Well, what a year it’s been! One of the more challenging ones, but it’s been sincerely heartening to see the members of this Community support, entertain and educate each other throughout. It’s also doubled in size, with twice as many members
and twice as many posts vs 2019!
With almost 1,000 new topics started in 2020, there’s so, so much rich discussion to enjoy, but here’s an attempt to showcase some of the best of the Community in 2020:
Sharing the joy of good wines
Hi folks! Recently joined up and I’m pleased to see that you all seem like a very friendly bunch! When I parted with my membership fee it didn’t occur to me that there might be such a substantial community forum etc. Just reading through the posts on here has been very informative.
So, I’ve been a wine fan for a number of years but have never really ventured much past the £10-15 price point and even then my purchases are normally based on the look of the label or limited notes on the back. Asid…
Following on from the wonderful post by
@strawpig that was inspired by @Jonathan8’s question I thought this would be a nice thread to start.
If you had to mix a case of 6 bottles for other members to try what would you recommend and are there any stories/reasons behind it? They need to be wines available from the society or wines that are usually stocked but they may be out of the current vintages due to one thing and another.
My first selection would be Vina Ardanza 2010
La Rioja Alta w…
As we appear to be moving slowly out of lockdown, I thought now might be a good time to reflect on the best bottles we’ve enjoyed over the last three or four months.
If there’s one consolation to having been stuck at home, it seems that most of us have used it as an excuse to crack open some pretty special wines, whether at
TWSTaste ‘bring a bottle’ events or part of Weekend Drinking discussions!
So what’s been your best bottle(s) of lockdown?
For me, it’s probably been this:
As seen on Twitter (@FelicityCarter).
Here’s mine - I have no interest in food and wine matching.
Emile Joubert at
Wine Goggle casts his jaundiced eye over six common wine phrases -
do you agree with his conclusions?
Read there here
@SykoWino Lunch with a Buyer, he recommended
In response to my questions about Palo Cortado, Amontillado and the differences between them. I’ve got both of them in my basket for next time I make an order.
Checking last nights lottery I got 4 numbers = £170
I’ve got plenty of wine, so don’t have space for a lot more, but what about one or two special bottles?
Cross off PN and Malbec because Mrs M won’t touch them, so what else does the accumulated knowledge of the cognoscenti (I mean you lot) suggest?
One of the things people often ask when they first meet me is how I could leave the Californian sun for Old Blighty. My answer usually includes something along the lines of appreciating good weather when it happens here, whereas a sunny day in California is nothing unique.
A case in point, I think I can remember every bottle of rosé I have enjoyed in the sun over the last 5 years. There have been exactly three. Memorable, each and every one of them, as a combination of people, place, weather an…
Given our shared knowledge I thought it could be fun to compile a list of “entry-level” fine wines (20-75 quid) that you would recommend from each region as a great example. Essentially, just not mentally priced first growths etc.
Think of it if you like as a TWS exhibition + list.
As an example, I was thinking of Vieux Telegraphe or Beaucastel for Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Essentially classic examples, of a region or grape.
I thought this could be useful to those who are less knowledgeab…
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are coming to tea, and conveniently dropping in at TWS showroom to pick up a bottle or two.
What would be your last bottle of wine, before Pestilence strikes? money no object, must be on TWS list, and most importantly something you know from experience will be decent (you dont want to get a bottle of 1961 DRC and find out it’s corked).
I have made a potentially expensive discovery.
I addition to all my other fancy booze loves, I’ve found out that I am potentially quite partial to brandy. While clearing out my late great aunt (the one who I also got the '79 Chablis for the fine wine or vinegar game), I found a bottle of Remy Martin. I’ve also had a couple of meals out where I’ve ended them with a cognac or armagnac and I’ve liked what I’ve had.
Where do I go next? What do I try? I really have no clue where to even start other…
The best (and most unusual!) of your food and wine matching chats
All the rage, I’m lead to believe. Thought I’d give it a go with this focaccia. San Marzano tomatoes, rosemary, olives a large caper berry and sunflower seeds. Olive oil, Balsamic and salt await.
Any budding baking artists out there willing to share their etchings?
I don’t know if anybody else is heralded as ‘the family wine guru’, but I am.
It’s undeserved in my case, no WSET qualifications, still not widely ‘travelled’. The world is wide and there are only so many bottles you can drink in a year.
Anyway, my (being slightly facetious) Mum has asked me to opine on a wine pairing for a chicken and mushroom pot noodle. I thought it was an interesting question. Any views please?
My gut feeling was something light and acidic (thinking of the salty pot noodl…
Following on from
@Lewis’s post in the Weekday drinks thread 12-16 October 2020 - what are your favourite wine and crisp pairings?
