Just a reminder to visitors to our pages that we score out of 7,  so 5’s and 6’s are really rather good!!

August 2017

Wines from Portugal

This evening’s tasting certainly divided the room….another evening of mixed opinions but a great opportunity to taste wines from a country a lot of us don’t actually associate with wine and necessarily have tried.


Portuguese wine, like Italian wine is better paired with food and although some of these wines are drinkable on their own the flavours are certainly brought out and complimented by the likes of cheese, creamy chicken dishes and seafood.

One of the wines tasted during the evening scored an overall score of 3 from guests and members. A score not seen at The Wine Society for a long while. This was Luis Pato Vinha Formal White 2014 12% from Portugal Vineyards Ltd costing £22. The grape variety was 100% Bical. It was a wine that had an unusual nose but creamy on the palate.

It certainly was not a disappointing evening though and most of the wines scored a 5 or 6.

The two wines that scored the highest were Quinta do Carmo Red 2013 14.5% from Portugal Vineyards. A mix of 4 grape varieties including the well-known Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine had been aged in French oak for 1 year and was a fabulous accompaniment to cheese. It was priced at £15.70.

The last wine of the evening was also popular. This was a 10-year-old Madeira Malvasia by Henriques & Henriques. This can be found at Majestic Wines and was priced at £22 for a 50cl bottle.


It would be interesting to know how many of you enjoy a Portuguese wine and what is your favourite?   Please do let us know it’s always great to try wines recommended by others.


See you next month!



June 2017

Committee Challenge 2017

Six of the committee members had the opportunity to share with us the wines they rated highly from two categories. These were under £10 and over £10. The idea of the evening was for all of the attendees to try all of the wines. What could be better? 12 wines…oh yes! An hour and a half to do so and then be sober enough to vote for the wines…….a difficult task on a school night but manageable!

We had a real eclectic mix of grape varieties and it just goes to show how individual a person’s taste buds really are. Listening to the conversations around the room there were some clear favourites and some not so but a great talking point, enabling people to mix well during the very informal but thoroughly enjoyable evening.

So the winners? 

Under £10 was a wine chosen by Peter – Scotto Old Vine Zinfandel 2013 USA. This scored an overall 5 and had 9 votes. The cost of this wine is £9.49 and can be purchased from Sandhams wine merchants in Caistor.

Over £10 was a wine selected by Paul – Muga Seleccion Especial Reserva Rioja 2011 Spain. This scored an overall 6 and had 8 votes. The cost of this wine is £24.99 and can be purchased from Waitrose.

The other wines scored an average of 5-6 so did extremely well in both categories. Votes were 3-4 for each. Not sure if this was down to taste, time, pressure, drunkenness or a combination of all of the above!

A very enjoyable evening with some definite wines to try. A list of the other wines can be found below with cost and location to purchase. Enjoy!!

Under £10

Biferno Rosso Riserva 2012, Italy – £7.99 The Wine Society

Porta 6 2015, Portugal – £8,99 -Majestic

Tim Adams Semillon 2014, Australia – £9.00 Tesco

Compte de Senneval Brut Champagne NV, France – £9.95 Lidl

Kumeu Village Hand Harvested Chardonnay 2016, New Zealand – £9.95 The Wine Society

Over £10

Cayetano Del Pino Palo Cortado NV, Spain – £11.49 Waitrose

May 2017

Wines from Bordeaux presented by Anthony Stockbridge

This tasting was particularly informative with a well-balanced presentation of knowledge and wines. Anthony is a Bordeaux-accredited tutor and delivers WSET courses throughout the world. He is certainly a man who knows his subject which was a delight for us as we were guaranteed some cracking wines to try. The scores were very favourable for the majority of the wines sampled and so was the price which was a pleasant surprise indeed. We would generally associate Bordeaux quality wines with a price tag to match but not this time. The quality was however not compromised.


