Category Archives: Blog

Wines of Rueda – Spain’s Best-Kept Secret

Wines of Rueda – Spain’s Best-Kept Secret

What is the most popular white wine consumed in Spain? Well surprisingly, astute Spanish wine drinkers favour the white Wines of Rueda. The Wine Show is absolutely thrilled to share with you these wonderful young, fresh, crisp white wines from Northern Spain. They’re quite honestly the region’s best kept secret. If you’re a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, then you’re really going to love white wines from Rueda.

Rueda is a village and municipality in the province of Valladolid part of the autonomous community of Castile-Leon, Spain. It’s one of Spain’s leading wine regions and is known primarily for its white wines based on the Verdejo grape.

The first confirmation of wine production in this area dates from the 11th century, when King Alfonso VI offered title and lands to settlers in the recently reconquered area. Many individuals and monastic orders accepted the offer and founded monasteries with their own vineyards. Canny monks always focus on life’s priorities.

During the 18th century the land planted to vines was almost exclusively planted with the Verdejo grape variety. The area is extremely high (about 750m high) and experiences extreme variations in temperature. The vines have to withstand brutally freezing cold winters, and the baking hot summers send the vine roots deep into the earth to leach moisture from the rocks. It’s so hot that Verdejo is harvested at night to allow the grapes to cool from the scorching summer heat.

A DO (Denominación de Origen. A Spanish term denoting quality wine from a designated area.) was considered back in 1935. However, it wasn’t until 1972 when there was a major investment that resulted in quality wine production, that the DO appellation was once more sought. DO status was acquired in 1980.

There are 44,700 acres of vineyards in Rueda. The area has 69 wineries and is cultivated by over 1500 growers. To be labelled as ‘Rueda’, wines must contain at least 50 percent of the principal grape varieties that are produced in the region (Verdejo & Sauvignon Blanc).

Rueda white wines are crisp and fresh and are superb with food. The Verdejo can be paired with almost anything whether it’s seafood and shellfish, chicken or cheese, pizza or something smoky from the BBQ. It has the ability of cutting through the richness while still complimenting the lightness and subtlety of your dishes.

So put your favourite Sauvignon Blanc to one side for the moment and try one of the Rueda wines.

After all, the Spanish locals can’t be wrong, can they?

Join Joe Fattorini on The Wine Show @ HOME this Thursday 10th September at 7pm as he samples three delightful Wines from Rueda. He will be tasting:

Beronia Verdejo, 2019

Marqués de Cáceres Excellens Sauvignon Blanc, 2018

José Pariente Fermentado en Barrica 2018

Discover more at Wines of Rueda here

Follow DO Rueda on  Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn / YouTube

Sorrell’s Virtual Reality

Sorrell’s Virtual Reality

Part of the problem when commissioning a custom-made wine room is envisioning what it’s going to look like. In recent years there’s been an improvement in the quality of flat plans, but they’re a bit well… flat.

However, Sorrells Custom Wine Rooms has a superb Virtual Reality facility that allows you to see exactly how your wine room would look, and how it would function.

Located in their Essex factories, you simply decide on the features you require, select the appropriate images and see your wine room come to life. Not happy with some aspect? Change it and see if your new idea fits in with your overall concept.

Design and experience your wine room before a single piece of wood has been cut. Contact Sorrells Wine Rooms and make an appointment to not only discuss your wine room requirements.

Pretending you’re in The Matrix is an optional extra.

Check out the Virtual Reality

Paul Mas Wines

Domaines Paul Mas | Discover the star winemaker of the Languedoc, France.

This week on The Wine Show @ HOME, we get stuck into the nonpareil star of the Sud de France brand – Domaines Paul Mas.

They own over 850 hectares of vines, 100 of which are organic, and an additional 1500 hectares at contracted partner vineyards. This jewel set in the Languedoc region, has a range of different terroirs that are capable of producing diverse wine styles. They offer Crémant de Limoux, big reds from crus such as Terrasses du Larzac, aromatic whites such as Viognier and Marsanne.

