Category Archives: Blog

Cool Runnings

Cool Runnings

Let’s dispel the myth right here, right now. Everyone can afford wine storage, and if you’re serious about wine it’s a must have. Buying wine storage is like buying a car. Budgets go from the modest to the extravagant. However, you don’t admonish yourself for buying a car if you need one, and consequently shouldn’t feel you’re being self-indulgent should you decide to invest in wine storage. It’s not an elitist affectation, it’s an essential requirement if you’re passionate about wine and wish to build your collection.

As you know all wine whether red, white or rosé should be stored at a temperature of between 10-14 degrees with a humidity level of about 65%. Achieving this by storing your wine in cheap wooden racks in the corner of your kitchen, or the cupboard under the stairs is an impossibility and consequently, your wine may suffer.

Sorrells Custom Wine Cellars has been trading for over half a century as makers of wine racks and wine storage facilities. Sorrells make beautiful, unique wine rooms and wine cellars in homes and restaurants throughout the UK, Europe and further afield.

Their bespoke capabilities allow them to cater to and design anything from modest under the stairs or attic wine rooms, to vast underground cellars.

So if you love wine, but only have a modest budget and an unused closet or a corner of the garage to spare, you can still attain your dream of owning a wine cellar.

Read more about Sorrells Wine Cellars – https://thewineshow.com/uk/sorrells/

 

WSET – New Initiatives

WSET – New Initiatives

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) is pleased to announce that it is introducing with effect from 1st June 2020, online exams for its English language Level 1 Awards in Wines, Spirits and Sake and its Level 2 Awards in Wines and Spirits. This development forms part of WSET’s ongoing digital strategy, enabling as many students as possible to continue with their learning during the current COVID-19 crisis. The introduction of online exams means that students can now study for, and complete, WSET’s English language Level 1 and 2 qualifications from home. This gives them the flexibility to study for, and take, their exams anywhere in the world.

WSET has also today launched its Raising Spirits campaign in the US. The campaign has been set up to support the hard-hit US hospitality sector during the COVID-19 crisis. The campaign aims to offer a minimum of 5000 active members of the bar, restaurant, and hospitality sectors the opportunity to take an online WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits course.

The initiative will give hospitality employees the opportunity to increase their industry knowledge and skills while they are not able to work, and will provide a much-needed boost to the sector’s morale. WSET will cover the cost of the course but is looking at the US Drinks Industry for support. Anyone interested in becoming a corporate patron should contact [email protected] by 1st June 2020.

Sommeliers Australia has today pledged its support for the hard-hit hospitality industry, by partnering with the WSET to offer Level 1 wine and spirits courses online to hospitality professionals.

With all on-trade venues being forced to close their doors due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Sommeliers Australia is setting up a Hospitality Education Grant (HEG), keeping morale high by giving hospitality staff the opportunity to increase their wine and spirits knowledge and skills while they are unable to work.

See details of how to register here!

WSET is also partnering with Teeling Whiskey, the Irish Craft Cocktail Awards and the Irish Whiskey & Spirits Institute to offer spirits courses to Irish hospitality workers during the COVID-19 crisis. The initiative will enable hospitality staff who have lost their jobs due to the current crisis to take an online WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits course, and increase their industry knowledge and skills as they prepare to re-join the workforce.

Register your interest here before 1st June 2020.

Visit our Education Hub in partnership with WSET  – https://thewineshow.com/uk/educationhub/

Saving The Life Of An Opened Bottle Of Wine

Saving The Life Of An Opened Bottle Of Wine

Occasionally, there are times when you don’t want to finish the bottle of wine you’ve just opened. It may be because you’re conducting a wine tasting, so you’ve opened several bottles. It may be because you’ve opened something phenomenal and want to save it to share with another. Or it may be that you’re on your own and unlikely to polish off a bottle by yourself.

The perfect solution to this dilemma regardless of the type of wine is to invest in a Coravin. A Coravin allows you to pour any type of wine by the glass without the need to pull the cork. By eliminating the risk of oxidisation, it keeps your wines fresh until the next time you decide you’d like a glass. It’s a brilliant wine accessory.

