Sunday, 8 January 2012


Welcome to the second programme for 2011-12 of the WineSwines wine appreciation class at “Question. Bar”, SE23.

The philosophy is very much one of 'learning by doing'; i.e. 'understanding by tasting' and of enjoying this learning process. To this end we will sample 9 - 11 wines each week, depending on the numbers attending. The cost of the wine (and cheese and crackers) is on top of the course fee as notified in the class publicity. The amount is determined each week on the basis of the wines tasted and the numbers present. Experience indicates that it will be in the region of £5 - £7 a week. If you wish to pay more sometimes in order to try more costly wines then this is possible and is something we can discuss.

The class is tutored by Will Parker a tutor of many years standing with wine and teaching qualifications. Occasionally he may be substituted by Helen Parker who is also an experienced educator.

This ten week course looks at wines from different countries and regions. There will be a mix of such countries/regions with ones from both the “old world”[*] and the “new world”[†]. This will enable us to see different styles of wine and to look at whether there might be differences between broad areas of the world as well as between countries and regions within those areas. These differences can come from many factors such as soil, climate, location, aspect. Similarities can also be found when the same grape varieties are used.

Each week, for nine weeks, we will consider a major wine producing country or region within a country and we will have 9 - 11 wines from it representing at least some of the main styles and types of wine produced there. A list of all the wines will be provided along with notes on the country/region. You will be talked through each of the wines as we try them and we will consider points on many aspects of growing grapes and producing wine, as well as on tasting. Also, we will consider issues relating to very many other aspects connected with these, including buying and keeping (or not keeping) wines.

For the last week of the programme I am proposing that each of you brings a bottle. It can be whatever you like and you can tell us why you chose it and anything you might know about it!

[*] The “old world”, in wine terms, is Europe and the Near and Middle East, parts of which have been producing wine for 6000 or more years.
[†] The “new world”, in wine terms, is the rest of the world (the rest of Asia, the Americas and Australasia) parts of which have been producing wine for nearly 500 years.