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.


Upcoming Events

Jul 2022

£15.00
Glorious Greek Wine – Online • Thursday, 7th July in London

It’s no longer quite so easy to dismiss the idea of “good Greek wine”.  The days of nasty Retsina are long gone and the Greek wine scene now is positively bubbling with gifted growers and Greece’s own impressive arsenal of wonderful, unique and distinctive grape varieties.

Of course, it doesn’t help that both grapes and regions are unfamiliar to most of us – and in a different alphabet!  But both repay time and tasting.  Now that we can access delicious and accessibly priced Greek wines much more easily here, we can explore the modern face of a culture of winemaking to which we owe so much.

Time:  7.00 to 8.15 pm.

Presenter:  Pippa Hayward and Sandy Leckie.

Availability:  Good.

Wine Suggestions:

From Waitrose Cellar (https://www.waitrosecellar.com) – Atma Red (Xinomavro young vines) Naoussa, Thmiopoulos, ’20 (£11.99) and Muscat of Samos Vin Doux, ’20 £8.99).

From Marks & Spencer – ‘Found Range’ Xinomavro/Mandilaria Thymiopoulos  (£ 9.50) and Moschofilero/Roditis, Semeli (£9.50).

From Wine Society – The Society’s Greek White  Moschfilero/Roditis,   (£8.95) and Xinomavro Jeunes Vignes Thymiopoulos, ’20 (£11.95) and/or Mitravelas Ktima Agiorgitiko  (£12.50)

£55.00
Alsace – In-person. • Tuesday, 12th July in London

A stellar selection of wines from top Alsace producers:-

Pinot Noir, Cuvée Prestige, Kuhlmann-Platz, Cave de Hunawihr, ’19;
Pinot Noir ‘V’, Véronique et Thomas Muré, ’18;
‘B de Becker’ Extra Brut, Domaine Jean Becker, ’16;
Classic Riesling, Famille Hugel, ’19;
Riesling, Lieu-Dit Grossberg, Domaine Jean Sipp, ’17;
Gewurztraminer Grande Reserve, Cave Vinicole de Cleeburg, ’17;
Pinot Gris, Lieu-Dit Brandhof, Domaine Gresser, ’18;
Vendange Tardive Pinot Gris, Lieu-Dit Rotleibel de Rorschwihr, Domaine Rolly Gassmann, ’16.

Venue:  The Civil Service Club, 13/15 Great Scotland Yard, London SW1A 2HJ

Time:  7.00 to 9.15 pm.

Presenter:  Vivienne with Malcolm Franks

Availability:  Good.

£15.00
Primitivo aka Zinfandel – Online • Thursday, 21st July in London

At the end of C18, a red grape variety called Tribidrag was brought across the Adriatic from Croatia to the heel of Italy, where it was renamed Primitivo.  An early ripener, it produced wine that was light, fruity and high in alcohol that became widely used for blending with established Italian varieties to produce bulk wine.  It was only at the end of C20, when grant aid funded significant improvements in grape growing and wine making that the potential of Primitive as a stand-alone variety became recognised.  At the same time, DNA research revealed that Primitivo and the American Znfandel were the same thing.

Time:  7.00 to 8.15 pm.

Presenter:  Vivienne with Malcolm Franks

Availability:  Good.

Wine Suggestions:

From Waitrose Cellar (https://www.waitrosecellar.com) – Puglia, Organic Primitivo Appassimento, Ferre di Faiano, ’20 (offer £7.99) and Puglia, Primitivo di Manduria Riserva, Paololeo, ’19 (£11.99).

From Majestic Wines (‘Mix Six’ prices) – Puglia, Primo Rosso Appassimento, ’20 (offer £7.99) and Australia (McLaren Vale), Primitivo, Kangarilla Road, ’18 (£10.99).

From The Wine Society:  Puglia, Tarantino Primitivo Segnavento, Pervini, ‘19 (£8.25) and Primitivo di Manduria Achidamo,’19 (&11.50).