I’ll kick off with one referred to by @Embee that I recently discovered - Palo Cortado and Twiglets. I think that a dry or medium-dry Amontillado or Oloroso would work just as well. Not sure about Fino or Manzanilla, but I feel that it does need trying, purely in the name of research, you understand.
So what does everyone else drink with their crisps? No guilty…
Any suggestions for matching whisky with food?
Personally, I dont think you can beat smoked salmon on buttered brown bread, with a decent Ardmore - or TWS 16 y/o blend. And of course; sticky toffee pudding with Springbank 12 y/o (or Kilkerran if you cant get hold of SB).
Regretfully, suggestions of Haggis will be disallowed; because everyone knows the only true drink with (deep fried) Haggis, is a pint of 70 shilling whilst stood outside a boozer in the Grassmarket Edinburgh.
Other popular foodie chats included…
Given the appreciation for Aktar’s monster curry box, I thought I’d start a wiki of foodboxes that I’ve spotted in lockdown. This is obviously heavily influenced by where I am in the country and/or what I’ve spotted online. We haven’t ordered from all of these (due to price, availability, preference, or a combination), but it’s been good to have something to look forward to this year - we’ve ordered one or two boxes per month.
Is this the way forward for restaurants? Quite possibly. In fact, th…
A fair few of us seem to have been mentioning, cooking, and pairing with Toad in the Hole recently.
What recipes are people using? What additions do you make? What are your favourite pairings?
For two people I tend to go for 6 sausages, 140g plain flour, two eggs and 175ml of milk and some sunflower oil.
Make the batter (whisking everything batter-y together) and leave to rest. Heat the oven, dish and oil to 220. Once everything is hot put the sausages in and cook them for 15 minutes then ad…
There are valleys in France that produce more quality cheeses than we manage as a nation (and many we over here have never even heard of).
Apparently we should all be eating Cheddar as our patriotic duty. Obviously, affecting a liking for the second rate is becoming a bit of an English obsession
Part 1 of 3
I’m sure it’s not copyright, so I’ll share my sourdough starter experience from my recent course at the School of Artisan Food. Contrary to many sources, there is only a need to use a teaspoon of flour a day - none of that rubbish of using 100g and then throwing half away every other day. Also plain tap water is fine - no need for mineral water.
The starter. So, start with a very small jar and a heaped teaspoon of flour and a teaspoon of water. Mix well. Each day for another 5-7 da…
I love the taste of good coffee in the morning, in fact, working from home it’s a business essential. Can’t abide anything electronic, nespressos etc, so it’s a French Press for me.
Can anyone suggest a MANUAL grinder that I can use once a week to convert 250g of beans to ready-to-go grind? half hour of manual labour once a week is fine, but I cant dedicate time each morning to grind-by-the-cup 25g.
Not sure it matters, but long ago I did the maths & paying WELL over the odds (£7+) for 250g b…
Discussions about The Wine Society, its history, and your membership
During today’s lunchtime session with the TWS Director of Wine
@PierreM, he made the suggestion that this community should start bashing our heads together and come up with some suggestions for how TWS can celebrate turning 150 years old in 2024.
I appreciate that it is 4 years away, but given the long timescales the wine industry works with - we are already aware of at least one ongoing initiative in New Zealand - it might be a good idea to get cracking straight away.
So, what do you think? …
Thank you Kelly. I’ve been a WS member for many years now but this whisky project has to be one of the best initiatives that you guys and girls have launched. This has given a lot of people a chance to try something (a 30 year old single malt) that would be out of reach (price-wise) for many people (myself included I have to say, particularly if my better half found out!).
I have only just joined this community forum and it made me wonder if I could come up with perhaps three personal things th…
In the opening of the message from the Chairman, Sarah Evans, she says,
Our temporary closure is the first time in the 146-year history of The Society that we have stopped taking orders. Not even during the World Wars did we have to pause operations.
This totally piqued my interest. How did the wine society cope with the war? Where did the wine come from? Who bought it? And how much?
Does anyone have any insights on these topics? A company historian perhaps? I for one would love to know mor…
We’ve had a few comments over on the
Hello! thread in which new members of this Community have shared how and when they were proposed as a member of The Wine Society. I thought it might be nice to share and hear stories of how we all became members of The Wine Society, whether we were proposed by another member, whether we chose to join for ourselves and any defining reasons why Introduce yourself (Best not to include specific dates or names though!)
Please feel free to…
There’s been plenty of wine exploration…
I’m really interested to see which small producers have caught the attention of all the wine lovers on this Community - I’m guessing between us we have some pretty brilliant finds.
I love trying wines from tiny, family operations - especially when there’s a story behind it, or something particularly special about all the love and attention that goes into the wine.