The most expensive wine tasted was a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot, a 2001 grand cru Classe priced at £50. This achieved a score of 6 out of 7 but so did the last wine of the evening which was a 2012 Sauternes with a 95% Semillon and 5% Sauvignon blanc blend. A sweet wine with honey, apricot and orange aromas. I would definitely recommend you try this one. Especially as it is readily available from M&S – L’Or du Ciron 2012.

We had an interesting variety of sharp, fresh, sweet, fruity and full bodied wines all packed with flavour.

This was an educational evening delivered by Anthony which taught us how to appreciate wine by tasting and not just drinking. A great refresher for some, and newfound knowledge for others on how to distinguish primary, secondary and tertiary aromas from wine and the type of oak barrels and grains of the oaks that determine some of the aromas delivered.

Bordeaux currently has 1.5% of the world’s vineyards with 118900 hectares which is the largest French region. This itself houses 60 different appellations with a staggering 10,000 wine estates.

In essence when pairing wine with food going by these simple rules you’ll have a perfect match…….

Light food with light wine

Strong flavoured food with strong wine

Simple food with simple wine

Complex flavoured food with complex wine.

At the end of the day it is all down to personal preference. Tasting many different wines is a great way to determine whether you like it or not!!

The most expensive wine does not necessarily mean you or your guests will like it.


The wine society based in Stevenage retail several of the wines we tasted throughout this evening with bottle prices varying from £6.25 through to £10-12 and the most expensive from them being £31.


If you are interested in purchasing any of the wines we have tasted check out the picture gallery which will tell you the names and blends of the wine.



See you next month! x


March 2017

An excellent evening with Leon Stolarski Fine Wines – our theme “Off the Beaten Track”.
A change to our published Events Calendar, Leon was a last-minute replacement for Neil Courtier, who had to withdraw for personal reasons.  We wish Neil well and hope to see him in the near future.
Leon is a Nottingham-based wine importer and enthusiast who has first-hand knowledge of the vineyards and growers he buys from – this was reflected in his in-depth knowledge of the wines he presented.  He specialises in wines from small growers in southern and central France and, other than a gorgeous Jurançon ’sweetie’, tonight’s wines were all from the Languedoc area.  In line with the evening’s theme, Leon succeeded in showing us wines that weren’t just “the same old …”.
For example, we tried Grenache Gris (no, me neither) blended with Maccabeu (aka Viura in Rioja) and then oak-aged – absolutely lovely.  We had a rosé that was so deep and dark that it might more accurately be described as a clairet, a delicious Grenache and Syrah blend.  Traditional Rhône grapes predominated in the reds we tried, although Merlot and Petit Verdot made an appearance, as did Tempranillo!  Brief history lesson: during the Spanish civil war, many Spaniards fled to southern France, so perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised to see Spanish grape varieties popping up …  Suffice to say that all Leon’s reds were popular on the night, with high scores awarded.  And his relaxed and informative presentation style meant that we learned stuff too!
A big thank you to Leon for an interesting and enjoyable evening, I’m sure that we will be inviting him again.
For those interested in seeing Leon’s wine list, this can be viewed on his website at  – a mine of information


