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Winchester Wine Fair


We have just booked ourselves and some friends tickets for the Friday 23rd November 5-9pm session at the Winchester Wine Fair. Is anybody else planning to attend this Fair and the Friday session in particular? Would be nice to say hello to anyone else in the community if so. #forwardplanning! #bluestar1


I won’t know about work until closer to the time, but very much hope to make it! #5minswalk :wink:


I’ll be there, along with a bunch of delicious wines for you to taste! We have a table every year, and it’s great fun!

Here I am (one the right) waiting for the crowds to flood in at last year’s edition.



Be nice to meet you @Ewan and taste the TWS wines! Our friends coming with us are also TWS members.


This looks like good fun and I wish I could attend…but a long way from Enfield. I hope it goes well


You can always try The Wine Gang, Three Wine Men or Festival of Wine, all of which happen in London. Next Wine Gang event is on 30th June at the HAC off City Road.


Or The Society’s New Zealand, Italian, Loire, and Chilean tastings amongst others👍


Hi Ewan, thank you. I have been to a few Three Wine Men tastings but not heard of The Wine Gang. I will be booking the event on the 30th, regards, Steven


Me and Mr JayKay attended the Winchester Wine Fair last night, the opening session of the Festival. Exhibitors were a range of individual vineyards, online wine shops, and a few food outlets. TWS represented by @Ewan were there, also BBR and Avery’s. Hampshire vineyards were very well represented showing their sparkling wines along with Nyetimber and Denbies.

Our tastings were restricted because the place became ram packed after 6:30pm and I’m not good in overcrowded places. Add in the fact that the spittoons were being used like a handbag on a dance floor where people gathered round to drink and chat and you get the picture. I actually had to pat on shoulders and mime my need to use the spittoons in order to get to them. One women looked at me with a look that was combined amazement and horror as I first spit and then poured away the rest of a sample.

The tastings were interesting and varied. The Wines of Georgia stand was staffed by a chap in traditional costume, which was very splendid, unlike the wines. We tasted three reds, all from indigenous grape varieties. All very expensive and extremely tannic. I’ll be kind and say they were not to our taste.

Highlights for us were

I cannot improve on the TWS description of honeysuckle and roundness unless I add in the notes of ripe apricot I sensed. Lovely stuff!

And just pipped by this blend of Roussane and Marsanne as my favourite white of the night, and which is, to be fair, much more expensive

The same stand (sud de France) also offered a very fine Viognier called Lauret Miquel Verite.

Top red of the night was this beautiful Pinot noir from BBR


Personal taste I appreciate but my search for a PN to rival a Burgundy is over. It had that unmistakable Pinot Noir nose, a slight hint of undergrowth with dark cherries and a beguiling perfume of something I cannot name. In the mouth it didn’t disappoint. A hint of spice, more cherries and strawberries and lovely silky tannins. Do you think I liked it :heart_eyes:

At the cheaper end of the scale this easy drinking Sicilian Nero d’Avola appassimento
got our vote

All in it was a good tasing until the crowds became unbearable. I guess they have to sell so many tickets to make it pay but I felt there were too many people. On the plus side we came home with two Riedel glasses which probably covered a fair chunk of the £30 tickets!

And I got to meet Ewan!


I’m off to a consumer tasting in Huntingdon tomorrow and I fear this will be an issue, as will your point about access to spittoons. I usually try to arrive early and go in reverse order from the list so at least for the first part of the tasting I’m less obstructed. Suspect that it will have been worse for you last night though .


I hope that does not permanently put you off Georgian wine. I can assure you they are not all extremely tannic, but it does tend to be a feature of wine from Kakheti in the east of the country. And it is not only the reds that can be tannic!

That said, Georgian wines do divide opinion anyway - I like them, but as with all countries I like some more than others.


Thank you for your encouragement! Always willing to give things a try, which was why we were at the Georgian stand! It was disappointing but happy to proved wrong on a future occasion :grin:


Just realised I missed this thread while I was away. Some great pointers there, @JayKay!
I’m definitely going to order that Rousette! The last one I had was from Frangy (and was delicious), so would love to try an example from Bugey.

As for the BBR Pinot Noir - so glad to read your impressions of it. I notice it’s made by Au Bon Climat - I got a bottle of their Santa Barbara PN, as well as a 2014 Santa Maria Valley PN - so really looking forward to opening them now! I also love their Santa Barbara Chardonnay. Clearly an excellent producer! :+1::+1:


We’re huge fans of their wines. Must look into that BBR bottle


Re those ABC Pinots -

Californian pinots especially can be a bit of a crapshoot, as some are overblown. ABC try to avoid that. I had the good fortune to have attended a lunch last week where we had a 2006 ABC Knox Alexander PN, amongst a flight of various West-Coast PNs from 1998 to 2015. What was good to see was that if you eschew the overblown ones (which were absent!), then these wines mature pretty gracefully, accessible at any age. You can’t say that for Burgundies.

I guess the youngest do tend towards the fruit-forward, but as they mature they put on complexity. As always, a few degrees cooler service works to tame such fruitiness back into balance.


Well, if you are willing to pay there are amazing PNs coming out of California. I have seven bottles left of s case of 2013 Kistler Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and what I am realising that the first 5 were perhaps drunk too early, but were a delight nevertheless.


Alas, none of them are cheap as you say @szaki1974 . But I think the main point is really that the ABC belongs to the non-blockbuster end of the market.


Yes, sorry, I got your point. What I was trying to clumsily say is that these non blockbuster Pinots are available, but prices seem to start higher or at least so I perceive.