WARE WINE & BEER CIRCLE
MEETINGS IN 2006
2006
December: Annual Cook and Taste

As there were originally only 9 definite attendees for the Annual Cook and Taste, it was decided at the November meeting to have the event at Peter and Elaine's house. A few days before, there were 13 people coming, rising to 15 on the day itself. It was very cosy in the dining room, but I don't think anyone minded. Everyone brought something to eat and we enjoyed starters of cheese and olives, smoked salmon, and prawns. The main courses were beef casserole and lamb tagine, accompanied by jacket potatoes, and salad. The desserts were a cheesecake and chocolate pudding. For those who still had some room, there was cheese and biscuits as well. Some excellent wines were also consumed, including a vintage claret and a vintage port. A very enjoyable evening.

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December: Ware Christmas Festival
Mulled wine was provided to the cold and thirsty public of Ware at the Christmas Festival in Tudor Square. 12 gallons of red wine, supplemented by orange juice, water and sugar, was heated up and served to the public, some of whom came back for seconds. We sold out a bit later than usual at 8.30 but some people were still disappointed. The rain did not stop people from coming into Ware and enjoying the Festival, but most of us got rather wet! 300 was raised for the Alzheimer's Society.

November: Call My Bluff by Peter Robinson
Peter presented a 'Call My Bluff' wine tasting of 6 different wines, which he had purchased from Laithwaites. Three different descriptions were read out by Peter, Elaine and Kevin. The club members, and 4 guests from Hoddesdon, had to try and guess who was telling the truth and who wasn't. All the descriptions were taken from genuine wines available from Laithwaites. No one guessed all 6 wines correctly; 4 people guessed 3 correct wines. A tie-break was asked as to what was the price of the last wine, which Mary Lovett guessed correctly.
A competition was also held this evening; the classes were Aperitif and 3-bottle class - table dry white, table dry red and after dinner. between The judge was Jack Tunmore. The results were as follows:
Aperitif 1st Peter Byford 2nd Kevin Martin 3rd Colin Lovett 4th Peter Robinson
3-bottle class 1st Peter Kevin Martin 2nd Peter Byford 3rd Elaine Robinson 4th Colin Lovett

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November: Square Dance
The Annual Square Dance was held at Presdales School in Ware. Over 90 club members, their guests, and friends from Pinewood School  (and occasionally the school cat!) were taken through their dance steps by caller Ted Ivin. Over 300 was raised from raffle sales and a share of the ticket sales for Pinewood School. A ploughman's supper was provided by the club's committee members.

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October: Carmello Galione (local vineyard owner and hairdresser!)
A better turn-out this month - 18 members and 3 guests from Hoddesdon.
Carmello has had a dream of running a vineyard since he was a young boy in Sicily. He came to England to live with his parents over 30 years ago, and has been a hairdresser for most of his working life. He finally realised his boyhood dream in 1999 when he was able to buy 15 acres of land in Broxbournebury, Hoddesdon. It was very over-grown and needed clearing. He had the soil tested and 4-6 acres were ok for growing grapes. He started with 1500 plants but has added more and now has over 3000 vines, including the Region, Acalon, Rondo and Dunfelder grapes. Martin Knight - another local winemaker - has helped with advice but he is still looking for a winemaker to assist in the winemaking. He picked over 4.5 tons of grapes this year and hopes to produce 4000 litres of wine in 2007. His father does the pruning; he tries to be organic and only sprays with sulphur when necessary.
Carmello brought some wine from last year for the members to try; it was from the Region grape and very purple. He did not know the alcohol content, but several members made a guess of 12%.
Thanks to Carmello for an interesting talk and tasting.

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October: Inter-Club competition against Hoddesdon
8 members went to the Hoddesdon meeting this month for the Annual Inter-Club competition. There was a talk by Colin Hotham NGWBJ on wines from Marks and Spencer. Colin used to be a wine consultant for M&S and told us several tales from his time in the job.
The judge was for the competition was Alan Downes NGWBJ. The results were as follows:
Table Dry White 1st Peter Byford 2nd Peter Robinson 3rd Brian Lowe 4th Peter Finlay
Table Dry Red 1st Peter Robinson 2nd Colin Lovett 3rd Peter Finlay 4th Ted Barnard
Table Sweet White 1st Elaine Robinson 2nd Colin Lovett 3rd Brian Lowe 4th George Brown
Table Sweet Red 1st Elaine Robinson 2nd Kevin Martin 3rd Brian Lowe 4th Brian Lowe

Ware were the winners by 28 points to 12.

