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Virtual wine and spirits tastings you can enjoy at home

Food pairing masterclass

So you’ve been in lockdown for just over a month, and you’ve now learned to shuck oysters, pipe meringues, burn butter and just ordered a sous vide on Amazon.

Your kitchen skills make Simon Rogan look like a forgettable Masterchef first-rounder, but what are you going to drink with your lovely creations to elevate the flavours to God-tier?

Luckily, The Wine Workshop has just launched online wine and food pairing masterclasses hosted by Britain’s leading names in the world of vino.

Classes will be led by luminaries such as Jane Parkinson (Saturday Kitchen Live and Stylist‘s wine expert), Douglas Blyde (ES Magazine and Wine List Confidential) and Master of Wine, Nancy Gilchrist.

Signing up to a 60 minute class gives you a hamper for two, containing three wines and three complimentary dishes crafted by the team’s specialist luxury caterers This package will also include the log-in code and details for your particular workshop.

The first class kicks off on 30 April, with Jane Parkinson delivering a run-down on planet-friendly wines.

When: Every Thursday

How much: The Community Package – A virtual online tutorial that creates a sense of community via education and experience – starts at £145

Find out more: here

English wine education with Chapel Down

English sparkling specialist Chapel Down winery in Kent is offering free delivery on all orders, and has also begun a series of free virtual wine tastings with a Q&A session fielded by head winemaker, Josh Donaghay-Spire to encourage people to stock up.

The tutored tastings go out live on Instagram every Thursday evening at 6pm GMT. Anyone who wants to learn more about English wine is encouraged to send in questions for Josh to answer.

This evening (23 April) Chapel Down’s CEO Frazer Thompson (pictured) will take a turn at hosting a live Q&A, raise a glass to St George’s Day, and answer all your fizz-related questions.

When: Thursdays at 6pm

How much: Free! Although you can order Chapel Down wines (there are some pretty good offers at the moment) with free delivery here.

Where: Instagram Live

Find out more here

A six-week course for keen beans

The West London Wine School is putting on virtual tastings and masterclasses designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn about wine in a bit more detail in an informal online environment.Each session is approximately 45-60 minutes in length, and uses a system called ClickMeeting to run the event in a presentation style with a chat room facility.

The school also offers a Zoom chat immediately after the presentation, which gives attendees the opportunity to come on screen and carry on the chat about the wines, or anything else that’s on their mind.

Each evening, the course tutor will taste two wines that are representative of the styles discussed during that evening’s session.

A case of each wine covered throughout the course will be available to order for anyone registered to attend the course via our sister company Streatham Wine House, so customers can also purchase and enjoy the wines live or at a later date.

Purchasing the wine case is entirely optional – the school can provide a wine list suggestion if people just want to purchase one or two bottles themselves rather than the case.

So far, the courses on offer are The History of Wine, Tour de France and Introduction to Italy, with another on Spain in the pipeline.

When: The first French class started on 21 April, but others start later this month

How much: classes start at £50

Find out more: here

Merchant Armit Wines has launched a series of virtual tastings themed around “Escapism and R&R”.

The first in the series of video tastings via Instagram saw Armit’s Brand Manager Anna Schena talk about Tuscan favourite Rosso dei Notri from Tua Rita.

The tastings will feature a handful of estates that make up Armit’s own portfolio; Il Marroneto, Cantine Lunae, Bruno Giacosa, Giacomo Fenocchio and Marchese Luca di Spinola to name a few, as well as icons such as Bien Nacido, from California, Domaine Huet and Domaine de Montille from France and Astrolabe from New Zealand.

Immerse yourself in Mosel

Mosel, the most famous of Germany’s wine regions, is also one of the most interesting in the world, with Riesling cropping out on vineyard slopes you would think are simply too steep to be allowed.

Learn more about Mosel without moving a muscle with this fine wine tasting at the end of April.

Flint Wines has teamed up with three of Gernany’s leading winemakers – Sarah Löwenstein of Heymann-Löwenstein, Peter Griebeler of Weingut Heinrichshof, and Mihailo Martinovic of Joh. Jus. Prüm – to offer a virtual tasting on Zoom that complements a case of wine available you can order from the merchant online.

Each of them will guide you through two wines from their range and answer any questions you may have on their viticultural methods and vinification techniques. Flint Wines directors Gearoid Devaney MS and Jason Haynes – who are will co-hosting the evening – have put together a special six-bottle case, which is available to purchase ahead of the evening.

How much: £150, order here

When: 29 April, 6-7pm

Where: RSVP here

Be inspired by English whisky

To coincide with St George’s Day today The Whisky Lounge has launched an upcoming English Whisky Tasting happening on Friday 8 May.

Called English Whisky – ‘It’s a Thing’ – the tasting will shine a spotlight on the English Whisky revolution, bringing together some of the pioneering brands putting English Whisky on the map; Bimber, Cotswolds, English Whisky Co, The Lakes Distillery & The Spirit of Yorkshire.

Hosted by the founder of The Whisky Lounge, Eddie Ludlow, the tasting is a true collaboration of these soon to be iconic English Whisky brands, and the people who make it. Never before has anyone been able to be in the same ‘room’ as this line-up of special guests, who will all be introducing their Single Malts, live on the night.

The tasting pack line up features English Single Malt whiskies, including a new and unreleased whisky from Bimber distillery.

When: Friday 8 May, 9pm

How much: £30 (with £5 from every tasting pack purchased going to The Drinks Trust)

Find out more: here

A rare and unusual Scotch whisky tasting with Felipe Schrieberg

Are you a fan of unusual and rare whiskies?

Author and World Whisky Awards judge Felipe Schrieberg is teaming up with whisky subscription club The Dram Team to deliver whisky tasting kits and host a series of interactive online events over the next few months.

The whisky writer hosts seven tastings per week: Tuesdays through Sundays with two sessions on Saturdays.

Anyone in the UK mainland will be able to enjoy the whisky and tasting experience from the comfort of their own home as long as they can log into Zoom.

There will be 15 spots made available for each tasting session, which ensures the groups are intimate and allow attendees to ask questions without overloading the conference call.

Guests will then get a masterclass based on a selection of six drams curated and delivered by The Dram Team.

The Live Virtual Whisky Tasting Masterclass – the details


Tuesday-Friday: 6:00-8:00pm

Saturday: 5:00-7:00 pm, 7:30-9:30 pm,

Sunday: 4:00-6:00pm

How much: £35/£65 for two

Ticket link: here

Voucher link: here


Learn to master cocktails with the Experimental Group

The Experimental Group are partnering with a number of different spirits brands this year to show you how to make classic cocktails with a handful of ingredients.

Last week, we were treated to a Bourbon tasting and learned how to craft an Old Fashioned, and this weekend, a Negroni Masterclass taking place this with O’ndina Gin and Campari.

When: Saturday 25th April, 5:30pm

How much: £20 for 6 30ml bottles – 2 x Campari, 2 x O’ndina Gin, and 2 x Cinzano 1757 Rosso

Where: Henrietta Hotel’s Instagram Live

Find out more here.

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