The aim of this Group is to bring wine lovers together, to learn about the fascinating world of wine, spirits and more. The evenings are informative, fun and convivial. This is therapy of the liquid kind! You will learn how to taste and to discover new and unusual wines, as well as appreciating new facts about well-known wines. The tastings are tutored by Luisa Welch, a wine educator who holds the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Diploma in Wine and Spirits. Luisa is also a wine judge at international competitions and a freelance wine writer. She is supported by Vivienne Smith, who has had a keen interest in wine for many years, has toured many wine regions around the world, and actively attends wine events. The group will meet in Muswell Hill, in the home of Vivienne Smith, who has kindly offered her home to get the Group started. As the Group develops and gets established, the idea will be to rotate the venue. We also plan to offer visits to restaurants, trips to vineyard … and much more. Join us and discover the joys of good imbibing! The cost will be in the region of £15 per person, to include 5 or 6 quality wines for the tasting, plus two bottles for drinking afterwards, when a light buffet supper will be provided by our host. Glasses, jugs, and crackers are all included in the cost. You are invited to bring your own notebook and pen. As costs are incurred in advance in buying the wine and food, it is important that members are prepared to commit to attending regularly.
☐ Frequency : Monthly
☐ When : Third Thursday, 7 p.m.
☐ Where : Muswell Hill, N10
Group Conveners: Luisa Welch and Vivienne Smith
To join the group please complete the contact form below. This form may also be used to contact the Convener on all matters relating to the Group.
Our meetings and visits
It was urban escape this month, with a visit to Renegade Wines, the urban winery in Bethnal Green which is making news, literally, with great write ups about its wines in Metro and in The Independent (you heard it here first, because we are in the know!). It was a sunny, warm evening and we enjoyed the hospitality of Warwick Smith, the founder and brainchild of Renegade, with its leading edge wine making techniques which produce some stunning results. We tasted a range of sparkling, whites and reds made from some of the best grapes from around the world, most coming from small, organic vineyards. We loved the Sauvignon Blanc, the English Sparkling, and the Cabernet from the barrel – it was not even bottled, and we wanted more! A most unusual evening, enjoyed by all.
Photographs ©️ Roslyn Byfield
Our Wine … and More group seems to get better every time we meet. This month we tasted premium wines, including the best Macon Lugny, superb Chorey Les Beune Burgundy and a fabulous Chateauneuf Du Pape, from famed producers such as Joseph Drouhin and Louis Latour, with prices usually out of reach, but affordable when shared with everyone. The Gruner Veltliner from Austria was much loved, whilst the Pegasus Riesling from New Zealand took many by surprise. And that little gem, Tanit, from the Alexandria Muscat grape from Sicily to round off the evening … This is what a member said:
It was an evening with a special buzz – don’t you think? Wonderful wines Luisa, and you brought each one alive. Life would be exciting if we could harness your enthusiasm. And Vivienne, as you always do, make us at home and relaxed, as well as putting out delicious things to eat. I can only imagine the shopping and cooking behind the scenes! There was something tonight, as we make friends, mutual interests and all thanks to you priceless duo
Thanks to our gracious hostess, Vivienne, and Luisa (in absentia) for a fun BYO wine tasting. We all brought a bottle we thought would interest the group and took turns in saying a bit about our chosen wines, which included a Picpoul de Pinet (now becoming more popular), a Romanian pinot grigio, two very pale and interesting roses, a 2017 Crozes Hermitage (Northern Rhone), a New Zealand pinot noir and a rioja which was unusual for using the grenache rather than the usual tempranillo grape. Lively conversations continued over a delicious supper – altogether a lovely evening.
An explosive tasting! Wines from volcanic soils are rich in minerals and have a distinct sapidity like the splendid Atlantis Assyrtiko from Santorini and the Nerello Mascalese from Etna. And that amazing Grecula from Mount Vesuvius which everyone enjoyed. Not to mention the wines from Argentina and Chile, the latter with over 2,900 volcanos – did you know?? Empty bottles, full glasses, and a great supper at Vivienne’s home.
Thank you Luisa for a splendid evening last night, everyone learnt a lot – VS
Yet again, last evening was a wonderful lesson in wine appreciation … – DR
Luisa, thank you for a marvellous evening last night. Everyone had such a good time – as seen by the late hour of departure – EH
The Wine….and More Group finds ways of beating the winter blues with an outing at restaurant and wine shop Connubio in Muswell Hill. Here is Fabio the owner with convenors Luisa and Vivienne welcoming a very large group, to include both the main and reserve groups, to the tasting. We tasted three indigenous grape varieties from Italy paired with specially selected dishes. A great event to bring event to bring everyone together and enjoy the conviviality of the group.
Our fabulous, and I mean Absolutely Fabulous, first tasting of the year. Detox or Retox? We did them both of course! We tasted a range of extra virgin olive oils and members of the group enjoyed learning how to taste olive oil, and discovering nuances of tomato, thistle, artichoke, grass in the oils. We loved detoxing. But we soon were into retoxing with rare sherries and rare ports, and warming Spanish and Portuguese wines before a light supper of Spanish inspired dishes. That’s the way to start January for Wine … and More.
The Wine…and More Group rang in the festivities with an all-sparkling event, discovering life beyond Prosecco, with a tasting of Champagnes, Cremants, even with a highly rated sparkling from Tasmania, and our own English sparkling wines. All washed down with plenty of festive food! Roll on the new year. Shall we detox or retox???
The Wine…and More group celebrated Beaujolais Nouveau Day with a tasting of 7 different wines from the region, followed by a French-inspired supper. Here are some of the wines that put us in a great mood for the night …
“I knew nothing at all about wine and this Wine and More session was really welcoming to all levels. It was cram packed full of interesting facts on the 8 wines from Italy tasted (drunk!), both white and red. It helped in understanding my own preferences and also why others prefer different wines. We learnt about why Italian wines are named the way they are, and about the 4 denominations. I am going to Italy in two weeks’ time and now I will be able to choose wines with some proper understanding.” – EH.
“I very much enjoyed the event last night, it was informative and pleasurable, and thanks to our host’s warmth and hospitality, and your lively presentation, felt like an evening shared with friends.” – JH.
“Thank you for a marvellous instructive and convivial evening. You brought the mysteries of wine to life and even local shops that supply! Vivienne’s supper was delicious. Naturally, I would love to come to the November gathering, so please count me in! Sincere thanks.”- EC.