WARE WINE & BEER CIRCLE
MEETINGS IN 2008
2008
December: Annual Cook and Taste

14 members attended the Annual Cook and Taste at Pat and David's house. We enjoyed a variety of canape starters - smoked salmon and cream cheese blinis, proscuitto and ricotta cheese rolls, prawn vol-au-vents, roast mushroom pate tarts and smoked mackerel tarts. The main courses were roast beef and fruity lamb casserole, with roasted vegetables, red cabbage, peas, soya beans and potatoes. The desserts were tiramisu, and apple sponge. For those who still had some room, there was cheese and biscuits as well. A variety of wines was passed round the table. A very enjoyable evening. Many thanks to Pat and David for their hospitality.

Click here to view the photos. (N.B. This is a PowerPoint slide show; if you do not have PowerPoint, you will need to download the PowerPoint Viewer from the Microsoft PowerPoint website; this is a free download.)

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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. 14 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 and even thirds! One group asked for 15 glasses and liked it so much that they came back for another 14! We couldn't heat the mulled wine fast enough and had a queue of at least a dozen people across Tudor Square for most of the evening. We sold out around 9pm, again leaving some people disappointed. It was a cold evening but stayed dry until we started to pack up when there was a slight shower. We sent a donation to the Herts & Essex Air Ambulance Appeal.

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November: 30th Anniversary Lunch
All the members of the wine club - apart from one member who was not well on the day - and 6 ex-members went to the Roebuck Hotel in Ware recently for an anniversary lunch. We had a choice of vegetable soup or melon for starters, roast beef, chicken in tarragon cream or smoked haddock with Cornish Yarg pie for main course, and profiteroles, cheesecake or fruit salad for dessert. Elaine made an anniversary fruit cake which Sue iced appropriately! Chairman Peter Byford and one of the first members, Monty Varney, 'cut' the cake with a ceremonial sword supplied by M C Black. Peter then made a speech outlining the history of the club and thanked everyone for coming. Richard was official photographer for the afternoon. Click here to see the photos.

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November: South American Wine Tasting by Bryan Drummond and Alex Dale from Oddbins of Hertford
20 members - the most seen on a club evening for over a year - and 3 guests were present for a talk on South American wines and a tasting of 6 very nice wines. Bryan explained about the position of many of the vineyards, the climate and the harvesting of the grapes of the wines that we tasted. Many of them were hand-harvested, and the wines were aged in French oak barrels.
The wines were as follows:
Amayna, San Antonio Valley-Leyda Valley, Chile 14.5% 2006 Sauvignon Blanc 14.99
Dona Paula "Naked Pulp", Uco Valley, Argentina 14.5% 2006 Viognier 9.99
Errazuriz Winemakers Selection, Chile 13.5% 2007 Chardonnay 6.99
Familia Zuccardi Reserva, Mendoza, Chile 13% 2005 Bonarda 6.99
Don Dominga Gran Reserva, Colchagua, Chile 14% 2006 Carmenere 9.99
Masi Tupungato Paso Doble, Mendoza-Tupungato, Argentina 13.5% 2006 Malbec, Merlot, semi-dried Corvina 9.49

Some interesting wines. Thanks to Bryan for presenting them.
The certificates and trophies from the recent Annual Show were presented to the winners by the Chairman, Peter Byford.
A competition was also held this evening; the classes were summer fruit rose, and sweet white. The judge was Daphne Grant. The results were as follows: summer fruit rose - 1st Elaine Robinson, 2nd Peter Robinson, 3rd Kevin Martin; sweet white - 1st Kevin Martin, 2nd Peter Robinson, 3rd Colin Lovett, 4th Elaine Robinson

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October:
Unfortunately this month's meeting had to be cancelled due to several members being unable to attend.

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September: Annual Show
Due to clashes of other shows and holidays, it was decided to join up with Hoddesdon Winemakers and hold a joint show. 21 competitors from both clubs entered 142 bottles in 9 wine and 2 beer classes this year. The food classes were well supported from both clubs with 15 entries. Most of the bottles entered in the show prior to the day arrived promptly; however, one competitor had to be virtually dragged out of bed to get his bottles to the hall. The 3 judges arrived early, and had to be assisted by Peter R due to the numbers of entries. Judges and stewards partook of a salad lunch prepared by members of both clubs.
Thanks to the judges and the stewards, and to the members who provided the lunch. Well done to all the winners.

