We chose the Tuesday after the finishing weekend of the Six Nations for our next Winemaker’s evening which featured the wonderful Sumaridge Estates, our great friends Simon Turner and Holly Bellingham. They really do have an outstanding portfolio of award-winning Estate Wines and what better time to enjoy them than after a dramatic climax to the rugby season culminating in an England Grand Slam, the first for 13 years.
The evening’s food was of the usual high quality at the Number Sixteen Hotel who once again dealt brilliantly with the variable timekeeping of the assembled guests…! When wine is being discussed, it is easy to let the hours pass by, the conversation always contains a multitude of sometimes very detailed questions of our winemakers, as well as a bundle of laughs.
A special Pinot Noir sparkling got us going, named the Wayfarer. We predict this will be a massive favourite this summer and beyond. It is wonderfully refreshing and rich, a Cap Classique in the traditional method Champenois.
Unsurprisingly the Red blend Epitome was universally acclaimed, although plenty of takers for the Pinot Noir which is a Sumaridge special. However, everyone was blown away by the Chardonnay which has won award after award. It didn’t disappoint, and if there is a better one in South Africa then it is well hidden. Some observers including the Sporting Wine Club team would say that this extends well beyond!
The Hemel en Aarden (Heaven and Earth), Valley has such a Maritime climate given its closeness to the sea, and the White Blend Maritimus will always be a personal favourite of our co-founder Simon.
All 30 guests were frankly spoilt for choice not to mention Jonathan Webb, Ex England Full Back who thoroughly enjoyed his debut evening and is already booked in for the next! Kenny Logan of Scotland Rugby and never forgetting Strictly Come Dancing fame (!) was suitably gracious to the celebrating English but importantly finds these evenings a bunch of fun as well as informative.
Bring on the next Winemaker’s Dinner – Italy awaits!!
What a fantastic idea for a club! I have never enjoyed a wine tasting dinner as much as this one. Such an entertaining evening, I haven’t laughed that much in a long time. The wine from the Sumaridge Estate was superb Absolutely loved it!!
Jonathan Webb, Ex-England Rugby International