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 JANUARY TO APRIL 2017
A bottle of Château Lafite 2005 will cost you upwards of £800 retail - well yes, that is expensive! But such wild prices are only achieved by a handful of the region's better known properties. There are literally hundreds of other properties in Bordeaux producing good wine at much more modest prices. And it's a region that is very much in form at the moment. Standards of viticulture and wine-making have never been higher. We will taste a range of wines from some of our favourite smaller producers. Bottle prices will be in the £10 to £20 price range and the contents will be ready to drink. Tutor - Sandy Leckie with Pippa Hayward.
Argentina's fame rests squarely on its success with Malbec - we present the bigger picture with its native white Torrontes, elegant Chardonnays, Cabernet Francs and Bordeaux blends. Naturally, our selection will include a Malbec or two. Tutor - Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.
The tiny cluster of regions at the southern tip of Lake Garda is home to a delicious array of wines - some, like Valpollicella, offer a variety of styles from the same grape varieties. Our tasting will include an upmarket Prosecco, still whites from Lugana and Soave, a Bardolino, followed by Valpolicella, Ripasso, Amarone and Recioto. Tutor - Pippa Hayward.
It was Carthusian monks who first planted grapes in the foothills of the Montsant mountain range and the region became known for its heady, red wines, which were capable of reaching 15.5% or even 16% alcohol naturally! But, the recent rise to ‘stardom’ of the wines of Priorat and its satellites, Montsant and Terra Alta, was fuelled by the discovery by a group of young, internationally trained wine makers that the particular soils, mountainous climate and exposure of the vineyard sites was about as close to the ideal that you could get in southern Europe. Today, Priorat is, without doubt, the most ‘fashionable’ of the Spanish wine regions. And, it is one of only two Spanish regions to have been awarded the right to the top appellation of Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa) - the other being Rioja. Tutor - Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.
They call it " the heartbreak grape" because it is particularly difficult to grow and vinify successfully, but for red wine makers around the world, creating the perfect Pinot Noir is the ultimate challenge. We will taste fine examples from Argentina, Alsace, California, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and, of course, Burgundy. Tutor - Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.
The tastings we organised in 2013 and 2014 were so popular that whenever the opportunity arises to invest in more old vintages, we jump at it. Rieslings in a variety of styles from the Mosel and the Nahe Valleys and vintages back to 1986. Tutor - Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.
While in the Northern Rhône they can only ripen Syrah, down south Grenache is king with Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault in supporting roles as wellas ever improving white blends featuring Viognier, Bourboulenc and Clairette. In short, there's something for everyone in this dynamic region. Our selection includes white blends and reds from entry-level Côtes du Rhone, Côtes du Rhône Villages and top quality single village wines with a fortified Muscat to finish. Tutor Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.
Much loved by those who know it but less familiar than Sherry or Port, Madeira deserves to be better known. With a wide range of styles, several different grape varieties and various ways of ageing, it is more complex than most fortified wine - but repays study! We have selected 8 Madeira wines from dry to richly sweet to show how diverse and delicious these little-known wines are. Tutor - Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.
And now for something completely different…..‘hidden gems’ from the mountainous regions of Jura, Savoie and Arbois in eastern France. Fragrant whites from local varieties such as Jacquère, Rousette and Gringet, light, fruity reds from Trousseau, Mondeuse and Persan and the quirky Jura speciality ‘Vin Jaune’ from Savagnin – we don’t think you will get a chance to taste such a refreshingly ‘different’ selection of wines anywhere else in London this spring. Tutor Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.
Two Chianti Classico Riservas, a Vino Nobile, a Brunello and a pair of ‘Super-Tuscans’, topped and tailed by a good Vernaccia and a Vin Santo. Salute! Tutor - Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.
An opportunity to taste some of the classic matches - Champagne and Chaource, Gewurztraminer and Munster, Riesling and Cantal, Sauternes and Roquefort, Red Burgundy and Brie, Red Bordeaux and Reblochon etc. Tutor - Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.
In 2007, twelve of New Zealand's top producers - Kumeu River, Villa Maria, Milton, Craggy Range, Ata Rangi, Palliser, Neudorf, Nautilus, Lawson's Dry Hills, Fromm, Pegasus Bay and Felton Road - got together to promote their wines in export markets. To celebbrate the 10th anniversary of this venture, we will taste twelve wines - one from each member of the family. Tutor Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.
A selection of wines from leading South African producers such as Boekenhoutskloof, Bouchard-Finlayson, Meerlust, Kanonkop, Morgenhof, Rustenberg, and Vergelegen. Tutor - Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.
We have been buying wine from the Jacob family in the village of Echevronne just north of Beaune for over thirty years. We think they produce classic red and white Burgundy at affordable prices. Jean-Michel Jacob and his wife Christine will be in the UK for a few days over Easter. We have managed to persuade them to take a few hours out of their busy schedule to show us selection of their wines. Tutor - Jean-Michel Jacob with Christine Jacob.
Famous of course for Port production but also home to exceptional table wines. Our tasting will feature four Douro wines - two white and two red - and a range of Ports including Ruby Reserve, Late Bottled Vintage, Tawly and Single Quinta. Tutor - Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.
Another chance to taste a range of mature wines from this world famous Lebanese property. This time, we will show two vintages of the Hochar Family's distinctive white wine and the '08, '04, '00, '99, 95 and '89 of their warm, spicy, Rhône-like red. Tutor - Sandy Leckie with Pippa Hayward.
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.