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault) – £14.50
  • St. Emilion Grand Cru, Ch. les Cabannes, 2018 (Merlot) – £20.00
  • Pauillac 5CC, Ch. Pedesclaux 2015 (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc) – $44.00

May 2022. Loire & Lebanon. (Deferred to a later date!)

Dear WAS Members,

We are delighted to announce that our next wine tasting on Thursday May 19th we will welcome back Chris Gilbey, who will be joined by Jane Sowter, Director of Chateau Musar, to present a range of wines on the theme of “Loire and Lebanon”. Two more different wine growing regions it would be hard to find.

Famed for its natural beauty and its magnificent chateaux, the Loire is home to crisp and elegant whites as well as some wonderful sweet and sparkling wines. (For the history buffs, it was also where Joan of Arc led French troops to victory in the Hundred Years’ War).

In contrast, Lebanon is among the oldest sites of wine production in the world and can trace its wine growing culture back over 7,000 years. Despite the many conflicts of the region the country manages to produce around 8-9m bottles of wine annually. (That may sound a lot but remember that Bordeaux produces 900m bottles per annum). The strong French colonial influence can be seen in the fantastic reds produced by the likes of Chateau Musar from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and other grape varietals.

This promises to be a very special evening and we encourage you to book places early to avoid disappointment.

We also plan to have three excellent wines in our raffle, tickets are £1 each so please do bring some change. The raffle really does help us fund our tastings:

  • Cremant de Limoux by Antech,Brut, Langue
  • Exhibition Sauvignon Blanc, NZ 2018
  • Solidus Siegrist Pinot Noir, Trocken 2015

Booking Details

  • Date: Thursday May 19th 2022 at 7:15pm prompt
  • Venue: The Barn, St Michael’s Church Cottage, Basingstoke
  • Ticket price: £15 for IBM Club Members, £18 for Guests and Associate Members
  • Ticket requests: Please include the names of everyone in your group in an email to bookings@binendum.org.uk

Please DO NOT send any money at this point. Once you receive an email acknowledging your request, please send payment in the usual way.

After payment is received you will get an email to confirm your place(s).

PLEASE NOTE: Tickets are non-refundable (unless an event is oversold and the ticket can be allocated to the wait list).

COVID Update: Please note we are still following the COVID guidelines we shared last month to ensure everybody feels comfortable at our events:

  • Please continue to wear a mask when entering and leaving the barn and moving round. They can be removed whilst seated.
  • Tables will set up for 2-3 people, though seating can be rearranged in your small groups where required
  • Ventilation will continue via the opening of extra doors & windows
  • More sanitiser will be available and feel free bring personal bottles if you wish
  • The buffet will be set up in two groups to minimise mixing and tables will be asked to approach in turn

Our updated Tasting Calendar is now available here.

See you soon,

The WAS Committee

April 2022 – Supermarket vs Château

What a fun evening! A blind tasting of pairs of wines – one from the supermarket, one from the top end. Could we guess which was which, which country, which grape and the price? Hosted by our very own Paul B, we tasted several pairs of wines and found out just how good our knowledge and taste buds were. Coupled by a lovely spread of food from around the Med, the event was a bit of a highlight.

We interspersed the tastings with the key AGM items and we are now all set for another year of WAS tastings and events.

The wines we tasted were as follows and more tasting notes can be found here:

Sparkling

White

Red

Sticky

March 2022 – Four Corners of the World

This month saw the return of our ever popular “Four Corners” style tasting, and it was our first sell out event since we returned to FTF meetings after lockdown. Rather than sitting and listening to a speaker, the room was set up with Greece in one corner, Germany in another and Italy and South Africa in the other two. Each corner was hosted by club members and featured a white and a red from that country plus some delicious food and nibbles to complement the wines. And to finish things off, we headed to Greece for some delicious baklava and a greek “sticky”!

South Africa featured a 2020 Chenin Blanc from Swartland to start things off. There was also a gorgeous 2014 Syrah – really deep red, full-flavoured and smooth. The later version is available here. Both went well with the Biltong and got everyone in the mood for more.

Greece was a real feast for the senses. Read, print or download all the details here. There was a tasty home made Spanakopita to accompany a glass of Assyrtiko – one of Greece’s finest white wines. And the red was a lovely Liatiko, Crete’s famous red wine. Both were accompanied by a huge assortment for Greek nibbles including Olives, Kefalateri, Feta, Taramasalata and Vine Leaves to name but a few. The Mavrodaphne was a great way to end the evening.

Germany started us off with a Riesling from the Mosel region, with it’s crisp dryness it had a good balance between the rich peach, apple and apricot flavours and the refreshing acidity. For the red we moved to a J.L. Wolf Pinot Noir, from the Rheinland Pfalz, just north of the Alsace. With a hint of smooth tannins and bright notes of red fruit, it and the white complemented the breads and german meats and sausages perfectly!

Italy was a very colourful corner with wonderful food including prosciutto with olives, italian cheese rolls, salami and tomato/mozzarella/cucumber sticks. This was all the perfect accompaniment to the white, a Langhe Arneis 2020, which was dry and full bodied and then a gorgeous, deep smooth Brunello di Montalcino, a wonderful red from Tuscany.

The event proved a huge success with the chance to properly meet other members of WAS in an informal, fun and tasty environment. The next event and the plan for the rest of the year is available here.

February 2022 – Off the Beaten Track

Our club is privileged to welcome speakers from across the wine industry. All are knowledgeable and interesting. Some stand out. This month we welcomed back Alun Griffiths, a master of wine and a good friend of the club.

Alan has a distinguished career in the wine business, formerly head buyer for Berry Brothers and Rudd, he is now a freelance. He judges in the Decanter Wine awards and consults internationally for buyers all over the world.

Alun has presented to us on several occasions in the past few years: on “classic west European wines” – mainly French, on “How wines age”, on the “our changing tastes in wine” and this time on “wines from off the beaten track” – a title suggested to offer him the widest licence to select.

