Our wine tastings are designed to appeal to people who appreciate fine wine.
They are 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 so please, no snack foods, cheese etc.
PROGRAMME FOR SUMMER 2013
In this tasting, we will focus on wines which many people think are the greatest of the region - the richly concentrated, dry whites of Savennières, the sappy reds of Chinon and Bourgueil and the luscious, sweet whites of the Coteaux du Layon (including a rare old vintage of the fabled Moulin Touchais).
Champagne may be the supreme example, but sparkling wines of great character are produced in every corner of France. The proposed selection for this tasting includes examples from Alsace, Bordeaux, Bugundy, Jura, Limoux, the Loire Valley and Saint-Peray and Die in the Rhône Valley.
Session one of a five-part series offered for £180 (£36 per session) but available individually for £45 per session.
A fascinating selection of white and red wines from a new generation of talented Portuguese wine-makers.
Whites from Saint-Peray, Crozes-Hermitage and Condrieu and reds from Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage, Saint-Joseph, Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.
Session two of a five-part series offered for £180 (£36 per session) but available individually for £45 per session.
Session three of a five-part series offered for £180 (£36 per session) but available individually for £45 per session.
Wines from some of our favourite South African producers, including Boekenhoutskloof, Kanonkop, Rustenberg, Sequillo Cellars and Vergelegen.
Contrasting styles of wine made from the the very much in fashion Sauvignon Blanc variety. Examples from Australia, California, Chile, France (Bordeaux and the Loire), New Zealand and South Africa.
Session four of a five-part series offered for £180 (£36 per session) but available individually for £45 per session.
Session five of a five-part series offered for £180 (£36 per session) but available individually for £45 per session. .
There are more DOCG’s in Piemonte than any other region of Italy. We will taste 3 whites - a Langhe Favorita, a Roero Arneis and a Moscato d’Asti - and 5 reds - a Barbera, a Nebbiolo d’Alba, a Barbaresco and 2 Barolos, the region’s and Italy’s greatest wines.
8 vintages of the Grand Vin from this highly rated Saint Julien property - a 3rd Growth in the 1855 classification. You will taste the 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 1999, 1998, 1997 and 1993.
A tasting of four pairs of wines made from the "noble" varieties of Alsace, Muscat, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer. Each pair will include a classic or benchmark example and a special cuvée or grand cru example.
Dry white, red and dessert wines from some of Austria's top producers.
Forget 'New' Beaujolais, here's a chance to taste the real stuff - wines made in the traditional way by producers determined to restore the reputation of the region. There will be some wonderfully soft and fragrantly fruity wines from recent ripe vintages and others, with a few years of bottle age, which beginning to take on the character of mature red Burgundy.
Because Riesling is used to make large quantities of cheap, dilute, sugary stuff in Germany, it is overlooked by many wine lovers. The truth is that it is a noble grape that can give very fine wine indeed. We will taste leading examples from Alsace, Australia, Austria, Chile, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa.
As was only to be expected, big red wines predominated at the recent Wines of Spain tasting in London. And some pretty impressive examples there were too. What also impressed however, was the number of fine wines on show from the country's northern coastal region. With lower temperatures and higher rainfall than the rest of the country, this area has been dubbed "Green Spain". Come and experience some of the rare wines of the region including crisp dry whites made from Albarino and Chacoli, exotic whites made from Godello and soft, fruity reds made from Caiño and Mencia, thought to be a cousin of Cabernet Franc. Cold tapas will be served.
Another First! A tasting of wines from the state of Virginia. It will be presented by Vivienne and Malcolm Franks, who will just have returned from the region. The planned line-up includes a barrel-fermented Chardonnay from Williamsburg, a Viognier, a Cabernet Franc and a Bordeaux blend from Barboursville, a Viognier and a Petit Verdot from Veritas, a Nebbiolo from Breaux and a Bordeaux blend from Boxwood.
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, Lena Inger 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.