WARE WINE & BEER CIRCLE
MEETINGS IN 2009
2009
December: Annual Cook and Taste
16 members and 2 guests attended the Annual Cook and Taste at Mary and Colin's house. We enjoyed a variety of canapes,  followed by a salmon mousse with avocado and tomato salsa. The main courses were stuffed boned chicken and pork with a fruity stuffing, with roasted vegetable mash, carrots, peas, and roast potatoes. The desserts were Christmas pudding ice-cream, lemon mousse, cranberry and pear tart, and pavlova. For those who still had some room, there was cheese and biscuits as well. A variety of wines were passed round the table. A very enjoyable afternoon and evening. Many thanks to Mary and Colin for their hospitality.

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December: Ware Christmas Festival
Mulled wine was again provided to the cold and thirsty public of Ware at the Christmas Festival in Tudor Square. 13 gallons of red wine, supplemented by orange juice, water and sugar, was heated up and served to the public; several people returned for seconds. We heated the mulled wine using a Burco boiler this year. But we couldn't serve fast enough and had a queues past other stalls for most of the evening. We sold out around 8.30pm, again leaving some people disappointed. It was a reasonable evening as regards temperature and stayed dry for most of the evening. We sent a donation to the Herts & Essex Air Ambulance Appeal.

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November: Cider Tasting by Kevin
Carmello had been booked to come and give us a talk about his vineyard; but as he had had a bad year, he decided it was not appropriate to do so.
Kevin stepped in and ordered some different ciders from Sheppy's Cider Ltd in Somerset. He also made some sausages; Richard and Ruth made some walnut and seed bread, and french bread, whilst Mary made some soda bread.
The ciders were as follows:
Organic medium 7% 500ml £1.78
Falstaff 5.6% 500ml single varietal apple - James Grieve £1.68
Taylor's Gold 6% 500ml single varietal apple £1.68
Dabinett 7.2% 500ml single varietal apple £1.98
Old matured vintage 7.4% 500ml cider apples blend - Stoke Red, Chisel Jersey, Yarlington Mill, Hangdown £1.68
Goldfinch dry 7% 250ml blend of apples £2.45
Gold Medal dry 7.5% 250ml still cider £2.90

John had been given some wine by a friend which he brought 2 bottles along to share with us. One was a Sercial - The Society's Madeira. Some sediment, but still had a good nose and taste. The second bottle was a Chateau Theulet Monbazillac 1989 15%. Quite golden in colour; a bit past its best, but still reasonable to drink.
Many thanks to Kevin for a different evening, and to John for sharing the wines with us.
The trophies from the recent Annual Show were presented by the President, Sue, at the end of the evening.

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October: Wine Tasting by Mark from The Vine Shop in Ware
15 members and 3 guests were present for a talk on, mostly, German wines and a tasting of 6 nice wines. Mark told the members about the different styles of German wines, and gave some detail about the Swiss grape - Petite Arvine, which is only grown in a very small area. There were 4 wines from Germany, one wine from Alsace and one from Switzerland.
The wines were as follows:
Louis Guntrum Auslese, Oppenheimer Herrenberg 9.5% 2007 Reisling £11.99
Dr Loosen Kabinett, Mosel 7.5% 2007 Reisling £7.99
Andre Scherer Reserve, Alsace 12.5% 2007 Gewurztraminer £12.99
Louis Guntrum Dry, Qualitätswein QBA 12.5% 2007 Reisling £12.99
Johm & Mike Favre, Chamoson-Valais, Switzerland 13% 2007 Petite Arvine £11.99
Dr Loosen, Rosé, Pfalz 11.5% 2007 Pinot Noir £7.99

Some interesting wines. Thanks to Mark for presenting them.
The certificates from the recent Annual Show were presented to the winners by the Chairman, Peter Byford and the President, Sue Kenney.

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October: Annual Show
This year's show travelled again, this time to the Scout Hut in Broadmeads in Ware. 13 competitors entered 73 bottles in 7 wine classes and 11 bottles in 2 beer classes this year. The food classes were well supported with 12 entries. All of the bottles entered in the show prior to the day arrived extremely promptly. The 3 judges arrived early, and therefore an early start was made on the judging. Judges and stewards partook of a salad lunch prepared by members.
Thanks to the judges and the stewards, and to the members who provided the lunch. Well done to all the winners.

12 members got together in the evening at Peter and Elaine's house to eat the food and sample the winning wines.
Click here for results and trophy winners.

