An update

 The current situation and recent activities

We regret that the Grand Union Wine Society was forced to suspend normal monthly tastings following lockdown. We aim to move back to physical tastings as soon as possible but only when it is safe to do so. Membership will continue to be valid until further notice.

Gatherings of 80+ members in our usual venue clearly cannot take place but we remain very active. Our members and Committee are now in direct email communication via a new central contact point and we have been able to continue our Committee business and wine tastings via Zoom.

Recent Zoom tasting have included Languedoc wines from Gilles Cantons (sourced from Duncan Murray Wines of Market Harborough) and an Italian tasting of wines from The Wine Society.  We were pleased to have 25 screens for our first full Zoom tasting involving at least twice that number of members. Members who do not join us online are still able to buy the wines and every member is provided with a copy of the complete presentation. 

We now have an established online system for orders and payments by members and also for distribution of wines thanks to assistance from Committee and Society members who organise pick-up points in Leicester (with some direct deliveries to members outside the city).

Fully illustrated PowerPoint presentations with tasting notes and details of all the wines to be tasted (with details of the winemakers and wine-growing areas) are produced by the Chairman and Secretary and shared with members online. Online discussion during and after the formal presentation and tasting is valued by members who provide feedback. 

We hope that our wine suppliers may be more directly involved in future Zoom tastings and will continue to share PowerPoint presentations and full wine details with members.

Provisional plans for the rest of 2020   

Our monthly Zoom tastings will take place on the 2nd Friday of each month (our usual day) at 7.30 pm.

Full details of wines, prices, distribution, and final arrangements (including Zoom links) will be confirmed directly with members prior to each event. 

We will support our local Wine Merchants at this difficult time and Committee members are working hard to maintain and extend these contacts. 

August 14th  California (Wines from Simon March of Evington’s Wine Merchants, Leicester)
https://www.evingtons-wines.co.uk

September 11th South Africa (Wines from Andrew Hill of George Hill, Loughborough)
https://georgehill.co.uk/

October 9th      Wines from Northern Italy

November 13th  Southern France (Wines from Leon Stolarski Wines)
https://www.leonstolarskiwines.co.uk

December 11th  Christmas event with Duncan Murray
http://www.duncanmurraywines.co.uk

Valued presenters who were in the diary for later this year have agreed that tastings at St James are not currently viable. However these events will be rearranged in 2021 wherever possible.

Be assured that the Grand Union Wine Society Committee will do all we can to continue and extend our range of wine-based activities.

John Malpass, Chairman.

A message from the committee

Dear members,

We enjoyed a memorable tasting on March 13th.

We were privileged to have a superb range of fine wines and a presenter, Olivier Normand, who came to us all the way from Burgundy despite the Covid19 worries. He gave an excellent, expert presentation based on a lifetime of experience of the area and its fine wines.

We were pleased that a good number of members were able to join us but sorry that quite a few could not. We appreciate the responsible stance taken by those who self-isolated on the basis of possible previous contact and are grateful to those who took the trouble to let us know beforehand.

In the current situation (and after contact with Andrew Hill), we have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel the April tasting. We hope to get Andrew back in the not too distant future.

Given recent pronouncements from Government, it seems likely that our May and Summer tastings will also be threatened. We will keep members informed about the situation as it affects us. 

We hope you all stay healthy and safe.

John Malpass, on behalf of all the GUWS Committee.

What we tasted in March 2020

Many thanks to Olivier Normand and Ellis Wines of Richmond for presenting the wines of Domaine Nathalie & Giles Fèvre and Domaine Lucien Boillot from Burgundy, France. Olivier came to us all the way from Burgundy despite the Covid19 worries. He gave an excellent, expert presentation based on a lifetime of experience of the area and its fine wines.

For more information:
Web: elliswines.co.uk
Web: nathalieetgillesfevre.com

  1. Domaine Nathalie & Giles Fèvre Chablis 2018
  2. Domaine Nathalie & Giles Fèvre Chablis 1er Cru “Fourchaume” 2017
  3. Domaine Nathalie & Giles Fèvre Chablis  1er Cru “Vaulorent” 2017
  4. Domaine Lucien Boillot Volnay 2016
  5. Domaine Lucien Boillot Gevrey Chambertin 2016
  6. Domaine Lucien Boillot Gevrey Chambertin 2017
  7. Domaine Lucien Boillot Volnay 1er Cru “Clos des Angles” 2015
  8. Domaine Lucien Boillot Pommard 1er Cru “Les Fremiers” 2016

Next tasting – Friday 13th March

In March we welcome Olivier Normand of Ellis Wines of Richmond who will be presenting the wines of Fevre and Lucien Boillot from Burgundy, France.

