Posts Tagged ‘Brighton’

Well I have to say – that was a wicked wine-tasting, on a scorcher of a day. 

I went over to Brighton yesterday afternoon with my friend Dom on the train from Hastings – darn, it takes a long time on a Sunday! – and we got there about half an hour late.

There was a real buzz already.  The winemakers and their wares were laid out country by country around the Clarence Room in the stately Metropole hotel (the air-con having deterred any naturists who had got the wrong end of the PR).

And so we just had to get down to it – whites and rosés first, followed by the reds.

My personal favourites?  Well, there was a cracking rosado (or rosé to you French-speakers) made solely from Garnacha grapes, by Benoit Dreyer – Castillo de Tafalla Angel’s selection Rosado 2010.  Delicious.

The white of the night – a tie.  First equal to the Kiwi Anchorage Riesling 2009 (Chris Anchorage) and Aussie Brewery Hill Jacko’s Leap Savarro 2010 (Jock Harvey).  But the German Rieslings were hot on their trail…

And my favourite red: the amazing, so-gorgeous-that-I-have-already-ordered-some-online, Ryan and Joe O’Connell’s Domaine O’Vineyards Trah Lah Lah 2008 Right Bank Bordeaux blend. 

Just goes to show the importance of being disciplined (!) and going to tastings.  There’s no way that O’Vineyards would have enticed me on their marketing, but the wine is to die for.  Really.

And to top it all, I got the chance of a quick chat with the head honcho of Naked, Rowan Gormley – kindly, approachable fellow that he seemed. 

It was noticeable that there was no table for English – let alone Sussex – wines in the room.  When I spoke with Rowan I mentioned that Sussex Wine List is busy promoting home-grown stuff whenever and wherever possible.  And that one of the obstacles for the region’s premium wines is the unit price for the consumer.  And he said that maybe he (ie Naked) could help.  So what are you waiting for you Sussex vineyards who are canny?  Get reading about the Naked philosophy, and have a look at what they can offer you…

And in a flash it was 9pm; the party was nearly over; but not before I met some charming ladies who have set up www.lovewinebrighton.com.  And here’s the promised shout out:

love♥wine is a membership club that brings together all those who enjoy drinking wine and meeting new people.

We have a fantastic programme of events including tastings, visits to vineyards, food and wine matching dinners to name but a few…

Can’t think of a better reason to live in Brighton.  Can you?


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Fran Krajewski, who deals with PR for Naked said to Sussex Wine List,

We’re really looking forward to heading to Brighton on 26th June, our second stop on our UK Tasting Tour.

We’ll have a gaggle of Naked Winemakers joining us at the event, so a great opportunity for wine lovers to

Ryan O’Connell from O’Vineyards will be there - will you?

meet the producers themselves.

And there will be over 100 different wines to try – all funded by our customers.

Tickets are just £10 a pop BUT order on the night and get your money back.

The tasting will take place at the Hilton Metropole, and tickets are available at www.nakedwines.com/tastingtour

I have just looked, and there are still 146 places left!

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So that was an explanation of the Naked Wines philosophy as espoused by Rowan Gormley, the founder of the company.

You will notice if you visit the Naked Wines site (someone please correct me if I’m wrong) that there are no Sussex wines available to buy – as yet. 

Maybe this is because Rowan & Co. have not yet enlisted the services of any of our winemakers – I know not.  But I hope that English wine does start to feature, because one of its drawbacks for middle-income winelovers at the moment is price.  Check out Malcolm Gluck’s comments in The Guardian here.

In the first post on this site, I mentioned that we are ‘low yield’ in Sussex.  Premium and low yield wine is special occasion wine as far as I am concerned.  So, for everyday drinking, we in Hastings – not so in other parts of Sussex and we will come on to that in due course – have not had many options other than the supermarket, or the internet, to buy wine.  There is now, thankfully, the notable exception of Cooden Cellars\’ Cellar2Glass.

But, in short, it was the Gormley philosophy, the prices of Naked, and the relative lack of retail options in my part of Sussex that led me to become a Naked Wines Angel.

The event on 26 June in Brighton will be a very exciting moment for winelovers in Sussex!

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