Alun presented wines from Slovenia, Sicily, Greece, Bulgaria, Morocco and Germany, all sourced from either the Wine Society, or our local merchant, Caviste. Their prices ranged from £9.95 to £22.00. It was an eclectic collection with no theme other than that they were unusual in the canon of wine making and that they were enjoyable to learn about and to taste.

Alun has a most authoritative presentation style and a fund of amusing anecdotes from his extensive background in the industry. It was an excellent evening and we look forward to inviting him again.

December 2021 – Christmas Tasting – Decanter Winners!

Each year the prestigious Decanter Magazine holds its World Wines Awards. About 20,000 wines are submitted by producers from around the world. Wines are tasted blind by panels of judges in optimal and neutral conditions. Each wine is scored out of 100 points and, if ranked, is awarded points and one of “Commended, Bronze, Silver or Gold”. In a second round of tastings the Gold awarded wines go forward to be adjudged as “Gold, Platinum and, for one only …. Best in Show”.

For our December tasting, subtitled “better late than never”, our committee amassed a selection of wines chosen from the 2019 medal winners of the Decanter Magazine World wine awards.

About 20,000 wines are submitted for panel tastings and, if ranked, earn a status as Commended, Bronze medal, Silver medal, Gold Medal or Platinum medal.

The winning wines are gazetted in the magazine which also conveniently lists where they may be sourced – mostly from retailers and accessible wine clubs.

Though this tasting had been scheduled for 2019, it was covid delayed.

Our Chairman, David Rossell, drew the short straw and presented a slightly eclectic flight of 10 wines, drawn from all the major wine producing regions. The presentation was accompanied by a scoring quiz in which members could pit their taste buds against those of Decanter’s processional tasters. We sampled wines from all four medal categories.

A Silver medal winning Bouvet Ladubay Cremant de Loire set the scene followed by a crisp Galician Albarino (Gold), an unusual Croatian Malvasia (Silver) and a St Clair family estate Sauvignon Blanc (Gold) from Marlborough. Four reds followed: a Tuscan blend (Silver), a Duque de Miralta Rioja (Silver), a Vinalba Gran reserve Malbec from Mendoza (Gold) and a hearty Australian Cabernet Sauvignon (Sliver) from Barossa. We finished the flight with a Chateau du Galoupet from Provence, (Platinum) which didn’t impress us, but a sip of fine Port (Silver) made up for it.

Brian & Ruth Wiseman and Sue Rossell fielded excellent Venison Casserole and Chicken paella at half time. We are, as ever, grateful for their culinary prowess.

It has been a challenging tasting year. We ended it in style.

November 2021 – Spanish Wines

¡Qué noche! What a night of Spanish wines & tapas-style comestibles with Michael Peet from Stone Vine & Sun. After an introduction to the history of Spanish wine making and regions (thanks owed to Phylloxera in France and EU funding) we dove straight into a flight of delicious regional wines and varietals. With a mix of wines to accompany food, others perfect for drinking by themselves, and some all rounders – there was something for everyone. Oh, and not to mention the deliciously sticky Pedro Ximenez sherry at the end.. vanilla ice cream anyone?!

Glass of fizz:

Whites:

Reds:

Sherry:

Tasting notes are available here. If you weren’t able to buy on the night, all of these wines are available from Stone Vine & Sun.

October 2021 – Traditional Christmas Dinner Wines!

Back in the barn and David Brown from Justerini & Brooks returned for his 5th visit to the club. This time with a selection of excellent wines recommended for the Traditional Christmas Dinner.

Justerini & Brooks have an excellent reputation for their extensive portfolio of fine wines and the selection certainly didn’t dissappoint! Here is what we tasted (with links where available):

  1. Justerini & Brooks, Sarcey, Brut, Champagne, Private Cuvée, NV
  2. Montlouis, Clos Mosny, de La Taille aux Loups, 2019
  3. Pernand Vergelesses, Blanc, Remi Rollin, 2018
  4. St Joseph, L’Instinct, Domaine Jolivet, 2017
  5. Château Greysac, Médoc, 2015
  6. Château Haut Bergey, Pessac Léognan, 2009
  7. Château Petit Védrines, Sauternes, 2016, (37.5cl)
  8. Kings River, Chardonnay, Robertson, 2020
  9. Domaine Montrose, Rouge, IGP Pays d’Oc, 2019

Now that tastings are back to the familiar format with socially distanced tables, smaller groups, the staggered buffet and a raffle of excellent wines, bookings are coming in quickly for each event. Please keep an eye out for the invitation emails, plus booking details here, to avoid missing out.

Sept 2021 – South African Wine Tour

After what seems like an age, we held our first face to face wine tasting back at the Barn

We were delighted to welcome back our old friend Torquil Jack, founder of Carte du Vin, a specialist importer of wines with the specific aim of showcasing wines from small, passionate producers.

Torquil took us on a tour around the wine regions of South Africa with 7 of his favourite wines:

 

