Group 1 - 1st Monday 7.00pm - monthly
Group 2 - Wednesday eve. - four weekly
Group 3 - 2nd Wednesday 7:30pm - monthly
It doesn't matter if your glass is half full or half empty - there is clearly room for more wine!
We meet monthly at members' homes. The host chooses 3 bottles of wine with a theme which could be anything (this year we had Austrian wines, Majestic Wine Course, German wines, Northern Italy wines, left overs from the Wedding!, Argentinian wines, French red wines and Australian wines with a man on the bottle). Nibbles are provided and the cost of the wine is shared. Members taste the wines and try to guess the country of origin, %, year, type of grape and cost - all with varying degrees of success (sometimes little or none!). We learn how little we know and have usually forgotten that by the next meeting but it feels like a jolly party every month.
The highlight of 2016 was the "Champagne Study Tour" when 32 U3A members enjoyed a 5 day tour staying in Reims and studying Champagne. Wow...did we study Champagne! 1 or 2 flutes at each of Moet & Chandon, Henry de Vaugency, boat trip on the River Marne, Taittinger, Phare de Verzenay (lighthouse and champagne museum) and Chateau de Conde where the owner demonstrated decapitating a bottle using a sabre. A city tour of Reims and the cathedral was also included. Yu haf no idr who flipin gud it woz. Hic!
Wine Group 2 is full and has been for some years now, but if you
would like to join us we can put you on our waiting list.
We continue to meet once a month and this year we have been comparing wines of a single grape from the Old World to those made from the same grape in the New World. We had a very successful barbecue on a Scottish theme in August . The wine was not Scottish but the whisky and cocktails were! Christmas celebration is a dinner party to include a Murder Mystery evening. Next Year's programme is still to be decided.
We currently meet on a monthly basis sharing the costs of the wine
and sometimes food that our hosts (members on a revolving basis)
prepare. Our continental partners consider that food without wine is
like a fine day without sunshine. I don't often quote biblically but
Paul says 'Take a little wine for your stomach's sake'. Alas, we are,
for better or worse, a beer drinking country and the costs of wine have
to be considered.
The high spot of our season came on our festive day, mid July (Christmas fare is so often disappointing). It was a visit to Coughlans (Barrels & Bottles) at Sheepbridge. Not only do they wholesale wine but they also provide suitable food to accompany it.
Next year we are contemplating a trip to where the vines are actually grown, no unfortunately not over the Channel, but locally. The owner of Renishaw Hall has extensive vineyards and organises and encourages visits. It was until very recently the most northerly vineyard in Europe. Who knows, with global warming rumoured to continue to the next century local wines may declare vintages!!