Story Telling at the Wine Club

This February we asked some of our members to present a wine of their choice (along with the odd story).   Whilst we may all have our wines we love and those we don’t love so much, the one thing that unites us all is that there is always a story behind some of our most memorable wine moments.  That’s one of the reasons we all enjoy coming to the club each month!

To start, Ian reminded us that knowing just a little bit about where our wines are from can be very beneficial by letting us try a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire region in France.   From the Upper area we tried a well known SB from Sancerre and compared this with a SB from the Middle region of Touraine.  At nearly half the price of the Sancerre, any wine from Touraine is worth a go as a good alternative.

Our newest member of the committee, Natalie spoke fondly of a wine from Greece, Assyrtiko which was a reminder of the wine served at her wedding reception, which was held next to a winery in Santorini.   A wine not many had tasted and well worth a try.

Brian spoke about an amazing women called Samantha O’Keefe, who single handily set up a winery in South Africa on the Lismore Estate, with no previous experience.  Along with bringing up two small children, she managed to produce some of the highest rated wines by the worlds most notable wine tasters, only to have it all brought down around her by a fire that took away her vines but also her house.  Undeterred, she is selling the last few remaining wines and starting again.  You will not be able to try her new wines for another 2 years but there are still some left from the last harvest!  We tried the Viognier but they are all good and available at

Paul took us through the last of the whites, which he tried presenting a few years back but was unable to find a wine from Lanzarote to present.   You would not think vines could grow in volcanic soils with not much more than a few inches of rain each year but this was an experience for us all. Look out for El Grifo, which was a very refreshing drink.

We had three reds to finish.  Derek took us through two wines.  The first was a red from Austria.  Not a normal part of the world to find a red due to the cooler climate.    The grape variety called Zweigelt produced a light (9.5% vol) wine that was labelled a picnic wine.  To finish we were treated to a wine he had bought 8 years ago and laid down in temperature controlled storage.  Bought at just over £10 and now worth over £20, the Chateau Beaumont, Haut-Medoc, 2009 was a real treat.

In between these wines Simon talked mainly about a bit of a road trip in Georgia he had been on where he came across various wineries.  We tasted a bottle which was made from 100% Saperavi grape.  Another excellent wine but equally good story!

It was great to hear everyone talk about their experiences with wine, thanks to everyone who contributed!  Next month, we have a real treat with two guys who supply wines to Strictlywine “pitching” for our vote as they present wines from various countries from around the world – all related to the rugby Six Nations (both current and potential future participants!)

If you would like to come along then please get in touch with Ian ( or try our website:

Ian Langley