I’ll start, obviously! For me, it’s Grabenwerkstatt - you can read a much longer, more entertaining version of their story …
Whilst speculating as to the identity of the soon to be released Bin Series 007 on another thread, I wondered what I would choose for this release were it up to me.
So fellow community members, what would you select and why?
NB - the question is not, “what’s the most obscure grape I know?”, as your selection would need to sell in sufficient quantities to the wider membership AND would need to be made in sufficient quantities for a commercial release. This is less about wine grape geekery and m…
My partner and I have been going out as little as possible as a result of which the ‘middle ground’ of my reds has been hollowed out. This has suddenly led to some pretty binary drinking choices – the stash or the Christmas party leftovers brought by guests. Case in point below. I know some merchants are still making online deliveries – but anyone else experiencing similar choices?!
Not tried this producer before, but has a good reputation. A single vineyard and a “villages” style one it seems.
Just up my street!
Fairly new here, and trying to navigate lockdown options. I was looking at the mystery cases but couldn’t understand the options. There seems to be £75, £95 and a fine wine option at about 4* the price.
I get the fine wine pricing. I have no issue spending that on a half case, but I am not so comfortable I would gamble on unknowns…
The 12 bottle options though, are they the same thing, or is the slightly more expensive one likely to feature slightly pricier bottles? Descriptions are identical. …
Surprisingly, there was still some great wine travel discussions this year!
I promised a summary of our experiences last week in Alsace, and here it is
Life felt surprisingly normal. France is a few weeks ahead of us in reopening, and while there are clearly fewer people in the tourist areas, there were still a reasonable number. Restaurants, cafés and shops were all open, with the obvious restrictions on the number of people, mask wearing indoors, etc. The social distance in France has always been 1m, and having got used to 2m this felt like…
We somehow still have a couple of weeks booked in south-west France in August, roughly between Marmande and Bergerac.
I obviously don’t want to curse the chances of us being able to go (which have improved recently) by mentioning this, but would also really value the input of all the knowledgeable members of this community who may have recommendations on where / who to visit, both wine and food-related.
Bear in mind that impatient, frequently feral children (5 and 9 by that stage) will be pres…
Advice about managing your wine collection remained fruitful as ever…
There’s been a bit of discussion recently about how people keep track of their cellars which seems to fall into 2 main camps… Cellartracker vs. Spreadsheet. I did tinker with CT for a while but eventually found a spreadsheet served my purposes better. In the spirit of sharing and learning I’m sure there are people here with interesting ways of building spreadsheets to track various things and thought it would be good to compare notes? I’m happy to kick things off.
My spreadsheet has evolved …
2020 was meant to be the year that, after spending a few years learning and figuring out what my wife and I like to drink, we would really put some money in and start building a collection of wines for near and distant future enjoyment. But as with most people I imagine this year, those plans changed.
It did give us some time to enjoy some other wines we hadn’t before and get an idea of where to start, but for those of you who have been doing this a long time, I wondered if you had any advice o…
I was wondering if anyone has any ideas of innovative, maybe green, and cheap storage solutions for wine. Basically I’ve a bit of cellar in my house that’s long and thin, under the stairs, that I use for wine storage. Cool and dampish, so really quite perfect. However just now I’ve got a mix of old shelving that’s doing ok but really not storing as much as I’d need.
I’d probably want the storage going up along one wall and it would be nice if I could see the labels - but beggars can’t be choose…
It’s here: bad for wine week.
Will be 33c on Friday, says the forecast - turning all that lovely wine you can’t quite fit into the wine fridge to heat damaged plonk, reducing Champagne to sour lemonade, and making your 2017 Rhones taste like that dusty bottle of Rasteau from 1994 that looked so good and tasted so bad.
Are you mulling the options:
Moving all your wine to the shaded living room, to the annoyance of family - which pales to nothing compared to your annoyance when a box breaks a…
Hello, we’re having to abandon the cellar in which we store our wine. There are too many bottles to just drink up, so can any fellow members offer advice on using wine cabinets. Anything we should take into account before we buy, any good brands? We’d be glad of advice. Cheers.
And there was plenty of discussions about other, non-wine-related hobbies, interests and activities…
This year seems one of the best for hedgerow fruit.
We’ve been gorging on wild cherries; as they came to an end the early blackberries ripened. Brambles are loaded with green berries and flowers are still aplenty so I think we’ll have a glut of blackberries.
On a recent walk I found a clump of wild raspberries (above) - Mrs M walked by, thinking they were unripe blackberries and I think others had too leaving me to eat my fill.
I also found a lone red curr…
So how does yours grow…
Along with some incidental discussion I’ve noticed some very good looking gardens in the background of your photos, so how about showing off your garden!