  • Silverthorn, The Green Man: Made from 100% Chardonnay, this award winning fizz has fresh aromas of green apple and acacia blossom backed up by subtle hints of minerality and whiffs of freshly baked brioche. (£21.99)
  • Noble Hill – Mourvèdre Rosé 2020: This rosé is a light salmon pink colour, made from 100% Mourvèdre it elicits aromas of rose water, strawberries, watermelon and black currant, with a crisp dry finish. (£13.50)
  • Stony Brook – The J 2017: Made from 60% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Viognier & 10% Semillon, this wine has great balance with rich layers of aromatic floral spice and butterscotch, countered by a touch of sweetness from the Viognier and bright acidity from the Sauvignon Blanc. The palate is creamy and silky, with long textured finish with the subtle wood component adding a delicate hint of hazelnuts. (£13.75)
  • Arendsig Vineyard – Inspirational Chenin 2019: 100% Chenin, yellow apple in colour, subtle taste of pineapple, nuts, spice and white pear. On the pallet rich, broad, and great depth of flavor with well-balanced acidity (£17.25)
  • Hill & Dale – Pinotage 2018: A complex melange of red fruit flavours, enticing spiciness and earthy nuttiness. Medium full in structure with a supple juicy softness. This 100% Pinotage is friendly and supple with gentle, though ample tannins, a sweet, rounding fullness with an elegantly dry finish. (£13.25)
  • Clos Malverne – Auret 2017: This is the flagship wine at Clos Malverne, a unique, full bodied red blend. Pleasantly dry tannins, spicy with underlying ripe berry fruits. Made from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Pinotage & 10% Merlot. (£15.50)
  • Peter Falke – Muscat D’Alexandrie: This 100% Muscat is light amber in colour. Aromas of orange blossom with deeper notes of jasmine and rose. On the palate apricot flavours leave a long lingering finish (£23.75)

 

August / September Bubbly Tours & Tastings!

During the summer we held TWO vineyard tours and tastings at Hattingley Valley Wines (near Alresford in Hampshire) and at Greyfriars Vineyard (near Guildford on the A31).

  • Hattingley Valley organised a guided tour and tasting experience of their award-winning premium sparkling wines, plus a few others. They showed us each step of the process in their 600-tonne capacity winery, which is relatively new and sparkling clean and spacious. The vines are on the other side of the village, so they have a few sample vines to demonstrate the process. Well worth a trip if you missed it.
  • Greyfriars Vineyard is a little different. They also make traditional method sparklers but they are situated right in the middle of the vines. The tour starts amongst the vines where, unusually, you can see non grafted root stock! Slightly less clinical than Hattingley, the tour continues through the winemaking area and you get to see the process from end to end. To top things off you get to try a number of their sparkling and still wines and take home a bubbly glass! Another one to visit on a sunny day if you missed it.

July 2021 – Summer Garden Party!

Despite the threat of thunder, this year’s WAS GARDEN PARTY went ahead at David and Sue’s house and was a huge success. Gorgeous food, plenty of vino, good company and even a little sunshine to keep the group outside all afternoon!

The wines were from the LIDL “Wine Tour” range – the latest selection of which are listed on our News page.

June 2021 – Wine Society Tasting

June’s tasting was different to the previous lockdown ones, in that the committee sourced wines from the Wine Scoiety, decanted them into tasting portions and distributed them to members. This allowed for a different selection and quality of wines, all of which was a hit with the attendees.

Our selection is a flight of 6 wines from The Wine Society’s Exhibition range. Click on each wine for the tasting notes which you can read on screen, download or print.

May 2021 – A Tesco Finest Spring Picnic

Our theme for the evening was A Spring Picnic, with a varied selection of foods accompanying the various wines tasted during the evening, all selected from the Tesco Finest range.

We started the evening with a choice of two sparkling wines; a rosé and a white. Both were Limoux wines from Languedoc-Roussillon. One of the oldest sparkling wines, Blanquette de Limoux was first created by Benedictine monks using the best Mauzac and Chenin grapes.

These were followed by two whites and two reds. Albariño was our choice of white along with an extremely good value blend of unusual grapes called St Mont from the South West of France. For the reds we selected two classics from the New World; a Pinot Noir from New Zealand and a Shiraz from Barossa Valley in Australia.

To round off the evening we made no apology for selecting the gold medal Pedro Ximinez which we sampled at the April tasting of “stickies”. It was a total winner when served with ice cream!

  1. Fizz Finest Blanquette de Limoux £9.50 – From the Limoux region of France in the foothills of the pyrenees, this wine’s appearance was pale straw, clean and clear. On the nose it was citrus & light and there was a hint of sweetness, though not demi-sec – peach, apples and toasted brioche (from the lees), with a short finish. Enjoyed by all mostly without food, but not as much as the next one!
  2. Fizz Finest Cremant de Limoux Rose £12 – From the same region but made this time from Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes, pressed to give it the Rosé blush, this was a slightly more complex wine. A mid coloured rosé blush, with berries and summer fruits on the nose. It was sweeter than the blanquette, with hints of strawberry and raspberry and a pleasnt long finish. Paired well with Salads, seafood or ham croquettes – or just as good on its own.
  3. White Finest St Mont £6.50 – This wine is no longer available but was made from rare local grapes Gros Manseng, Petit Courbu, Arrufiac and Petit Manseng. This light, crisp dry wine had delicate flavours of citrus and white peaches. Best enjoyed with white fish or soft cheese.
  4. White. Finest Picpoul de Pinet. £7.50 – A firm favourite on the evening, this light, crisp wine is grown around the Bassin de Thau in Languedoc, an ideal location as locals say Picpoul vines need to “have their heads in the wind and their feet in the sea”. A zesty fragrant wine that offers plenty of fresh citrus, green apple and mineral flavours. Fun facts; the distinctive embossed bottle is called a “Neptune” and the name Picpoul literally translates as “lip stinger”.
  5. White Finest Vinas del Rey Albarino £8.00 – A friend to all things from the sea. This straw coloured wine has slight green hues and is bone dry with aromas of apricot, honeysuckle and notes of fresh grapefruit and mandarin. It was well received by the majority of the group and felt to be good value for money. It pairs exceptionally well with white fish and lighter meats and also leafy green herbs.
  6. Red Finest Marlborough Pinot Noir £9.00 – This wine was a deep red ruby colour – nothing like the expected pinot noir light red. In addition, everyone who tasted it agreed that it didn’t smell or taste like a pinot noir either. Very confusing and disappointing. Personally, we think the wrong wine was bottled and on complaining to Tesco they refunded the £9.
  7. Red Finest Barossa Shiraz £10.00 – Red with a hint of brick red indicating it’s age this is a blend of Shiraz, Mataro and Cabernet Sauvignon from grapes grown in the Barossa Valley in Australia. On the nose there are cooked red plum, cherry and blackcurrant aromas with toasty cedar oak. The taste is not subtle and has lots of black cherry with a sprinkling of vanilla, white & black pepper and a minty freshness on the finish. Good accompaniment to all meats this is best enjoyed with peppered steak and other grilled or barbecued red meats. Overall reasonable value for money but not as rich as most Australian Shiraz.”
  8. Sticky Finest Pedro Ximenez 37.5cl £6.00 – A velvety smooth Sherry from the 180 year old Gonzalez Byass family winery in Jerez, Spain. Pedro Ximenez grapes are laid out to dry in the hot sun before pressing and ageing in the traditional solera system. The resulting nectar is deliciously rich and warming. On the nose rich aromas of fruits such as raisins, figs and dates accompany honey, syrup and fruit preserve. The palate is velvety and smooth with good acidity which alleviates the sweetness. Long and flavourful finish. Simply delicious on its own or poured over vanilla ice cream.

