Wine Tasting Evenings
Taste Great Wines From Around The World
Our wine tasting evenings are designed to appeal to people who appreciate fine wine.
They are relaxed and informal in style. The tutor will give some background information and then simply introduce each wine and encourage discussion. A wine tasting sheet and, where appropriate, maps will be provided but not detailed notes.
Unless otherwise indicated, 8 wines will be tasted. There will be mineral water and water biscuits to refresh your palate between the wines.
PROGRAMME FOR AUGUST TO DECEMBER 2017
In this tasting, we will focus on the wines which many people think are the greatest of the region – complex, dry whites from Savennières, fruity reds from Chinon and Bourgueil and clean, crisply sweet whites from the Coteaux du Layon. This tasting will be tutored by Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.
From the backwoods of Bordeaux to the foothills of the Pyrenees, Gascony has a rich heritage! Think Henri IV, d'Artagnan and the 3 Musketeers, Cyrano de Bergerac. And then "la douceur de vivre" - Armagnac, Jambon de Bayonne, Foie Gras, Confit de Canard, Cassoulet, Truffles, Walnuts, Agen Prunes, sheep milk cheeses like Ossau Iraty, and wines quite distinct from those of Languedoc or Provence. We will start the tasting with a pair of crisp dry whites, a Buzet Perlé and a Jurançon Sec from Domaine Cauhapé. Five mature reds will follow – a Buzet, a Gaillac from Château de Mayraques, a Cahors from Château Lamartine, an Irouleguy from Domaine Brana and a Madiran from the iconic Château Montus. We will finish with a late harvest Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh from Chateau Lafitte-Teston. Tutor - Sandy Leckie.
Although the Swiss produce a lot of wine, they drink most of it themselves and so have little left to export. What they do export, however, is of top quality. We have put together a selection of some of the best bottles available in the UK for this tasting. We will start with a traditional method sparkler made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir by Mauler. We will then taste a contrasting pair of wines made from Chasselas (Switzerland’s most widely planted white variety) by J & M Favre and les Frères Dubois. Next will come a wine made from Petite Arvine (an old Swiss variety) by R Favre. A Merlot from Tamborini, a Pinot Noir (Switzerland’s most widely planted red variety) from Steinböckler and a Bordeaux blend from Burgdorfer will follow. We will finish with a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc from J & M Favre. The tasting will be tutored by Vivienne Franks, who recently spent a week judging at an international wine competition in Switzerland and will have all the latest news.
Over the last few years, pioneering grape growers and wine makers in Chile have been busy seeking out new vineyard locations to take advantage of the country’s special geography and climate. We are now seeing the results of their work and very impressive they are too. Our selection of wines for this tasting will include a Sauvignon Blanc from a cool, coastal vneyard in Aconcagua, a delcate Chardonnay and a Viognier from Limari, A Rhône like white blend from Itata, a fruity Cinsault, made in amphora, also in Itata a Carignan from a plot of ancient vines re-discovered in Maule, a mature Syrah from Elqui and a vibrant Pais from Maule. This tasting will be tutored by Sandy Leckie with Pippa Hayward.
Why is Chardonnay so popular? And, on the other hand, why do some people detest it? There are those who say that it is a neutral grape which needs oak to make it interesting. But we mustn’t forget that it is the variety that produces the great white wines of Burgundy. A careful selection of oaked and unoaked styles from some of the world’s leading producers. Tutor - Pippa Hayward.
The mountainous north-western province of Piemonte produces some of Italy's finest wines. We will taste 2 whites - a Roero Arneis and a Moscato d’Asti - and 6 reds - a Barbera, a Nebbiolo d’Alba, a Dolcetto, a Barbaresco and a pair of fine Barolos. Tutor - Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.
The wines of New Zealand just get better and better. For purity of fruit and varietal expression they are hard to match. We will taste a selection of some of the country's finest, including Ata Rangi, Cloudy Bay, Felton Road, Kukeu River, Pegasus Bay and Te Mata. Tutor - Sandy Leckie with Pippa Hayward.
A selection of white and red wines from southern Germany. Tutor - Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.
To mark International Sherry Week, we have a tasting of 8 special sherries for you. Tutor - Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.
Although best known for Port, the Douro valley is also the source of some of Portugal's best red table wines. We will taste six fine examples and then finish with 10 and 20 year old Tawny Ports. Tutor - Sandy Leckie (who will be just back from the region) and Pippa Hayward.
A traditional end-of-year 'special', our Fine Burgundy event will, this time, feature four whites and four reds. The whites will include a top of the range Pouilly-Fuissé, a 1er Cru Chablis, a 1er Cru Meursault and a 1er Cru Puligny or Chassagne-Montrachet. The reds will include a Santenay, a 1er Cru Côte de Beaune, a 1er Cru Gevrey-Chambertin and a 1er Cru Nuits St-Georges. Another traditional end-of-year 'special', our Fine Burgundy event will, this time, feature four whites and four reds. The whites will include a top of the range Pouilly-Fuissé, a Grand Cru Chablis, a Meursault and a 1er Cru Puligny or Chassagne-Montrachet. The reds will include a Santenay, a 1er Cru Côte de Beaune, a 1er Cru Gevrey-Chambertin and a 1er Cru Nuits St-Georges. We expect to be able to publish the final line-up in late September. Tutor - Sandy Leckie with Pippa Hayward.
Georgia, which has a wine-making tradition that dates back to the earliest of times, is starting to modernise. Investment in new vineyards and wineries is already paying dividends and wines are beginning to earn places on the shelves of wine merchants in the UK. We will taste a selection of these. Tutor - Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.
Ten years on, the Clarets of the classic 2007 vintage are ready for drinking. We are starting to put together a selection of these rich, elegant wines for your enjoyment. We expect to be able to publish the final line-up in late September. Tutor - Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks
Another of our traditional end of year treats. We will taste Reservas and Gran Reservas from top prduces and vintages back to the eighties. We expect to be able to publish the final line-up in late September. Tutor Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.
You will need to bring 6 wine glasses to each session. If you really want to sharpen up your taste buds, a set of the International Standards Organisation (ISO) glasses used by the professionals is recommended (the tutor will have boxed sets of 6 crystal ISO tasting glasses for sale at £15).
The tastings will normally be introduced by Vivienne Franks, John Ducker, Pippa Hayward or Sandy Leckie. All have extensive lecturing experience, are members of The Association of Wine Educators and/or Circle of Wine Writers and travel widely to keep up to date.