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.
7th December 2019 - New Zealand Wines with Julia Jenkins of Flagship Wines
“I’m delighted to be invited to run another tasting for the Verulam Wine Club. I’m writing this in sunny July and it’s hard to think that by the time of the tasting it will be chilly December and thoughts turn to Christmas with planning for festive meals including wines to enjoy too.
Sauvignon Blanc is the mainstay of New Zealand’s wine offering – it does make some delightful ones too – but the tasting will be an opportunity to show the diversity of the wines available in terms of style and grape variety.
There are small areas of the Spanish Albarino grape, and the Austrian Zweigelt grape now being grown in New Zealand and making some delicious wines with the obvious New Zealand twist of zestiness and vibrancy. We’ll taste these and other white, rose & red wines from Hawkes Bay & Martinborough in North Island down to the Southern tip of South Island from Nelson, Marlborough and Central Otago. An exciting whistle stop tour of New Zealand in 8 wines!
As many of you know Flagship Wines is an independent wine business in St Albans with a shop at Hatfield Road, AL4 0XP. Our free weekend tastings in the shop offer the opportunity to taste and chat about our wines – all are welcome. The tastings follow our wines of the month themes, introduce you to our new wines and others that we know are tasting well. Why not come and join us? There’s also our tasting series at Fleetville Larder and our annual wine fair! Check out details of our events and extensive range of 600 wines atwww.flagshipwines.co.uk.
Looking forward to seeing you all in December for some of the best New Zealand has to offer!” Julia
Upholding the long held tradition of Verulam Wine Tasting Club, we are providing two short musical interludes during our December tasting when we will be entertained by local Barbershop Quartet, Broadside described here in their own words:-
"Broadside are 3 guys and a gal who sing 4-part harmony in the Barbershop style. The original quartet was formed some 8 years ago, and has had 2 changes since. Three of the quartet have been singing for 25 years! - but we're young at heart! We sing at various venues, and for those who keep up with Boy Bands, one of our notable "gigs" was at the wedding in 2012 of Harry Judd, drummer in the group - "McFly", and winner of Strictly Come Dancing in 2011. We maintain a relaxed style and sing songs from various decades and genres and like to provide an interesting programme". Ken
It promises to be a great evening.
14th December 2019 - Waddesdon Manor Cellar tour, Wine Tasting and more.
In addition to the VWTC end of year celebration on Saturday 7th December, we have worked with Peter Tompkins, (Rosthchild Wine Specialist), to put together an exciting visit to Waddesdon Manor on Saturday 14th December. Whilst the cellar tour of the Rosthchild Collection and the wine tasting (eight wines) in the vaults, are the highlights of the visit, we will have the opportunity to visit the Christmas Fair and enjoy the light trail through the gardens.
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.
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
14th March 2020 - Bordeaux - with Tony Hill of Bordeaux and Beyond.
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.”
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."
11th June 2020 - tbc
September 2020 - Tuscany Wine Tour - tbc
19th September 2020 - Bolney Estate Wines - Presented by Robin Warren-Adamson
24th October 2020 - Wines of Argentina with Duncan Ross of Berkmann Wine Cellars
"The world’s fifth-largest wine-producing nation, Argentina produces ‘full-blooded’, excellent-value varietal wines (largely red but also, increasingly, white) across all price points.
Mendoza is only a short flight from Santiago, Chile’s capital, but the Andes mountains make a huge difference to the wines. Here, growing conditions are harsher and the altitude considerably higher, resulting in more robust, structured, savoury wines.
As vineyards mature and techniques develop they are becoming more refined without losing their regional identity.
As you would expect from the land of Tango and the famous Asado (Argentinian bbq/grill) Argentina produces ‘full-blooded’, seductive wines of spice and passion.
Here at Berkmann Wines www.berkmann.co.uk we 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 including 3 outstanding producers Bodega Norton, Finca Decero and Masi Tupungato
I have had great pleasure in visiting these prestigious wineries several times over the last 20 years at Berkmann Wines and have a passion and love for the land and people.
I will be putting together a selection of wines that I hope will inspire and tempt your taste buds, although Malbec will feature Argentina also offers other grapes that are potentially as good if not better.
I hope to see you on the 24th October"
21st November 2020 - Henry of Pelham Wines, Niagara, Canada with Cellar Door Wines (to be confirmed)
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.
12th December 2020 - tbc