Check out our friends at Tanglewood Premium Wine Accessories’ range of Coravins: https://thewineshow.com/uk/tanglewood/

But let’s assume that we don’t all have a Coravin to hand. What are the rules for extending the life of your bottle of wine and keeping it in optimum condition? What’s the life expectancy of an opened bottle of wine.?

Well not surprisingly, it depends on the type of wine. Let’s start with red wines. A red wine should be re-corked (or re-capped) as soon as possible after drinking and should be kept out of the light, in an upright position at a reduced temperature. You can happily keep a re-corked bottle of red in the fridge for 3-5 days. When you’re ready to sample again, just bring the bottle to the recommended temp of 60-70 degrees.

Whites and Rosés? These too need to be re-corked as quickly as possible and refrigerated as per the previous recommendations. Whites and rosés will last longer than reds and you can safely drink them up to 5-7 days after opening, although the taste may subtly change as the wine oxidises.

Sparkling wines need to be consumed as soon as possible after opening. They are particularly susceptible to the negative effects of light. That’s why you find Champagnes or Cava’s nearly always sold in dark bottles.

If you want to keep your fizz fresh, then your best bet might be a Champagne stopper. These are inexpensive and can prolong your bubbles for a few days. Coupled with the refrigerating advice from previous wine types, your sparkling wines should last about 2-3 days after opening.


Don’t whatever you do throw a teaspoon into the neck of the bottle and trust to luck. This is FAKE advice, and no-one knows how this myth started. You’re almost certain to lose a good bottle of sparkling.

We hope, if you’re ever in the unlikely position of having an open bottle of wine you can’t finish, these tips will ensure your wine lives to spark joy on another day.

Check out Tanglewood wine stoppers – https://thewineshow.com/uk/tanglewood/

 

 

 

Boxing Clever

Boxing Clever

As The Wine Show predicted some time back, during Lockdown there’s been a meteoric rise in the buying and consumption of wine in boxes. This may be due to greater wine imbibing, or maybe it’s a convenient way to maximise your ‘essential’ grocery shopping trips? Either way, we believe that wine box sales will continue to rise post-pandemic.

Once people realise that the design of wine boxes has improved significantly since their depressing predecessors, and they get over any snobby old-school sommelier prejudices, they’re quick to see the advantages of buying wine in boxes. Not only will wine in a box preserve your wine for weeks, it will also significantly decrease your carbon footprint.

So what about options? Unless your wine needs to be aged, almost any wine is suitable to be boxed. When In Rome are leaders in their field. They specialise in premium alternative format wines, and they are also the sole supplier for our The Wine Show Wine Box available at the Unpacked scheme in selected Waitrose stores across the UK.

Additionally, all the major British supermarkets Waitrose, Sainsbury, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons have excellent lists of boxed wines and will deliver right to your door, along with your other ‘essential items’.

With COVID-19 safety guidelines set to stay in place for some time even restaurants when they re-open, maybe we should all start considering the advantages of boxed wines? So, experiment and tap into this boxy resource.

https://thewineshow.com/uk/unpacked/

Question Time with Joe Fattorini – LIVE!

Question Time with Joe Fattorini – LIVE!

Got some vexing wine questions and don’t know who to ask? Well we’ve got just the guy for you. Joe Fattorini, the Oracle of Wine (or the David Attenborough of Oddbins depending on who you ask) is here for you.

On Sunday 24th May starting at 7pm BST, Joe will be hosting a live Q&A over on Instagram. This is sure to be an amusing and informative session. No question is too simple, complex, or obscure.
Start thinking of some questions now and email [email protected]

Getting Entangled With Tanglewood

Getting Entangled With Tanglewood

The name Tanglewood might well invoke an image of a mid-summer magical forest where the exploits of woodland creatures delight us. A lovely idea but you might be surprised to learn that while Tanglewood Premium Wine Accessories don’t work out of a woodland grove, they are specialists in magical wine cabinets, cellar design, wine racking and wine accessories.

The world-leading wine cabinets are designed to keep your wine at the optimal temperature for storage and drinking. Tanglewood works with you to find the perfect Transtherm Wine Cabinet for your home whether you just want to keep a few bottles in the garage or build a whole dedicated wine room. Tanglewood are also the exclusive distributor Eurocave who design and manufacture the Transtherm Wine Cabinets.