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September: Grape Picking
5 members (Peter B, Colin, Kevin, Peter and Elaine) braved the weather - it rained heavily - on the last Sunday in September and went down to Barrowell Green to pick 150lbs of Rondo grapes. We returned to Peter and Elaine's house via Potters Bar - to collect the de-stemer/crusher which the club has now purchased and resides in Peter and Elaine's garage if anyone wishes to use it for their grapes. As the others were otherwise engaged in the afternoon, Peter and Elaine were left to process the grapes into 15 gallons of juice! Fortunately, by using the crusher, this job only took about 1 hour.
The following afternoon we all met up again at a garden in Ware where the owner has one vine - Muller Thurgau - growing over a large pergola. This vine also produced about 150lbs of grapes! Back to Peter and Elaine's again to process the grapes, this time with the assistance of Kevin and Jonathan. Another 15 gallons of juice! Again, crushing and de-stemming the grapes only took about an hour. However, the skins then had to be removed from the juice as well, so the white grapes took longer to process. Our kitchen looked like a winery for several weeks! Let's hope the effort was worth it.

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September: Wine and Cheese tasting by Kevin Martin
Lots of members on holiday this month so Kevin put together a Wine and Cheese tasting, matching the wine with the cheese. Apparently a very good evening - I was one of those on holiday in the Mosel region - so I can't comment.

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August: Annual BBQ
17 members and guests attended the annual club BBQ, which was hosted this year by Colin and Mary. Colin managed to do the cooking, despite hobbling around a bit after his knee op. The sun shone and it was a bit windy; but it stayed dry for a change, as it usually rains when the BBQ is at Colin's. The marquee was still put up, in case it did rain, and some of the members sat under the shade whilst we ate chicken, sausages and various salads prepared by the members.
Thanks to Colin and Mary for hosting the event and for doing the cooking; thanks also to Mary for preparing the meat, and to everyone for preparing the rest of the food.

Photo Gallery

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August: Annual Computerised Wine Drive
The club's first meeting at it's new venue - Ware Art Centre. 24 people, including 4 guests from Hoddesdon and 2 ex-members, entered 11 bottles in the Annual wine drive.
The members, split into teams of 1 or 2 people, judge one another's wines in a series of comparative tastings, the idea being that each wine is tasted at least once against every other wine, and each team gets to have a chat with every other team. The results are then entered into the computer and a league table develops with the results.
The results were as follows: 1st Colin Lovett; 2nd Commercial; 3rd Ted Jordan; 4th Peter Byford (bottle 1); joint 5th Peter Byford (bottle 2), Elaine Robinson and Kevin Martin; 8th Richard Tite; 9th Peter Robinson; 10th Keith Barltrop; 11th David Kenney. The commercial wine was a monbazillac. The club's points rules meant that Elaine and Kevin gained points for the Founder's Trophy.

Wine Drive Wine Drive
Afterwards, Roger How - the club's President - and Elaine presented the trophies and certificates to the winners from the recent Annual Show. Thanks to Eddie hunt for co-ordinating the engraving of the trophies.

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July: Annual Show
10 competitors entered 94 bottles in 8 classes this year. The food classes were reinstated this year, although they were now well supported, partly due the hot weather. This was the club's first show in their new home at the Ware Art Centre, due to recent problems at Place House. All the bottles entered in the show prior to the day arrived promptly. The 3 judges arrived early, so judging started promptly at 10am. Judges and stewards partook of a salad lunch, having topped up their car park tickets first. The bottles were then packed up ready for the competitors to collect. Thanks to the judges and the stewards, and to the members who provided the lunch. Well done to all the winners.
Click here for results and trophy winners.