April 2016
This month’s wines were selected by Wine Merchant Ann et Vin based in Newark.  Ann brought with her Raj Solanki to present the wines.  Raj is a wine educator with over 20 years experience in the wine industry, initially starting his career with Majestic.  Raj now runs his own business Fat Finch, offering WSET (Wines and Spirits Education Trust) courses.  These can be undertaken at Ann Et Vin (see or for more details)
Eight wines were tasted throughout the evening and were all from the wine growing regions of Australia.  All wines selected  were great food pairing wines but also very drinkable on their own.  The wines scored on average a 5 out of 7 but a couple of them had the room divided.  The wines tasted included a sparkling Rose from Victoria priced at £17.50, A Riesling from Eden Valley priced at £11.50, A Viogner/Pinot Gris from New South Wales priced at £9.75, A Grenache from McLaren Vale priced at £22.50, A Sangiovese/Shiraz from Barossa priced at £16.50, A Tempranillo/Petit Verdot/Graciano from Margaret River priced at £17.00, A Zinfandel from Margaret River priced at £18.50 and a Frontignac/Gewurztraminer Frizzante from Barossa priced at £10.50.  Raj was extremely knowledgeable about the wines he presented and the evening was enjoyably educational with a great balance of humour and banter too.  The names of some of the wines we tasted certainly got the groups talking.  Especially the Sangiovese/Shiraz which was named ‘The Squids Fist’ by Some Young Punks and the Frontignac/Gewurztraminer from the Rude Mechanicals named ‘Suck it and See’!!
Ann brought with her a great supply of wine so that those attending the evening had the opportunity to purchase cases if they so desired.  This was warmly welcomed.
Two people at the end of the night said how much they enjoyed Raj’s presentation and how he kept his audience interested throughout.
The last wine of the evening was the ‘Suck It And See’ Frizante.  A light, very fruity, sweet sparkling wine with aromas of Rose and Lychees.  Described by the wine makers Rude Mechanicals as perfect for ‘sex and picnics’  Roll on summer I say………..
If you would like to purchase any of the wines mentioned above please visit
March 2016

Rioja was the wine of the evening and not always as we know it!  There were 8 wines for us to try chosen from two of Rioja’s regions.  This included a Tempranillo Blanco to start the evening and a Rosado Rioja as well as some great reds.  Jeremy Sandham from Sandhams Wine Merchants of Caistor presented this evening alongside Loren Hardwick from Richmond Wine Agencies who have been established since 1822 and are based in Middlesex.  Both were knowledgeable  about the chosen wines and provided a very informative evening.  The Tempranillo Blanco was discovered in 1988 and is a mutation of the red Tempranillo grape.  However the Blanco was only permitted to be made in 2007.  In my opinion the wine which we tasted – Fincas Azabache Tempranillo Blanco 2015 was a little sharp and acidic. As  it is the first vintage of this particular co-operative (which was established in 1955) I look forward to seeing how this will develop.  This was priced at £10.99.  For me the Ramon Bilbo Rosado Rioja was a pleasant alternative to some rose wines I’ve tasted previously.  This 2015 vintage had a good year with temperatures reaching 50 degrees C.  The wine is salmon pink in colour and it had a subtle fruit flavour and was delicate and stylish.  The maker of this wine has been quoted as saying “Wine making is like painting.  You can take a big brush and a big pot of one paint to produce something bland and uninteresting, or you can take a small brush with lots of different pots of paints to create something with character and complexity” and this is what he’s done!  This wine comes with a very reasonable price tag of £9.25 per bottle.  The first red we tasted was a Ramon Bilbao Crianza Rioja from 2012 priced at £9.98  This is the wine of choice in Spanish restaurants and it is easy to see why.  It is a fruity modern Rioja made from 100% Tempranillo sourced from around the region, fermented separately, then blended and aged in new oak for 12 months and in bottle for 12 months.  It was very smooth with hints of spice and deep red fruits.  A very easy drinker indeed.  The three reds that followed were all very different indeed from their blends, where sourced to fermentation and ageing.  These were Ramon Bilbao Reserva Rioja 2010 priced at £13.28, Ramon Bilbao Vinedos Altura Rioja 2012 £11.95 and Ramon Bilbao Gran Reserva Rioja 2008 £16.95. This particular wine is aged in oak for 30 months and then in bottle for 36 months before release.  It has won 4 gold medals including the International wine challenge! The final wine of the night was the evenings winner with a score of 6.  This is the Ramon Bilbao Mirto Special Cuvee Rioja 2010.  This is 100% Tempranillo produced from 40 year old vines. It has spent 24 months in new French oak and will certainly age for a few more years yet.  Only 3000 cases were made of this vintage and it is priced at £37.58 per bottle.  I really enjoyed this tasting and thanks goes to both Jeremy and Loren for bringing some great wines for us to try.  I’m already looking forward to see what April has to offer!!