However, Tanglewood Premium Wine Accessories also offer some essential must-have aspirational wine items you never knew you needed. As well as an extensive range of Coravins, glassware, pins & cufflinks and corkscrews, they also offer the following options.

Easily the most interesting is the Le Nez Du Vin. It’s a box that contains aromas which stimulate your scent memory to recognise wines. There are index cards and explanations to clarify the correlation between the aromas and the wine. They also do kits for coffee and whisky.

Another favourite is the Vin Garde Valise Wine Suitcase. It’s exactly what you think it is, a specially designed suitcase in which wine lovers can safely transport wines, spirits and artisanal olive oils.

They also offer superb Perceval SOMMELIER Professional Wine Knives. Beautifully designed, the materials used for the handles have been selected for their natural longevity, and the high-end steel chosen for the blade ensures an extremely sharp edge.

Tanglewood also sells Wine Maps. There can’t be any better way to find out about a region and its wines, than to pinpoint the location of vineyards and where grapes grow best. You can identify famous regions as well as neighbouring wine spots that normally fly under the radar.

So in conclusion, while we might mourn the absence of magical woodland creatures at Tanglewood, they more than make up for it with the other magical options they offer wine lovers.

https://thewineshow.com/uk/tanglewood/

 

Stretch Your Mind By A New Experience

Stretch Your Mind By A New Experience

Oliver Wendell Holmes said ‘A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions’. In our mind there’s no more glorious experience than a wine tasting holiday and tour. Visiting beautiful venues and experiencing different cultures and lifestyles, is soul-enriching.

Winerist (pronounced wy-ner-ist and meaning someone who enjoys wine, food, travel and outstanding experiences), is the official travel partner of The Wine Show. It’s a global tour and lifestyle content provider, offering exceptional bespoke holidays and wine tours in some of the most beautiful and enchanting locations in the world.

So while you’re relaxing in the garden sipping something fresh and fruity, and enjoying your Lockdown to the max, why not plan a superb Winerist holiday or tour for next year? Unleash your inner Joe Fattorini and plan the ultimate dream wine holiday or tour in stunning locations across the world. It would be something wonderful to which you can look forward. You can even book for 2021 now and pay later.

Where will your next adventure take you? https://thewineshow.com/uk/travel/

Lockdown Learning

Lockdown Learning

At this stage of lockdown with most of us having exhausted all the amusing Zoom conference call background possibilities, you’re probably looking for something to challenge you. Maybe even something to stimulate, entertain, and educate? Expand your expertise in a field of interest?

So how can wine lovers do this? Here are some options:

The WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust)

WSET provides best-in-class education and qualifications to inspire and empower the world’s wine and spirits’ professionals and enthusiasts. The WSET qualifications are globally recognised as the international standard of wine and spirit knowledge. Whether you want to pursue a career in the industry, or you just have a passion for wine and want to expand your knowledge, then WSET has an option that will suit you.

Online Courses

Check out the WSET courses that can lead to valid qualifications within the industry, or just bragging rights within your Wine Club.

WSET’s Tasting Notes App

This is a great app that helps you create and store structured and consistent notes on the wines you’re tasting. It also provides useful tips on how to record your notes. This app would be very handy if you decide to do one of the WSET courses.

The Wine Show Education Hub

The Wine Show has teamed up with WSET to create an Education Hub. The hub is filled with all the resources you need to expand your wine knowledge. There’s also has a taster email wine course, and lots more tips from WSET’s wine experts.

Top of the Class Challenge

Our TOTCC is a great quiz and really puts your wine, spirits and sake  knowledge to the test. You sign up to TOTCC, and each Friday they will send you a themed quiz to exercise your brain cells. Whether you’re a wine fledgling, or an enthusiast looking to expand your understanding, the quizzes are great fun.

Explore some further lockdown learning here – https://thewineshow.com/uk/wset/

 

A Thing Of Beauty Is A Joy Forever

A Thing Of Beauty Is A Joy Forever

John Keats said A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Its loveliness increases, it will never pass into nothingness ’. The same could be said about Jancis Robinson x Richard Brendon’s exquisite glassware collection.

