April 2018

April Meeting: AGM

23 members attended the 47th AGM.  We thank Gerald for once again taking the minutes.  The accounts and all other matters were duly proposed, seconded and unanimously approved. We thank Peter Seach for auditing the accounts and for agreeing to do so for yet another year.  Philip’s two year chairmanship has now sadly come to an end.  We will miss his expertise and diplomacy in dealing with any problems that occurred during his two year term.  However, on a positive note Philip will continue to serve on the Committee

The 2018-19 Committee comprises:

Chairman: Geoff Rishman; Secretary: Cathy Rishman;

Treasurer: Chris Powis;

Competitions Secretary:Les Bates;

Committee Members: Les Maskrey and Philip Bisson.

AGM 2018 Competition Awards

WoE Cup (most points in WoE competitions): 1st Tom Rix (105 points), 2nd Cathy Rishman (86 points), 3rd Les Maskrey (85 points), 4th Bob Dye (66 points)

Moffat Cup (most points in all other competitions): 1st Tom Rix (97 points), 2nd Cathy Rishman (71 points), 3rd Bob Dye (54 points), 4th Les Maskrey (52 points)

West Kent Cup (biggest increase in Moffat points): 1st Tom Rix (+26 points), 2nd Bob Dye (+20 points), 3rd Pujan Dhar (+4 points)

Master Brewer Tankard (most points for beer competitions – for 2017/18 only open show classes held): 1st Geoff Rishman (12 points), 2nd Les Bates (8 points)

Wine Of The Evening Raffle

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

Ken Watkins

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Ken died suddenly at his house on Sunday 15 April.  Ken had been a wine club member since its early days and although we haven’t seen so much of Ken recently due to poor health, I am sure he will be very sadly missed by all.  The committee will keep you informed once we receive further information.


The photographer from Tonbridge Daily was at the show and has posted a nice collection of photos on Facebook, including one displaying our wines (below).

Competition results:

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

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

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

Sweet Red: 1st Tom Rix, 2nd Cathy Rishman, 3rd Jonathan Hart (NTHS)

Judges: Les Bates and Bert Scott


This popular event will be taking place on Friday 27 April at the Rose and Crown Hotel, 7.00 for 7.30 pm.


Quarterly:  Dry white

WoE (dry and sweet classes)


Dave Tester, who gave a wonderful talk on the Lascaux Caves last year, will be returning next month to talk about the paranormal.  Dave, as many of you know, is an old school friend of Geoff’s and he has been interested in this subject for many years.  On visits to Dave and his wife Mary, in Somerset, we are always entertained with his amazing findings of the unexpected and the unexplained.  I am sure we will all be a captive audience on 3 May.


Not much to pick in the hedgerows in April, so I am including a cake recipe this month.  It tastes delicious and is really easy to make.

Orange and Almond Teacake

2 small oranges

Olive oil for greasing

185g caster sugar

4 large eggs

185g ground almonds

¾ tsp baking powder

Remove any green stalks from the oranges and place them whole and unpeeled into a pan.  Cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 2 hrs, topping up with water when required to keep the oranges covered.

Remove the oranges from the pan, roughly chop and blend to a paste in a food processor.  You will need approx 375g pulp.

Heat oven to 160⁰C (non fan 180⁰).  Line a 23x13x7cm loaf tin with baking paper and brush with olive oil.  Blend the sugar and eggs in the food processor until thick and creamy.

Add the orange puree, almonds and baking powder and pulse to combine. 

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 1½ hrs.  Remove from the oven and allow the loaf to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. 

Carefully remove the loaf from the tin. This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

MEMBERS please send me your favourite recipes (wine or food) for publication in the newsletter.



A Lidl Gem

Lidl’s recently issued their 2018 Spring Wine Tour leaflet, which includes an extensive collection of wines.  Three of these wines have been included in the Sunday Times Wine Choices: 2013 Graves, Chateau Tour de Castres at £9.99, 2013 Grof Degenfeld Tokaji Szamorodni at £7.99 and 2016 Corte Allodola Soave Classico at £5.99.  Geoff and I have bought a couple of wines from the Lidl collection.  We particularly enjoyed the 2012 Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Steinklotz, 13% vol, at £11.99, which Lidl rated as outstanding and ”Top Pick”.  It is an off-dry, well balanced wine with tastes of honey and spices, an excellent example of a Gewurztraminer.   We would recommend taking it out of the fridge one hour before serving to enjoy it at its best.  We also liked our other choice, the2013 Graves, 13% vol, at £9.99 (Sunday Times recommendation).  This was a nice fruity wine, but we felt that the Gewurztraminer was the real Lidl gem.


A Vintage Year for English Wines

The Daily Telegraph reported 2017 as being a record year for English wines, with a 64% increase in the output of wines, compared to that of the previous year.  HMRC figures show that 3.86 million bottles of wine were released for sale in 2017, compared to 2.36 million in 2016.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) believe that a huge investment in the English wine industry over the last 10 years, including an increase in the planting of vines, has led to this success. As we all know, English sparkling wine is made using the same method as champagne, which means that the wine is left to age for 3 years.  Hence the industry is reaping the benefits of the bumper grape harvest of 2014 and also the release of several limited edition and vintage wines.

We prefer our G&T’s to Vodka!

Here is another interesting snippet from the Daily Telegraph. 

The annual survey by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) revealed that 21% of people drank vodka in 2017, compared to 26% in 2016.  Vodka has been overtaken by gin, which has risen from 21% to 29%, to become the nation’s most popular spirit.  Other alcoholic beverages, including wine, spirits and beer, have either risen slightly in popularity or remained the same.  Beer was the most popular, with 53% of people saying they drank it. 

Gin sales have doubled in value in the last 6 years to 1.2 billion, up from £630 million in 2011.


Only cut the grass once a fortnight

According to a recent article in the Daily Telegraph we have been advised by ecologists from America’s Forest Service to only cut the grass once a fortnight in order to enhance the bee population.  Cutting the grass more often destroys dandelions, clover and other plants which bees need for pollen  This article reminded me of the delightful talk we had a couple of years ago on wild bees by Dr Ian Beavis from the Tunbridge Wells Museum.  Dr Beavis not only gives an array of talks on other aspects of wildlife, but also a collection of very interesting talks on the history of Tunbridge Wells.

MEMBERS if you would like a return visit from Dr Beavis please let me know

Write a new comment: (Click here)

Characters left: 160
DONE Sending...
See all comments

| Reply

Latest comments

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

You liked this page