Taste Great Wines & Spirits From Around The World

We held our first in-person event for 18 months on 11th September 2021.

This went very well and we are planning to hold five more this autumn, including some of our traditional festive treats – remember those?  In-person evening events will start at 7 .00pm and last for about two hours.

We shall continue to run online tastings for those who prefer to take part from the comfort and safety of their own homes.  These will also start at 7.00 pm but last for about an hour and a quarter.  They will be presented using Zoom.  To join in, you will need access to the internet via a tablet, laptop or desk-top computer.  For each tasting, we will suggest wines that you might like to buy and taste while watching.

To allow us to pay our tutors and stay in business, we shall continue to make a token charge of £10 per household for online tastings.

Tickets for in-person tastings will be priced at market rates.

You will find descriptions of all tastings planned below. Against each decription you will see a small drop-down menu.  To book places  at an in-person tasting, select the number required from the drop-down menu.  to book a place for your household at an online tasting, just select “1”.  When you have selected all the tastings you wish to book for, enter your personal details in the form at the foot of the page and press “submit”.


  • Oct 2021

    £10.00France – Jura & Savoie – Online • Tuesday, 26th October, 19:00-20:30 in London

    Jura lies due east of Burgundy.  Savoie is in the Alpine region of France, close to the Swiss border and the city of Geneva.

    These wonderful, little-known regions are more and more on the radar these days.  A wide range of wine from Savoie’s delicate whites, Jura’s complex Chardonnays and Savagnins, fine Crémants and fresh reds are winning new fans as they become more available.  Enjoy an evening in the company of a Crémant and a still wine as we explore some of their vinous treasures.

    Presenter:  Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie

    Availability:  Good.

    Wine Suggestions:

    From Majestic Wine (Mix Six prices) – From Jura – Crémant de Jura Brut, Caveau des Jacobins, NV (14.99), Côtes de Jura, ‘Heritage’ Chardonnay, Domaine Maire, 2018 (£12.99) OR Arbois, Chardonnay, Domaine Rolet, 2016 (£14.99) – From Savoie – ‘Altus’ Jacquère, Domaine Jean Perrier et Fils, 2020 (£10.99).

    From The Wine Society – From Jura – Crémant de Jura Brut, Domaine de Montbourgeau, NV (£14.95), – From Savoie – ‘Vers Les Alpes’ Chignin (Jacquère), Jean-Francois Quénard 2020 (£10.50), ‘Cuvée Elise’ Mondeuse, Jean-Francois Quénard, 2018 (£17.18).

    Also, two supermarket bargains – From Aldi – Crémant de Jura Brut, NV (£8.49) and from Sainsbury’s – ‘Taste The Difference’ Jura Chardonnay (£11.00).

     

     

     

     

    Nov 2021

    £10.00Argentina – Much More Than Malbec – Online • Thursday, 4th November, 19:00-20:30 in London

    Although Argentina’s fame rests squarely on its success with Malbec, there is much more to the picture, as we will demonstrate in this webinar.

    Presenter:  Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.

    Availability:  Good.

    Wine Suggestions:

    From Waitrose Cellar (www.waitrosecellar.com) – Chardonnay, Catena, 2019 (£13.49), Clos de Los Siete, Michel Roland, £16.99.

    From Majestic – Seleccion Torrontes, Vinalba, 2020 (£8.99), Cabernet Sauvignon, Catena, 2019 (£11.99)

    £0.00Classic Grape – Cabernet Franc – Online • Tuesday, 9th November, 19:00-20:30 in London

    Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties in the world.  It’s  principally grown for blending with Cabernet-Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style but can also be vinified alone, as in the Loire’s Chinon.

    Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon,  making a bright red wine that contributes finesse and lends a peppery aroma to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on the growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, cassis and violets.

    Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century, although it was planted in the Loire long before that time.  DNA analysis indicates that Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère.

    Presenter:  Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.

    Availability:  Good.

    Wine Suggestions:

    From Waitrose Cellar (www.waitrosecellar.com) – Saumur Champigny, La Croix des Chaintres, 2016 (£12.99) and Argentina (Mendoza) ‘El Exilio’ Malbec/Cabernet Franc, Susana Balboa, 2018 (£11.99).

