Obviously at this time, all in-shop tastings are cancelled while social distancing is in place for the COVID-19 crisis. We have, however begun online tastings via Zoom. These have to take a different format to physical tastings in the shop. It involves customers buying the bottles for the tasting, so we have only 2 or 3 wines per tasting, rather than the usual 7 or 8 shared around a room, but you do get to keep the whole bottles. If you are interested in joining the email list regarding tastings, please get in touch via email or by phone 07947484186.
We are currently doing a series of tastings linking up directly with producers whose wines we sell, joining us via zoom to talk to us about their wines, which is going really well. It provides a very special opportunity for customers to have a direct contact with the people and places behind the wines on the shelf, from the comfort of their own homes. In doing so, the producer can also bring a little bit of the region to us.
Coming up on Wednesday 11th November, at 8pm, we will be hosting a tasting of some of the wines from our upcoming Christmas cases.
On 20th May we had a fascinating tasting with Angelo Cotugno of San Marzano wines in the Salento in Puglia, Italy, a co-operative with a large range of wines which are consistently excellent and great value. Their focus on Puglian varieties like Primitivo, Negroamaro and Verdeca. The Tramari Primitivo rose is the best selling rose in the shop, and for good reason, it's delicious!
On Wednesday 17th June we had a fantastic tasting with Valeria Perzia of Centopassi winery in North Western Sicily, another co-operative winery with a great story, as well as great wines. Vineyards formerly mafia owned, confiscated by the government and given back to Sicilian people, now run by a certified organic social co-operative who pursue quality and elegance in their wines from Sicilian grape varieties in the Alto Belice area, south of Palermo. The two blends Grillo/Catarratto and Nero d'Avola/Perricone continue to be some of the best sellers in the shop, while the Pietra a Purtedda single vineyard blend is a seriously good and unique wine, made from 70% Nerello Mascalese.
On Wednesday 15th July at 8.30 pm, or 7.30am New Zealand time, we enjoyed a tasting with Palliser Estate from Martinborough, New Zealand, including estate winemaker Guy McMaster and sales manager Sandy Moore. A producer whose wines combine quality, and affordability. The Estate Riesling was a particular hit.
12th August we were joined by Guillaume Harel of Famille Perrin, from the Southern Rhone in France for a tasting of 3 of their excellent wines, L'Oustalet white, Luberon rose and Ventoux red.
On Wednesday 16th September, we were joined by Mick Craven from Craven Wines, Stellenbosch South Africa, tasting their fantastic Pinot Gris and Firs Vineyard Syrah. Both very individual, distinctive wines from this husband and wife small producer. All single vineyard and single varietal wines, the Pinot Gris was made in an 'orange' style with skin contact, while the Syrah exuded elegance poise and balance. Both very much in the house style of freshness elegance and low alcohol, which makes them quite unique in Stellenbosch.
On Friday 16th October at, we enjoyed a fantastic tasting with by David Rego and Pedro Ribeiro from Herdade do Rocim, based in the Alentejo region of Portugal. We tasted their Vale da Mata Lisbon white, which was beautifully balanced between freshness and richness, the great value fruity Mariana red and the beguiling Amphora red.
Apart from stocking an exciting range of delicious wines, we also offer wine tasting events. We have regular themed tastings each month in shop, but we are available for you to book a private tasting of your own with a group of friends, or for your event or special occasion. These can be bespoke to your own requirements, but we also have a number of set themes we can suggest at a range of price points. These include:
-An introduction to wine £12 a head (Tasting a range of popular wine varieties from the entry level end of our range. Ideal for the beginner, for students or those on a budget)
- An introduction to French wine £15 a head (A range of classic French wine styles from famous regions like Bordeaux and Burgundy)
-An introduction to Italian wine £15 a head (A range of classic Italian wine styles from famous regions such as Tuscany and Piedmont)
- New World classics £15 a head (a range of popular New World styles from Australia, New Zealand, Chile etc)
- French fine wines £25 a head (some special treats from the premium end of our French range)
-Italian fine wines £25 a head (some special treats from the premium end of our Italian range)
- Spanish wines, more than just Rioja! £15 a head
-Something fizzy: a tasting of all Sparkling wines £20 a head