Next tasting – Friday 8th October

In October we return to St James the Greater for our first post Covid-19 tasting. As this is our first in-person tasting since March 2020, appropriate precautions will be taken.

Some of the very earliest evidence for winemaking comes from Eastern Europe and the Levant. Although in past decades many of these countries have suffered mixed fortunes, there has been a broad reinvigoration in wine making here in recent years. We have experienced this ourselves in the wines of Greece, and now we turn our attention to other previously neglected historical wine areas. Society members will present well-regarded wines supplied by The Wine Society, Majestic and others from countries east of the longitude of Venice. This should be an exciting tasting exploring less familiar territories, which will include some truly exceptional wines.

Please note:

  • The number of attendees will be restricted, so please sign up early to avoid disappointment.
  • New members are welcome on payment of the £15 annual subscription in advance of the tasting along with the tasting fee.
  • There will be no supper nor supper wines provided. Members are welcome to bring their own food and implements and all items brought must be removed.
  • Members are expected to have been fully vaccinated, please consider whether you should attend if this is not the case.
  • Members must not attend if they are experiencing COVID symptoms
  • The meeting room will have increased ventilation via opened doors and windows
  • Members are asked to wear face masks when not seated unless exempt
  • Surfaces will be sanitised before entry. Members are asked to use the hand sanitizer provided on entry
  • Members are asked to avoid crowding on check-in and on exit
  • Spittoons will not be provided, please bring an empty plastic bottle if you need one

Note that this is a “Members Only” which must be paid for in advance. Unfortunately, it is not possible for members to simply turn up on the night, and currently guests cannot be accommodated.

What we tasted in September 2021

In September we were treated to a tasting of Unusual Grapes and Wines presented by John Freeland and John Malpass. Thank you for the informative and entertaining tasting.

The wines tasted were:

  1. Filos Estate, Aspri Petra Single Vineyard Assyrtiko, Macedonia, Greece 2020
    Decanter: 91 points – ‘an absolute bargain – snap it up while you can’
    Crisp and dry, great flavour with a mineral character. Great with food.
  2. Left Coast Estate white Pinot Noir 2019, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    Wine Enthusiast 92 pts; Wine.com 91 pts. ‘If you’ve not yet tried a white Pinot from Oregon, here’s a great opportunity.’
    Brilliant and good value.Needed time to reveal itself though.Fairly dry,rich mellow flavour. Good length and a nice drinker – food enhances it.
  3. Baron Amarillo Monastrell 2018, Edicion Limitada, Valencia, Spain
    Decanter 91 pts. ‘A great example of the grape for a snip of a price’
    Rich and fruity nose, becoming plummy/jammy with nice tannins and improving depth the longer you have it in the glass.
  4. Durif, The Voyage 2020, Victoria, Australia  (Boutinot)
    Decanter 91 pts. This Durif, from Boutinot, is a revelation. Delicious!
    Deep purple with a big rich nose from the off. Nice tannins and some great jamminess.

Our return to St James the Greater for GUWS tastings

Dear Members

Things have moved on apace since our August tasting and I am very pleased to tell you that our first tasting returning to the hall will be in October. The current situation is summarised:

  • We will have wider spacing between members and tables (as currently managed in restaurants).
  • We are putting our efforts into our return and ensuring that we respect Church/ Government advice on keeping members safe.
  • We welcome your feedback and request any constructive comments be sent to the Treasurer via email by 1st September. Please enter ‘GUWS return’ as subject line.
  • We are not yet prepared to resume sourcing and handling food, wines, and cutlery etc. for supper (for reasons of hygiene) and we will need all the available hall space to maintain safe distancing during our early tastings. We think it sensible to take things gradually. Members will be free to bring their own biscuits and nibbles to accompany tastings for the time being.
  • We will ask members to pay their membership subscription in September at a nominal level of £15 per annum. This will help provide a ‘float’ to allow advance payment to suppliers.
  • Thanks to the efforts of our Treasurer, cashless payment has been operating smoothly for over a year and we will expect all membership and tasting fees to be paid online in future (with one or two members still free to use cheques). We will ask for payment before each tasting to allow us to obtain appropriate quantities of wine.
  • We have all appreciated the strong support from members during the crisis and are proud of the way we have maintained excellent tastings via Zoom with impressive distribution of wines. The list of tastings during lockdown is a credit to all involved. John Malpass, Chairman, on behalf of the GUWS Committee. August 20th 2021

We welcome your feedback and request any constructive comments be sent to the Treasurer via email by 1st September. Please use ‘GUWS return’ as subject line.

We all look forward to finally meeting up again in October.

John Malpass
Chairman, on behalf of the GUWS Committee. August 20th 2021

Next tasting – Friday 10th September

In September our tasting will be presented by John Freeland and John Malpass, and will feature 4 wines from Greece, Oregon USA, Spain and Australia.  Please speak to your committee member as soon as possible regarding any AGM related matters. 

Note: This tasting will be presented via Zoom. Members are contacted prior to each tasting to order any wines they wish to try. 

What we tasted in August 2021

Many thanks for a fantastic turn out to our AGM and to Margaret and Ian Connor for arranging our member’s tasting.  Three varied and entertaining presentations over Zoom gave us a wonderful opportunity to try some interesting wines.

The wines tasted were:

  1. L’Extra Langlois Cremant De Loire
  2. Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Gris
  3. Definition Rioja Reserva £11.99

Many thanks to Roland Moss, Chris Lewis and Andrew Wetherby for choosing and presenting the wines.

Next tasting – Friday 14th August

In August we will be holding our ever popular Members’ tasting along with the AGM.  Please speak to your committee member as soon as possible regarding any AGM related matters.

Any new nominations for the committee are invited and should be sent to
the Secretary NO LATER THAN FRIDAY 6th August 2021.

Note: This tasting will be presented via Zoom. Members are contacted prior to each tasting to order any wines they wish to try. 

What we tasted in July 2021

In July we welcomed back Condor Wines, and on this occasion we were joined by Regional Sales manager Aaron Irons, presenting wines from their South American portfolio. We thank Aaron for a very enjoyable tasting and the wines showed very well.

For more information:
Web: condorwines.co.uk
Facebook: Condor Wines

The wines tasted were:

  1. Bodegones del Sur Vineyard Select Albarino 2020 (Uruguay) 
  2. Los Haroldos Reserve  Malbec 2018 (Argentina) 
  3. Toro di Piedra Gran Reserve Carignan 2017 (Chile) 

What we tasted in June 2021

In June we welcomed back Jane Sowter of Chateau Musar, with a tasting of four wines from their portfolio. The presentation was full of stories of what has been going on in the last two years in the Lebanon, and the difficulties they’ve had due to COVID-19, the massive explosion at the port of Beirut, and difficulties in shipping. Throughout all of this, business continues and a big thank you to Jane for her continuing support.

For more information:
Web: chateaumusar.com

The wines tasted were:

  1. Musar Jeune White 2019
  2. Musar Jeune Rosé 2019
  3. Hochar Père et Fils Red 2017
  4. Chateau Musar 2014

Next tasting – Friday 11th June

Chateau Musar

In June we welcome back Jane Sowter of Chateau Musar, presenting a range of wines from the premium Lebanese producer.

For more information:
Web: chateaumusar.com

Note: This tasting will be presented via Zoom. Members are contacted prior to each tasting to order any wines they wish to try.