Hello, for my partner’s birthday I was thinking of a wine and cheese tasting. I was wondering if anybody had any suggestions for people/companies to run a wine tasting (with or without cheese) at home (London SW)?
Where in the country are you?
Oh sorry I should have been clearer, London - SW.
I’ll edit the OP
I know The Sampler do, you could enquire in the Wimbledon shop. Wimbledon Wine Cellars would also provide this kind of private tasting service (for sure on their premises, not sure about people’s houses).
Would you consider doing it yourself, or perhaps getting a mate to organise. I’m sure you could get some suggestions here.
Once the wine is bought, which could be a TWS mixed case, it is just a question of getting someone who is happy to stand up in front of other people to mug up a bit about each wine (TWS supply notes anyway), or alternatively you could play a tasting game.
You could get Waitrose - they’ll also bring the nibbles if you prefer - if you want someone to conduct the tasting https://www.waitrosewinetasting.com/
At the end you keep the opened bottles and the wine glasses they supply.
It works out rather expensive though. Steve Slatcher is always worth taking notice of and you could take his advice, have better wines and not have an element of salesmanship.
If you haven’t enough glasses, look in Wilko where they are 50p each.
I haven’t had an opportunity to try this yet and not sure if it’s really what you’re looking for, but I stumbled across this app the other day.
Yes, if you don’t want to get someone in to host the tasting, then I reckon this community could give you some pretty tasty wine / cheese matches…
Thank you for those suggestions, I’d prefer not to guide the tasting myself though not sure I’m at that level.
I listen to the UK wine podcast, by Chris Scott, his company runs wine tastings…
Don’t know much more than that though
I think showmanship is probably the main requirement for a party tasting, but I’ll not further try to persuade you.
There is a similar option though, where you provide a number of different Champagnes and let people get on with it and find their favourite. From personal experience I can confirm that works well, and is a good “ice breaker” - most people get at least a little tipsy very quickly, however much you suggest they take small pour of each one
But below are a couple of suggestions closer to what you asked about. Sorry, but I cannot give personal reccos for your area.
You could try enquiring at a local wine merchant. Decent ones will probably be used to giving tastings. It will probably be the cheapest option, but unless you are careful it could easily turn into a more or less subtle sales pitch with, e.g., a discount for orders on the night. Which you may or not be comfortable with.
Beyond that there are a number of different companies that will organise tastings. I don’t know of any in particular to recommend but google would find them.
There is also the Association of Wine Educators. They should have a list of members on their website, and I am sure that any member local to you would be able to help. Sadly though, their full website https://www.wineeducators.com/ is currently out of action, but if you look there is a home page still up with an email address. If you email, I suspect they would be able to provide a list of members local to you.
Thank you very much. Those are all great suggestions. I’ll let you know what I decide
Some of the “Local Wine Schools” network will run private tastings. There are several in the London area who might be able to help. More info on their website…
I love this idea. Great way to get started on the theme of the evening and a glass of champagne or two helps reduce the inhibitions of those who might be a little less confident in expressing their opinions later on.
Having been to onesuch organised by Steve mumble mumble years ago, I can confirm that this works very well. Multiple Champagnes is actually a good and easy way to go with these things. We celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary with Champagnes and cheese. It was very enjoyable, and also changed our minds about what we liked in Champagne, when tasting the different ones side-by-side, so educational too.
My periodic reminder that some people hate all sparkling wines, and can think of nothing worse than starting with only Champagnes.
I sympathise with your unwillingness to present all the wines yourself, but, depending on how many friends and how many wines and cheeses, you could ask each guest to present one. This normally requires no more than reading TWS notes (sometimes good, sometimes useless because they only talk about the producer in general) and googling the producer (almost always producing both information and amusing anecdotes). The same can work for cheeses: I collected a book from the library today called a Cheese monger’s history of the British Isles…
The only problem can be that the people at the end of the list have to stay more sober than the others, but you can allow plenty of time and wine at the end.
and dont forget, you can hire glasses from Waitrose FOC
True. In fact I now know two people like that. I have even met the other one a few times
I’m pleased to hear that - mainly because it was so long ago that, as I wrote, I thought it may possibly have been a false memory