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.

  • Sep 2019

    £35.00Grenache – Classic Grape • Thursday, 19th September, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    One of the most widely planted red varieties in the world, Grenache Noir is a major contributor to red and rosé wines made across a swathe of southern Europe that stretches from Rioja and Navarra, through Cataluña, across the South of France and up into the southern part of the Rhône Valley. It’s also found in the USA, South Africa and Australia There are white, grey and ‘hairy’ clones too. We will have a selection of fine examples for you to taste.

    Tutor: Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

    £40.00Bordeaux Wine & Cheese • Monday, 23rd September, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    A selection of dry white, rosé, red and sweet white Bordeaux wines served with a matching selection of classic French cheeses. Our selection of wines will include a Crémant, a tangy Sauvignon Blanc, A Sauvignon /Semillon blend from Pessac-Léognan, a deliciously fruity rosé, three classic reds with vintages back to 2005 and an exotic sweet white from Sainte-Croix-du-Mont. The cheeses will include Cantal, Chaource, Ossau-Iraty and Roquefort.

    Tutor: Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

    Oct 2019

    £40.00Fine Swiss Wines • Thursday, 3rd October, 21:30 in London – Holborn

    At number 24 in the world league, Switzerland produces more than twice as much wine as New Zealand, but exports little. However, what it does export is of high quality. At this tasting, we will show wines made from Chasselas (the most widely planted grape variety in Switzerland) and regional specialities Amigne and Petite Arvine as well as international varieties like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot.

    Tutor: Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.

    £35.00Mature German Riesling • Monday, 7th October, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    The tastings we organised in 2016 and 2017 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.

    £45.00Superior Tuscans • Thursday, 17th October, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    As this tasting will show, there is so much more to Tuscany than Chianti. We will start with 3 whites – a Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a Vermentino from the coastal Maremma region and a so-called “Super Tuscan” blend. We will then taste 4 reds – a juicy Sangiovese from the Maremma, a Brunello di Montalcino, a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and the “Super Tuscan” Carburnio, before finishing with a Vin Santo, the region’s classic, amber-coloured dessert wine. Tutor: Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.

    £35.00Pinot Noir – Classic Grape • Monday, 21st October, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    Pinot Noir from around the world including two from Burgundy and leading examples from Australia, California, Germany, Chile, New Zealand, and S. Africa.

    Tutor: Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

    £0.00 – £35.00Cataluna – Spain's Mediterranean North-East • Thursday, 31st October, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    Not surprisingly, given the Catalan character, this region is one of the most adventurous and individualistic in Spain. We will taste a selection of wines from Costers del Segre, Montsant, Priorat, Terra Alta and Penedès.

    Tutor: Pippa Hayward and Sandy Leckie.

    Nov 2019

    £35.00Sherry & Tapas • Monday, 4th November, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    It’s ‘Sherry Week’ in the UK and to mark this, we are organising a tasting of Sherry in all its styles – Manzanilla, Fino, Amontilado, Oloroso, Palo Cortado – with olives, nuts, cheese and chorizo.

    Tutor: Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

    £40.00China • Thursday, 7th November, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    As you probably know, the Chinese are developing quite a taste for wine, importing much of what they drink from Europe. What you may not know is that China is now the world’s leading producer of wine grapes and is starting to produce more and more of its own wine. You don’t yet see much of this here yet, but this is about to change. The UK now has its first specialist importer and distributor of Chinese wines. Called Panda Fine Wine, it’s run by a Chinese husband and wife team whose aim is to bring to the UK some of the most interesting and distinctive wines that are emerging from China’s burgeoning industry.

    We have selected 8 wines from Panda’s list for this tasting – Rongzi Pinot Noir, Rongzi Cabernet Sauvignon, Martin Tempranillo, Bolongbao Blanc, Tiansai Chardonnay Reserve, Martin Dragon Eye Longyan, Cailonglin Silver Label and Jia Bei Lan.

    Tutor: Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks

    £40.00Italy – The Veneto • Monday, 11th November – Thursday, 21st November, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    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 with Sandy Leckie.

    £65.00Mature Red Bordeaux • Thursday, 21st November, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    We are on the hunt for the eight wines you will be tasting at our traditional, end-of-year, mature, red Bordeaux event. More details soon.

    Tutor: Vivienne Franks and Malcolm Franks.

    £40.00Southern Rhône • Monday, 25th November, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    The southern part of the Rhône valley produces some of the most accessible and best value wines of France. A representative selection of wines from top producers in Gigondas, Lirac, Tavel, Vacqueras, Châteauneuf du Pape, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise and, of course, Côtes du Rhône.

    Tutor: Sue Eames with Sandy Leckie

    Dec 2019

    £40.00New Zealand's Finest • Thursday, 5th December, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    The wines of New Zealand just get better and better. For purity of fruit and varietal expression they are hard to match. We will taste a selection of some of the country’s finest, including Ata Rangi, Cloudy Bay, Felton Road, Kumeu River, Pegasus Bay and Te Mata.

    Tutor: Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

    £50.00Fine Red & White Burgundy • Monday, 9th December, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    Another traditional end-of-year ‘special’, our Fine Burgundy event will, this time, feature four whites and four reds. The whites will include a top of the range Pouilly-Fuissé, a Grand Cru Chablis, a Meursault and a 1er Cru Puligny or Chassagne-Montrachet. The reds will include a Santenay, a 1er Cru Côte de Beaune, a 1er Cru Gevrey-Chambertin and a 1er Cru Nuits St-Georges. We expect to be able to publish the final line-up in late September.

    Tutor: Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.














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Sep 2019

  • Grenache – Classic Grape in London – Holborn

    Thursday, 19th September

    £35.00

    One of the most widely planted red varieties in the world, Grenache Noir is a major contributor to red and rosé wines made across a swathe of southern Europe that stretches from Rioja and Navarra, through Cataluña, across the South of France and up into the southern part of the Rhône Valley. It’s also found in the USA, South Africa and Australia There are white, grey and ‘hairy’ clones too. We will have a selection of fine examples for you to taste.

    Tutor: Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

    Full details and booking >

  • Bordeaux Wine & Cheese in London – Holborn

    Monday, 23rd September

    £40.00

    A selection of dry white, rosé, red and sweet white Bordeaux wines served with a matching selection of classic French cheeses. Our selection of wines will include a Crémant, a tangy Sauvignon Blanc, A Sauvignon /Semillon blend from Pessac-Léognan, a deliciously fruity rosé, three classic reds with vintages back to 2005 and an exotic sweet white from Sainte-Croix-du-Mont. The cheeses will include Cantal, Chaource, Ossau-Iraty and Roquefort.

    Tutor: Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

    Full details and booking >

  • From Grape to Glass in London

    Saturday, 28th September

    £95.00

    One-day Introductory Wine Tasting Course with lunch included.

    Full details and booking >

  • Classic Grape Varieties in London – Holborn

    Monday, 30th September – Monday, 28th October

    £165.00

    Five-session Intermediate Course on Monday evenings.

    Full details and booking >

Oct 2019

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