Our official glassware partner for The Wine Show Season 3, and currently being used to showcase wines on our @ HOME YouTube episodes, these beautiful glasses are effortlessly elegant. Richard Brendon’s distinctive contemporary designs were conceived out of a determination to acknowledge and conserve the unique expertise found in heritage industries around the world. On his collaboration with world-renowned wine expert Jancis Robinson, Brendon says he was able to combine his company’s intricate craftsmanship and detailed precision, with Jancis’ desire for a simple but striking ‘one glass for every wine’ collection. A collection that would fulfil the criteria of perfect function and an aesthetically appealing design.

The Jancis Robinson x Richard Brendon Collection is lead-free and handmade by master craftspeople in Eastern Europe, where the pieces are mouth-blown to produce a particularly fine rim, which minimises the amount of glass that comes between the wine and the palate. The wine glass is also designed for the perfect 125ml pour so the wine comes to the widest part of the bowl, maximising the release of aromas. Also, pleasingly for such a delicate elegant looking glass, it’s completely dishwasher safe.

Learn more about the range – https://thewineshow.com/uk/richard-brendon/

Amelia Singer x Wine & Hip Hop 

Amelia Singer x Wine & Hip Hop 

Wine & Hip Hop Podcast

The Wine Show’s Amelia Singer and Rapper JR Boss join Jermaine Stone’s podcast Wine and Hip Hop this week.

They discuss the segment they did together in the upcoming The Wine Show Season 3, and their surprising yet mutual connectivity of wine and hip-hop.

Jermaine is a Bronx native- rapper turned wine auction house CEO – and now President of Cru Luv Wines and Founder of The Original Wine and Hip Hop Podcast.

Listen here:  https://wineandhiphop.com/podcasts/2020/wine-and-hip-hop-episode-26-the-wine-show-and-hip-hop-featuring-jr-boss-amelia-singer

Amelia’s Virtual Wine Tasting

A Retrospect of Hip Hop through Wine
Saturday 16th May
5pm PST

Join Amelia and Jermaine Stone for a fun tasting this Saturday.

If you are a die-hard hip hop fan – be prepared to see your artists in a whole new light. More interested in the wine? You can enjoy your favourite wine styles alongside some iconic movements in pop culture history.

Both wine and hip hop have flavours for everyone!

Join Amelia and Jermaine this Saturday 16th May at 5pm (PST) for a Zoom with boom!

For info on the wines which they will be tasting and pairing to music and to register for this tasting – you can do so here.

http://amelias-wine.com/upcoming/

Spectacular South Africa

Spectacular South Africa

As Cape wine exports pick-up post the recent ban, Wines of South Africa (WoSA) has launched a new campaign to promote “Spectacular South Africa”.


Building towards a virtual tasting of South African wines on Friday 22nd May 2020, the campaign will run across all export markets, encouraging producers and their importers to become involved and support the hard hit industry.

Jo Wehring, WoSA’s UK Market Manager says “In each market we will be encouraging importers, retailers and trade to come together and get involved in the campaign supporting the South African category. Firstly on May 22nd, by hosting a tasting, opening a bottle of wine and sharing their videos and photos on any of their social media channels.

Running under the hashtag #SpectacularSouthAfrica the aim is to give some support to the category and give a reason to buy superb South African wines this month.

#SpectacularSouthAfrica will also dovetail with the Great British Braai Off activity, a national campaign launched by Nik Darlington of Graft Wines, encouraging the British public to fire up the BBQ on 23rd-24th May and drink South African wines. Leading South African producers and chefs will be giving free online demonstrations of how to cook Braai favourites South African style.

The Wine Show has always appreciated South African wines, as you can see from Season 1. Here’s a taster from our visit to Company Gardens, the birth place of South African wine – https://thewineshow.com/uk/episodes/episode-4/

How To Start A Wine Cellar

How To Start A Wine Cellar

So you want to start a wine cellar? Where do you start? What do you buy? How much should you buy? Where should you store it?

Firstly the question you should ask is do you want to start a wine cellar as an investment, or to have a pleasurable cache of wine at hand? Establishing a wine cellar as an investment requires specialist knowledge, a considerable amount of money and the ability to play the waiting game. So that’s not what we’re looking at here. We’re talking about building a modest collection with the option of expanding at any time in the future.

