Our 2018 Tastings


It was nearly standing room only at our December Christmas Fine Wines evening. Carolyn Clayton served up a wide selection of wines ranging from an English Chapel Down Sparkler to a superb Madeira, interspersed with whites and reds such as a 2008 Rioja and a 2009 Burgundy. Definitely a memorable evening.


Do French wines still have a magical attraction? Our average attendance soared at our November meeting when George Barnes provided a selection of wines from the Loire Valley. The region produces some wonderful white wines. We commenced with a very cheap but excellent Muscadet, then a Sauvignon Blanc, and a Vouvray. Four red wines made from the local Cabernet Franc grapes followed the whites, with a final delicious white dessert Vouvray.


At our October meeting Tony Mansey presented a varied and interesting range of wines from the online supplier, Naked Wines.


The September meeting featured “Eight Bottles from Around the World” presented by John Raines. We sampled wines from Chile, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and finally Argentina, with a few blind tastings included. A very interesting evening with some excellent wines sourced from Majestic.


Our annual Garden Party was organised by Jane and Tony Faulker. They did a remarkable job by providing both a superb selection of wines and food, plus shaded seating for 30 members on a very hot July day. Some of the delicious desserts were produced by our members, illustrating the great cooperative effort within the group. Sincere thanks go to all concerned.


Our June meeting focused on Italian wines. Terry Gamble showed us that by buying direct from Italy it was possible to obtain a good selection of wines at a modest price. We sampled eight wines, varying from a Prosecco to a Chianti, all very drinkable at a remarkable price of just £5.00 per person. Terry also provided information about each wine, and background notes on Italy’s Classification and Appellation System. A truly unique evening!


Paul Johnson selected a range of South African wines for our May meeting. A tasting of two whites and five reds proved that South Africa is making great strides in producing a selection of wines that can compete with the rest of the world, rather than just the inevitable Pinotage. Paul also provided tasting notes, a map of the wine production areas, and a brief history indicating that planting vineyards commenced as far back as the 17th Century.


At our April meeting Jean Haigh gave us a unique presentation titled ‘Grapes -Taste the Difference’. She covered the major grape varieties with in depth descriptions such as their history, colour, flavour, chemical composition, areas of production, and taste. An extremely interesting evening, which, of course, included sampling the wines.


The ‘Beast from the East’ forced us to cancel our March meeting.


Our February meeting featured a selection of wines provided by a local company ‘Taste of Sardinia’. The proprietor, Mark, and his wife gave us a selection of Sardinian wines to taste accompanied by Sardinian cheeses. We tasted strongly flavoured white wines followed by intense, full-bodied reds and a final superb dessert wine. Overall a unique evening.


A mixture of cold weather, holidays and various viruses resulted in a diminished attendance at our January meeting. Those who did attend enjoyed tasting novel wines, with some very drinkable whites priced as low as £3.00 a bottle. A good variety of reds followed, including a mini-blind tasting of excellent Riojas.

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