The Ware members got together in the evening at Colin and Mary's house to eat the food and sample the winning wines.
Click here for results and trophy winners.

Photo Gallery

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September: Supermarket Challenge tasting by Peter Byford
15 members and 3 guests enjoyed an evening comparing wine from Waitrose and Netto. We tasted 3 white wines from Chile - Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and a Sauvignon Blanc blend - and a Merlot from California. The sauvignon blanc from Netto was older than its counterpart from Waitrose and was deemed a bit over the hill. The Merlot from Netto was also older than the Waitrose one. Overall, the Waitrose wines were pronounced as the better wines.
Thanks to Peter for getting the wines and organising the evening.
Round 3 will take place next year with another 2 supermarkets battling it out.

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August: Annual BBQ
16 members attended the annual club BBQ, which was hosted this year by Peter and Margaret. Sunday morning started off dull and damp and miserable. However, just after midday the rain stopped and the sun made a guest appearance in the sky! The temperature was reasonable until early evening, so everyone sat outside and enjoyed the afternoon.
Colin did his usual grand job of the cooking. We ate the usual chicken, Braughing sausages and various salads prepared by the members.
Thanks to Peter and Margaret for hosting the event, and to everyone for preparing the rest of the food.

Photo Gallery

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August: Annual Computerised Wine Drive
18 people, including 3 guests from Hoddesdon and 2 ex-members, entered 9 bottles in the Annual wine drive.
The members, split into teams of 2 and 3 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 Peter Robinson; 2nd Ted Jordan; 3rd Dave Kenney; 4th Colin Lovett; 5th Elaine Robinson; 6th commercial; 7th Peter Byford 8th Keith Barltrop; 9th Eddie Hunt. The commercial wine was a from a French wine box, bought in the Charentes region of France. The club's points rules meant that Elaine gained points for the Founder's Trophy, as Ted Jordan is not a member.

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July: Annual Walk organised by Ruth and Richard Tite
On a sunny and reasonably warm evening, thirteen members, and two ex-members (June and Monty Varney), took part in this year's annual walk. The walk was a bit of a nostalgia trip, as we started at the Robin Hood pub in Tonwell, where several members have held big birthday celebrations. From there we walked to Stoneyhills, where we had some of our Christmas meals; the pub is now a private house. Then on to Chapmore End; the wine club used to hold its annual BBQ in a barn in the village. It has now been replaced by some posh houses on the site.
We finished back at the Robin Hood pub to partake of the usual refreshment, and were joined by M C Black. The landlord was probably glad to see us, as we were virtually his only customers that evening.
Thanks to Richard and Ruth for organising the walk.

Walkers at Chapmore End Walkers at Chapmore End

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June: Organic vs non-Organic
A depleted membership - 11 members - tasted a selection of food and wine, comparing organic food with non-organic. We compared orange juice, sausages, chicken, Cheshire cheese, vine tomatoes, strawberries and chocolate. We also tasted 2 white wines which were both organic from Sicily and Argentina, and 2 Cotes du Rhone wine, one organic, the other not. An interesting evening. Well done to Kevin and to Margaret Byford who helped with some of the food.

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May: Quiz Nite with Dave and Sue Kenney
13 members formed 3 teams of 3 and 2 teams of 2 for the annual quiz nite. Dave gave out sheets of multiple choice questions this year, which went down well. Ruth Tite, Helen Maguire and MC Black were the winning team. (I think we should split Ruth and Helen up next year as they won last year!) Thanks to Dave and Sue for organising the evening.

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April: AGM and English Wine Tasting
19 members attended the AGM. Apologies were received from M C Black. The treasurer's report indicated that the club is still in a healthy financial position. It was therefore decided to keep the current subscription rate. All the current committee members were re-elected for another year. A lengthy discussion was held to discuss where the club should meet in the future. Place House has not resolved the licensing problems, but there have been signs of refurbishment, although the lighting and pathway into Place House are still considered to be unsafe for our more elderly members. A vote was taken about returning to Place House, or staying at the Art Centre; the majority voted to return to Place House at some time in the future, subject to the above issues being resolved. There was also a discussion about the types of meetings that the members would like to have. It was generally felt that that the in-house meetings were often the most successful, with those where food was also involved also being popular.
Roger How then announced the results for the Founder's Trophy, as follows - 7th Mary Lovett 3 pts; 6th Peter Byford 5 pts; 5th David Kenney 9 pts; 4th Kevin Martin 12 pts; joint 2nd Colin Lovett and Elaine Robinson 19 pts; 1st Peter Robinson 35 pts. (Note 3 non-members also gained points at the Annual Show)
Peter Robinson then presented an English red wine tasting.
The wines tasted were as follows:
Barrowell Green, made at Digswell   2006 Rondo  
Carmello   2005 Rondo, Regent  
Sandyford Vineyard, Special Reserve, Saffron Walden, East Anglia 11.5% 2003 Rondo, Regent, Triomphe D'Alsace 8.99
New Hall Ruby Royal, Chelmsford, Essex 10.5% 2005 Rondo, Regent, Triomphe, Acolon, Zweigetrebe 6.90