The first thing we’d recommend is to taste as many wines as you can. Only by tasting a varied selection of wines will you come to recognise those that suit your palate. Look out for local wine tastings held by wine merchants. Join a wine group. Read as much as possible by wine writers both online and book form and try to taste those wines if you can. The more knowledge you have, the more informed your choices will be. If you’re planning a ‘for home consumption’ wine cellar it makes sense to concentrate on younger wines, and there are many appealing youthful wines to suit all budgets. A diverse cross-section of wines is the key to a successful wine cellar.

Having decided what you want, from whom do you buy? Before you rush off to bid at wine auctions, consider a slower more modest start to building your wine collection. If you liked their recommendations, consider the wine merchants you attended for wine tastings. Look out for small independent wine merchants who often have glorious wines. Ask for their suggestions, they will undoubtedly be delighted to assist you in building your cellar. Listen to the advice of wine writers including The Wine Show’s Joe Fattorini who will guide you in the right direction.

Having acquired your wine, what do you do with it? Controlling temperature is the most important aspect of keeping your wine cellar viable. As you know, all wine whether red, white or rosé, should be kept at the same temperature of between 10-14 degrees, with a humidity level of approx 65%.

Maybe you could have a passive wine cellar, where the ground temperature is moderated by the surrounding seasonal temperature? For that you’ll need a deep underground cellar the size of Downton Abbey’s. As most of us don’t, then this isn’t an option.

We highly recommend investing in a temperature-controlled wine cellar. There are many cellar options ranging from modest to massive at Sorrells. They customise all of their wine cellars and each cellar they design, build and install is unique.

It’s important once you establish your wine cellar, that you enjoy it. Wine is splendid whether consumed in convivial company, or in comfortable solitude. So savour it.

See the range of cellars at Sorrells – https://thewineshow.com/uk/sorrells/

How To Serve And Store Wine At Home

How To Serve And Store Wine At Home

Ever wondered what temperature you should serve wine at? Advice on the correct way to store and serve wine is often conflicting and confusing, but it needn’t be.

Tanglewood’s Managing Director Ben Austin has given us some top tips on how best look after your wine. A few simple points will ensure your wine is stored correctly.

To begin, its widely believed that wines are stored at different temperatures. Wrong!

All wine should be stored at the same temperature of between 10-14 degrees, with a humidity level of approx 65%.

It is only when you come to consume the wine do you change its temperature. Therefore, investing in a Wine Cabinet that holds the wine in these optimum conditions means it’s a great way to protect your preferred wines. Some wine cabinets, such as the CASTEL by Transtherm offer three temperatures. A storage area in the middle for all wines, and then a red wine service area at the top, and a white wine storage area at the bottom.

We are frequently guilty of drinking our wines at the wrong temperatures, with our reds often over 22/23 degrees, and our whites below 5 degrees. These are simply not the ideal manner in which the winemaker intended you to consume their wine.

Here’s a list of wine drinking temperatures, according to grape variety and character:

  • Champagne – 7
  • Riesling – 8
  • Chardonnay, Vintage Champagne– 9
  • Viognier, Pinot Gris – 11
  • Port – 14
  • Sangiovese – 15
  • Tempranillo, Pinot Noir – 16
  • Red Burgundy, Cabernet – 17
  • Red Bordeaux, Shiraz – 18
  • Vintage Port – 19

Tanglewood is open and trading from their fantastic online shop. They have a team of experts on hand to assist with any questions you might have regarding wine storage. They also have a wide range of brilliant wine acessories such as the Sommelier Notebook, with waterproof pages and wine maps inside, stunning corkscrews, Coravin, the handy VinGuardValise wine suitcase, and many more.

Check out the Tanglewood online shop – https://thewineshow.com/uk/tanglewood/

Drink Outside The Box

Drink Outside the Box

Tell a party of wine buffs that you are providing a range of wines in boxes to accompany a tasting menu and for some the sky might as well be falling in.

But the sky isn’t falling in. Wine is going green (er), and for even the most diehard connoisseurs, not serving wine in a glass bottle makes sense environmentally and economically.

