For Christmas last year, hubby bought me a wine tasting experience at Birmingham Wine School as one of my presents. I also purchased exactly the same gift for him! This was no surprise as virtually ever year we have been together we have managed to buy each other a gift that was the same! One year it was Chris Evans’ Autobiography, another year a Simon Amstell DVD, and there have been quite a few more! Luckily this year, we did not have to return one of the gifts, we will just go to two wine tastings…..
We booked the first in last week. The Birmingham wine school events take place at The Old Joint Stock, a lovely old theatre and pub in the heart of Birmingham. We booked onto an evening of white wine tasting, not because we prefer white wine, (actually we prefer red) but because we are very set in our ways of what we do and don’t like and wanted to get a bit more of an insight into the world of whites!
The evening was really good fun. There was a bout 20 people at the tasting, and we got to try 8 different wines, and generous measures – about half a glass of each. There was also a hefty platter of cheese and biscuits to nibble on, probably designed so we didn’t all roll out of the place after so much wine.
It was really well organised, and there was a little leaflet on what we were tasting and in what order, so we could make notes as we went. We were also asked to give each wine a score and guess the price so we could compare them all at the end, which was a bit of fun. Our host for the night, Rob, was really knowledgeable and his slides and talk to accompany the tasting was interesting, informative and witty.
The wines we tried included; a Chilean Reisling, a White Rioja, an English Bacchus from Oxfordshire, an Argentinian Sauvignon Blanc, Soave Classico from Italy, a Vouvray, a sweeter German Reisling and a French wine from the Alsace region.
My absolute favourite of the night was a Chenin Blanc – Domaine du Vieux Vauvert from Vouvray in France. I found it a perfect medium dry, with just enough acidity. However it wasn’t to everyone’s palate. I think the most important thing I learnt from this was that just because you don’t like a wine, doesn’t make it a bad one and that everyone has very different palates and preferences, and that this is ok! In wine there certainly is not a ‘One size fits all’!
The tasting evenings range in price starting at about £22.50 pp, but they also run longer courses and qualifications. There are lots to choose from, reds, whites and mixed tastings and also ones dedicated to sparkling wine and champagne or particular regions of the world. We had a really great few hours and are already planning our next one – this time for red wine! I would thoroughly recommend both for couples and groups of friends, and I think it would be wonderful idea for a present or celebration of another kind. No prior knowledge of wine needed!!
Disclosure: We paid for our own tickets, and all opinions expressed are honest and our own