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Battle of the Bottles - we need YOUR wine nominations!


#1

Hi everyone,

This October, we’re having a Generation Wine event in London which will see members of this Community go head-to-head with our Buyers and Tastings & Events team to see whose wine choices will come out on top! :trophy:

Here’s a description of the event (and you can also buy tickets here too, if you like):

Basically, we’re asking you to nominate your top wines in various categories. These will then go up against the Buyers & Tastings team’s choices to be tasted on the night (but we won’t reveal who’s wine choices are who’s!), and everyone present will pick their favourite wine from each category. The winners will be announced on the night!

These are the categories - it’s over to you to nominate the wines!

1. Party starters - bubbles under £20

2. White from “Other Europe” Under £10

3. Red from France under £10

4. Red from Italy under £10

5. Red from Spain under £10

6. New Zealand/Australia white between £10-20

7. Argentina red between £10-20

8. South Africa red between £10 – 20

9. Fortified/sweet wine under £20

10. Wildcard – best-value bottle [we’ll ask everyone to guess the price, and the wine with the biggest difference between the answers and the actual price will win!]

Are there any categories you think are missing? Let us know. Once we’ve finalised the categories and nominations (a little closer to the time) we can vote for our winning wines to represent The Community. :smiley:

Can’t WAIT to hear your nominations…


NEW #TWSTaste: Battle of the Bottles! 22nd November
#2

Category 1 pretty much excludes champagne - you sell only one under £20. Any reason for that?


#3

I’m not sure (I bet @Tim_S has an answer!) but maybe to find good-value, more affordable bubbles - that said, we are asking for alternative category suggestions so let’s see what everyone else thinks!


#4

It also rules out all English bubbles but as Laura said we are looking to find something different so the price was set deliberately to avoid Champagne.

At recent events we’ve had great responses to some Cavas, our Hortas and even a couple of the Prosecco wines so this is a chance to show off some of these.

There is some work to be done on the titles of the categories and these aren’t fixed in stone so if you have suggestions please post them.


#5

@laura

1. Party starters - bubbles under £20

3. Red from France under £10

4. Red from Italy under £10

5. Red from Spain under £10

8. South Africa red between £10 – 20

I know 5 is from Portugal (gosh - that’s two Portuguese wines I’ve nominated ) but I re-interpreted the category as ‘Iberian Red under £10’


#6

Fine choices there @peterm particularly the Chateau de Pitray

I’ll go with:
2. White from “Other Europe” Under £10

  1. Red from France under £10


(Assuming it’s as good as previous vintages.)

  1. Red from Italy under £10
  1. Red from Spain under £10
  1. Argentina red between £10-20

I’ll have to come back to you on 10. I’d be tempted to say the Weinert Cabernet or maybe the Murua Aclys Rioja, but I’ll try to think of something that I haven’t already nominated here…


#7

Would it be worth expanding the ‘Argentinian red’ category to South American? There’s nowhere for Chilean reds to go currently, and I’m sure there are some here who have a Carmenere, Cabernet or Merlot that they’d rate above any of the Argentinians.


#8
  1. Red from France under £10

Hard for me to look past Guigal’s CdR


#9

Missing categories: all of the above, substituting ‘above’ for ‘under’. There is little point in offering cheap wines at tastings. If I want to experiment with a cheap wine, I buy it. The purpose of tastings should be to see if a wine that costs more than I usually spend or than I am willing to risk without trying is worth it. This is why I have rather given up on the show room tastings.


#10

Agreed. I sometimes think that WS staff equate ‘good value’ with ‘low price’. But more expensive wines can also be good value.


#11

It’s probably worth taking a look at this description of what the Generation Wine events are about:

The Generation Wine events are not traditional tastings. They’re going for a completely different feel and are likely targeted at a younger, more experimental crowd (hence the inclusion of craft beers at this event), or those who are getting started on their wine journey and perhaps don’t have as much to spend.
There’s a lot to be said for tastings that open your eyes to fantastic wines that are outside of your normal budget. If you’re looking for a tasting that will present you with a range of higher-priced wines to experience, TWS do plenty of those too. This event probably isn’t for you, but that doesn’t make it wrong.


