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Thursdays 5th & 12th November 2020
This tasting runs over two sessions, from 7pm – 8pm each evening. The ticket price of £25 covers both sessions and is per household, not per person. We’ll open three wines each night, but they’ll drink just as well over the next couple of days so nothing will be wasted. You are also welcome to attend without buying the accompanying wines.
Bored with Bordeaux? Replete with Rioja? In this two-part tasting we’ll delve into more obscure corners of the wider world of wine, to unearth some real gems and surprises. Certain grape varieties and regions dominate the shelves of almost all major retailers, and because of that, our wine racks at home too. This tasting is a wonderful opportunity to broaden your wine horizons and learn about some fascinating grape varieties, wine regions and unsual wine styles, with Tom’s expert guidance as we taste the wines together.
We’ve sourced our wines for this tasting from the wonderful specialist in off-piste wines, The Daily Drinker. The case would normally cost £69.50 plus a minimum of £7.50 delivery depending on postcode, but we’ve negotiated a price for this tasting of £69 including UK delivery, but please see below for Highland and Island postcodes that will incur a surcharge.
What will we be tasting? Well there’s the steely, fresh and modern Smederevka from Macedonia which is a crisp white, and the Voskehat from Aremia, a serious wine, with texture, citrus and flinty notes to the fore. Completing our trio of white wines, a former Wine of the Week for me and a real surprise: yes, it’s Retsina from Greece, but one that marches to a different beat, being made in clay amphora, fermented with wild yeasts, and certified organic.
Our reds don’t get any more familiar, but that’s the point of this tasting! We’ll kick off with another Macedonian, but this time the grape is Kratoshija, said to be the parent of both Primitivo and Zinfandel. From the island of Crete, Liatiko is a native grape, this one planted at 900 metres above sea level, and we’ll finish back on mainland Greece, tasting Agiorgitiko, or ‘St George’, one of the country’s most important varieties, this from a small family estate and again planted at altitude.
This might be a journey into the unknown, but it celebrates diversity at a time of increasing homogeneity in the world of wine. Did you know that in France in the 1950s, the 20 most planted grape varieties accounted for around 50% of all vineyards. Today, the top 20 varieties account for 91% of all French vineyards – and all French wines.
Around the globe, passionate winegrowers and producers are preserving and improving wines made from regional speciality varieties, but not forgetting for one moment about quality: we’ll taste excellent wines that prove the quality is there, from countries that hang on to their traditional wines, and in many cases, made by winemakers trying to stem the tide of ‘international varieties’ like Chardonnay, Merlot or Sauvignon Blanc that are in danger of destroying their historic, indigenous grape varieties.
We’ll also look at the ancient techniques used to make some of these wines, techniques that have not changed in millenia in some cases, but which are suddently fashionable – booming in popularity among switched on winemakers around the world.
Join me on this voyage of discovery.