£15.00
Organic Biodynamic Natural & Orange Wine – Online • Tuesday, 26th July in London

There’s been a significant trend towards what is often called “natural wine” over the last 2 or 3 years.  Those two words encompass a very broad spectrum of practice, both in the vineyard and the cellar, some of it formally accredited and much of it not.   Whether “Organic’ or “Natural” or “Biodynamic”, we take a look behind the scenes to understand what these terms mean for the wine in your glass.  We’ll cover terms like vegan-friendly and skin contact and the use of sulphur in winemaking.

Is this trend the next best thing since the proverbial sliced bread – or merely a return to traditional practice?

If you don’t have a favourite organic or biodynamic wine to open, here are some options:-

From Majestic Wines (‘Mix Six’ prices) – Biodynamic – Viognier, Domaine des Granges de Mirabel, M Chapoutier, ’19 (£12.99) and/or Organic – D.O.Terra Alta, Garnacha, Dardell, ’20 (£8.99) and/or Lirac, ‘Roquedon’, Alain Jaume ‘18 (£14.99).

From The Wine Society – Organic – Anjou Blanc, ‘Le P’tit Chenin’, Château de la Roulerie, ’21 (£10.95) and/or Biodynamic – Sylvaner Reserve, Rolly Gassman, ‘19 (£13.95) and/or – Organic – Yecla, Monastrell, Parcelas Ecologico, (£7.95) and/or Biodynamic – Moselle, La Haut Bassières, Pinot Noir Château de Vaux ‘20, (£14.50) and/or – Skin Contact – Vinho Verde, Alvarinho, Anselmo Mende Contacto, Moncao & Melgaco, ‘20 (£12.95).

Time:  7.00 to 8.15 pm.

Presenter:  Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

Availability:  Good.

Aug 2022

£15.00
The Wines Of Sicily – Online • Thursday, 4th August in London

Sicily, the largest of the Mediterranean islands, is a major producer of wine.  Because of its southerly location, it is often perceived to be a hot place.  In fact, cooling sea breezes allow grapes to be grown satisfactorily around the coast and hills and mountains in the interior of the island give ample scope for planting at altitude. In addition, the activity of Mount Etna, over the millennia, gives grape growers a wide variety of soil types to choose from.

30 yeas ago, much of what was produced in Sicily was Bulk Wine.  Today the emphasis is firmly on Quality Wine.

Time:  7.00 to 8.15 pm.

Presenter:  Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

Availability:  Good.

Wine Suggestions:

From Waitrose Cellar (https://www.waitrosecellar.com) – Le Sebbie dell’Etna Bianco, ’20 (£12.99) and/or La Bella Sedara, Donnafugata, £19 (£14.99)

From Majestic (Mix Six Prices) – Pietrariccia Fiano Surani, ’20 (£8.99) and/or ’Classic’ Etna Rosso, ’18 (£12.99)

From The Wine Society – Grillo, Feudo Arancia, ’21 (£7.50) and/or Terre Sicilia Frappato, Mandraroossa, ’21 (£10.50)

£55.00
Bordeaux Wines for a Warm Summer Evening – In-person • Thursday, 11th August in London

Around 90% of the wine produced in Bordeaux is red.   Good as much of this is, there are occasions when lighter, crisper, cooler alternatives are required. This is where the dry white, sweet white, rosé and sparkling wines of Bordeaux play their part.

More details in our next Newsletter.

Venue:  The Civil Service Club, 13/15 Great Scotland Yard, London SW1A 2HJ

Time:  7.00 to 9.15 pm.

Presenter:  Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie

Availability:  Good.

£55.00
Crémants & Other Sparkling Wines From France – In-person • Tuesday, 23rd August in London

More details in our next Newsletter.

Venue:  The Civil Service Club, 13/15 Great Scotland Yard, London SW1A 2HJ

Time:  7.00 to 9.15 pm.

Presenter:  Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

Availability:  Good.