#12

Indeed! In the recent tour before lunch at Stevenage, the guide told us that the average price for a bottle bought in a supermarket was £5, whereas WS members’ average tends to be in the £8 bracket. If these tastings can help guide new/younger members towards better quality wines, without scaring the life out of their wallet - that’s a good cause in my book. Not all of us are veteran wine drinkers, and it’s good to see TWS catering to all tastes and levels of experience.


#13

But it is demeaning to TWS to offer only cheap wines to its younger members. It should be attracting them by offering a mix of wines, and showing why it will be worth spending more when they can. Anyone who comes to a tasting must have some interest in wine, and therefore deserves a proper tasting, not just the cheap end. At least one white and one red should be at least in the £40-50 range. Tastings are TWS’s way of advertising, and should therefore have a budget for this type of offer.


#14

I think you’re making an assumption there? I am middle aged and wouldn’t find it demeaning. Quite the opposite - I see it as an invitation to discover that good, pleasurable and interesting wine is not just a reflection of price. Some of the most striking and memorable wines I had the luck of tasting in the recent press tastings were around the £10 bracket.
I do agree with you that members should also be exposed to ‘finer’ wines, but there are plenty of other events catering for this, and one is free to pick and choose.


#15

TWS offers all wines to all members. It’s not as if this is the only event that younger or newer members can go to either. It’s just that this event is targeted and tailored in a specific way - if it doesn’t appeal to people then they won’t go. It’s as simple as that. I think it sounds like a fun format, and if it helps members find some really cracking wines that don’t break the bank (and encourages them to buy more from TWS in future) then what’s wrong with that?

I have never, in 20+ years of buying wine, bought a bottle that’s cost £40+. I’ve probably tasted 5 or 6 above that price point. I just don’t think it’s necessary to spend that much to get a good, enjoyable wine (which is not to say that I wouldn’t get additional pleasure out of it, but I just can’t justify it). I get your point about offering a real wow wine that might blow someone’s mind, but there’s every chance that the people buying the ticket for this event might get that from a cheaper bottle that they can then order a case of that night. So what would be the point? There’s space at this tasting for bottles around the £20 mark, and that’s probably high enough given the purpose of the event.


#16

Really interesting points made - but I think we’re veering slightly off the point of this topic. :grimacing: I can split the discussion about fine wine at tastings/fine wine in general to a different topic if you’d like to keep discussing it?

So, I’m guessing @Tim_S will have loads more insight on why these categories have been suggested (I’m guessing it means we can offer a more accessible ticket price for one thing - and I personally think finding great under-£10/20 wines would appeal to lots of our members) but just worth noting: we do lots of fine-wine tastings (there’s tons coming up - check out the Tastings calendar) so I’m hoping there’s something for everyone.


#17

Thanks for your suggestions, so far @peterm @Bargainbob and @tfpywfpy - interesting to see such a diverse mix!
Just because I’m curious, what was it about the Pitray, @peterm? I’m looking to try some more entry-level Bordeaux so would love to know why that stood out to you?


#18

Tastings should have a high point. Not just accessible bottles.


#19

Point taken, @laura! :wink:
So here are my favourites for each category. To be honest, for each choice there are probably 5 others I could have gone for… but that’s not a bad thing:

  1. Party starters - bubbles under £20


2. Wines from “other Europe” under £10

  1. Red from France under £10


4. Red from Italy under £10

  1. Red from Spain under £10


6. New Zealand/Australia white between £10-20

  1. Argentina red between £10-20
  1. South Africa red between £10 – 20


9. Fortified/sweet wine under £20

… although I’m torn, as could happily also go for:


#20

Is this a fortified wine or an un(?)fortified brandy?

Just to clarify, this is a genuine question… I was intrigued when I saw this (especially when I read your review on TWS).