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Japanese and Chinese Wines
Brentwood Wine Appreciation Society - 7 April 2014

Fifty Five members of BWAS attended an evening of Japanese and Chinese wines. The verdict - generally need to improve but some interesting things being done.

The Japanese Koshu wine was generally liked for it's freshness and subtlety, and the Chinese Grace Vineyard Chardonnay was also likes for it's straightforwardness, freshness and fruit driven flavours. It's bigger brother, the Reserve Chardonnay was thought to be a little clumsy in its oak handling.

On the reds, the Changyu Cabernet l'Est wasn't generally liked; very simple, little length and rather lacking in fruit. The Grace Vineyards Merlot was interesting, particularly in it's lightness; many people really wondered how Merlot grapes could be made into such a light wine. The Cabernet Sauvignon wine was more typical of the grape people felt, with the best red being the Deep Blue - a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc blend. This was very Bordeaux in style; big, gutsy, deep black fruit flavours, integrated tannins although a touch chalky. Overall, a well made wine which will keep for a few years. However, the star of the show was the Changy Gold Diamond Ice Wine. Made from Vidal grapes in NW China it had lovely dried apricot flavours underpinned by barley sugar and caramel notes. The acidity was just right to keep it all fresh and zingy. A really good wine.

So, the verdict?

Chinese wine is big. It's big in terms of production, investment and ambition. Heavily influenced by European and American winemakers, it's on the way up. Think Chile and Argentina 30 years ago. Winemaking skills probably need some improvement but most people enjoyed a couple of the wines I showed, and nearly everyone thought the Icewine was the star, and really liked the Koshu too.

Certainly worth trying to find and try and monitor improvement over the next few years, these wines made for an interesting tasting.

My thanks to Ryan at The Merchant of Chinese Fine Wine, Belfast, Dominic at Fareham Wine Cellars and Selfridges, London for their help in sourcing the wines for this tasting.

The wines tastes are here

The presentation used is here



Literary Wines,  - Westminster,  28 June  2013






An evening looking at wines featured in novels turned up a few real surprises and some great wines.


Saint Alban's Church,  - Ilford, 7 June  2013
Summer Wines

Another fundraising and social evening for S. Alban's Church in Ilford. We tasted 6 wines, all suitable for Summer drinking.



Brentwood Wine Appreciation Society 14 May 2013




RHWine ran an evening for the Brentwood Wine Appreciation Society where we presented four Chablis wines, one from each Appellation; Petit Chablis, Chablis, Premier Cru and Grand Cru. 

Following that, four wines from Chianti were presented, a generic Chianti, a Chianti Ruffina, a Chianti Classico and a Classico Riserva.

Off the Beaten Track Wines - 
London, 26 April 2013

We looked at 8 wines from slightly more unusual countries; Uruguay, Morocco, Slovenia and some unusual wines from more mainstream countries; a Txakoli Txomin Etxaniz from Guetaria, Spain and a Rotgipfler and  Zweigelt from Austria.



Saint Alban's Church - Ilford, 9 November 2012  


RHWine ran a wine evening and quiz for 40 people from S Alban's Church, Ilford based around wines for Christmas and New Year; a Prosecco to get the party going, a Fino Sherry to go with the olives and almonds, a dry Vinho Verde to go with the salmon starter, Chardonnay from Chile or a Pinot Noir from California which would both go well with the turkey, a Medoc from Bordeaux if you were having beef and a LBV Port with the Christmas Pudding or cheese. 
The evening rounded off with a quiz based on what folk had learned during the evening, with some rather dodgy scoring going on!

Wine of the evening - probably agreed it was a tie between the Grahams LBV 2007 Port and the Hahn Pinot Noir 2010 from California.


Supermarket Surprises - London, 
26 September 2012



Can you buy decent wine in Supermarkets? the answer from this evening was yes - probably. We looked at nine wines ranging from £3.59 to £10.00, all supermarket own wines and often made exclusively for them. The favourites?  
White Wine Asda Extra Special Fiano 2011 from Sicily at a mere £5.00 was yeasty, smokey with sweet mango fruit aroma. When tasted, it had intense pineapple fruit flavours and a great mouthfeel. a really pretty wine and fantastic value for money.
Red Wine The favourite by a mile was the Marks and Spencer Tupungato from Mendoza, Argentina. A blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon it had cinnamon, herbs, spices and a touch of mint accompanying the big red fruit flavours. The tannin from the Malbec grape really showed through making this a complex and deep wine. And at £7.99 is good value too.

French Wine Regions - Chelmsford, 
28 September 2012



Sixteen people joined RHWine in a new Chelmsford venue for a tour round the key wine producing areas of France : Loire, Burgundy, Alsace, Bordeaux, Rhone, Languedoc and the South West. This evening helped them understand French Wine Regions and wine labelling, the characteristics of the wines and food matching. 

Wines from Tuscany - Chelmsford, 22 June 2012


RHWine Tour to Chianti,  May 2012



English Wines - London, 27 April 2012




Introduction to Wine -London, 30 March 2012


Wines from the Languedoc -London, 30 March 2012



A Traditional 'Method Ancestrale' sparkling Blanquette, a bone dry Picpoul, a rich Rousanne, a blend of Atlantic and Mediterranean  grapes, two classic Languedocs, a rare red and a delicate sweet wine made up this evening's selection. 

Christmas food and wine matching -London, 25 November 2011



"Robert has a way of imparting information in a way that is easy to understand for all levels of wine lovers.The format is relaxed and sociable, so even attending on my own, I didn't feel uncomfortable.

The highlight was definitely the Christmas food and wine matching where a huge amount of attention went into the whole evening - right down to a mini turkey dinner!

All the wines you taste are easily obtainable from the high street, so you can buy what you taste at reasonable prices. "



"One of the best tastings BWAS has had recently was a selection of wines from Washington State and Oregon. Robert does not sell wines, only sources, judges and runs tastings."

"I felt your presentation was excellent with enough ‘technical’ facts and a bit of humour to balance."

The Brentwood Wine Appreciation Society newsletter with a report of the evening is here






















Thanks for the a great evening. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Oneof the best tastings I've been to.AW, London 29 July 2011.