Photo Gallery

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July: Annual Walk organised by Ruth and Richard Tite
This year's annual walk took place in the grounds of Brocket Hall, on a very sunny, warm, pleasant evening. 10 members followed Ruth and Richard through the grounds, stopping to admire Brocket Hall on the way.
We then met up with Glen and Wendy to partake of the usual refreshment.

Looking at Brocket Hall Looking away from Brocket Hall Walkimg across the corn field Richard and the Robinsons Journey's End 

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June: Commercial Tasting by Clem Yates of 'HwCg'
15 members and 23 guests from Hertford, Hoddesdon and U3A, and friends attended a commercial wine tasting at the last meeting of the club at Place House. Clem Yates from HwCg - a winemaker who has worked in various parts of the world - presented 8 wines in the Burgundian style. The wines were as follows:
Finest 1er Cru 12.5% 2004 Burgundy 6.99
St Veran Blason de Bourgogne 13% 2004 Burgundy 6.99
Pouilly Fuisse Blason de Bourgogne 13% 2004 Burgundy 7.99
Montes Alpha Chardonnay 14% 2004 Chile 10
Geoff Merill Chardonnay Reserve 13.5% 1999 Australia 11.99
Beaujolais (Gamay) 12.5% 2004 Burgundy 3.56
Mercurey Blason de Bourgogne (Pinot Noir) 13% 2003 Burgundy 7.99
Jackson Estate Pinot Noir Malborough 13% 2004 New Zealand 11.99

All the wines, except for the Jackson Estate wine, are available from Tesco. A excellent tasting, and a very enjoyable evening for our last meeting at Place House.

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May: Quiz Nite with Dave and Sue Kenney
12 members formed 4 teams of 3 for the annual quiz nite. Dave gave out the question sheets with multiple choice answers, which helped a bit to guess the answers. Margaret Byford, Helen Maguire and Peter Robinson were the winning team, although it was quite close. Thanks to Dave and Sue for orgainsing the evening.

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May: Beds & Herts Federation Show 2006
Peter and Elaine, as well as Peter Byford and Kevin, entered the show again this year and Peter also judged. Peter R again got 2 1st places; Elaine and Peter R between them won 15 places; Peter B won 2 places; Kevin, unfortunately, was not so lucky. Ware was the 4th club overall, beating St Albans.

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April: AGM and Wine Tasting - Supermarket Sweep
15 members attended the AGM. Apologies were received from the out-going president Ruth Tite, Richard Tite, Wendy How and Keith Brown. The treasurer's report indicated that the club is still in a healthy financial position. All the current committee members, except for Keith Brown, who has resigned after many year's on the club's committees, were re-elected for another year. Peter Byford thank Keith for all the work he has done for the club. Peter Byford also explained that the club would be moving to the Ware Arts Centre from July onwards due to the lease expiring on Place House. The building appears to be up for sale and could well be lost to external functions in the future.
Elaine Robinson then announced the results for the Founder's Trophy, as follows - Joint 9th Don Maguire and Mary Lovett 1pt; 8th David Kenney 2 pts; 7th Richard Tite 3 pts; 6th Eddie Hunt 6 pts; 5th Peter Byford 14 pts; joint 3rd Colin Lovett and Kevin Martin 15 pts; 2nd Elaine Robinson 37 pts; 1st Peter Robinson 40 pts. (Note Ex-member Ted Jordan had 18 points all gained at the Annual Show)
Peter Robinson and Kevin then presented a 'supermarket sweep' wine tasting. A bottle of wine was purchased from each of the leading supermarkets.
The wines tasted were as follows:
Turner Road Chardonnay/Pinot Grigo 13.5% 2004 California 3.99 Asda
Montagny Blason de Bourgogne Chardonnay 13% 2004 Burgundy, France 5.99 (on offer from 12.99) Tesco
Inycon Cabernet Sauvignon 12.5% 2004 Sicily 3.98 Morrisons
Chianti 12.5% 2004 Italy 3.99 Waitrose
Rapel Valley, Carmenere 13.5% 2002 Chile 4.49 Sainsbury

Well done to Peter and Kevin for the wine tasting.

