Taste Great Wines & Spirits From Around The World

Our tasting evenings are designed to appeal to people who appreciate fine wine and/or spirits.

They are relaxed and informal in style. The tutor will give some background information and then simply introduce each wine or spirit and encourage discussion. A tasting sheet and, where appropriate, maps will be provided but not detailed notes.

Unless otherwise indicated, tasting samples of 8 wines or 6 spirits will be tasted. There will be mineral water and water biscuits to refresh your palate between samples.

What else do I need?

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).

Who are the principal course tutors?

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.

Book Places

Here are details of the tastings we are organising in London over the next few months.  To book places at any of these, select the number you want from the little drop-down menu on the left, enter your personal details in the form at the foot of the page and click the submit button. A member of the Wine Education Service team will then send you confirmation and information about payment methods by email.

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  • Apr 2018

    £0.00A Celebration Of English Sparkling Wines On Saint George's Day • Monday, 23rd April, 19:30-21:30 in London

    English sparkling wines have started to beat grande marque Champagnes to the medals in international competitions. Top producers Ridgeview, Nyetimber and Camel Valley are extending their vineyards and a new, venture capital funded company has planted 150 ha of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in Hampshire. The Champenois, who have never taken kindly to challenges to their franchise, are rumoured to have their land agents tramping over the South Downs looking for suitable sites to buy. It’s all happening here! So, come and celebrate Saint George’s Day with a tasting of fine vintage and non-vintage bottlings.

    Tutor Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.

    May 2018

    £40.00Southern Rhone – Châteauneuf-du-Pape Has Some Rivals Now • Thursday, 3rd May, 19:30-21:30 in London

    While in the Northern Rhône, they can only ripen Syrah, down south, Grenache is king with Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault in supporting roles as well as ever improving white blends featuring Viognier, Marsanne and Rousanne. In short, there’s something for everyone in this dynamic region. Our selection includes two whites and six reds, including two of our favourite Châteauneufs:-

    Côtes du Rhône Blanc (Viognier with a soupçon of Roussanne) – Saint-Amant;
    Lirac Blanc ‘La Fermade’ – Maby;
    Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne – Romain Roche;
    Lirac Rouge ‘La Dame Rousse’ – Mordorée;
    Rasteau ‘Les Argilles Bleus’ – Beaurenard;
    Vacqueras – La Bouïssière;
    Châteauneuf – Le Vieux Lazaret;
    Châteauneuf – Les Olivets.

    Tutor: Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

    £35.00Viognier – Classic Grape Variety • Monday, 14th May, 19:30-21:30 in London

    Once close to extinction, this exotically aromatic white variety, is now very much back in fashion.  Examples from Australia, California, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa, Southern France and, its home base, Condrieu!

    Tutor: Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

    £35.00Italian Wine & Cheese • Thursday, 24th May, 19:30-21:30 in London

    Eight classic Italian wines served with a selection of Italian cheeses.

    Tutor: Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

    Jun 2018

    £45.00Mature Red Bordeaux • Monday, 4th June, 19:30-21:30 in London

    A selection of mature red wines from some of our favourite Bordeaux properties:-

    Ch. Fombrauge, ’90;
    Ch. Cissac, ’93;
    Ch. Potensac,’95;
    Ch. Caronne Ste Gemme, ’97;
    Ch. Chasse Spleen, ’00;
    Ch. Labegorce Zédé, ’03;
    Ch. Gruaud Larose, ’04;
    Ch. La Grande Clotte, ’06.

    Tutor: Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.

    £35.00Wines of Romania • Monday, 11th June, 19:30-21:30 in London

    In Romania, as in other countries of south-eastern Europe, the return of vineyard land to the private sector has stimulated the modernisation of the wine industry.  A new wave of talented young winemakers is now producing wines that are finding favour with consumers in northern Europe.  The line-up will include local specialities Tamaioasca Romaneasca and Novac from top producer Prince Stirby, as well as wines made from international grape varieties including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Tutor Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.

    £35.00Our Wine Picks of the Year • Thursday, 21st June, 19:30-21:30 in London

    A selection of wines recommended by WES team members Carol Brown, John Ducker, Pippa Hayward, Sandy Leckie and Vivienne Franks in ‘100 Awesome Wines 2018’, a guide recently published by the Association of Wine Educators.  We will taste four wines in the Guide’s up to £10 category and four in the up to £25 category.

    Tutor: Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks

    £45.00Fine White Burgundy • Monday, 25th June, 19:30-21:30 in London

    A special tasting of wines from Burgundy’s Côte d’Or including examples from Chassagne-Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault and Corton.

    Tutor: Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

    Jul 2018

    £35.00Pinot Noir – Classic Grape Variety • Thursday, 5th July, 19:30-21:30 in London

    For red wine makers around the world, creating the perfect Pinot Noir is the ultimate challenge.  We will taste fine examples from Australia, California, Chile, Italy, New Zealand, Oregon, South Africa and, of course, Burgundy.

    Tutor: Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

    £40.00Ribera del Duero & Rueda • Monday, 9th July, 19:30-21:30 in London

    The vineyards along the banks of the of great Duero river in central Spain are exposed to extreme temperatures in summer and winter yet produce some of Spain’s finest wines.  We will taste a varied selection from bodegas such as Arzuaga, Bohorques, Pago de Carraovejas, Pesquera and Perez Pascuas.

    Tutor: Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

    £35.00Upmarket Wines From Chile • Monday, 16th July, 19:30-21:30 in London

    Having established a reputation for quality and value for money at the lower end of the market, the Chileans are now tempting us to spend a bit more by introducing ‘reserve’ wines and other ‘special’ cuvées. We take a look at some of these.

    Tutor: Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks

    £35.00Alpine Wines • Thursday, 26th July, 19:30-21:30 in London

    A tasting of white and red wines from Alpine vineyards in France,  Switzerland, Austria and Italy.

    Tutor; Vivienne Franks with  Malcolm Franks.

    Aug 2018

    £35.00Wines of Bulgaria • Thursday, 2nd August, 19:30-21:30 in London

    Wines made by a new generation of Bulgarian wine makers from indigenous as well as international grape varieties.

    Tutor; Vivienne Franks with  Malcolm Franks.

    £35.00Sauvignon Blanc – Classic Grape Variety • Monday, 6th August, 19:30-21:30 in London

    In this tasting, we 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 crisply sweet whites from the Coteaux du Layon.

    Tutor:  Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

    £35.00Wines of Sicily • Thursday, 16th August, 19:30-21:30 in London

    It was the ancient Greeks who first realised that Sicily’s warm, dry climate, sunny hillsides and rocky soils made it an ideal place to grow grapes and make wine.  The wines were rich and sweet, which meant they travelled well and were soon exported to the peninsula of Italy and further afield.  Although sweet styles still account for over 80% of the island’s production, there is much more to Sicilian wine than Marsala.  Over the last 30 years, family owned estates such as Donnafugata, Planeta, Spadafora, Abazia Santa Anastasia and Fazio have invested heavily in their vineyards and wineries and are now producing fresh fragrant whites from Catarratto, Inzoli, and Grillo and warm, rich and spicy reds from Nero d’Avolo, Pericone, Nerello Mascalese and Frappato.  Some have also planted international varieties, of which Chardonnay and Syrah seem to give the best results.

    Tutor: Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie

    £35.00The Loire Valley • Monday, 20th August, 19:30-21:30 in London

    In this tasting, we 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 crisply sweet whites from the Coteaux du Layon.

    Tutor:  Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.














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Apr 2018

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