Apr 2021 – Dessert & Sweet Wines

This month we tasted a selection of dessert and sweet wines from Tesco and Waitrose. All are available in store and may also be ordered on line.

The evening started with Jam Shed Shiraz, a sweet red wine to activate the palate in readiness for the sweeter dessert wines to follow. From there we moved on to a comparison tasting of 2 wines produced from the same grape (Muscat/Moscatel), one from France and the other from Spain. The second half of the tasting continued with 3 very different wines – a white dessert wine made from the Semillon grape, a red made from Grenache Noir and, finally, a Pedro Ximenez sherry.

Food matching was based on the ideas in this attached sheet.

Here are some short tasting notes on the 6 wines.

  1. Jam Shed Shiraz 2020. 13.5%, 75cl | Tesco.com £7. Deep red, almost opaque purple; aromas of burnt rhubarb and vanilla with spiced notes; rich, juicy, sweet red berry flavours. Very versatile – not only goes well with a host of main courses from fish and roasts to pasta and Indian curries, but a good match for desserts such as fruit cake and cheeses. Also recommended for mulling.
  2. Muscat Beaumes de Venise Carte Or | Waitrose & Partners £7.99 or £6.49 on offer. A fortified wine from the village of Baumes de Venise in the central southern Rhone, hand harvested and early in the fermentation, proof spirit is added up to 15% ABV which kills the yeast and leaves the residual sugar of the grapes, giving the sweet taste. Quite viscous with a pale straw colour this a floral wine with fruit blosoms and apricots on the nose, ripe fruit to taste and a long alcoholic finish. A pleasant aperitif or pair with fruits, dessert, or Pâté or blue cheese.
  3. Lustau Moscatel de Alejandría | Waitrose & Partners £6.49. Grown on the Atlantic coast of Anadlucia in Southern Spain near Cadiz, spirit is added as with the previous wine. Pale lemon with viscous “legs” the aroma includes roses, honeysuckle and lime blossom with a touch of dewey grass. The the taste is grapefruity acidic, lime marmalade, lemon sherbet, orange blossom, lychee and white peach flavours. More balanced than the Beaumes de venise. Paired with sweet desserts. Pâté de foie-gras, or on its own as a bon bouche at the end of a meal.
  4. Tesco Finest Dessert Semillon 37.5cl | Tesco £6. Picked late on the vine, the grapes’ natural sugars have been allowed to intensify, resulting in a golden hued wine boasting a delicate concentration of citrus, peach and apricot flavours that are both sumptuous and fresh. Fabulous with sweet desserts, but try it with blue cheese for an inspired pairing. Keep up to 3 years.
  5. Domaine Pouderoux Maury Grande Reserve Roussillon France | Waitrose & Partners £11.49. 50cl, 15.5%. 100% grenache noir grapes. Magnificent mahogany colour; deep, rich aromas of chocolate, vanilla, sweet red berries, prunes; flavours of prunes and figs with a long, spicy, plummy finish. Excellent with chocolate desserts, apple pie and Stilton blue cheese.
  6. Tesco Finest Pedro Ximenez 37.5cl | Tesco £6. A velvety smooth Sherry from the 180 year old Gonzalez Byass family winery in Jerez, Spain. Pedro Ximenez grapes are laid out to dry in the hot sun before pressing and ageing in the traditional solera system. The resulting nectar is deliciously rich and warming. On the nose rich aromas of fruits such as raisins, figs and dates accompany honey, syrup and fruit preserve. The palate is velvety and smooth with good acidity which alleviates the sweetness. Long and flavourful finish. Simply delicious on its own or poured over vanilla ice cream.

March 2021 – Sainsbury’s Italian Wine & Food Pairing

Our Italian evening was a big hit with the attendees. Once again the chance to mingle and chat about the wines (and other things) went down very well. And some of the food looked good too!

Based on Italian Wines from Sainsbury’s including some of their Taste the Difference range, the wines were as follows:

  • Welcome (optional): Sainsbury’s Conegliano Prosecco, Taste the Difference, £10 (Food pairing: Ciabatta with Virgin Olive Oil and grated Parmesan Cheese, Olives and Pistachios). This Prosecco from the Veneto region of northern Italy and made from the Glera grape, has a clear pale straw colour with a little citrus on the nose. With flavours of apricot and citrus and a short finish, it went really well with the antipasti – olives and meats.
  • White 1: Sainsbury’s Pecorino, Taste The Difference, £7 (Food pairing: Parma ham and melon, Antipasto selection). A medium-bodied, relatively aromatic dry white, pale straw in colour with floral nose of orange peel & herbal notes. Fruity & floral with hints of yellow apple & ripe peach. Full-bodied & rounded with a creamy texture. This wine has good concentration, and balancing acidity that gives keen freshness through the aftertaste. It went great with some Kedgeree!
  • White 2: Sainsbury’s Gavi, Taste the Difference, £8 (Food pairing: Pasta carbonara, Spaghetti scallops, Sardines). This Gavi, from Monteferato in the Piemente region of Northern Italy is made from the Cortese grape and pale green, clear, clean colour with a luscious sheen. With Lemongrass and elderflowers on the nose and peach & citrus in the mouth, it also had a long finish. Went great with grilled fish and salads.
  • Red 1: Piccini Chianti Riserva, £7 (Food pairing: Olive tapenade, Gnocchi, Spaghetti bolognese). A smooth elegant and velvety Italian wine with powerful aromas of ripe cherry. It has hints of spice and woody notes with soft tannins and long finish. Not a great wine but a good accompaniment to a Pepperoni Pizza.
  • Red 2: Sainsbury’s Amarone, Taste the Difference, £16.50 (Food pairing: Beef carpaccio; Bresaola, Pepperoni Pizza, Pastissada de Caval or any braised beef or slow-cooked meat dishes). Amarones are produced from partially dried grapes, giving a deep red, rich and complex wine. This one, with typical notes of prunes and chocolate, was the star of the evening.
  • Dessert (optional): Pellegrino Marsala Garibaldi Dolce, £10.50 (Food pairing: Biscotti; Panettone, Cannoli, Blood orange polenta cake, Tiramisu, Gelato Italian ice cream, Pannacotta). Sicily’s answer to sweet sherry and made from the Grillo, Inzolia, Cataratto and Damashino grapes, this wine is grown in the west of the island near the little port of Marsala! With a very intense amber colour, clear and shiny it gave plums on the nose and honeyed dried figs in the mouth with a lovely long finish.

Feb 2021 – Marks & Sparks New World Classics

This month we tasted wines from Marks and Spencer’s new Classics range – their New World Mixed Case Classics.

The new M&S Classics range are hand-picked wines from the key wine making regions of the world and there are lots to choose from. Read more about them all here. For our tasting focussed on those from the New World! The wines were presented by the committee member, whose tasting notes are below:

The Wines

  1. Welcome fizz Millesimato Prosecco Rosé – £8. This pale pink rosé prosecco displayed citrus on the nose with flavours of strawberries, raspberries and passionfruit on the palette. With a fairly short finish, it goes well with salads, seafood, soft fruits and canapés.
  2. No. 39 NZ Sauvignon Blanc – £8. This wine is part of the 86% of Sauvignon grapes in the Marlborough district in the north east of the south island, where the dry, sunnny and cool climate produces quality wines through a long growing season. This pale, clear and clean coloured wine tasted of lemons, grass and elderflower with a long finish and would go well with chicken and salads.
  3. No. 5 Workhorse Chenin, South Africa – £8. 13% ABV. Made from a blend of Chenin Blanc from Stellenbosch. Pale straw colour with pear and melon on the nose. A dry white wine, with balanced acidity, tasting of yellow apple, pear and subtle oak influence lending hints of buttered popcorn. Great value Chenin.
  4. No. 25 California Chardonnay – £8. This unoaked Chardonnay, from the Sacramento Delta is smooth and boasts flavours of citrus, mango and pineapple,which were too subtle for most of us! This wine from one the largest US producers benefits from the warm days and cool nights to develop the flavour. Mixed reviews on the evening.
  5. No. 24 California Zinfandel – £8. You either like Zinfandel reds or you don’t; they’re a bit like Marmite in that respect. Closely related to the Primitivo grape found in Italy and the Dalmatian Coast, this “Zin” from California is a bold wine, aromatic, oaky and with flavours of blackberries and blackcurrants. Slightly on the sweet side for some palates but very smooth and very easy to drink. It does seem to work best with food; members enjoying it equally with a Valentine’s Day steak and with spicy Asian dishes. Possibly worth spending £2-3 more to get a more definitive example of how stunning this grape can be.
  6. No. 29 Argentinian Malbec – £8. This Malbec is from the Mendoza Region and is 14% ABV. Aged in oak barrels for 12 months it has a smooth full body red, with a red/black berry and possibly a hint of mint flavour. Very nice wine to accompany red meat, or sip in front of a coal fire in the winter months Suggestion to serve slightly below room temperature to get the best taste. Average rating at the wine tasting was 8/10!
  7. No. 28 Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon – £8. This wine, 14% ABV from the Maipo Valley in Chile, was made by Diego Covarrubias and is a good example of the grape. It was well received by most of the members but was felt to be still rather young. The fruity, heavily berried nose was supported by a good ruby colour and a good length finish.
  8. Dessert Hermits Hill Botrytis Semillion – £8. Today’s “sticky” is from the Riverina plains in New South Wales, where the climate is warm with a high humidity which, in autumn misty mornings favour the fungus Botrytis Cineria, the same grey fuzzy fungus that spoils strawberries in the UK. Botrytis – the Noble Rot – attacks the grapes on the vine and creates sugars, flavours and acids concentrated in the grape, while the fungus consumes their water. This wine has a brilliant pale gold colour and smells of spicy cinnamon, yellow peaches and nougat with just a hint of burnt sugar syrup (marmalade). In the mouth it was powerful and impossibly long with peaches and barley sugar flavours – all kept in check by deft acidity, with a lovely long finish. Would go well with sweet desserts and chocolate. This one got the thumbs up from all!

Jan 2021 – Waitrose Virtual Food & Wine Pairing

Our first tasting of 2021 revolved around a selection of Waitrose wines, cleverly paired with different foods. Delivered virtually on Zoom we also welcomed several new guests. Hope we see you all again soon.

Here are a few notes about the wines we tasted and even some recipes for you to download and print.

