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.

  • Jun 2019

    £45.00California – The Napa Valley • Thursday, 27th June, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    A selection of fine wines from some of the Napa Valley’s top producers:-

    Chardonnay – Hagafen Cellars
    Viognier – McManis Family
    Pinot Noir – Saintsbury Lee Vineyard
    Merlot – Long Meadow Ranch Winery
    Petite Syrah – Three Clicks Wines
    Cabernet Franc – Viader Vineyards
    Cabernet Sauvignon – Silverado Vineyards
    Zinfandel – Rombauer Vineyards

    Tutor: Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks

    Jul 2019

    £40.00Bordeaux – Crus Bourgeois • Monday, 1st July, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    The ‘Cru Bourgeois’ classification was established in 1932 by Médoc châteaux that had not been included in the 1855 Bordeaux ‘Grand Cru Classé’ system. Focussed, from the outset, on quality, they delegated the job of deciding whether a château merited classification to an elected committee and, unlike their more illustrious counterpart, made periodic reviews of performance part of the system. Given the subjective nature of the committee’s decisions, controversy was inevitable and in 2003, châteaux that had been ‘de-classified’ took their grievances to court and won. The consequence was that ‘Cru Bourgeois’ was re-invented as a seal of quality, administered by a third party.

    We have selected 8 fine examples from the excellent 2016 vintage for you – Châteaux Vieux Moulin, Lacour Jacquet, Peyredon La Gravette, Rollan de By, Moulin de Canhaut, Maison Blanche, Pierre de Montignac and Noillac.

    Tutor Vivienne Franks with Malcolm Franks.

    £35.00Chile – New Wines From Old Vines • Thursday, 11th July, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    Over the last few years, pioneering grape growers and wine makers in Chile have been busy seeking out new vineyard locations to take advantage of the country’s special geography and climate. We are just starting to see the early results of their work and very impressive they are too. Our selection of wines for this tasting will include some from Chile’s growing number of small, boutique wineries. You will taste a crisp, full-flavoured Riesling, a wonderfully aromatic Sauvignon Blanc, two soft, silky, cool-climate Pinots, two elegant Syrahs and two classic Bordeaux blends.

    Tutor – Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

    £45.00Moulin Touchais – Liquid Gold From The Loire Valley • Monday, 15th July, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    One of the Loire’s most prestigious estates, Moulin Touchais has been farmed by the Touchais family since 1787. The vineyards, on south facing slopes along the valley of the river Layon, are planted with Chenin Blanc. The wines, made from carefully selected, late picked grapes are very pure, opulently sweet but with good balancing acidity. Aged for a minimum of 10 years before release they develop beautifully in bottle.

    You will taste 6 vintages of this rare wine, including the ’03, ’02, ’97, 96, ’86 and ’85 preceded by a fine Savennieres (the Chenin that smells sweet but tastes dry) from Baumard and a barrel aged Anjou Blanc from Chateau des Fesles..

    Tutor Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie

    £35.00English Sparkling Wines • Thursday, 25th July, 19:30-21:30 in London – Holborn

    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. A new, venture capital funded company has planted 150 ha of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier in Hampshire. And now, an application has been made to Brussels for the South Downs to be designated a Protected Denomination of Origin or PDO. The Champenois, who have never taken kindly to challenges to their franchise, have their land agents tramping over the South Downs looking for suitable sites to buy; Taittinger, indeed, already has vines in the ground. It’s all happening here! So, come and taste 6 fine English sparkling wines, made form the same grape varieties, grown in the same soils and in the same way as around Reims and Epernay.

    Tutor Pippa Hayward with Sandy Leckie.

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