Taste of the Vine

Wine tasting, Cheese, Real Ale & Whisky Events   •   20 years, 3460 events, 49 countries

  • Ambriel's Guardian

    Posted in A Taste of England on Sep 05, 2017

    A gnarly sentinel stands below the rows of cherished Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines at the Redfolds Vineyard, home to Ambriel Wine. In its shadow lie the greensand house, barn and outbuildings that comprise Wendy and Charles Outhwaite’s home and winery. Ever alert, as if aware of a threat to its charges, the aged watchman overlooks a slope that dips south of the vines into The Weald and across to Chanconbury Ring, the Bronze Age hill fort on the South Downs ten miles away.

    A taste of Nyetimber in the early 2000’s led the couple to their plot on a ridge north of Pulborough in We...

  • A Taste of Kent and Sussex – some favourites

    Posted in A Taste of England on Feb 02, 2017

    It was 1980 and rivulets of rainwater meandered down through the dots on my bedroom window. I focussed beyond at the land sloping towards the sodden Pevensey Marshes, once a seaward bay and landing point for William the Conqueror, now reclaimed and home only to grazing sheep.

    The door swung open behind me and I thrust the magazine I’d been reading beneath my pillow - too late. My mother placed the sandwich she’d brought on my bedside table.‘Francis, what was that?’

    ‘Nothing, Mum.’

    ‘Let me see,’ she insisted, beckoning me to lift the pillow. I reluctantly slid the magazine out and sheepishly pr...

  • England's Sparkling Future

    Posted in A Taste of England on Oct 15, 2015

    ‘Come and taste this,’ said my wine course tutor, ‘it’s pretty rare.’

    I was at the 1990 English Wine Festival and the air in the marquee was warm with the aromas of the latest vintages. I came out from behind the stall I’d been assisting on and followed my tutor along a row of producers proffering samples of Muller Thurgau, Reichensteiner, Madeleine Angevine, Schonburger and Ortega, the favoured grapes of English winemakers back then. Grown for their suitability to marginal climates, rather than for their olfactory properties, these grapes were, and still are, second tier in world terms. ‘Gent...

  • Fracking for wine

    Posted in A Taste of England on Mar 07, 2014

    After 17 years of writing and hosting wine tastings for Taste of the Vine I have to make efforts to keep each event stimulating for myself. It would of course be possible to say the same thing to a different audience every time, but I would long ago have been carried, hog tied, to a padded cell if I approached it that way. Recently though I’ve been personalising our wine events at Taste of the Vine to a level I would have considered sheer indulgence a few years ago – when the TOTV journey was more about the trajectory of its profit curve than it is today. Now when I prepare tastings I try to m...