White Wines

  • Cuvée Pêcheur IGP South of France (£5.49). This bargain of a wine is blend of Ugni Blanc & Colombard grapes. Very refreshing, it is a dry and gently aromatic blend of local grapes from the Gascony region of the South of France. Easily accessible and well liked by Waitrose customers and WAS members alike.
  • Waitrose Loved & Found Arinto (£7.99). After the previous white, this was drier, more complex and elegant, but still very approachable. There was little support for Waitrose’s suggestion that it was like Sauvignon Blanc, though it has similar freshness and weight. From the Lisboa region of Portugal, this white got a big thumbs up particulary with the smoked salmon that most of us were nibbling on. A fuller write up and more details on the grape from Mark are available here.

Red Wines

  • Good Ordinary Claret (£5.89). The name doesn’t do this wine justice. A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, traditional Bordeaux grapes, this lovely medium bodied red has nice soft tannins and dark fruit flavours, though we could not get the promised “bell pepper” (probably a good thing!). Easy to drink on it’s own but predictably, it gained depth with meats and cheese on the evening. Thumbs up!
  • Waitrose Blueprint Australian Shiraz (£6.99). This one was very popular with the crowd. Not as dark red as some other Shirazes the nose offered black fruit, Pepper, menthol, spices, oak, vanilla and camphor. A rich and fruity red, full of deep blackberry flavours with a twist of black pepper and a soft, smooth texture. Ideal with red meats, sausages or rich pasta sauces. Suggested serving temperature is a warm 18C.

Dessert Wine

  • Greek Wine Cellars Cameo Mavrodaphne of Patras NV (£6.95). This was a first for most members, a lusciously sweet wine with a rich bouquet of dried fruit, cinnamon and walnut and has mouth-filling flavours of raisins, prunes and figs; and a long, persistent finish. Mavrodaphne is a black grape of the Greek Peloponnese and fermentation is arrested before completion with a grape distilled spirit as Ports are and then it is aged in barrels in a solera system. It brought back memories of Greek holidays and delicious meals, some of which you can download and print here. Enjoy!

December 2020 – Christmas (Virtual) Tasting!

Food and Wine from Aldi – at home with some chums!

Well our first virtual tasting was a huge success. Despite the restrictions on gatherings, members joined on Zoom from all over the South of England and even South Africa, as we worked our way through 4 wines from Aldi, selected by Jilly Goolden. And our amazing Catering team had even lined up some Aldi snacks to match the wines, with thumbs up all round! All agreed that the ability to see each other and chat about the wines (and other things) was a lovely change from facing forwards and trying to be quiet in the echoey hall!

White Wines

  • Rias Baixas Albarino £6.99 [Albariño from Galicia in Spain or (Alvarinho in Portugal). Citrus / Peach / Floral. A natural partner to seafood, pasta and appetisers. Click here to learn more about the wine and the region.]
  • Specially Selected” range Gavi £6.69 (with coloured label not white label) [Made with Cortese grapes grown in the foothills of the Italian Alps. This dry, balanced white wine opens up with apple and floral notes after an hour out of the fridge. Would complement roast chicken or work well as an aperitif.]

Red Wines

  • “Specially Selected” range Chile Pinot Noir £6.99 [Grown in the Casablanca Valley, central Chile, the climate is not dissimilar to parts of California known for Pinot Noir, such as Monterey. This light-bodied, smooth red wine is fruity (blackcurrant and red fruit) with a subtle hint of oak. Best enjoyed at the lower-end of room temperature and would pair well with lamb.]
  • Spanish Priorat £8.99 [This Catalonian blend of Garnacha Tinta and Carignan was fairly light coloured for a full bodied red, with gentle tanins and black fruit on the nose. Perfect with red meat and cheese.]

We will look at repeating the experience again in the near future – keep this page bookmarked and look out for the WAS emails with details of the next one!

Feb 2020 – Lidl’s Best Wines, with Richard Bampfield (MW)

Every now and then we are privileged to welcome a Master of Wine to address the club and present a range of wines of his choice. For February’s meeting we welcomed back Richard Bampfield (MW) to present wines from Lidl’s standard range,

Richard has a long and distinguished career in the wine trade and, among his many strands, he writes the tasting notes for Lidl’s presentation wines. For this tasting all his wines were from Lidl’s stock lines (the ones that are sold standing up, not the ones that are sold in wooden cases. Those are limited selections sold on a “when its gone, its gone” basis and vary from season to season and from store to store). With two exceptions (in interlopers from Waitrose) all the wines were priced under £12 proving that good, enjoyable wines don’t have to be expensive.

I list the wine here with your chairman’s comments.

  1. Champagne Comte de Senneval Brut, Champagne, France. Comment: Just off-dry, balanced, subtle and understated. Good for a second glass. An easy pre-dinner swig. £12
  2. Macon-Villages 2018, Burgundy, 12.5%, France. Comment: A light and easy Chardonnay, dry, balanced and showing some complexity. £6.99
  3. Pecorino 2018, Terre di Chieti IGT, Italy 12%. Comment: A lovely Abbruzo wine. Fresher and fruitier than its French competitor. £5.49
  4. Brauneberger Kurfurstlay Riesling Feinherb 2018 Mosel, Germany. 11%. Comment: Once would have been styled “Kabinett” or off-dry. A typical German Reisling, crisp, acidic and mouth-watering. Would make an excellent aperitif or accompaniment to Fusion food.
  5. Rioja Reserva 2015 Cepa Lebrel Rioja, Spain 13.5%. Comment: Characteristic Tempranillo with tastes of summer fruits and a long finish. £5.79
  6. Rioja Reserva 2014 Beronia, Rioja, Spain, 14%. Comment: This is a Waitrose or Wine Society choice. Almost equicalent to its Lidl competitor, but at nearly three times the price £15.99
  7. Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2017, Bordeaux, France, 14%. Comment: Earthy and Tannic, well- structured Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend. This would improve given a couple of years’ cellaring. £10.99
  8. Malbec “Extreme Terroir” 2017 Colomé, Salta, Argentina, 14.5%. Comment: Another interloper from Waitrose. A big wine from the northern part of Argentina. Floral on the nose with a scent of violets. Fruity with a refreshing acidity. Not too oaked and with long finish. £18 (often reduced to £10)
  9. Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Winemakers Series. Marlborough, New Zealand. 12%. Comment: This is a carbonated wine, like Prosecco so its mousse doesn’t last, But with such a pleasant easy drink, does it need to? £9.99
  10. Tarragona Gran Reserva 2013 Baturrica 13%. This was to accompany our finger buffet (for which thanks are due to Roger and Lesley Blake). An easy red quaffing wine at £4.99

It was an excellent presentation and an educative tasting. We hope to invite Richard back to the club in the not too distant future. Happy Lidl shopping one and all.

