Our 2010 Tastings


This meeting is  eagerly anticipated! it features our annual tasting of Fine Wines. This year Carolyn Clayton had obviously spent much time in finding an impressive selection of ten wines. Starting with an excellent Champagne we “travelled” through France, the Lebanon, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Germany, and eventually Portugal for a late bottled vintage Port. Accompanied by fresh baguettes and a selection of cheeses, plus chocolates and mince pies, the thirty-one members who attended enjoyed another memorable evening. Well done and our thanks Carolyn and Peter.


Five Star Dining at the Settlement? Unheard of? Not anymore! The November meeting of the group featured our annual dinner. This year it was a joint venture relying on local company Campbell and Tofts to supply the main course and cheeses whilst the ladies in the group arranged the starters and desserts, and of course the wines. Organised by Jean Haigh with help from husband Alan, the result was a magnificent success. Superbly cooked food, well chosen wines, great starters and desserts all served at elegantly decorated tables resulted in a perfect evening. Several dedicated men leapt into action to help with the clearing up at the end. Thanks go to all in the Group who assisted with this memorable event.


The October meeting of the group saw the return of Roy Tosh following a long absence. It was a pleasure to have him back as he came with a truly eclectic selection of his favourite wines. He presented wines from seven countries starting in Argentina and going via Lebanon to South Africa; mainly concentrating on wines made in relatively small volumes. A large turnout of group members enjoyed a very entertaining evening.


Several members chose the selection for the September meeting. The result was a wide variety of good quality wines with some costing well above the average price normally paid for a tasting.  The quality shone through and resulted in a very enjoyable evening.


The Group, together with the other LALG wine groups, participated in the Letchworth Festival wine tasting evening held at the Broadway Hotel on Friday 2 July. A comprehensive selection of wines was available as Australian commercial enterprises were also offering some of their best wines for tasting. Carolyn offered some excellent South African wines whilst John Raines conducted a "Find the Champagne" blind tasting competition. Surprisingly, very few people were able to select the real thing, many choosing a Wolf Blass sparkling wine. Two winners eventually emerged, Sheila Mellish and Tom Milliken, with Tom winning the prize of a meal for two at the Broadway Hotel, resulting from a draw taken with their winning entries. Quite a successful and entertaining evening, thanks to the many members of the wine groups who attended.


The Group were treated like Royalty at the June meeting when Carolyn Clayton presented us with a range of Majestic wines. The wines came from eight different countries and featured many classic grape varieties. With several members away on holiday the samples were more generous than usual, and as Carolyn had managed to obtain some wines at discount prices we all had a good share of some excellent wines at a modest cost. It made for a very jolly evening!


Thirty members attended the May meeting, which featured John Raines taking the group on a “Blind Tour” of “Island Wines” from around the World. The emphasis was on unusual grapes; for example no one had come across an English red wine made from the Triomphe d‟Alsace grapes. Sicily also featured, with several wines not previously tasted, made from the Fiano and Nero d‟Avola grapes. A quick stop in mainland Montenegro for a Merlot was followed by a trip to New Zealand for a Merlot/Malbec blend and then a Pinot Noir from Tasmania. The journey ended on the Argentine mainland to sample a wine made from their famous Malbec grapes. Lots of clues were provided and some successes achieved in identifying both wines and countries. Another fun filled evening!


A tasting by Pat and Bernard Bailey always attracts a large turnout of our members and the March 2010 meeting was no exception with 34 members present. We were treated to a selection of wines from the Alboloduy vineyard located in the Sierra Nevada. How about wines made from the Pansa Blanca and Jaen Blanca grapes? Certainly not your average supermarket stuff! As in their previous tastings Iberian food was provided such as cheeses, smoked hams and homemade Tortilla de Patata. So another excellent meeting was enjoyed by all.


Iberian wines and food, hosted by Pat and Bernard Bailey.


Unfortunately the first meeting of the New Year had to be cancelled due to the very poor conditions for both driving and walking to the venue.

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