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)
September 11th South Africa (Wines from Andrew Hill of George Hill, Loughborough)
October 9th Wines from Northern Italy
November 13th Southern France (Wines from Leon Stolarski Wines)
December 11th Christmas event with Duncan Murray
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.