Jean-Claude Mas established the business just 20 years ago, and named it for his father Paul who came from generations of grape growers, (but not winemakers).

“All our wines are made with one objective, to give you a unique and authentic moment of pleasure when you taste them. Wine represents infinite generosity and we cultivate that generosity” – Jean-Claude Mas

The company is forward-thinking in its desire that the award-winning wines of their region be readily available to all. As Jean-Claude Mas says ‘A Malbec from South of France can be as accessible and delicious as a wine from Argentina. Our distinctive high-quality wines represent exceptional value for money.

Join Joe Fattorini on Thursday 20th August as he tastes through their finest wines.

Paul Mas Languedoc Réserve Blanc, £9.39 at Waitrose

Chateau Paul Mas Clos Savignac, £18 at Soho Wine Company

Vinus Malbec, £8.25 at Morrisons

With a top-class restaurant, Côté Mas, at the company’s centre of operations in Montagnac, the company also offers very reasonable wine and gourmet tours, so you can understand the terroirs and sample the wine range for yourself.

Jean-Claude says “Luxury does not always equate to quality. We are all about quality, which is by its very nature, luxurious”.

Thursday 20th August – 7pm  – YouTube

Follow Domaines Paul Mas on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

WSET – Supporting The Industry

WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) has been busy adapting the needs of its students to accommodate difficulties surrounding the COVID-19 crisis. They’ve announced an eBook launch, making all WSET textbooks and study guides over the 2020-21 academic year available in eBook format.

Additionally, as part of their ongoing initiative to support the industry, they are partnering with WIRSPA (West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers’ Association), to provide Caribbean hospitality professionals with training opportunities.

WIRSPA – which represents distillers’ associations across the Caribbean, has come together with WSET to offer at least 200 Level 1 Award in Spirits online courses to Caribbean hospitality professionals. This will give them the opportunity to increase their industry knowledge and skills while they are unable to work.

Ian Harris, WSET CEO, also took part in the Diversity in Wine and Spirits’ and SommCon’s live webinar – Unheard Voices in Wine; Part 2 – Be The Change. This follows on from Part 1 which considers diversity in the wine industry, and how you can create a more diverse and inclusive environment.

Explore more from WSET on Education Hub

Taste Your Way Out Of Lockdown with Wine Car Boot

Taste Your Way Out Of Lockdown with Wine Car Boot

It’s time to soak up the sun and ‘taste your way out of the supermarket’. Tune in this Thursday 23rd July 2020 at 7pm BST to the Wine Show @ HOME, where we’re heading to the finest independent wine market on the Internet with Ruth Spivey.

Picture a car boot (or trunk) sale of passionate, independent wine merchants. All with their favourite and hard-to-find bottles. Weekends last summer were filled with these mini-festivals to the grape. But this year, the best fun events in wine have had to move online.

Ruth Spivey founder of WCB and wine consultant explains ‘We’ve all had to adapt our buying methods during Lockdown. We’ve now organised it so you can enjoy the WCB experience, but online. Wine Car Boot Online will give you access to a whole range of different shops and suppliers, all under one roof. Each ‘stall’ will feature a box of wine especially selected for us – 6 packs, 12 packs, Alternative Formal Party Packs, and even ‘Micro packs’ for your own home tastings.’

There are tasting note, videos and recommendations every day on the Wine Car Boot Instagram page:

And it’s not just bottles. There are the best bagnums, pouches, boxes and cans. As well as Govino wine glasses, and special chocolate treats from chocolate importer Cocoa Runners.

Join Joe Fattorini and Spiffy Spivey chatting about Wine car Boot was born. And hear of Ruth’s years as a model for a very different sort of drink. There may even be talk of gussets.

Crack open a bottle for an unmissable episode

Thursday 23rd July 2020 at 7pm BST

Unbeerlieavable News From WSET

Unbeerlieavable News From WSET

Life at WSET (Wine Spirit Education Trust) and official wine education partner of The Wine Show, is slowly returning to normal post-lockdown. Not only are students returning to classroom learning, but the Trust has an exciting project up its sleeve.