Take an Italian cantina; as far back as the 1740s people were taking their own bottles to wine shops to get a refill as Joe explained to Matthew Rhys recently.

Wine in alternative formats has been around for more than 50 years. The Australians were the first to use a ‘goon bag’ as a way of storing and selling their cask wines. In the UK this practice was hampered by the poor quality of boxed wines we were forced to drink in the 70’s and 80s, but, like many things wine-related, it has improved substantially with age. Today, hardly a fridge in the south of France is complete without a box of rosé during the warmer summer months.

Now that wine producers are taking their carbon footprint seriously —particularly in the packaging and transportation of wine — asking them to put it in alternative, lighter packaging instead of heavier glassware really isn’t a silly request.

Another reason we should all consider drinking wine in an alternative format is the sheer volume of the wonderful stuff we now consume in Britain. The UK remains the world’s second biggest importer of still and sparkling wine; we are behind only Germany in terms of the still wine we bring in and only the US when it comes to bottles of fizz. On average in the UK, we each drink around 108 bottles of wine a year, which adds up to more than two billion bottles in total. Each of these bottles is responsible for more than a kilo of carbon emissions, which emphasises the need for producers, retailers and customers alike to more rapidly adopt lighter weight and recyclable alternatives such as bag in box, cartons and cans.

Although some sommeliers may scoff at supping their wine from a plastic spout or spigot, bag in box wines, for example, are perfect for storing wines that don’t need to age, which is to say, all but a relative handful. What’s more, boxed wine is superior in resolving that age-old problem of not being able to finish a bottle in one sitting. Once open, a box preserves wine for more than four weeks compared with only a day or two in a bottle.

In pure economic terms, not opting for purely bottled wine also makes a lot of sense. The recent trend for UK wine drinkers is to buy less but spend more, which looks set to continue. Therefore, buying better quality in a format that keeps longer may represent the best of both worlds. And of course, as the prospect of Brexit looms still, producers from within and outside the EU may soon be faced with new trading tariffs, so transporting wine in lower weights and higher volumes keep costs down for the suppliers, which can be passed on to us as consumers.

The main obstacle to a smaller carbon footprint for wine seems to be the inaccurate perception that unless it comes in a heavy glass bottle, what is contained must be of poor quality. That theory is out of date and anyway we think there is a simple fix to that problem – raise the quality.

We are encouraging consumers to start demanding higher quality wines available on the shelves in some other form of packaging. This will persuade producers everywhere to deliver better wine in alternatives to glass bottles and quickly. Perhaps a case of thinking inside the box.

Q & A on the Richard Brendon X Jancis Robinson Glassware Collection

Q & A on the Richard Brendon X Jancis Robinson Glassware Collection

Richard Brendon’s unique contemporary designs were born out of a passion for celebrating and preserving craftsmanship found in heritage industries around the world. Inspired by the intricate skill and detailed precision exemplified by the artisans, he has created many elegant collections.

Here, he answers questions about his collaboration with world-renowned wine expert Jancis Robinson to produce an exquisite range, including the perfect ‘one glass for every wine’ glass.

How did your collaboration come about?

I approached Jancis Robinson with a view to work jointly on a glassware collection. She proposed the novel idea, that if we were to design a wine glass collection together, it should have only one size and shaped wine glass.


Why one glass?

Jancis’ reply was ‘A different glass for each different wine may increase potential pleasure by a few per cent, but who has the space to store multiple different sorts of wine glass?’. The Wine Glass is at the heart of the collection and has been specifically designed to offer the best tasting experience for every wine, whatever its style or strength, including Champagne, port, sherry and beyond.


What is the capacity of the Wine Glass by Jancis Robinson x Richard Brendon?

The Wine Glass has been designed to hold a ‘perfect pour’ of 125ml so that the wine comes to the widest point of the bowl, maximising the release of aromas.

Is the Jancis Robinson x Richard Brendon glassware collection lead-free?

Yes. The collection is handmade by master craftspeople in Eastern Europe where the pieces are meticulously mouth-blown to produce a particularly fine rim, which minimises the amount of glass that comes between the wine and the palate.

Is Jancis Robinson x Richard Brendon glassware dishwasher safe?

