Mon 16 Jun 2014

Dipping Our Toe In The County Show…

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Stephanie Searle at the Herts County ShowThere is always so much to do, try, buy, watch and taste at county shows and this year, for the first time, The Wine Society had a stand at The Hertfordshire County Show in Redbourn on the 24th and 25th May.

With our UK HQ based in Stevenage, it proved an excellent opportunity for some of our local members to sample a few of our more popular wines and for the visiting public, the chance to try our wines and find out more about The Wine Society.

Alongside the horse, sheep, cattle and dog events at the show, there were hand-made crafts, pipe bands, motorcycle displays, a circus and a host of local (and not so local) companies displaying their wares.

The Wine Society’s stand was in the large food and drinks marquee, where locally produced foods and delicacies, usually only found in farm shops and delicatessens, were in abundance. Other stands featured foods and beverages from further afield including spicy German sausage and delicious Italian salami – I couldn’t resist buying some of that!

Poor weather on the Bank Holiday Saturday dictated that the show was not particularly busy, but by the Sunday the sun was shining and people came along in droves.

The 12 wines that Public Relations manager Ewan Murray had selected for people to try covered a wide range in terms of style, colour, country of origin and price. Even more varied were the tastes and wine-drinking experiences of those who visited the stand. A number of people wanted to find out more about The Wine Society, so we spent time explaining to them how it worked, what they could expect, the services that we offered and, most importantly, why we felt that we were representing a long standing company at probably the most exciting time in its 140-year history.

So what wines did we offer for tasting at the show?
The winesBlanquette de Limoux Brut Nature, Antech (£9.95)
The Society’s Vinho Verde (£6.25)
Falanghina del Sannio, Janare 2013 (£7.25)
Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (£9.95)
The Society’s Chablis (£11.50)
Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Kabinett, von Kesselstatt 2008 (£12.50)
Percheron Shiraz-Mourvèdre, Western Cape 2013 (£5.95)
Côtes d’Auvergne Gamay, Cave Saint-Verny 2011 (£7.95)
Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso, Torre del Falasco 2012 (£9.50)
Cepa Gavilán Crianza, Ribera del Duero 2011 (£10.95)
Martinborough Vineyards Te Tera Martinborough Pinot Noir 2012 (£13.50)
Half bottle of Blind Spot Rutherglen Muscat (£7.25)

The three front-runners in terms of what the tasting public particularly enjoyed were firstly, the Falanghina del Sannio which also comes highly recommended by Wine Society buyer Sebastian Payne MW. He wrote: ‘2013 was a difficult year for reds (very wet summer) in Campania but no problem for whites and this falanghina is very good indeed. It is a fresh, fragrant ‘cook’s’ aperitif wine which, at home, all guests are welcome to share and which all of us guzzle with pleasure.’

Close on the heels of the falanghina was the Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. A juicy and generous New Zealand sauvignon blanc with notes of lemon and gooseberry zest – it was the perfect wine for such a lovely, hot day.

Of the red wines that were featured, it was the Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso which proved to be the tasters favourite. This International Wine Challenge 2014 gold-medal winner is a deliciously intense and full-blooded ‘baby Amarone’ with ripe-fruit character and gorgeous, persistent notes of fig and raisin.

Although we were unable to sell any wine to non members, many enthusiatic visitors took away literature and membership application forms. It was also very pleasing to hear so many people giving us positive comments and feedback about the wines that they’d tasted.

A quick stop at the cheese stand...

A quick stop at the cheese stand…

If you are local to Hertfordshire I would fully recommend a visit to the show when it returns to the showground in Redbourn on 23rd and 24th May 2015. There is so much there for the whole family to enjoy, and with a bit of luck, the sun will come out too!

Stephanie Searle
Tastings & Events

It may be of interest for members to note that most of the wines that we took to the show are featured in our current Wine Champions offer that runs until Sunday 13th July.

Categories : Wine Tastings

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