Hello dear reader,
Do you like wine? There is such an amazing variety that it can sometimes seem a little overwhelming when deciding how to chose a good one. There’s colour, body, dryness, sweetness, fruitiness, spicyness, oakiness, type of grape, country of origin (not to mention particular vineyard within that country) and that’s even before you stop to think about which year a particular vintage might have been at its best. I personally know my favourite red and my favourite white but that’s pretty much the extent of my knowledge.
I have often thought I should do something to rectify this lack of wine wherewithal but have found some wine tastings and courses come across as a bit snobbish and have felt put off. If you feel the same, then The Wine Gang are here to come to your rescue, with their Christmas Wine Fairs.
The Christmas Wine Fairs are in Bath on 2nd November, in London on 9th November and in Edinburgh on 30th November. The tickets are £20 but it certainly sounds like you will get your moneys-worth. There will be hundreds of quality wines from the world’s top producers available to taste for free. Five of the UK’s top wine experts (Tom Cannavan, Jane Parkinson, Anthony Rose, Joanna Simon, David Williams) will be on-hand all afternoon to guide you and will also be running free 20 minute tasting tours of their personal favourite wines, explaining why they like them so much. Once you chose your own favourites, you can head to the pop-up shop to buy them with great discounts, in time for Christmas. It is a fair for lovers of wine, from novices to aficionados and is all about having fun and being inspired.
You can buy discounted early-bird tickets from the website now at £12. Also, Tom from The Wine Gang has been kind enough to provide me with a code which you, my dear reader, can use at any time to get this discount. When you purchase your tickets, use the code BLOG40 – this will discount your entry tickets to £12 and will also give you 10% of any masterclass tickets you buy.
Woah, I hear you cry – masterclasses, what masterclasses? Well each fair is going to have a special series of masterclasses; tutored tastings of particular types of wine or champagne and superb food matchings ranging from cheese to chocolate. On the website, click on the location of the fair you would like to go to and you will see the fabulous list of masterclasses to chose from. I personally hope to make it to the Perfect Wine Perfect Cheese masterclass in Edinburgh, as it is sponsored by my favourite Edinburgh cheesemongers, Ian Mellis. I adore cheeses but only ever have port with cheese, so it’d be nice to know which wines to pair instead. All the details of the masterclass are on the website, along with a list of exhibitors and the wines they will be showcasing. There is also a very groovy little app which allows you to create your own personal route map round the fair.
Personally I am very partial to a red Rioja, particularly those with a high content of Temperanillo grape and I much prefer the longer-aged velvety Gran Reservas. I’ll usually only select a white if sharing with someone who doesn’t like red and, in this case, my go-to is a Semillon-Chardonnay, as I like its combination of fresh citrus-y flavour mellowed out with a sweeter melon-y flavour. That is about the extent of my knowledge, so I look forward to widening my wine horizons!
P.S. If you are going to the Edinburgh fair, do drop me a line if you want to meet up!
Disclaimer: I received two tickets to the Edinburgh Christmas Wine Fair 2013 as thanks for writing this blog post. However it was my decision as to what to write and all opinions are my own.