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NEW #TWSTaste Virtual Wine Tasting: 'Aged to Perfection' Fine Wine, Thursday 30th July, 8-9pm

Hello Community!

For the last few months, our #TWSTaste events have mainly relied on what you already have at home, and we’ve all tasted something different. For this upcoming virtual tasting, however, we’re going to taste two wines together!

If you’d like to take part in this event, simply order the two wines and make sure they’re delivered before 30th July.

New #TWSTaste Virtual Wine Tasting: ‘Aged to Perfection’ Fine Wine, Thursday 30th July, 8-9pm

The wines we’ll be trying are:

Urbina Reserva Especial, Rioja 2006

Cour-Cheverny Cuvée Renaissance, Le Petit Chambord 2015

If you want to try these with food, please do feel free - the Cour Cheverny is a 5 on the sweetness scale, so you might want to bring along rich cheeses and pates to pair it with, or even a light apple tart!

We’re pleased to announce that both our Buyer Freddy Bulmer and @martin_brown will also be attending this event! Martin is a member of our Fine Wine Team and @Freddy is the representative for the Buyers in this team.

“Wine is a pretty remarkable thing when you think about it. Sure, the vast majority of wine doesn’t get better with age and in fact goes rapidly downhill, however the small percentage of wines which improve with years in the bottle is something which interests so many of us. For me, the history behind fine wine is absolutely fascinating and the idea that the bottle is essentially a consumable time capsule is awe-inspiring. The thought of the work that has been put into making the wine which was sealed in the bottle, potentially decades ago, is something unique to wine and is one of relatively few things in the world which puts us as close to generations gone by as it does. I can only imagine the feeling that some of our suppliers whose wineries have been in the family for generations must have, when they open a bottle of wine which was made by their late great grandparent, for example. Fine Wine gives us the ability to delve into times gone by, when the world was a very different place, and immerse ourselves in the thoughts of what life was like at the time this wine was bottled, while enjoying the complexities and flavours that well-aged wines can offer. This is something that we should cherish and which really sets fermented grape juice apart.”

I’ve heard numerous definitions of ‘fine wine’ from numerous people over the years. Oz Clarke said it was about ‘passion’ - a nebulous term, however beautifully he was able to describe it. A mate who sells claret in Hong Kong’s definition was, unsurprisingly, more to do with how much money the bottle brings in.

Jean-Marc Burgaud’s Morgon Côte du Py is one of many wines that offers a case (well, bottle) for why price can be such an unreliable narrator when it comes to fine wine. At the time of writing, we sell the 2018 for £16, and yet to me it is every inch a fine wine. It’s beautifully made but is but not overdone; it is complex, it reflects its terroir in a compelling way and it always stops me in my tracks. It also ages beautifully: when I was given the 2005 blind, I couldn’t believe how good it was - to find out we sold that vintage for a mere £8.50 back in the day was breathtaking, and perhaps the final straw for me thinking too much about price as an arbiter of ‘fine’. Yes, it often costs more to make great wine. But how much more? It depends on such a myriad of factors, from land prices to fluctuations in the market at point of sale, that putting an arbitrary ‘if it’s over £x a bottle it’s fine wine’ definition in place feels wrong.

Perhaps the also-tricky term ‘fine dining’ offers the most useful comparison: I’ve been to plenty of restaurants that claim to offer this, but has it always been the experience such a term surely demands? You know when it is, and you know when it isn’t. And I think ‘experience’ is the operative word when I think of how this translates into wine. A good wine is a nice drink. A fine wine offers an experience. So whether you are opening a financial middleweight or pulling the cork on some family silverware tonight, I hope you have an experience that befits the term ‘fine wine’ - it can be a tricky thing to pin down, but I suspect you’ll know when you taste it."

How do I take part?

If you’d like to join us, here’s what to do:

  1. Order one bottle each of the above wines and make sure they’re delivered by Thursday 30th July (you can now order your own mixed cases from our website for delivery)
  2. Reply to this topic once you have your wines ready - feel free to post a picture of your bottle, we love seeing all your photos!
  3. Chill or decant your bottles ready for the event (you can even plan to cook a dish or two to try alongside them, if you like! We like to discuss food matches :slight_smile: )
  4. Log into the Community shortly before 8pm on Thursday 30th July - you’ll find a topic called ‘LIVE #TWSTaste ‘Aged to Perfection’ Fine Wine’ where the event will take place. We’ll guide you through the tasting from there - don’t be shy to share your thoughts on the wines!

If you’re new to The Community and need help with how to use the forum for the tasting, have a read of our guide ‘How To’ - Take part in our virtual #TWSTaste events’

Who’s joining us?

  • I’ll be there!
  • I hope I can make it!
  • I can’t make it this time.

0 voters

We hope you can make it along!

Both wines are on order, should be with me next week, delivery via a little red van


1 Like

They’ve arrived! Have to make sure I don’t drink them until the end of the month.


Hooray!! :smiley: I must order mine…


Mine just arrived too. I solved the peaking too early syndrome by getting two of each :wink:


I find it works best if you don’t pull the cork. :wink:


Just ordered…looking forward to joining you all


Great news, see you there @Tonyb

Just giving this a little bump - this is probably your last opportunity to order the wines so they arrive in time! :smiley:

1 Like

I’m hoping to take part… but just with the Cour-Cheverny.

It’s a long and uninteresting story, but I’m no fan of the 2006 vintage in Rioja, I’m even finding LRA becoming too modern for my tastes, and I’ve managed to acquire more Rioja than I’ll ever drink.

I hope this doesn’t mark me out as the malcontent of the tasting! (Even though it is a school night, I may sub in another Rioja). :smiley:


Haha, no problem @Tannatastic! Chuffed you’re joining us (and by all means open something else to join in with while we taste the 2006 Rioja! :joy:)

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Hi All. Waiting for the wines to arrive - :crossed_fingers: - but any thoughts on food to accompany both? I read pate/goats cheese for the Cour-Cheverny but what about the Rioja? Needs to be a shared dish without pork (one of us doesn’t eat pork, the other doesn’t eat dairy so we can make Cour-Cheverny work!)

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Hi Andrew! Ooh yes, pate and cheese for the Loire would be great.

I was always taught that the more a good red wine matures, the better it goes with simpler fare. Rioja and lamb always seems a good match so maybe some lamb chops or steak prepared without too many bells and whistles. This always seems a popular recipe, I don’t know if it would work but it looks tasty!:


Good call there. We have visited Bodegas Urbina and we stayed in the village. We asked them what food we should try and they recommended a lamb shanks dish at a resto that served Urbina wines. The combination was sensational and also a huge portion shared between two.


Thanks @laura

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I do sometimes regret being a veggie! :wink: :rofl:


They have arrived!


Any advice on decanting the rioja? How long etc.

I’ve just asked @MrLaura and he said maybe you could decant for an hour before? Urbina wines he’s had before have all been fine straight out of the bottle, but I think we’ll probably put it in a decanter about an hour before we’re due to taste it.

The Loire is on the sweet side, so would you guys want to try that after the Rioja?!

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I would normally decant for an hour or two but this time I might just try the no decant Rioja recommendation from the video.