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April: National Show at Weston-super-Mare
Peter and Elaine Robinson attended the annual show at Weston-super-Mare. The Travel Inn management decided to re-furbish the restuarant during our stay there, and so we were all bussed out to other Travel Inns for dinner. Otherwise, a very good weekend.
Peter and Elaine were quite successful this year, with 16 places between them. Peter has finally obtained a beer award, as well a 1st place (although no trophy) and 4 2nd places.

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March: Fruit Juice and Crisps Tastings by Peter Robinson
The meeting for this month had to be changed, due to the unexpected death of the speaker.
Peter Robinson decided to run a fruit juice tasting, and Kevin suggested a crisp tasting as well. Peter found some different fruit juices in Tesco, most of which could be used in wine-making, and the club members had to taste them and identify the two different fruits in each sample. It was harder than expected, and no one got them all right. Roger and Kevin got the most and were rewarded with Cream Eggs! The members then had to identify the different flavours of crisps, again a difficult task, with no one getting many right. Wendy got the most right and won a Cream Egg. Peter also brought along a red wine aromas kit and the members had to identify the various aromas that can be found in red wines. Undergrowth, capiscum, french and american oak were the unusual aromas. Richard identified the most aromas and won a Cream Egg.
Well done, Peter, for organising an unusual evening at short notice.

A club competition also took place that evening, judged by Graham Loxton-Best, ably assisted by Jonathan Martin. The results were as follows:
Rose - to recipe using Cranberry fruit juice: 1st Elaine, 2nd Peter R, 3rd Richard, 4th Mary
Table kit wine dry any colour: 1st Eddie, 2nd Kevin, 3rd Peter R, 4th Elaine

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February: Wine Tasting by David Gill, MW
Guests from Hoddesdon and Hertford joined club members for a commercial wine tasting, entitled 'Red Rhone Influence' by David Gill, from Bottle Green Wines.
David brought along 2 different bottles of the first wine for the tasting; one of the bottles had been filtered before bottling the other had been drawn direct from the fermentation tank. The wines tasted were as follows:
Andrew Peace Masterpeace Shiraz-Sangiovese Rose 13% 2005 South East Australia 5.99
Jantara Pinotage 13.5% 2005 Slanghoek Valley, South Africa 5.99
Domaine de la Grande Bellane 14.5% 2004 Valreas Cotes du Rhone Villages, France 5.99
Campanoco Old Vines Garnacha 14.% 2004 Campo de Borja, Spain 5.99
Inti Shiraz Reserve 13.5% 2004 Famatina Valley, Argentina 5.99
Rutherglen Estates durif 14.5% 2004 Victoria, Australia 7.99

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January: Mail on Sunday Wine Tasting by Kevin Martin
A depleted membership (mainly holidays to warmer places!), as well as 2 guests, tasted 6 wines provided by Kevin. All the wines were taken from "The Wine List 2006" and all but 1 (the fifth wine) were bought at Oddbins. The wines tasted were as follows:
Stormhoek Sauvignon Blanc 12.5% 2004 Western Cape, South Africa 5.99
Green on Green, Jack & Knox, Semillon 13.5% 2001 Western Cape, South Africa 7.24
ONA Anakena Reisling/Viognier/Chardonnay 14% 2003 Rapel Valley, Chile 8.99
Winemakers Lot 137, Peumo Vineyard 14.5% 2004 Concha y Torre, Chile 5.99
Long Flat, Cabernet/Malbec/Shiraz 13% 2002 Australia 4.99
Heartland Shiraz 14.5% 2003 Limestone Coast, S. Australia 7.99

A very interesting tasting. Well done, Kevin.
Elaine reminded the members of the competition in March - Cranberry Rose (see recipe), and Table Dry kit, any colour; and also of the National show which takes place in Weston-super-Mare at the beginning of April. See the NAWB web site for full details. She said that if any member wished to enter either the open classes or to submit wines to represent the wine club in the circle classes, then she and Peter would be happy to take the bottles with them. (Classes available).

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Last updated: 20/07/16
Copyright: 2001 WWBC