This is something I have meaning to do for a while now: a wine feature. Not that I know a lot, but I have been known to gargle and spit on occasion (well, gargle; I’m not big on the whole spit thing), go on the random vineyard tour and drink far more than is officially beneficial health-wise. My serious interest in wine started in university, when I got in the college wine team, spent one term training to taste (my academic output that term wasn’t great, amazingly enough) before going to California for wine tasting challenge. I’ll probably never drink as fine or as expensive wines again I had a chance to sample then, but luckily enjoying wine isn’t all about the price.

My interest in wine was sparked (or rather, flamed) again by watching a documentary called A year in Burgundy (available on Netflix and iTunes), an interesting, elegant account of how the grapes make their way into the bottle, and how the conditions – early spring, drought, hailstorms on the day of the picking – impact the vintage. This documentary is both educational and inspirational, and it was while watching it that I decided to start this project. First step, go downstairs to the wine merchant (yes, I live above a wine merchant) and spend a little bit more than usually on a bottle of Californian Cabernet sauvignon. Gargle, don’t spit. Second step, organise a tasting. I invited a group of women of all ages to a restaurant in Summertown, and over couple of hours we tasted wines from France and from various new world countries, and learned along the way how growing conditions, wine making methods and local tastes affect the wines produced – an interesting insight into how changing tastes have influenced wine production and marketing especially in France. Third step, learn. That’s what Wine Wednesdays will be all about.

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