I’ll kick off with a few shots of mine. Bear in mind I’m way up in the Highlands where things are only just getting going and it’s more a summer to late summer garden anyway, so there’s less colour than you would see in, say, August (when all my crocosmia and agapanthus come into flower).
First a special mention to th…
Is there anyone else out there who is bothered by some developments of language? Who cares how we spel words? Or if nouns are used as verbs when there is a perfectly good verb already?
“Can you gift me a lift to the shops?”
The multiple overuse of multiple to describe anything from about 2 or 3 upwards?
The disappearance of comparative and superlative adjectives? Is this to make English so much more easy to learn, until eventually it becomes the most simple language to learn?
Some new wor…
Ah, La Grande Boucle seems to be going ahead, to the delight (and frankly relief!) of all cycling fans amongst this community no doubt.
I recommend Ned Boulting and David Millar’s commentary on ITV four with often fantastic technical insight from people like Pippa York (once Robert Millar) and others during the day coverage. I have tried Eurosport but it’s often hackneyed (Drinking game - how many times the Eurosport commentator when talking about Vincenzo Nibali gets a twisted metaphoric refer…
Off we go trying to save this Summers series.
And once again, the weather is not playing ball!
And waking up this morning to find Jofra Archer decided to pop home to Brighton between the tests, leaves this Taffy - not only speechless but incandescent!
Detractors will use this instance for ammunition, that he is not a team player.
He is reckless with regard to his team mates health.
He is undisciplined, selfish etc,
He is a role model to countless underprivileged kids, …
How’s that working out for the rest of you with school-age children?
The Eldest is in year 8 and fair play to her, she gets up every morning and cracks on with whatever is on her timetable, working through till lunch, often swapping advice with her mates online. She’s pretty self-sufficient.
But we’ve got two year 1s and a year 2 as well. We’re just doing mornings, with non-screen-related play after lunch. Their primary school gave them a big pack of worksheets to be getting on with b…
Going with the realisation that many members, may have some unforeseen time available, I had a look on my Sky Box today and saw many, many episodes of the BBC MI5 Spy series SPOOKS now available to watch/download.
That’s me onboard, as I am recovering from the second cataract operation.
Apparently, when your optician notices that you have one (I hadn’t noticed, DOH!!) they schedule you for both eyes. Both operations, spectacular successes, it would appear that I am now 20/20 in both eyes. The …
I don’t usually consider home-confinement a punishment - I can become a sort of a recluse given half a chance, but this feels a bit different. Maybe because of its compulsory nature
So, my escape, I suspect - will be to books. I thought it would be great to hear if people are reading more because of the situation, and if so - what. I’ve picked up some really good suggestions from members in the past, so always looking for a new recommendation!
At the moment I’m reading Parisians: An…
I know that this community has a huge range of different people from all walks of life, was just wondering if anyone used to have/currently have a really interesting job?
I am lucky enough to work here with such great work colleagues and a really good product and have been able to learn about something I enjoy as well as meet various wine makers over the year.
Anyone done a really interesting or unusual job?
Some wine discussions were more serious, but important and fascinating to read:
This is a topic I’ve been pondering for quite some time. The opportunities afforded to many of us here with the financial ability and freedom to purchase nice wine and develop a love for it. How has this happened? Have we been brought up in middle classes where we have been introduced by parents or peers to the joys of wine? or taken an interest out of pure curiosity?
I believe the common denominator is we all have a financial benefit of being able to afford this hobby as such.
Look at wine ed…
I am well aware this might be a controversial or uncomfortable topic for some - apologies.
About 18 months ago I went through a period of very poor emotional well-being; ultimately following a series of difficult weekends at home I self referred into an online NHS cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) service with quite severe depression. I was at the higher end of severity for what they could handle but being very motivated to engage with the CBT I began to put the sessions into practice and was…
Apologies if this has been discussed before/elsewhere. [Just discovered it has been, but I’ve started so I’ll contine
What do we think TWS means by “fine wine”? I was told once it was wine that has a secondary market, i.e. something that can be traded.
[ I think buying wine as an investment is anathema. Wine is for personal enjoyment, but I digress.]
I guess I always considered fine wine to be something special, worth…
https://community.thewinesociety.com/t/the-future-of-en-primeur-bx/8908 Regional wine discussions popped up all over the place!
https://community.thewinesociety.com/t/greek-inquirer/9990 And finally…
I couldn’t resist reminiscing about an important Community event - the addition of the brilliant
@Kelly to our Community staff team:
It’s hard to imagine Kelly’s only been with us for a few months, especially as she’s been running our popular
Lunch with a Buyer and # events all year! twstaste What’s been your Community highlight of 2020? Any topics you’d like to add to the above? Let us know…
And here’s to another year of this Community - thank you, everyone, for making this such a wonderful place to be.