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Hello! :) Introduce yourself



I’m Richard & have been a member since 2006. Took early retirement 8 years ago & with my wife have done a lot of travelling since then. I suppose the best trip we have done so far, in the context of wine experience, was a walking holiday in the Rioja region. It was a circular route start/end in Haro. One of our first events was a tour of the Muga bodega which was a great experience. We celebrated the end of the walk (approx 70 Kms over 6 days) with a lovely bottle of Rioja in the main square in Haro - served in an ice bucket, well it was 30c!
Over the years I’ve never thought wine improves exponentially by price so I tend to stick to under £10 but occasionally go between £10-£20 just to reconfirm my theory. However I do like to try new wine varieties & from different parts of the world. Apart from my favourite Rioja also currently enjoy South American countries for their reliability & VFM.
I think this community is a great addition to what is already a commendable Society. I hope to share my wine experiences with you all & learn from yours.


Wow…! Haro is on my List of Wine towns to visit! Hopefully next year. Sounds like you definitely deserved that bottle .:}


Haro is a good base if you want to explore the Rioja region. We stayed in some beautiful “boutique” hotels along the way. In Haro we stayed in a hotel which was formerly a jail and nunnery - not at the same time!


Hi everyone,
I’m Barry and I’ve been in the Wine Society for a couple of years. I met someone who I hadn’t seen for almost 40 years - our last contact had been when we graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1976 - and we ended up discussing wine. A week or so later a gift membership to the Wine Society arrived courtesy of my long lost student friend. What a great thing to do (many sincere thanks, Graham!) and what a surprise. I haven’t looked back since.
I am 61 and was lucky enough to retire four years ago after a working life travelling the world in the steel industry. Now I am seeing the world again but this time avoiding steel-making plants, factories and industrial estates.
This year I have visited Provence and Portugal (Lisbon) and have been stunned by the quality of wine available in both. However the standout for me this year was a week in Alsace, staying in the village of Bergheim, travelling the wine route. I think Alsace wine offers some of the best quality in Europe at a very good price point. Pinot Gris was a new discovery for me and I have become a big fan. I can recommend the cooperative in Ribeauvillé for its range and quality; and of course the WS range of Alsace wine is excellent.
To conclude with a non-wine note, my guilty pleasure - or maybe it’s an affliction - is the masochistic ownership of a season ticket at Walsall FC.
So far travel plans for 2018 include a trip to Emilia Romagna based just outside of Bologna. Any suggestions of what wine I should be seeking out while there?


What a lovely story!

Great question - if we can find recommendations for Hunter Valley, surely we can find ideas for Emilia Romagna! Can we start this as a separate thread to keep them organised, if you don’t mind :slight_smile: I can do this for you or you can post it with some details on timings to help


No problem, separate thread set up (Travel and Good Life). I’ll be interested to see what responses I get. I’m always up for trying a new wine or two!


Hi Everyone,

Glad to join in with this community. I’m a keen wine fan but not really an expert, just an enthusiastic amateur. I’ve been a member of the wine society for many a long year but it’s only over the last decade or so that I’ve been able to take advantage of the extensive list the Society has to offer, not only in the huge selection of quality wines but also the added value in the gins, whiskeys and beers that are on offer.

My wife and I are quite keen on the wines of Australia and New Zealand, not only the big whites but also the extensive range of reds. We have spent some months (Jan/Feb/Mar) of the last five years holidaying in both Oz and NZ (any excuse to miss the dire winter weather in the UK). We have an agreed arrangement that, as my wife is a quilter of some experience and expertise, our holidays are driven by the need to visit both quilt/patchwork shops and vineyards. As a result our travels have taken us off the beaten tourist track to some quite amazing places and some fantastic boutique vineyards.

This year (2017) we discovered Tasmania. What a wonderful place. Beaches, tropical rain forests, mountain ranges and vast empty spaces. There were lots of patchwork shops and many interesting vineyards. I was particularly struck by the wines from the’Devils Corner’. Their pinot noir was a real delight. What joy it was to find on my return that the Society now has this wine on its list although not the Devils Corner Resolution Pinot Noir which is a real quality Pinot.

Next year (2018) we plan to visit the Hunter Valley and take with us the wine society list so that we can taste the wines where they are grown and produced. Our holiday will also include a trip back to Tasmania and the Devils Corner plus a visit to Spy Valley in the Marlborough district of South Island New Zealand. Here it was we found a first rate Sauvignon Blanc, the 2017 vintage of which is also now available on the Society’s list. Can’t wait to try the 2015 Iced Sauvignon Blanc which as yet is not available through the Wine Society.

Any suggestions for vineyards to visit in the Hunter Valley will be gratefully received and I am particularly thankful to the staff members at the Society who have already come up with some wonderful ideas of vineyards that must not be missed. So many in fact that I’m thinking I might have to extend our time in the Valley.

Best wishes to you all.


A face-to-face introduction today rather than a virtual one! Great to meet @Bocaramon at The Wine Gang Winter Festival in Leeds earlier today. Hope you had a good time, Jon, and that your friends now join up, rather than living on your vinous hand-me-downs! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


HI all,

Im Alan ive been a member of TWS for around 2 days… I have done a few wine tasting/information courses with my local wine school and thought it time to get involved with an organisation you can get alot of information from and speak with lots of different people with heaps of knowledge.

