If you want to sample a range of wines, you could do so especially time-efficiently at a wine tasting event. As the Dummies website reveals, events of this kind can be alternatively referred to simply as ‘wine tastings’ — but, of course, it’s what you do at them that really matters.
Wine tastings are held at various venues in the UK, and can be class-like affairs — where participants are seated as though they are at a seminar — or more akin to parties, with attendees milling around the room in an informal fashion.
As you have probably gathered from these descriptions, wine tastings can be highly varied — and this throws up the question of how you are supposed to find one that would be ‘just right’ for you personally.
Here are some steps you could take in your search for a suitable local wine tasting event…
Get in touch with a local wine merchant
You could find that a wine shop near you sponsors wine tasting events from time to time. There could also be informal wine sampling opportunities in the physical store building itself.
In fact, this could be the case at quite a few shops in your local area — and the situation would enable you to try the wines at several different stores before you decide which of them, if any, you choose as the location of a ‘proper’ wine tasting event you will proceed to attend.
This level of fussiness is important because, alas, shops can naturally differ in the quality of the wine tasting experiences they offer. In an article for Food & Wine, Jonathan Cristaldi recalls when he “tried going to events at retail shops, but often felt pressured to buy the wines at the close of the tasting.”
He also recollects “the massive consumer functions where I’d roam from table to table for tiny pours. But none of these tastings were very inspiring, or much fun.”
Seek expert recommendations of wine tasting events
Whatever your own experiences at tasting events held by wine merchants, you could find that the staff there are happy to enlighten you about other places where such events occur. These places could include wine schools and other organisations.
However, you don’t even strictly need to ask people in person for advice on the subject. Naturally, the Internet is a treasure trove of information about wine tastings, and would let you quickly see which particularly well-regarded ones are set to take place in your area.
Let’s assume, for example, that you live in or near London and are eager to be familiarised with the best places in the UK capital. In this situation, you could immensely benefit from reading this article by London x London writer Lauren Kendrick, who declares: “When it comes to a brilliant wine tasting experience, London’s got plenty to boast about.”
The London establishments she highlights include Bethnal Green’s Renegade Winery, where various wines are made in-house and placed in barrels decorating the taproom. The events held at Renegade in the past have included an Austrian wine tasting experience as well as Speakeasy Sundays, where wine is served with cheese and a good dose of jazz music.
If you would prefer your wine with a good dose of history instead, you might feel drawn to the Westminster-based Berry Bros & Rudd, which is said to be Britain’s oldest wine merchant. There’s a particularly strong focus on French wine here, but some of the beverages in stock have been sourced from California, Spain, and Germany.
How else could the Internet help you in your search?
If you have known us for long enough, you might be aware that during the COVID-19 pandemic, we hosted online and virtual wine and cheese tastings and delivered DIY tasting kits to various UK addresses.
Now, if you currently live in the South West England region and are wondering where to go wine tasting in person now that the pandemic is much less of a concern than it once was, you might not be surprised to know that our Bristol-located wine bar is open almost daily.
We have made it easy to book wine tasting events in Bristol, as you can do so via our website, which also includes intricate information about what to expect from these tastings.
They include — on a monthly basis — tastings where the wines are served with perfectly paired cheeses. We also have Pour Decisions, a series of almost weekly tastings each limited to just 15 spaces, making for an especially social atmosphere.