Absolutely! The glassware has been designed to fit any standard dishwasher and its sturdy stem minimises the likelihood of breakages.

Port Lovers Unite

Port Lovers Unite

For many Port drinkers, opening a bottle is an essential part of any gathering. Unfortunately during this time of lockdown and social distancing, this is both perilous and unwise. The Douro in Portugal has more than 21,000 grape growers and 92% of them, farm fewer than 5 hectares of vineyard. In this way port drinkers support entire communities.

The global Port community was eager to show solidarity in this time of crisis. They wanted to create an opportunity to share a glass together online, whilst contributing valuable funds to support the many courageous front-line workers battling away during this global pandemic. The International Red Cross is doing crucial work providing emergency healthcare support for those living in conflict zones.

And so #PortLoversUnite was created. Taking place on Sunday 3rd May 2020, this digital Portathon will see Port lovers from around the world share a glass of Port via a live video conference with members of the Symington family, to raise much needed funds to support humanitarian relief and medical services in war zones.

The Symington Family Estates have already been extremely active in helping to combat the virus. They’ve produced 10,000 litres of antiseptic gel (made with distilled grape spirit, glycerine and water). They’ve donated a ventilator to the Vila Real hospital in the Douro region, contributed funding towards a diagnostic X-Ray machine, and purchased 3,000 medical-grade protective masks for hospitals in the Porto area.

So if you’d like to join them for this fun worthy endeavour, you need to register your attendance via this form https://bit.ly/PortLoversUnite

Then join the digital gathering with a glass of port in hand. Port lovers in other time zones who cannot make the live event are invited to make a donation to The Red Cross, drink a glass of Port on the same day, then share a photo on social media using the hashtag #PortLoversUnite.

See you on Sunday…

Why Temperature Matters

Why temperature matters?

Some like it hot. But not wine. Serving wine at the wrong temperature ruins your enjoyment. Storing wine at the wrong temperature ruins your wine. So what are the golden rules when it comes to wine and temperature?


First – Constant is key

You may think you’ve found ‘a cool dark place’ but if it’s warmer in summer than winter (or in the evening than the morning) you’ll find the wine expands and shrinks and eventually squeezes out of the cork.

Second – Chill out

Wine hates central heating and loves a dungeon. Keep wine between 10 and 15 °C (50-59 °F) and your best bottles will gently mature and grow in complexity and refinement.

Third – Don’t freeze

In even the deepest cellars in France and Italy, the temperature drops below 10°C in winter. But once it’s below freezing the air dries, and so do your corks. Then your wine freezes and expands and pushes your corks out.

But we don’t all have a cellar or a cold, dark, constantly-cool room. Which is why you need a Transtherm Wine Cabinet from our partners Tanglewood. Visit https://thewineshow.com/uk/tanglewood/ now and see how you can keep your treasured bottles at the perfect temperature to store and serve.

 

A Beginners Guide to Ageing Wine

What does ageing your wine mean?

Ageing a bottle of wine means that you are deciding to place a bottle of wine into storage, usually over a number of years. If ageing is carried out correctly it can help you to create new and exquisite flavours within the wine.

Interestingly only 1% of all wine in the world should, in fact, be aged. So, it’s hardly a surprise the romanticism within the wine industry surrounding aged wine, considering both its rarity and the way it can transport you to a special moment in time.

Which wine can I age?

So, how do we choose which wine to age?

Unfortunately, there are no quick, easy solutions, as often each wine has different rules that dictate how long you should age it. Generally speaking, only truly ‘premium’ bottles of wine will benefit from ageing. Wine under thirty pounds, as a very, very broad rule of thumb, is best consumed now.

To help make the choosing less strenuous, we recommend taking a trip to see your local wine merchant, who will be able to guide you. Or you could invest in a wine education course, provided by our brilliant partners WSET, to enhance your wine knowledge.

How do you store your wine ageing?

Now you have chosen your wine and you know it’s suitable for ageing. But how do you store it?

This may seem obvious, but the temperature at which your wine is stored is vital. Wine should be stored between 7° and 18° Centigrade, with ideal humidity levels standing between 50% and 8%. A wine cellar is naturally optimal for storage, and although not every household can facilitate one…we can dream. Our partners, Sorrells, are experts in creating unique, bespoke wine rooms and cellars. You can even design your own custom wine room with their interactive wine cellar builder.