WSET has announced that it intends to develop a suite of beer qualifications. WSET already offers qualifications in three subject areas – wine, spirits and sake – and plans to add two beer qualifications (Levels 1 and 2) to its portfolio, both online and in the classroom.

Development is still at an early stage, but it is understood WSET will be working in partnership with the Institute of Brewing & Distilling (IBD) on this initiative.

During Lockdown WSET kept spirits buoyant not only by increasing online teaching so that students would have the least disruption to their studies, but by exploring fun topics like How to Pair Wines With Your Favourite Takeaway, and Understanding Flavours in Gin. Subjects greatly enjoyed by students and alumni.

WSET also participated in SommCon’s Unheard Voices in Wine. They took part in Diversity in Wine and Spirits via SommCon’s live webinar series. If you missed it you can access the link by signing up here:

WSET, shaking off the cobwebs of Lockdown.

Richard Brendon – A Remarkable Story

Richard Brendon – A Remarkable Story

Richard Brendon hails from Notting Hill and attended design school while working in a pub in Portobello Road. Every Saturday morning he’d watch fascinated, as the antique dealers set up their stalls. He was inspired by the eclectic ceramics on offer, especially the saucers without cups. This led to an innovative idea revolving around antique saucers and mirrored cups. This concept formed the basis for his Reflect Collection and provided the platform to launch his brand in 2013. Soon he was supplying many of the most prestigious retailers in the world.

Once established, it was a natural progression to designing and producing stunning modern crystal glassware. Craftsmanship is at the heart of all the Brendon Collections. Sourcing the finest materials, working with master craftspeople from all over the world, and working with excellent contemporary designers leads to the creation of Brendon’s timeless collections.

The team at Richard Brendon are keen collaborators. They believe that when experts from different fields come together, it’s possible to create something magnificent. One such collaboration is the Jancis Robinson x Richard Brendon Collection.

Pairing wine expertise and refined design, the collection is the result of a truly collaborative cross-disciplinary partnership between Richard Brendon and world-renowned wine expert Jancis Robinson. The beautiful collection has been meticulously designed to look and feel refined, elegant and timeless.

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 colour and style including Champagne, Port, Sherry and beyond. The Jancis Robinson Collection from Richard Brendon is an official partner of The Wine Show Season 3 and can currently be seen being used by Joe Fattorini on The Wine Show @ HOME episodes on YouTube.

Treat yourself to a glass today –



Eric Asimov once said, The best example of terroir, is a good Chablis’.

What Is Chablis?

The Chablis region is the northernmost district of the Bourgogne region in France.

The grapevines around the beautifully picturesque town of Chablis, make a dry white wine renowned worldwide for the purity of its aroma and taste. The region of Chablis is rightly considered to be the most loved wine region in the Old World. Across its AOC’s* and Climats (winegrowing areas), Chablis encompasses thousands of acres of vineyards, among 20 villages and hamlets stretching along the Serein valley. Interestingly, the Climats of Bourgogne are so unique they are recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage List.
*appellation origine contrôlée (translated: controlled designation of origin)

Which Grapes Are Grown In Chablis?

Chablis Appellation Origine Contrôlée is required to use Chardonnay grapes solely. The cool climate of the Chablis region produces wines with more acidity and flavour and are less fruity than the Chardonnay wines grown in warmer climates.

What Is Chablis Made Up Of?

As part of the wider Bourgogne winegrowing area, Chablis is home to four tiers of AOC*

  • Petit Chablis
  • Chablis
  • Chablis Premier Cru
  • Chablis Grand Cru

The winemakers produce wines of significant diversity, but always elegant and excellent quality.

How Is Chablis Made?

Most basic Chablis is unoaked and vinified in stainless steel tanks. The amount of barrel maturation, if any, is a stylistic choice which varies widely among Chablis producers and is used primarily for Premier Cru and Grand Cru. New oak barrels are never used for maturation.

 What Does Chablis Taste Like?