January 2020 – Old vs New World – The Naked Grape

Blind tastings are always fun but Simon Evans, MD and Founder of The Naked Grape made today’s tasting a truly memorable one. Not only does Simon do an amazing job of picking superb, unique and unusual wines, but he delivers the evening in an informative, fun, educational and interactive style, that found us exploring areas of our taste and senses we didn’t even know we had!

The wines were presented in 4 pairs of grapes, each pair featuring one from the New World and one from the Old World. Our job, with Simon’s guidance, was to fully experience each wine and identify the grape, region, year and more. All of the wines were from The Naked Grape’s typical unique “not on the high street” selection and many we’d not come across before.

Starting with a pair of Arneis whites from Italy and Uruguay, we found that not only were they really interesting, quite different, a bit complex and truly scrumptious, but nobody could identify the grape, but everyone wanted more! The Chardonnays from France and South Africa were harder to identify than expected, mostly due to the clever selection of and subtle oaking, about which we learnt a lot!

The reds started with a pair of Pinot Noirs from New Zealand and Germany, again were unlike many we’d tried before, with more interesting and slightly more depth, which made them quite desirable. The Malbecs were the highlight of the evening for the red fans with Chile and France showing how different the finished product can be and how unusual and interesting Malbecs can be.

We ended the evening with a superb and really unusual Dessert Wine – the Toro del Piedra Late Harverst Sauvignon Blanc from Chile, which, served with Ian and Cathy’s little morsel of Stollen delivered the perfect finale!

We look forward to welcoming Simon back in the not too distant future, but meanwhile his shops in Hungerford, Four Marks and Alresford are amongst the “50 Best Independent” wine stores and are on our doorstep.

December 2019 – Christmas Event

The theme for this year’s Christmas Event was Christmas Down Under, sampling Wines and Foods of Christmas of the Antipodes.

The format was informal along the lines of a 4-Corners tasting with wines featuring names such as Tasmanian, Marlborough, Hunter Valley, Madfish, Kooyong, Wirra-Wirra, Otago etc. Many are from the Wine Society Exhibition List and combined with a series of delicious food dishes, delivered an evening of excellence, fun and friendship.

November 2019 – New Zealand Wines

Many presenters to our club sell wines. Occasionally we have the privilege of welcoming a producer of wines to show us their wares. This November our presenter was Angela Lewis, UK marketing manager for Villa Maria wines of New Zealand, one of their most renowned brands.

Villa Maria, under the direction of their founder, Sir George Fistonich, have vineyards at Auckland, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay in North Island, and Marlborough in South Island There they produce white wines from Albarino, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, and red wines from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Syrah grapes. We were able to taste 11 of their wines starting with an easy Gisborne Albarino 2018 with aromas of citrus flowers and melon, through a classic zesty Wairu Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018 with its powerful Blackcurrant, acidic grapefruit and elderflower tang. We compared this with a Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2018 which had flavours of lemongrass and limes – more flavoursome and less zesty.

Oaky Chardonnays have been signature wines from New Zealand for some while. We tasted a delightful cocktail of stone fruit, biscuit and hazelnut in a Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2017. Several of us reacted with pure delight.

With the interval buffet came a Private bin Pinot Grigio 2018 and a Private Bin Merlot / Cab. Sauv. blend 2016, both great with food.

The reds were: a Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014 with lovely floral and red fruit aroma and a velvety texture, a dense purple Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2014, which Angela described as “Pinot Noir for grown-ups”, and a Bordeaux style blend of Merlot, Malbec and Pinot Noir which was mouth-watering. We finished with an intense Hawkes Bay Malbec 2017.

It was a splendid tour of the best of New Zealand and a tasting which we should like to repeat, perhaps in a year or so.

October 2019 – Wines of the Caucasus

Our October tasting was another unusual and special event. Our very own Jon Barnes delivered a “Wines of the Caucasus” evening, featuring wines from an area situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Inspired by a recent holiday visit to Georgia and Armenia and supported with his own research, Jon assembled an intriguing collection of wines and grape varieties that in all probability no-one in the club had ever tasted before.

The Caucuses comprise Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh. Part Christian and part Muslim. Georgia was, after the Roman empire, Christian, and with Christianity came wine making. There is also evidence that Georgia was producing wines from 4,000 BC from, at first, wild grapes and then from cultivars.

A pink champagne-method from the Tavkveri grape started the evening off, followed by a white blend of Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane grapes, not dissimilar to a Reisling. Then a strong orange wine made from the Rkatsitelie grapes fermented in a huge earthenware amphorae called Qvevri. These are still in use and are attracting the attention of European wine makers, as are orange wines. Both these wines had received Decanter magazine awards.

Jon then showed four red wines, a Georgian Valleys Mukuzani made from the Saperavi grape – a grape of coloured juice, giving a deep ruby apperarance, a Kataro dry red from Nagorno-Karabath made from the Sireni grape, an Armenian oaked red being a blend of Areni and Khndogjni grapes which resembled the Sangiovese wines of Italy and another Georgian Qvevri wine which was almost black in appearance and rich and fruity in the mouth. We finished with a red Georgian Khvanchkara semi-sweet wine which left a lovely jammy pomegranate flavour in the mouth.