Until you’re ready to invest in the wine room of your dreams, you can try and recreate these conditions, for instance in an unused cupboard where you can control the conditions by keeping it cool and dark.

Finally, a really simple tip is to store your wine bottles on their side. As well as being space efficient, this will help keep the cork from drying out. Exceptions to this are some non-vintage Ports and Madeira wines. There’s usually a diagram on the back label to help you.

Taking a sip of a well-aged wine, like breathing in the sweet scent of a family cake recipe, can have the extraordinary ability to allow you to relive a past memory or moment. If done right, the process of ageing wine can transform it, offering complex new flavours and textures.

Simply follow our beginners guide to ageing wine and you will soon find yourself with an envious collection of aged wine that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

The Must Have Glassware For Wine Lovers In 2020

The next top priority after choosing the perfect wine is finding the perfect glass to drink it from. “A glass is a glass” some people may say, but we all know that drinks, in general, taste different depending on what kind of tableware they’re drunk from, and the same is even more true for wine!

This is why we’re so excited to have partnered with Richard Brendon – their handblown glassware is not only the pinnacle of quality and style but ensures nothing less than the best drinking experience possible!

Richard Brendon Glassware

Bowls

Wine glasses traditionally have a wide bowl shape to aid oxidation and improve flavour, as well as a narrower rim (or mouth) to direct its aroma straight to the nose before and during drinking. Stemmed wine glasses are popular not only for their elegant appearance but also the more practical reason of preventing chilled wine from being warmed by cupped hands. Some like to use different glasses depending on what wine they’re serving, but we love the sets offered by Richard Brendon, who have specially designed their glasses to enhance every type of wine, including even port and sherry.

Stemless variants (sometimes referred to as goblets) are also quickly earning their place in wine enthusiasts place settings as versatile tableware that can be used for any occasion and many a drink.

Glass Decanter

Decanters

Decanters can sometimes be seen as superfluous, a novelty, or even downright intimidating to some wine lovers, but they really are a fantastic piece of glassware worth investing in! Not only can they make a stunning centrepiece and decoration, they really help you get the best out of your wine’s flavours, bouquet, and appearance. However, it’s good to remember that not one size fits all and that different wines suit different decanters, and some not at all!

Now that we’ve armed you with some new information that you might not have been aware of before, perhaps you feel like expanding your collection? Find more stunning glassware for every occasion with our official partner, Richard Brendon.

Wondering Where to Book Your 2020 Wine Tasting Holiday? Look No Further!

With so many wonderful locations to choose from, it can be easy to feel not only spoilt for choice when it comes to wine tours to straight up overwhelmed by your options! Never fear, as the team at The Wine Show and our new partners Winerist are here to take the guesswork out of your holiday options, and that starts with a humble suggestion: Loire Valley.

 

Nestled in Central France, Loire Valley may seem an obvious suggestion for a wine tour, but predictability does nothing to dampen the charm of this gorgeous area. Known as The Garden of France, the valley is well known not just for its exquisite wines but its picture-perfect scenery and rich heritage.

Bursting with history, Loire Valley is the perfect choice for anyone with an interest in history, whether your preference lies with WWII, the French monarchy, renaissance architecture or famous personalities such as Da Vinci and Joan of Arc.

And it’s not just the history that’s rich – quality soil results in  crisp, fruity flavours that delight wine-lovers all over the world, and can be enjoyed with picnic foods amidst the lush scenery or with gourmet lunches at breathtaking chateaux – the choice is yours!

Travel is simple, with two international airports in the area and excellent rail links to Paris. In fact, for some packages, you don’t even need to take time off, and can instead break up the humdrum of daily life by experiencing a half day tour at the weekend! And once you arrive, you can soak in the gallic charm but foot, bicycle, or even railway.

The views – and wine! –  may take you to new heights but the expert guides will keep your feet firmly planted on the ground as they impart local history, wine trivia and tips to help you taste like a pro.

 

Find out more about the many wine tours available in this beautiful location and book your Loire Valley experience today – we can’t wait to see you there!