Previous meetings, 2023-24

Here you can find a recap of our tastings for the 2023-24.

7th June – Sparkling Wines from Around the World, with Charlie Carter

For our June meeting, we welcomed back Charlie Carter, who led us through a fun and varied selection of Sparkling wine. It was a fantastic opportunity to taste some unique bottles from unexpected places all around the world. We looked at the different methods used to make sparkling wine and considered flavour, taste, texture, and terroir.

3rd May – Go Brazil Wines, with Nicholas Corfe

Sadly, this meeting was cancelled.

5th April – Campania and Puglia with Leti Narracci

Our tasting of two exciting regions in the southern Italy, Campania and Puglia was very well recieved. Both regions are steeped in rich history and carry strong culinary and viticultural traditions, benefitting from fertile soils, stunning coastlines and long hot summers.

Campania is home to more DOCGs than any other region in southern Italy. It boasts a diverse landscape, with mountains, valleys and coastal plains creating the perfect environment for growing a range of both black and white varieties. On the other hand, Puglia holds more of a reputation for full-bodied red wines, although there are many variations to be discovered. While the climate is generally hot and dry, vineyards situated on the flatter plains benefit from the cooling influence of both the Adriatic and the Ionian seas.

1st March – Argentina, with Lee Isaacs

For our March meeting, we welcomed back Lee Isaacs to present one of his specialist topics: Argentina. Lee guided us through a range of interesting wines, while proving that Malbec is just the tip of the iceberg. From Argentina’s signature white, to high altitude reds, we learned that there is much more to Argentinian wine than meets the eye.

Lee has been visiting Argentina for over a decade and has gained a solid understanding of its dynamic and evolving wine industry. We were taken on a tour from Salta to Patagonia and back again, looking at the county’s unique terroir and diverse grape varieties.

2nd February 2024 – New Zealand Pinot Noir, with Lauren Anderson

Premium, delicious and sustainable are just some of the words associated with New Zealand wine. Its wine regions extend 1,000 miles, from the subtropical Northland down to the most southerly wine region in the world, Central Otago.

Although Sauvignon Blanc is the most prolific variety in New Zealand, the long growing season and moderate heat mean that the Pinot Noir grapes can retain their acidity, making wines that have a subtle power and finesse similar to a Burgundian Pinot. Lauren introduce us to some of these stunning wines.

5th January – Posh vs. (decent) Plonk

Last January, Ian McLaren, Chair of the Central London Wine Society, gave us a blind tasting game on the theme of Call My Bluff. This year he returned with a new game: POSH versus (NICE) PLONK. We compared five pairs of wines, served blind in each of five rounds. They were similar in style, but one was about double the price of the other. We were asked which we preferred and which we thought was more expensive. Ian treated us to a very entertaining Twelfth Night!

1st December 2023 – The Christmas Tasting

For our special Christmas tasting, we were delighted to welcome back Will Parker, with a selection of seasonal wines. Will took us through from the sparkling wines, via reds and whites, to a dessert wine, and port and Armagnac to finish.

This special tasting was accompanied by a selection of delicious nibbles from Harrison’s Deli on Pitshanger Lane.

3rd November 2023 – Austrian Wines, with Nick Forth

At our slightly compact November tasting, Nick Forth showed a range of Austrian wines. The Austrian wine industry is extremely quality-focused, and produces lovely wines ranging from the everyday affordable, to fine wines that reward laying down. Nick presented a personal selection of wines, most of them from grapes rarely seen outside the country, with a focus on the different regions and quality levels that Austria offers, as well as showing just how well the red wines can age.

Nick is WSET-qualified and has a particular passion for Austria and its wines, following a spell working in the country in his (relative) youth.

6th October 2023 – Le Clos des Cazaux, presented by Douglas Harrison

To open our 2023-24 season, we welcomed back Douglas Harrison, who introduced us to Le Clos des Cazaux.

Le Clos des Cazaux is owned by the fifth generation of the families Vache and Archimbaud who are among the oldest in Vacqueyras. Their tasting cellars date back to the 12th Century, at a former property of the Knights Templar. The domaine consists of 25 hectares in Vacqueyras and 15 in Gigondas. Jean-Michel Vache is irrepressible and is, without question, one of the best growers in the region. His viticulture is a mixture of lutte raisonée if needed, organics, biodynamics and what he happens to think is best from just being in his vineyards.