February 2016
It was great to see so many faces at this evening’s tasting. 42 people attended including many guests of members along with members themselves.  I hope the guests enjoyed the evening and have a taste for returning next month!  Please feel free to get in touch to let the society know what you thought about the evening and the wines you tried.
This month’s tasting was presented by  committee member Mark Baker and the wines tasted were picked by Peter Adams, another member of the committee.  The exhibition range of  The Wine Society is where the wines were sourced from (formerly the International Wine Society).   There are currently 338 masters of wine living in 24 different countries.  3 of which  are among the 9 wine buyers of the society so you can imagine the quality of the wine that is sourced.  There are 25-30 exhibition wines and during this evening’s tasting there were 8 picked for us to try.  The welcome wine was an English sparkling wine from the 2013 vintage.  Not strictly a new world wine but certainly new world in the terms of wine producing.  This bubbly tipple, a mix of chardonnay, pinot meunier and pinot noir was welcomed warmly by the majority and scored 4 1/2 out of 7.  The price for this is £20 and a serious rival for quality champagne. The top scoring white wine of the evening was  a New Zealand Chardonnay produced by New Zealand’s first master of wine Michael Brajkovich who rated 2014 one of his best vintages.  This wine is exclusively made for The Wine Society from a single vineyard.  An elegant, fruity wine scoring 5 1/2 and a bargain at £13.50 per bottle.  The top scoring red wine of the evening was The exhibition Alto Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 also priced at £13.50 and scoring an impressive 6.
To find out more about The Wine Society and the wines they stock, including the exhibition range tasted this evening visit
We hope to see you all next month.  Details of that tasting including price and date will be published soon.
January 2016
Happy new year!!  It certainly was a great start to the year with this month’s tasting.  I unfortunately missed out but the reviews of the night tell me I missed an excellent evening!
Ben Robson from The Bat and Bottle based in Oakham presented an evening of delight with wines from the region of Chianti.  Including from Rufina and the Chianti Classico area, the biggest sub-area of Chianti in Tuscany.  The offerings of the evening varied in style, geography, altitude and price but it was safe to say the one thing that was consistent was the quality of the wine. During the evening Ben introduced two types of wine to compare and contrast.  These were a standard 2009 Rufina from Colognole with 20% Canaiolo grape and supplemented with Sangiovese (£14.50) alongside a Riserva ‘Don’ from the same vintage and the same producer.  This being 100% Sangiovese.(£25) The next comparison was followed by a Chianti Classico from Le Miccine in Gaiole with a variety of grapes (£15.76) alongside a 100% Sangiovese Chianti Classico Riserva from the same producer. (£19.75)  These side by side comparisons added an interesting perspective to the evening’s tasting.
  I am told that this was probably the highest scoring evening possibly in the history of  The Lincoln Wine Society.  Two of the wines sampled scored between 6 and 7.  Therefore definitely tickling the taste buds of the 30 attendees.  The wine of the night was the Castell’in Villa a 2010 vintage Chianti Classico. This powerful red leans more to deep, dried fruit, smoke and spice than the floral elements found in cooler vintages.  This we are told is grown by a Greek Princess originating from Switzerland and reputedly the most difficult woman in Italy!!  (I’m guessing she had no hand in picking the grapes and the processes that followed.  I’m sure she probably has done lots of sampling though!!)  Her strive for perfection has certainly paid off with this wine and at a cost to you and me for just £17.50 the wine wowed and nearly swept the room with a score of 7 on it’s own!  Ben as usual didn’t disappoint with his entertaining and informative presentation.  If you are intrigued (like I am) to find out for yourselves why this wine scored so highly then you can order from their website
I will be interested to know your thoughts so please let me know by emailing or by commenting on our Facebook page.
Happy drinking!!



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