Due to the region’s unique terroir, winemaking in Chablis results in a freshness, crispness and vibrant acidity, with zesty notes of lemon and grapefruit, occasionally white peach, and often gunflint and other mineral notes. #PureChablis #Oneofakind


Instagram @VindeChablis and Twitter @PureChablis

Join us!

Join us this week in a celebration of all things #purechablis and learn why Chablis is truly #OneOfAKind

We will be bringing you in association with Wines of Chablis, 3 YouTube episodes (Mon 29 Jun/Wed 1 Jul/Fri 3 Jul @ 7pm BST) plus daily facts and knowledge across our social platforms, as we explore this breath-taking wine region. We will be announcing the wines in advance so you can taste along at home!

Make sure you’re signed up to our newsletter as we will be delivering you an info-packed Introduction To Chablis on Monday 29th June 2020.

Week commencing Monday 29th June

Join us at 7pm BST – Mon + Wed + Fri


Returning To The WSET Classroom After Lockdown

Returning To The WSET Classroom After Lockdown

The WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust), has been leading the world in wine and spirit education for over 50 years. WSET offers progressive levels of study in wine, spirits and sake from introductory taster classes to a Diploma (in wine only). Whether you’re looking to progress further in the industry, or just extend your wine knowledge by improving your level of expertise, WSET will find a suitable course for you. Courses are offered through a network of educators in more than 70 countries and 15 languages. Find all you need to know about courses from our recent Education Special – How To Learn About Wine With WSET.

Obviously, like many education establishments around the world, the majority of WSET course providers who deliver classroom teaching, had to close because of lockdown. As the situation eases globally, students are returning to safe and socially distanced classrooms. Read about their experiences and how they reverted to TikTok and online learning during the crisis. 

A great addition to your WSET learning would be to download the WSET Tasting Notes app. It’s an excellent way to create and store structured and consistent tasting notes for wines. Whether you’re a wine professional or a wine enthusiast, this app is a brilliant way to record primary, secondary and tertiary aromas and flavour characteristics, giving greater depth and nuance to your tasting notes.

If online learning works better for you though, WSET also have online courses available.

Explore it all in our Education Hub –

English Wine Week (With Special Guest)

English Wine Week (with a very special guest)

English wines are fast becoming a force majeure in the wine industry.

English Wine Week which is organised by Wines of GB is taking place from 20th-28th June 2020, and is an ideal opportunity to get to know English wines better. Vineyards, winemakers and retailers, will be highlighting the many fantastic English wines that are readily available for you to enjoy, and where to buy them.

Historically, English wine production has been modest. However, recent warmer summers have played a role in increasing wine production. There’s been an expansion of vineyards across Southern England where the limestone soils (technically chalk) of Sussex, Kent and other portions of southern England and Wales, are suitable for growing the grapes used to produce sparkling wines.

At the last official count, the Wine Standards Board reported that there were approximately 450 vineyards producing wine throughout England. Interestingly there are even vineyards as far north as Leeds in Yorkshire.

Despite the current Lockdown restrictions, there are myriad activities for English Wine Week taking place, including wine tastings, a picnic tour at a winery, quizzes, talks and even has Charlie Worsley and Oz Clarke visit three of the finest English vineyards and wineries, to participate in online tastings.

Additionally, there are lots of special offers and promotions so not only can you expand your cellar with some impressive English Wines, you can join in the tastings.

And in more exciting news…

On Thursday 25th June on The Wine Show @ HOME, Joe Fattorini’s special guest will be…

Dominic West!

Star of The Wire, The Affair, Brassic and of course one of the presenters of The Wine Show Series 3.

Want to taste along? Order the exact same wines that Joe & Dominic are tasting, and you too can enjoy whilst watching the episode (UK only). 

Thursday 25th June / 7pm BST

Some Exciting News From The Wine Show @ HOME Team.

Some Exciting News From The Wine Show @ HOME Team.