I don’t really have a favorite type of wine/Country/grape/region yet as im fairly new to wine so im just experimenting alot at present. I do tend to stay in France and Italy and actually had some great wines from Portugal, but i havent ventured in to the “new world” too much yet. Any recommendations on wines to either lay down or drink now are greatly welcome.



I hope i havent bored you


HA! Not at all! There’s nothing we like more than learning about other members and what motivates them. It is great to get to know you.

@Almitch1 has started a separate thread for collecting any suggestions for places to start exploring the List. Feel free to pop your suggestions on this thread


Hi everyone! I’m Tom, from Winchester. I’ve been a member for just over a year, but been interested in reading about and drinking wine for the past 10 years or so.

I’ve got a six month old son (our first child) and the combination of that, work, and a lack of funds prevents me from enjoying wine as often as I’d like, but I still go on TWS website and on here almost daily, to torment myself…

I like to try new wine regions but often go back to Beaujolais, Bordeaux, and new world pinot noir for reds (have decided I can’t afford proper Burgundy), and Riesling (seemingly from anywhere), or the Loire for whites. Also love sherry and look forward to getting involved in the Las Palmas mixed case when it arrives. Also have a soft spot for champagne. And also recently bottles with a bit of age- ordered 6 of the Ch Fontesteau 1998 which I’ll split with my dad (also a WS member but not au fait with technology).

Anyway I’m rambling. Look forward to learning from you all, and to contributing to some threads!


Hi All,

I’m Adam and I live in London. I’ve been a member for about a year now though only recently placed my first actual wine order with TWS (I know, shame on me!). A big part of this is that living in a flatshare in an ex-council flat in London means I have literally no storage for wine (or anything else), and what I can stash away is kept in less than ideal conditions (i.e. in a box in a wardrobe).

I was a craft beer/ale/lambic nerd long before I started to become a wine nerd. I’ve always enjoyed wine but have really only in the last couple of years or started to take an active interest in what I’m drinking and learning about it all. Growing up in South Australia, the big overly extracted ‘Dad wines’ were what I thought wine was supposed to taste like. These days, I shy away from this style (and much of the commercial new world) entirely, because I find them all to taste very similar and I don’t think they’re very interesting.

I’ll admit to being a bit of a novelty seeker (especially as I am only just figuring things out) and so will rarely buy the same thing twice. So far, I’ve learned that I love cru Beaujolais (but who doesn’t?), cooler climate pinots and shiraz, bone dry riesling, fizz (cava, cremants and champagne) as well as anything weird, i.e. pet-nats, skin contact, funky, low intervention wine, just to fully cement my status as a hipster cliche.

I’ve still never tried (and probably can’t afford) a decent Burgundy, I know very little about Italian wine (but hoping to change that with travel next year!), and I’d love to learn more about sherry, as the few I’ve tried I found really interesting.



I think this is the hotel @RichMBurbage mentioned in Haro …
I’ve stayed there and it is impressive. Very comfortable, big rooms, good food and a top wine list. I was last in Haro 5 years ago and we drank Tondonia 1991. MInd-blowingly good! (Current vintage from the winery is the 1996, it would seem …)

Sounds like a great holiday, Richard!


Welcome! Were you at the Winchester Wine Festival in the Guildhall last weekend?


Welcome, @tfpywfpy and @adam! :smiley:

Tom, I bought some of the Fontestaeau too - and tried it last week! It was really interesting and lovely to drink, the kind of wine that demands your attention! Let me know what you think?!

Adam, I have the same wine storage dilemma! We currently try to buy wines that don’t need ageing for too long so the damage won’t be too great (our rack is in the coat cupboard of our flat…!) and there’s still fun to be had. :slight_smile: I’m a Burgundy novice myself too but I bet there’s plenty of people here who will give you some starting points… :smiley:


Unfortunately family duties prevented me from attending, which was doubly sad because we live about 5 mins away! Did you go? Would you recommend it for next year?


The Society had a table, so there were at least 14 wines that were worth tasting at the event! :wink: Everyone seemed to be having a great time, and I can’t remember ever giving out so many ‘Join The Society’ forms. It was a lot of fun, and I would say worth giving a go next time.


I’m from Fife, Scotland, and started getting into wine a couple of years ago. I started with a fondness for NZ Sauvignon Blanc, but I love trying a bit of everything. I rarely buy the same bottle twice.
Unfortunately living in a small town, there’s not a lot of events nearby, but I managed to get to my first 2 wine fairs recently including Tom Cannavan’s Festival of Wine in Edinburgh.


Yes it was a memorable holiday & yes it is the hotel. I remember waking up the first morning there looking out the window & seeing a nest of storks on the roof of the building opposite. Then later whilst exploring Haro looking up to the sky & seeing loads more storks. Used to seeing these in Portugal but not in those numbers.


Hi all. I’m Chris and live in Reading (someone has to) and am married with two adult sons and an have an AMAZING granddaughter. (I’m biased). I’ve been trying different wines for over 40 years, and tend to specialise in the wines from the areas I am learning the languages of. It’s my way of delving deeper into the culture and geography of the cultures I’m interested in. Having spent some years focusing on French wine, I have been spending the last 2 1/2 years focusing on Spanish wine. Spanish wine is far more reasonably priced, but I have lots to learn about the subtlety to be found with French. I look forward to learning lots from the community. ¡Salud! Chris