    From Sainsbury’s –  Argentina (Mendoza Uco Valley) ‘Taste the Difference’ Cabernet Franc, Morador, 2019 (£9.00).

    From The Wine Society – Chinon, ‘Le Temps des Cerises, Domaine de la Noblaie, 2019 (£11.95) OR St Emillion, Château Grand Corbin Despagne,2015 (£34.00).

    £55.00Artisanal Sherry – In Person • Thursday, 11th November, 19:00-20:30 in London

    It’s Sherry week in the UK and to mark this, Pippa, our our resident expert, will lead a tasting of eight fine examples including some rare Almacenista wines.

    Venue:  The Civil Service Club

    Presenter:  Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie

    Availability: Good

    £10.00Spain – Priorat And Montsant – Online • Tuesday, 16th November, 19:00-20:30 in London

    Priorat is a small wine region in Catalonia, best known for its intensely flavoured red wines.  An area with a long history, Priorat’s difficult mountainside location kept the region fairly obscure until just a few decades ago.  Now, it produces some of the most acclaimed wines of Spain.  It is one of only two wine regions in the country to qualify as DOCq, the highest qualification level for a wine region according to Spanish wine regulations, alongside Rioja.  The region of Montsant, which surrounds Priorat, produces red wines similar in style as well as white wines from local grape varieties.

    Presenter:  Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks

    Availability:  Good.

    Wine Suggestions:

    From Waitrose Cellar (www.waitrosecellar.com) – Montsant, Lasendal Seleccion, Celler de Capcanes 2019 (£10.99) and Priorat, La Petite Agnes, 2017 (£14.99)

    From The Wine Society:  Monsant, Blau, 2019 (£9.95) and Lectores Vini Classic Priorat, 2010 (£23.00)

    £85.00Champagne Masterclass And Buffet Lunch • Saturday, 27th November, 11:00-15:00 in London

    Champagne Route is a new wine bar and restaurant in the St. Katherine’s Dock area specialising in Champagne and other French sparkling wines, which the owner imports directly.  The restaurant serves a selection of contemporary European dishes to complement the wines.

    Starting at 11 a.m., Vivienne Franks will tutor a tasting of six growers’ Champagnes.  A buffet lunch will follow.  This will be accompanied by glasses of French sparkling wines from Champagne Route’s varied selection.

    This is a repeat of the tasting we ran on 11th September but with a different selection of wines.  Just 15 places available.

    Venue:  Champagne Route Bar & Restaurant, 30 Gauging Square, London E1W 2AE

    Presenter:  Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks

    Availability: Good














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Oct 2021

  • France – Jura & Savoie – Online in London

    Tuesday, 26th October

    £10.00

    Jura lies due east of Burgundy.  Savoie is in the Alpine region of France, close to the Swiss border and the city of Geneva.

    These wonderful, little-known regions are more and more on the radar these days.  A wide range of wine from Savoie’s delicate whites, Jura’s complex Chardonnays and Savagnins, fine Crémants and fresh reds are winning new fans as they become more available.  Enjoy an evening in the company of a Crémant and a still wine as we explore some of their vinous treasures.

    Presenter:  Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie

    Availability:  Good.

    Wine Suggestions:

    From Majestic Wine (Mix Six prices) – From Jura – Crémant de Jura Brut, Caveau des Jacobins, NV (14.99), Côtes de Jura, ‘Heritage’ Chardonnay, Domaine Maire, 2018 (£12.99) OR Arbois, Chardonnay, Domaine Rolet, 2016 (£14.99) – From Savoie – ‘Altus’ Jacquère, Domaine Jean Perrier et Fils, 2020 (£10.99).

    From The Wine Society – From Jura – Crémant de Jura Brut, Domaine de Montbourgeau, NV (£14.95), – From Savoie – ‘Vers Les Alpes’ Chignin (Jacquère), Jean-Francois Quénard 2020 (£10.50), ‘Cuvée Elise’ Mondeuse, Jean-Francois Quénard, 2018 (£17.18).

    Also, two supermarket bargains – From Aldi – Crémant de Jura Brut, NV (£8.49) and from Sainsbury’s – ‘Taste The Difference’ Jura Chardonnay (£11.00).