When Lockdown started, we wanted to support our friends in the wine industry with a simple idea. Restaurants and bars might have closed, but specialist, independent shops wanted people to know they were still delivering great wines across the country. So Joe started talking about their wines in a makeshift studio in his attic. And more people than we ever imagined, tuned in three nights a week.

Gradually we discovered we had created a community of wine lovers. All like-minded individuals. Some fans of The Wine Show. Some new friends. And The Wine Show @ HOME was born. Joe in his attic, you at home. We hosted wine tastings, Q&As, special guests, anecdotes galore (both modern and Greek), quizzes, singing, and occasionally jaunty hats. It has been a glorious boost to wine lovers’ spirits in a difficult time. And we are so grateful to everyone who has joined in. We’ve also raised money for hospitality and NHS charities and sent many bottles of wine to frontline healthcare workers.

But now, at last, #lockdown is beginning to ease. And we’re slowly returning to normality. The Wine Show @ HOME has been such fun, and we’re going to keep it going.

We are moving to one spectacular episode a week. Thursdays at 7pm.

But reducing the frequency doesn’t mean you’ll be getting less value from us. On the contrary. We’ll keep supporting our wine trade friends and bring you even more great topics and interesting guests. And every so often we’ll throw in ‘special’ weeks and bring you even more episodes (more on that next week). There might even be the odd appearance of Dino the Dachshund.

So from everyone at The Wine Show – thank you for being part of this.

Now – mark your calendars. The Wine Show @ HOME – Thursdays – 7pm.

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Drinking Boxed Wine

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Drinking Wine In A Box  

For most of you who were old enough to drink back in the 80’s and remember drinking ‘boxed wine’, well these are probably memories you want to keep well and truly boxed up (pun absolutely intended) and kept right there.

The cheap, poor quality wine resulting in terrible hangovers is now a thing of the past. Boxed wine is making a come back and we highly recommend getting involved in this resurgence and here are 5 reasons why.

It’s More Convenient

Heading to the park for a picnic with your friends this weekend? Make it easy for yourself. Carrying one 2.25 litre box of wine is much easier then carrying 3 bottles.

It Stays Fresher For Longer

Only fancy having one glass tonight but don’t want to waste the wine? Then crack open a box, once opened wine lasts up to six weeks.

It’s Better For The Environment

Bag in Box packaging has far fewer carbon emissions than a single bottle, as does the transporting of the wine box.

It Takes Up Less Space

Our friends at When in Rome have cleverly designed their boxes so they fit nicely in your fridge door. That’s 3 bottles worth of wine tucked away neatly for you, you’re welcome!

Better Value Than Bottles

Lighter, easier to stack box wine costs much less to transport.
A saving that gets passed onto you – it’s a win win for everyone!


Great Quality

Just because buying in box is better value it doesn’t mean the quality is compromised.  Handpicked premium wine from the best small and family run independent producers, that have been perfecting their craft over generations.

Read more about how we’re working with our friends at When In Rome –

A Tanglewood Journey

A Tanglewood Journey

From wine tourism to wine accessories. The story of how our friends at Tanglewood Premium Wine Accessories shifted their business from organising wine tours to providing excellent wine refrigeration and superb wine accessories, is at first an unlikely segue. In 1977 Tanglewood Wine Tours introduced many happy clients to the delights of visits to vineyards in France, Spain, and California and were highly successful for a number of years.

The company’s immersion in all things wine-related then led in 2004 to a logical evolvement into concentrating on providing Premium Wine refrigeration, and accessory products. It now specialises in the design and build of bespoke Wine Rooms, wine racks, wine cellar racking, wine cabinets, wine cellar design, and cellar air conditioning. It provides world-leading wine cabinets that are designed to keep your wine at the optimal temperature for storage and drinking.

The company 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 is also the exclusive distributor of Eurocave who designs and manufactures the Transtherm Wine Cabinets.

Tanglewood Premium Wine Accessories also has a splendid range of wine accessories ranging from beautifully detailed rolled maps showing the principal wine-growing areas of Europe (good for organising wine tours) to Coravin’s and stylish sommeliers. If you’re looking to buy a special gift for a wine lover, or just want to treat yourself, there are lots of exclusive items to choose from.