Well done to Peter R for the wine tasting.

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March: South African Wine tasting by Mark from The Vine Shop, Ware
17 members and guests from Hoddesdon Winemakers enjoyed a wine tasting of 6 South African wines, selected by Mark from The Vine Shop in Ware. The shop puts on ticketed wine tastings and there are usually wine tastings taking place on Saturday afternoons.
The wines tasted were as follows:
Iona 13% 2006 Sauvignon Blanc 12.75
Springfield Estate, Methode Ancienne 14% 2004 Chardonnay 13.75
Glen Carlou 13.5% 2006 Pinot Noir 10.95
Onyx, Kroon, Groenekloof 14.5% 2002 Pinotage, Shiraz, small amounts of Grenache and Cinsault 8.95
Spice Route 14.5% 2005 Pinotage 9.50
Lillia Eilandia, Noble Late Harvest 14% 2005 Chenin Blanc 7.50 for 37.5cl

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March: National Show at Weston-super-Mare
Peter and Elaine Robinson attended the annual show at Weston-super-Mare. As usual, a very good, if hectic, weekend, with a very wet Saturday and early Sunday morning causing problems loading cars after the show. The weekend was also the 50th anniversary of NAWB and a dinner dance was held on the Saturday evening with 156 people attending.
Peter and Elaine had their most successful year yet, with 26 places between them, including 5 1st places; their success made the club 5th highest in the points league table, Luton beating them by 1 point. Peter obtained a 1st place in the judges' beer class at the first time of entering this class, and 2 other 1st places, amongst others; Elaine gained 2 1st places and several other places. They took 4 bottles for Colin Lovett, who gained a 3rd place.

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February: Talk and tasting by Tony Barrett from Saffron Brewery, Henham
Guests from Hoddesdon and Ware Alers joined club members for a very interest talk and tasting of beers from the Saffron Brewery, which is at Pledgdon Hall Farm, Henham, near Saffron Walden. The brewery started in May 2006 and they currently brew 12000 pints a month! Most of the beer is bottled, and is then sold at mostly at farmers markets and some shops and a few pubs. (Note: Waitrose in Hertford stock the Flying Serpent and Silent Night beers at 1.99 a bottle.) Tony told us that in 2008 brewing will probably suffer as there will not be enough hops to go round all the breweries due to the poor weather in the UK, Eastern Europe and the USA in 2007. Tony told us that they plan to make a limited edition beer that will contain 2 stems of saffron in each bottle. It will obviously be more expensive than their usual beers!
The beers tasted were as follows:
Muntjac, Saffron blond, Pledgdon ale, Pigs Ear, Silent Night.
A very interesting talk and some nice beers.
A club competition also took place that evening, judged by Colin Hotham. The results were as follows:
Two bottle class (table dry red & white): 1st Elaine, 2nd Peter R, 3rd Peter B, 4th Colin
Kit liqueur not fortified: 1st Peter R, 2nd Elaine, 3rd Kevin

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January: Social Evening
The January meeting marked the start of the 30th anniversary of the circle. The meeting was a social evening, with several members - mostly the founder and chairman Peter Byford - bringing along various items of memorabilia. 17 members and 3 ex-members enjoyed looking at the photos of past events and various old newsletters etc. There was also a quiz about events of 1978, but no-one got the last question completely right (which 3 members of the club got married that year?) Some savoury nibbles were also available.

Elaine reminded the members of the competition in February - Two bottle class, red and white table dry, and a kit liqueur, not to be fortified; and also of the National show which takes place in Weston-super-Mare at the beginning of March. 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