For more information:
Web: elliswines.co.uk

Note that Members are contacted by a member of the Committee each month to commit to attendance at the tasting. Unfortunately, it is not possible for members or guests to simply turn up on the night owing to space limitations and the need to arrange catering in advance.

What we tasted in February 2020

Many thanks to Rory Benham, Sales Director at the Wine Treasury, for presenting a fantastic range of wines from the Somoma Valley and Napa Valley, California.  We all had a fantastic evening comparing the differences between the regions.

For more information:
Web: winetreasury.com Tel: 020 7793 9999

  1. Rodney Strong “Charlotte’s Home” Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Northern Sonoma County
  2. Schug Chardonnay 2017 Sonoma Coast
  3. Rutherford Hill Chardonnay 2015 Napa Valley
  4. Head High Pinot Noir 2018 Sonoma County
  5. Rodney Strong Merlot 2015 Sonoma County
  6. Rutherford Hill Merlot 2015 Napa Valley
  7. Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Sonoma County
  8. Decoy Zinfandel 2017 Sonoma County

Next Tasting – Friday 14th February

In April we welcome back Rory Benham from The Wine Treasury presenting an exciting range of wines from their Napa Valley and Sonoma portfolios.

For more information:
Web: winetreasury.com Tel: 020 7793 9999

Note that Members are contacted by a member of the Committee each month to commit to attendance at the tasting. Unfortunately, it is not possible for members or guests to simply turn up on the night owing to space limitations and the need to arrange catering in advance.

What we tasted in January 2020

Many thanks to Claudia Balestracci of Mentzendorff for presenting a range of Italian wines from producers Fertuna, Ceretto and Ciacci Piccolomini D’Aragona.

More information is available here:
Web: mentzendorff.co.uk

  1. Ceretto Lange DOC Arneis 2018 Blangé
  2. Tenuta Fertuna Droppello IGT Toscana Branco 2018
  3. Ceretto Barbaresco DOCG 2016
  4. Ceretto Barolo DOCG 2014
  5. Ciacci Piccolomini D’Aragona IGT Toscana Rosso 2016
  6. Ciacci Piccolomini D’Aragona Ateo Sant’Antimo DOC 2016
  7. Ciacci Piccolomini D’Aragona Rosso di Montalcino DOC 2015
  8. Ciacci Piccolomini D’Aragona Brunello Di Montalcino DOCG 2014

Next tasting – Friday 10th January

In January we welcome Claudia Balestracci of Mentzendorff presenting wines from their extensive portfolio, from Italy.

More information is available here:
Web: mentzendorff.co.uk

Note that Members are contacted by a member of the Committee each month to commit to attendance at the tasting. Unfortunately, it is not possible for members or guests to simply turn up on the night owing to space limitations and the need to arrange catering in advance.

What we tasted in December 2019

Many thanks to Duncan Murray of Duncan Murray Wines, Market Harborough for presenting our festive Christmas tasting.

For more information:
Web: duncanmurraywines.co.uk
Email: info@duncanmurraywines.co.uk
Tel: 01858 464935
Facebook: Duncan Murray Wines
Twitter: @DMURRAYWINES

  1. H Blin Brut Tradition NV Marne Valley, Champagne
  2. Belle Epine Blanc 2018 (Viognier/ Chardonnay) Languedoc, France
  3. Les Rocheo Sainteo 2018, Picpoul de Pinet, France
  4. Nino Minado 2018 (Chardonnay) Carinena, Spain
  5. Johner Kaiserstuhl 2015 (Pinot Noir) Baden Germany
  6. L’Impudent 2018 (Syrah/Grenache/Cinsault/Mourvedre) Terrasses du Larzac, Languedoc, France
  7. Chateau Beaulieu 2015, Cotes de Bourg, Bordeaux France
  8. Mavrodafne of Patras NV, Peleponnese, Greece
  9. Niepoort LBV 2014, Douro, Portugal

Next tasting – Friday 13th December

In December we welcome Duncan Murray of Duncan Murray Wines, Market Harborough for our festive Christmas tasting.

For more information:
Web: duncanmurraywines.co.uk
Email: info@duncanmurraywines.co.uk
Tel: 01858 464935
Facebook: Duncan Murray Wines
Twitter: @DMURRAYWINES

Note that this tasting is limited to ticket holders only.  Unfortunately, it is not possible for members simply turn up on the night owing to space limitations.