So from organising worldwide wine adventures to providing sleek refrigerated wine rooms, it seems a natural progression for Tanglewood.

But don’t expect any of the maps to have an ‘X’ marks the spot. We know, we checked.



Aperitivo Hour


Apéritif is a French word, which comes from the Latin aperire, meaning “to open.” Drunk before a meal, generally with small plates of hors d’oeuvres, aperitifs act as appetite-stimulating drinks, thought to ‘open’ the stomach. They make the palate receptive not only to the forthcoming epicurean delights, but also subsequent drinks.

Let’s look at some excellent aperitifs. As it’s National Portugal Day let’s start with Port. Port and Lemon was very popular during the period between WW1 and WW2, but fizzled out of popularity in the 60’s.

Now it’s back and it’s a beautiful refreshing drink.

Our favourite serves:

White Port & Tonic

For this you will need:

  • 50ml White Port
  • Top with ice
  • Add your favourite tonic (we like Fever Tree)
  • Lemon peel garnish

You can also use other citrus fruits to finish including fresh grapefruit or orange.

Sherry + Tonic

(Or the cleverly penned name She +T, as revived by production team member Charlotte Wilde at London wine bar, Sager + Wilde)

For this you will need:

  • Rocks glass or large bowl wine glass
  • 1 x large ice cube
  • 50ml Fino Sherry (any brand works well, the dryer the better. Tio Pepe is perfect!)
  • Top with Tonic (Slim line is less sweet)
  • Garnish with Grapefruit slice

Food Pairing: Sip your She + T whilst snacking on some lightly salted and oiled Marcona Almonds. Saúde!

Join us this evening for an Aperitivo Hour episode, and a very special announcement…

7pm BST on YouTube –

#NationalPortugalDay #AperitivoHour #TheWineShowAtHome

A Tale of Two Cellars

A Tale of Two Cellars

It’s an undisputed fact that Ronald Reagan was an oenophile, a true connoisseur of wine. The question is as he evolved from Hollywood actor to Governor of California, to President of the United States – how did this passion develop?

It was back in the 50’s when Reagan was an actor that he started his wine collection. Eventually, over time his wine cellar acquired many notable bottles including 1947 Lafite Rothschild, 1953 Mouton Rothschild, 1947 Haut Brion, and 1962 La Tache.

When his acting career began to wane, Reagan teamed up with GE Electrics to host a series of television programmes including General Electric Theatre, which were very successful. He became GE’s goodwill ambassador spending up to 12 weeks a year touring the company’s plants around the country.

General Electric Theatre made the already well-known Reagan, who had appeared in many films as a “second lead” throughout his career, was now quite wealthy, due to his part ownership of the show. After eight years as host, Reagan estimated, he had visited 135 GE research and manufacturing facilities, and met over a quarter-million people. During that time, he would also speak at other forums such as Rotary clubs and Moose lodges. He would present views on economic progress, that in form and content were often similar to what he said in introductions and closing comments on the show as a spokesman for GE.

Reagan, who would later be known as “The Great Communicator” because of his oratorical prowess, often credited these engagements as helping him develop his public-speaking abilities. It was during these years that his interest, appreciation and wine collecting, gathered momentum.

Hosting the General Electric Theatre had its perks, including a state-of-the-art cellar, with thermostatic controls installed at Reagan’s Pacific Palisades home by his bosses at GE. And also, subsequently in the White House. Ronald Reagan was the first President who could boast of having not one, but two wine cellars in the White House. The President installing thermostatically controlled wine cellars raised awareness for the necessity of sustaining wine cellars at their optimum level, and sparked a rise in their usage.

This time also saw the rise in the popularity of chilled wines. The first FA’s trophy cup was designed as a cooler. Nowadays we don’t have to resort to the domestic version of a bucket of ice to cool our wines.

Check out wine cellar options from our friends at Sorrells Custom Wine Rooms

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 –

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  –

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:

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 –



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.

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]