     

     

     

     

    Full details and booking >

Nov 2021

  • Argentina – Much More Than Malbec – Online in London

    Thursday, 4th November

    £10.00

    Although Argentina’s fame rests squarely on its success with Malbec, there is much more to the picture, as we will demonstrate in this webinar.

    Presenter:  Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.

    Availability:  Good.

    Wine Suggestions:

    From Waitrose Cellar (www.waitrosecellar.com) – Chardonnay, Catena, 2019 (£13.49), Clos de Los Siete, Michel Roland, £16.99.

    From Majestic – Seleccion Torrontes, Vinalba, 2020 (£8.99), Cabernet Sauvignon, Catena, 2019 (£11.99)

    Full details and booking >

  • Classic Grape – Cabernet Franc – Online in London

    Tuesday, 9th November

    £10.00

    Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties in the world.  It’s  principally grown for blending with Cabernet-Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style but can also be vinified alone, as in the Loire’s Chinon.

    Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon,  making a bright red wine that contributes finesse and lends a peppery aroma to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on the growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, cassis and violets.

    Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century, although it was planted in the Loire long before that time.  DNA analysis indicates that Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère.

    Presenter:  Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.

    Availability:  Good.

    Wine Suggestions:

    From Waitrose Cellar (www.waitrosecellar.com) – Saumur Champigny, La Croix des Chaintres, 2016 (£12.99) and Argentina (Mendoza) ‘El Exilio’ Malbec/Cabernet Franc, Susana Balboa, 2018 (£11.99).

    From Sainsbury’s –  Argentina (Mendoza Uco Valley) ‘Taste the Difference’ Cabernet Franc, Morador, 2019 (£9.00).

    From The Wine Society – Chinon, ‘Le Temps des Cerises, Domaine de la Noblaie, 2019 (£11.95) OR St Emillion, Château Grand Corbin Despagne,2015 (£34.00).

    Full details and booking >

  • Artisanal Sherry – In Person in London

    Thursday, 11th November

    £55.00

    It’s Sherry week in the UK and to mark this, Pippa, our our resident expert, will lead a tasting of eight fine examples including some rare Almacenista wines.

    Venue:  The Civil Service Club

    Presenter:  Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie

    Availability: Good

    Full details and booking >

  • Spain – Priorat And Montsant – Online in London

    Tuesday, 16th November

    £10.00

    Priorat is a small wine region in Catalonia, best known for its intensely flavoured red wines.  An area with a long history, Priorat’s difficult mountainside location kept the region fairly obscure until just a few decades ago.  Now, it produces some of the most acclaimed wines of Spain.  It is one of only two wine regions in the country to qualify as DOCq, the highest qualification level for a wine region according to Spanish wine regulations, alongside Rioja.  The region of Montsant, which surrounds Priorat, produces red wines similar in style as well as white wines from local grape varieties.

    Presenter:  Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks

    Availability:  Good.

    Wine Suggestions:

    From Waitrose Cellar (www.waitrosecellar.com) – Montsant, Lasendal Seleccion, Celler de Capcanes 2019 (£10.99) and Priorat, La Petite Agnes, 2017 (£14.99)

    From The Wine Society:  Monsant, Blau, 2019 (£9.95) and Lectores Vini Classic Priorat, 2010 (£23.00)

    Full details and booking >

  • Wine To Drink With Festive Food – Online in London

    Tuesday, 23rd November

    £10.00

    Wine and food matching ideas for the festive season.

    Presenter:  Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

    Availability:  Good.

    Wine Suggestions: To follow.

    Full details and booking >

  • Champagne Masterclass And Buffet Lunch in London

    Saturday, 27th November

    £85.00

    Champagne Route is a new wine bar and restaurant in the St. Katherine’s Dock area specialising in Champagne and other French sparkling wines, which the owner imports directly.  The restaurant serves a selection of contemporary European dishes to complement the wines.

    Starting at 11 a.m., Vivienne Franks will tutor a tasting of six growers’ Champagnes.  A buffet lunch will follow.  This will be accompanied by glasses of French sparkling wines from Champagne Route’s varied selection.

    This is a repeat of the tasting we ran on 11th September but with a different selection of wines.  Just 15 places available.

    Venue:  Champagne Route Bar & Restaurant, 30 Gauging Square, London E1W 2AE

    Presenter:  Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks

    Availability: Good

    Full details and booking >