The Club's diary of forthcoming events is here.
The general pattern of events is the second Saturday every month from September to June, reverting to the third Saturday of the month from January 2020. Forthcoming events are listed below. For earlier events, please see the historic events page.
Saturday 18th January 2020 - “Battered Trophy” Blind Tasting Competition.
We are delighted to announce that Mike and George have once again offered to run the annual Battered Trophy Blind Tasting Competition.
Saturday 15th February 2020 - Wines from the Rainbow Nation with Nigel Strofton, Wine Consultant for Sheldon's Wine Cellars Ltd, Shipton on Stour, Warwickshire.
" I have been in the Wine Trade and Spirits Industry all my working life - 59 years and with Sheldon's for 25 of those years. I have had a very interesting career and continue to do so. South Africa I adore, especially so the wines which are getting better and better by each new vintage. The face of South Africa has changed beyond recognition since Nelson walked to Freedom in 1994. Producers and consumers are now embracing the idea that this old (established 1659) New World wine region is, essentially suited to grape varieties that are at home around the Mediterranean. The "lights were out" in South Africa during the apartheid era from 1948 to 1994 (46 years) and their wine trade suffered. Since the turn of the century, South African wines have blossomed in style, quality and basic charm.
Hopefully, you will enjoy the selection of wines I will be showing on the night" Nigel
Saturday 14th March 2020 - Bordeaux with a Twist - with Tony Hill of Bordeaux and Beyond.
"Tony Hill, owner of Bordeaux and Beyond, presents an evening of Bordeaux Wines (with a twist).
Tony will take us on a "Wine tour of Bordeaux" covering different appellations, some famous, and some not so famous. There will be a mid session "taste - bud refresher" Champagne break, including the famous Bordeaux and Beyond Champagne Quiz with a prize for the winner.
Tony's sessions are always both informative and entertaining and he presents from a wine drinkers perspective rather than that of a wine merchant.
Bordeaux and Beyond is a specialist wine importer concentrating on wines from small independent vignerons in France not usually available elsewhere.
Bordeaux and beyond is a web based business now in their 12th year of trading but basically it is three guys passionate about wine and having a lot of fun.
They continue to sell only wines that they import and more importantly happy to drink themselves".
Saturday 18th April 2020 - A wine trip through Chile from The Atacama Desert down to the South with Janina Doyle, Brand Ambassador of Vina Ventisquero.
“It is a pleasure to be able to present just a selection of our wines for you all. Vina Ventisquero was founded in 2000 and since then has gone from strength to strength being recognised as one of the leading Chilean wineries for quality and innovation.
Vina Ventisquero was the first winery to be 100% sustainably certified and has maintained this through till today. This along with being family owned and never buying in fruit, are the pillars at Vina Ventisquero and sit at the heart of our company.
We are proud to have famous winemaker John Duval (ex-chief winemaker of Penfolds Grange) on our team and to be producing incredible wines up in the Atacama Desert where we have the monopoly. Nobody else is crazy enough to plant in a desert with salty soils. We are always looking to push that little step further. I look forward to talking you on the Ventisquero journey.”
Saturday 16th May 2020 - Wines of USA's West Coast - The Search for Balance, with Tim Schwilk of The Wine Society
"Is there more to the West Coast than the stereotypical fruit bombs of years gone by? Can Oregon Pinots and Washington Rieslings really compete with the wines of Burgundy and Germany?
As Manager of the Tastings and Events Team at The Wine Society I’m fortunate to be exposed to wines from all over the world as we plan, prepare and deliver over 200 events a year across the country. Yet despite the fact that The Wine Society’s list is dominated by Old World listings and my own personal background is in Australian wines, no country’s wines have surprised me more, nor given me as much pleasure as those coming from the United States of America.
Together we will explore, discuss and most importantly taste examples of Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon from the West Coast of America. Covering California, Oregon and Washington State, I hope that these wines will prove that when in the right hands, American wine can be just as elegant, classy and of high quality as any wine producing country in the world."
Thursday 11th June 2020 - Wine and Dine - The Loft, St Albans https://www.loftstalbans.com/
The committee are finalising details for a Wine and Dine event at The Loft restaurant in St Albans. To express interest, please e-mail Ralph at email@example.com by Friday 10th January, so we can gauge the level of interest
Saturday 20th June 2020 - Wines of South America with a special focus on Argentina - with Mark Rimmer of Condor Wines
We are delighted to welcome Mark Rimmer of Condor Wines, the proud recipients of the 2019 IWC Award for the Best South American Merchant. Mark will focus on the "New World" within this New World continent, showcasing how the different countries are pushing the limits of what's possible, interesting and downright delicious in South America.
Sunday 13th September - Friday 18th September 2020 - Tuscany Wine Tour
We have another exciting tour of Italian wine regions, planned for September 2020 courtesy of Malcolm and David. It is based in Siena, Tuscany, arguably Italy's loveliest medieval city. There will be full day, wide-ranging tours in a coach, going to 4 regions; San Gimignano (mainly whites); Chianti Classico (reds mainly - good Chianti but also Super Tuscans); Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (reds mainly, but also great dessert wine): Brunello di Montalcino (pure Sangiovese bold reds). During a typical day there will be a visit to a region with two wineries (lunch included at one of them or in a farm close by), with a quick stop also in a village (e.g. Montalcino, Montepulciano, Castellina in Chianti, San Gimignano).
Please refer to the event letter of 30th November for full details and booking instructions.
Saturday 19th September 2020 - Bolney Estate Wines - Presented by Robin Warren-Adamson
“I am delighted and honoured to be invited to host Bolney Estate’s first ever tasting at the Verulam Wine Tasting Club. We’re one of the longest-established producers of English Wine, based in beautiful West Sussex, close to the South Downs National Park and about 15 miles inland from the south coast. A haven for nature and cool-climate wine making!
One of the wonderful things about Bolney is that we are as well known for still wines as we are for our sparkling wines (we recently won the Best English Sparkling Wine Trophy at the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships!) so it makes for a great tasting, as we’ll experience a range of grape varieties and styles. I’m really looking forward to sharing some of these wines with you and bringing to life the fascinating history of our three-generation family business.
I myself have worked in the drinks trade for about the last 15 or so years, initially in restaurants before working for a number of the UK’s leading wine importers, including John E Fells & Sons and Bibendum Wine. Being Sussex ‘born and bred’, I’ve been involved in the local wine scene in varying forms for quite some time, and Bolney have always been one of the leading lights. It’s a tremendously collaborative, vibrant industry, and I’m very privileged to be a part of it.
See you in September!”
Saturday 24th October 2020 - Wines of Australia with Duncan Ross of Berkmann Wine Cellars
Berkmann Wines www.berkmann.co.uk are proud to be the largest family-owned and family-run wine importer in the UK and have been selling wine to restaurants since 1964.
Duncan is hoping to be accompanied by a winemaker from one of the wineries they represent. Further details to follow.
Saturday 21st November 2020 - Henry of Pelham Wines, Niagara, Canada with Cellar Door Wines
At the Members' tasting on Saturday 21st September, the Henry of Pelham Baco Noir, was the wine which received the most praise. As Cellar Door are the only wine shop in the UK to stock Henry of Pelham Wines, we are very lucky to have the opportunity to taste the full range of Henry of Pelham wines.
Saturday 12th December 2020 - Wines of Spain with Quentin Sadler
Although details of this event are yet to be determined, we are delighted to invite back one of VWTC's favourite presenters, Quentin Sadler, for what is sure to be an entertaining and informative presentation and a great way to end the year.