Tasting Reviews

The Oxford Wine Club maintains a record of Club tastings, which include tasting notes for those wines served. Tastings are reviewed in an informal but we hope informative manner by Club members.

You can access our record of Club tasting notes by clicking on the links or using the search facility below.

‘Bordeaux: Pauillac and Pomerol: more in common than one might think’

presented by Jane Anson

Everyone lucky enough to attend agreed! The opening event of the Club’s 2019-2020 season was a tour de force, a triumph, a fabulous tasting. Jane Anson (@newbordeaux) gave us a masterclass in the wines of Pomerol and Pauillac; seasoning great wines with profound learning, sparkling wit and deep respect for the human stories behind each of her selections.

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Our Summer Eztravaganza

with Roger Jones at The Harrow, Little Bedwyn

Summertime and another Roger and Sue spectacular for the Club at the Harrow. It was all just as we might have ordered: a packed house, a beautiful warm evening, and the full benefit Harrow hospitality.

In the marquee that had been the setting for a Decanter tasting a few days before, we were seated at long tables and put through our blind tasting skills.

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The History of Champagne in Seven Bottles

presented by Dr Graham Harding

It is always a delight to be enchanted by someone who is passionate about their subject and who is, in addition, an expert with unparalleled knowledge. We were given hidden insights and a thorough appreciation of the changing styles of wine called Champagne, since its origins in the seventeenth century. So it was at the first tasting of the year on 29thJanuary 2019 when our own Graham Harding demonstrated the irresistible allure of the golden elixir.

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Australia – but not as we know it

A tasting with Steve Brown, winemaker at Bellwether Wines

We were delighted to welcome Steve Brown, winemaker at Bellwether winery, to open our 2018/19 season. Together with winemaking partner Sue Bell (Australian Winemaker of the Year, 2014), Steve has created a remarkable négociant-style micro-winery in a historic sheep shearing shed in Coonawarra (a winery accidentally stumbled on by our Chair whilst using Trip Advisor!!).

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Club Summer Meeting - The Harrow at Little Bedwyn

Hosted by Roger & Sue Jones, 12th July 2018

Thanks to the generosity of Roger and Sue Jones at the Harrow, the Club had a most memorable evening for its first Summer Meeting.

Whisked by coach from Oxford or making their own way by car to the Kennet valley through the late afternoon sun, forty or so members and their guests made the most of a fabulous three-part evening of tasting, enhanced by Roger’s culinary genius.

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Jonathan Pedley MW on the Spanish Revolution

(in wines, that is…)

Close on the heels of every MW’s ultimate boondoggle, the International Symposium (hosted in Logroño, Rioja), comes a tasting to explore all that is new in Spanish wine. Is there a new Revolution? Let’s see.

The evening started rather later than planned due to an unthoughtful lorry overturning and massively delaying the arrival of our speaker for the evening. Perhaps more importantly he had the wines…

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‘The German Miracle’: a new angle on the best of German wine

Anne Krebiehl MW

Anne Krebiehl MW gave the Club a night to remember on 25thApril at the Maison Française. This was a night when young winemakers strutted their stuff, when revolution was in the air and when our old notions of German wine were turned upside down – and given a damn good shake.  

With remarkable knowledge of soil, geology, chemistry, winemaking practice and the long – if not always glorious – history of German winemaking, Anne led us on a dramatic trail through new areas and new approaches to German wine. 

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A Tasting of Wines from the Eyrie Vineyard, Oregon USA

Presented by Mark Savage MW

Mark Savage returned to the Club in March 2018 to present a tasting of the wines of the pioneer Oregon viticulturalist, David Lett. Lett founded the Eyrie Vineyard in 1965, which is now run by his son Jason. Mark has been closely involved with the vineyard and the Lett family for forty years, and indeed on David’s death persuaded Jason to ‘keep the faith’ and to ensure he embraced his father’s traditional methods, which indeed he has.

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'Red Squirrels, not Grey Squirrels; rare regional goodies

selected by Nik Darlington, MD Red Squirrel Wines

Nik Darlington made a welcome repeat visit to the Club on 27 February, bringing with him his personal selection from the Red Squirrel list. Nik has had a varied career, a political reporter, business consultant, scuba diving instructor and now wine merchant. He is driven by the determination not to allow the invading ‘grey squirrels’ (the standard ‘international’ grapes) to spread their tentacles and drive out the regional grapes that still cling to a spot in the world’s vineyard areas.

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Chile - the Old New World

presented by Alistair Cooper MW

Ali Cooper’s love affair with Chile (though not necessarily Chilean wines) can be dated back to his fascination with TinTin books as a child but he first went there after graduating with a degree in Modern Languages. Go for a ‘few weeks’ was the plan and he had the aim of getting a job in a vineyard. However, Chilean wine producers looked somewhat askance at a Brit speaking good Spanish who wanted work as a day labourer. Eventually after knocking on sixty or so cellar doors he was offered a job as Export Manager. So he stayed. Three weeks became three years and he came back with a Chilean wife, even better Spanish and a complete fascination with the wine.

Fast forward a few years to the Summertown Wine Café, where many members first met Ali, and then again to his current status as an MW with huge enthusiasm for, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of, Chile and its wines.

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