I think we were all quite astounded by this flight of novel wines and grapes. Jon’s thoroughly researched and charmingly presented Caucasian adventure will resonate for years to come.

Keep an eye out in Waitrose for orange Qvevvri wines.

September 2019 – Wines of the Americas

29 of us attended September’s tasting, where we were welcomed with a choice of Italian sparklers sourced by Andy and Alie Ball, caterers for the evening.

The main business was a wide-ranging presentation from Katie Turner, Manager of Majestic Wines in Alton, featuring wines from both North and South America. First off we tasted a couple of Chardonnays at different price points. First was the Argentinian Catena Alta from elevated vineyards in the Mendoza valley, which showed fruitiness and body, while the second (and significantly more expensive) came from the renowned Au Bon Climat vineyard in Santa Barbara, California. This was definitely more structured with some mineral complexity.

Our final white was an intriguing and reasonably complex Gewürztraminer from the innovative Chilean winery Morandé. Good value!

During the buffet we sampled a refreshing Torrontes from Argentina and a very popular Pinot Noir from California’s Edna Valley Vineyard.

On to the reds and first up was another Morandé offering, made from the relatively unusual Pais grape variety – its light appearance and fresh red fruit flavour belieing its 13% alcohol content. This would be a very pleasant alternative to a Beaujolais or a full-bodied Rosé, and could easily be served lightly chilled.

All the way up to Washington State next, for a fairly traditional style Cabernet Sauvignon from Chateau Sainte Michelle, which had more blackberry and blackcurrant nose and palette than most people had come across before, splitting the audience on whether it was amazing or just weird!

The next three more reds built on body, one after the other and were all pretty amazing. Starting with the Medalla Real Carmenere from Santa Rita, one of Chile’s oldest and largest historic wine producers, at the lower end of the price range, we moved on to a Malbec from Zuccardi, their Poligonos Tupungato Alto Malbec, an impressive example of one of Argentina’s signature wines. But both those were outshone by the Orin Swift Palermo from the Napa Valley, which was so smooth, powerful and rounded with fairly complex notes of cherry, raspberry and spices. Majestic have only limited quantities of this (it’s not listed on their website), and a complete steal at the special price offered to WAS members.

As if that wasn’t enough, Katie topped things off with the superb Quady Elysium Black Muscat dessert wine, silky and intense with really rich and velvety fruit. A great way to end a great evening.

August 2019 – Itchen Valley Brewery Tour

August has traditionally been a break in the Wine Appreciation Society’s schedule but more recently we’ve been experimenting with beer tastings. This August we had field trip to Itchen Valley Brewery, Alresford, to tour the brewery and taste the beers they are currently producing. The evening started by tasting four beers, ranging in colour and hoppiness, plus a delicious honey & elderflower brew (called IVBee), together with an overview of how they produce the beer. Once refreshed we followed owner Pat around and saw (and smelt!) the process from Mash Tun to cask. After the tour we settled back into the reception for a pint and finger buffet – food perfectly paired of course.

July 2019 – Summer Garden Party

The WAS held its annual summer ”garden” party at David & Sue Rossell’s home in Four Marks. Though the weather turned wet we still managed to host 26 attendees inside. The theme this year was “wines from the Loire Region” and we tasted 10 wines made along the Loire Valley from Muscadet in the west to Pouilly Fume in the east. On show were two Cremants from Bouvet Ladubay in Saumur – a blanc and a rose, a Chinon Le Bourg, a Saumur Champigny from ancient wine makers, Chateau de Hureau, and two wines from Jacky Blot – champion wine maker of Montlouis sur Loire, his Domaine de la Butte and a sweet from Domaine de la Taiile aux Loups.

Members provided a sumptuous fare of country pates, fresh salmon and cold roast beef, salads and, of course, strawberries and cream, profiteroles and chocolate brownies and more accompanied by a cool glass of Bonnezeaux les Roches. A wonderful tray French cheeses helped eaters to finish the red wines. The sun eventually came out and members wandered around David & Sue’s lovely garden. Our next meeting, on August 15th is a change from wines when we shall visit the Itchen Valley Brewery for beer tasting.

June 2019 – Laithwaites Italian Tasting

Laithwaites Wines is now the UK’s largest home-delivery wine merchant with a range of over 1500 wines. At our June tasting Mr. Eddie Lewis, their Theale shop manager and showed us 10 of those. His brief was: A tour of Italy in wines – a large-ish canvas to choose from in grape origins, wine making styles and regions. We tasted an attractively priced set, ranging from easy drinking whites made from Garganega (the grape of Soave) near Lake Garda, through Gavi di Gavi, a crisp and fruity Piedmont white, via Saracosa, the deep scarlet Sangiovesi and Cabernet Sauvignon blends of Tuscany to the Vermentino and Nerello wines of Sicily. It was quite a tour. We ended with two superb wines: Villa Vavarena 2015 and Monte Barbera d’Alba Superiore 2013 both selling at the upper end of Laithwaites price range. Eddie has about 30 years in the wine business and his knowledge was superb. He had kindly included an “on the night” discount of about 15% for club orders which we made good use of. It was a good evening for the club.

May 2019 – The Wines of Germany

David Brown, of Justerini and Brooks made his fourth visit to the club to present a brief journey through the wines of Germany. Justerinis have an excellent reputation for their German portfolio, built up over generations it offers the very best Riesling but is increasingly known for other exceptional grape varieties, notably Pinot Noir or Spatburgunder as it is also known.

Producing wines of almost every style Germany can appear confusing but those complex looking labels actually provide plenty of helpful information, during the tasting David will helped simplify this and gave confidence to discover, re-discover or to deepen ones appreciation of this fantastic wine growing country.

April 2019 – AGM and Members selection

The AGM is always helped along with a few glasses of vino and this year was no exception. Members of the committee each brought their favourite wine, gave a short description and the result was a broad selection of wonderful wines.