July 2018


Roy Clements, one of our new members, gave a marvellous talk on wines of the Loire region with tastings of 9 wines and 2 liqueurs.  Roy introduced himself as neither being a winemaker nor a wine expert in a professional capacity, as his career was in the motor industry.  However, while working in Belgium he often travelled to the Loire region of France to visit clients, where he came to learn and appreciate the wines of this region.  Roy then introduced us to his collection of really excellent wines for tastings.  The first wine (absolutely delicious) cost £33, but all the others were approx. £9-£12.

1.  Pouilly-Fumé, Sauvignon Blanc grape

2.  La Moussiere, Sancerre region

3.  Red Sancerre

4.  Cabernet Franc, Chinon region

5.  Bouvet Ladubay, sparkling Chenin Blanc (more about this one on page 2)

6.  Bouvet Rosé, rosé version of the above

7.  Rosé D'Anjou, Cabernet Franc grape

8.  Savennières, Chenin Blanc grape

9.  Muscadet Sur Lie, 1994

Between these tastings Roy described the particular characteristics of the wines and also supplied many anecdotes about the activities of the Sacavin order, of which he is a member.  The talk was concluded with tastings of the original Cointreau and the recently released blood orange version.  A truly wonderful evening, well done Roy.

The committee would like to thank Roy for providing these excellent wines.


Wine of the Evening

Dry: 1st Les Maskrey, 2nd Les Maskrey, 3rd Bob Dye

Sweet: 1st Bob Dye, 2nd Les Maskrey, 3rd Les Maskrey

Judges: Les Bates and Yvonne Franklin


This is our summer party evening.  Lin and Sylvia would like to remind everyone to bring refreshments along for the buffet supper (savoury or sweet) and wine.  The club will supply bread and cheese.  Our quizmaster, Les Bates, will be organising another challenging quiz, which will take place prior to the meal.  If you have any items that you would like to contribute towards the raffle, please bring them along as we are also hoping to hold a bumper raffle.


Bitter beer

(No wine of the evening competitions this month)


Competition results:

Dry White: 1st Cathy Rishman, 2nd Tom Rix, 3rd Bob Dye

Dry Red: 1st Tom Rix, 2nd Les Maskrey, 3rd Bob Dye

Sweet White: 1st Bob Dye, 2nd Les Maskrey, 3rd Cathy Rishman

Sweet Red: 1st Tom Rix, 2nd Bob Dye, 3rd Les Maskrey

Wine Trophy: Bob Dye

Judges: Bob Dye and Bert Scott


Please see full details in the attachment for this popular event.  A payment of £25.00 (non-refundable deposit) or the full payment of £56.00 is being taken at the next meeting. Menu choices and pick-up times will be circulated in the October newsletter.  This should be another great day out.


Regrettably it is necessary to increase the meeting fees to £4 from September, in order to cover the cost of the room hire, speaker fees and wines for commercial tastings.  The entry fee for the August meeting will remain at £3.


Please contact Les Bates if you need 250 ml bottles with gold screw tops for the Liqueur Class at the Open Show.  Price: 83p per bottle.


Strawberries are plentiful this month and it is the perfect time for making strawberry wine or this summer cocktail.

Strawberry Gin Fizz

125g strawberries, plus extra to decorate

2 tsp caster sugar

50ml gin, chilled

25ml fresh lime juice (from about 1½ limes)

Chilled club soda

 1. Hull the strawberries. Put them into a cocktail shaker or blender with the sugar and crush them completely.

2. Add the gin and lime juice, fill the shaker with ice cubes. Shake well for at least 20 seconds, until very cold, then strain into a chilled glass. Top up with a touch of soda and decorate with some extra strawberry slices.



Tinned Wine

Bob Dye gave me an interesting article from the Daily Mail on wines sold in 200-250 ml cans. 

Canned wine has been available in the USA for some time, but sales there have doubled in the last year.  In the UK a much larger range of canned wines have appeared in supermarkets this year.  Supermarket buyers expect these wines to gain in popularity as they are ideal for taking along in a picnic hamper to events where glass bottles are banned.  They are also lighter to carry than glass and the wine chills much more quickly in an aluminium can than in a bottle.  However, the most important point is their taste.  The Daily Mail tested 7 wines and the results appear to be most pleasing, without the slightest trace of tininess. Geoff and I tested the following cans:

Pinot Pinot: Sparkling Pinot Grigio, Vol 11.5%, 200 ml, Tesco £2.00, Sainsburys £2.25

An excellent example of a sparkling Pinot Grigio.  A very quaffable wine, which could be served as an aperitif.  I gave this wine to Geoff as a blind tasting.  He was most impressed and surprised to discover that it came out of a tin.

Maris Organic Rosé:  Vol 13%, 250 ml, Waitrose £3.49

Wine from the Languedoc, blend of Syrah, Cinsault and Grenache.  A light and refreshing rosé, ideal for drinking in the garden on a summer’s afternoon.  The Daily Mail gave this one full marks.

Maris Shiraz: Vol 13.5%, 250 ml, Waitrose £3.49

Another French wine, grown from Syrah grapes.  A lovely fruity wine with a hint of spice.


Bouvet Ladubay: A Real Winner!

This was wine No 5 in Roy’s talk and one of his favourites.  Interestingly the Sunday Telegraph like it too and have recommended it as “the best of the summer bubblies” along with Wiston Estate Rosé NV.  They describe the Bouvet Ladubay as: “Excellent value, proper wine that smells slightly of pears and beeswax.  A much better option than prosecco.”

Downsize to a Small Wine Glass

The Daily Mail recently reported that drinkers using small glasses consume up to 40% less than those using medium-sized glasses during the course of an evening.  Researchers at the University of Liverpool conducted two experiments where people were given small or medium-sized glasses of alcohol, with the opportunity of top-ups.  In both these studies it was found that the alcohol consumed by those drinking from smaller glasses drank approx. 20.7% less in a one hour experiment and approx. 32.4% less in a 3 hour experiment.  Based on these results it was calculated there would be 1,400 fewer deaths and 73,000 fewer hospital admissions every year by reducing the standard measures of wine, beer and cider in bars and restaurants.   In the UK the typical one pint serving size of beer is larger than many other countries, also the size of wine servings has increased in recent decades.  However, it was noted that there would be an uproar if we lost our traditional pint!


Bus Trip to Tenterden

Jan reported a successful vintage bus rally with a good showing of buses.  The weather was perfect and the journey to Bodiam on the Kent and East Sussex Railway was delightful.  Unfortunately, Geoff and I were unable to join Chris and Jan, as we were on holiday in York.  However we were reminded of Tonbridge Winemakers on our visit to the National Railway Museum, as one of the first exhibits we saw was a horse drawn taxi from the Kent and East Sussex Railway.

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Betty Thomson | Reply 06.09.2017 20.39

I have a black grape vine ( just turning black now) probably enough to fill a flexitub. I live in Blean Nr Canterbury if anyone is this way and would like them

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13.03 | 12:56

anyone interested in 4x 50 litre wine carboys. I stopped making wine about 15 years ago. open to offers.

16.01 | 20:27

Same you only allow 160 caricatures on your site I would like to wright more !!!

16.01 | 15:40

Thank you for your kind comments. You are more than welcome to join us at one of our meetings - the first Thursday of each month.

16.01 | 15:26

Hi There I have just come across your website ...and very impressed, you seem to be a well organised club with monthly events and good membership BRAVO

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