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September: Supermarket Challenge tasting by Peter Byford
11 members and 3 guests enjoyed an evening comparing wine from Marks & Spencer and ASDA. We compared a Semillon and Chardonnay blend from Australia (M&S Bancroft Bridge, ASDA Hardy's Stamp, both 2008); Sauvignon Blanc from Chile (M&S own from Casablanca Valley 2008, ASDA Luis Felipe Edwards Reserva, 2009); Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina (M&S Altos Del Condor, ASDA Buenos Aires Reserva (this had some Bonarda), both 2008); Montepulciano D'Abruzzo from Italy (M&S own 2008, ASDA own 2007). The M&S Semillon/Chardonnay was very acidic. The white wines were similar in price; the ASDA reds were cheaper than their M&S counterparts. Overall, the ASDA wines were pronounced as the better wines.
Thanks to Peter B and Colin and Mary for getting the wines and organising the evening.
Round 4 will take place next year with another 2 supermarkets battling it out.

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August: Annual BBQ
18 members and 2 ex-members - Monty and June - attended the annual club BBQ, which was hosted this year by Kevin, assisted by Amber, his golden Labrador! The weather was cloudy and grey all day, even a bit chilly at times. Everyone sat outside, protected from any adverse weather - although the rain held off - by two gazebos.
Colin did his usual grand job of bbq-ing the chicken and Braughing sausages. Various salads and desserts were prepared by the members.
Thanks to Kevin for hosting the event, and to everyone for preparing the food.

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August: Annual Computerised Wine Drive
19 people, including a guest from Hoddesdon, entered 11 bottles in the Annual wine drive.
The members, split into teams of 1 and 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 Eddie Hunt; 2nd Kevin Martin; joint 3rd Dave Kenney & John Grindell; joint 5th Colin Lovett & commercial; 7th Don Maguire; 8th Elaine Robinson; 9th Reg Roskams; 10th Keith Barltrop; 11th Peter Robinson. The commercial wine was a French vin de table.
Interestingly, the results for 1st and last places are the opposite of last year! I have looked at the competition records and this is the first time that Eddie has won the wine drive, so well done, Eddie. I have no idea whether Peter R has ever come last before as the full list of places in the wine drive has only been recorded for a couple of years.

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July: Annual Walk organised by Ruth and Richard Tite
On a sunny and reasonably warm evening, eleven members, and two ex-members (June and Monty Varney), took part in this year's annual walk. The walk started at the Anchor pub in Wadesmill, and proceeded along footpaths, some of which were a bit overgrown. We climbed a path called Jacob's Ladder, which was a bit steep but not too bad, and even saw a deer. The footpaths were fortunately dry. A plum tree was spotted en route, and several said they would return to pick the fruit!
We finished back at the Anchor pub to partake of the usual refreshment, and joined Glen and Colin, who had decided not to walk. In contrast to last year, the pub was very busy and we had to split in two groups for some of the time.
Thanks to Richard and Ruth for organising the walk.

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June: Quiz Nite with Dave and Sue Kenney
11 members formed 3 teams of 3 and 1 team of 2 for the annual quiz nite, with the teams drawn 'out of a hat' to split Ruth and Helen. Dave gave out sheets of multiple choice questions again this year, which seems to be the preferred format; the questions were taken from the quiz book 'Who wants to be a millionaire?', but no team 'won' a million pounds. Ruth still managed to be on the winning team, this time with Peter B, making it a hat-trick of wins for her. No team guessed the name of a bottle that holds 6 bottles of wine - a rehoboam. Shame on us! Thanks to Dave and Sue for organising the evening.

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May: A Food and Drink Evening by Kevin
A 14 members were treated to some old wines that Kevin had been given. They had been kept in a variety of bottles - port bottle, whiskey bottles, etc; and stoppers had been used instead of corks. The first wine tasted was a rhubarb wine made in 1979; it was clear (there had been a little sediment which Kevin had racked off) and sweet. A very nice wine for its age. We then tasted the same wine with some acid added, which took some of the sweetness away, but still left a pleasant wine. The third wine was a 1980 blackcurrant which was oxidised and tasted like a Madeira. This had been stored in the port bottle!
We then had two competitions - guessing the flavours of crisps (prawn cocktail, cheese and onion, worcester sauce, steak and onion), and guessing / sniffing various herbs and spices (basil, coriander leaf, oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, ground cumin, cinnamon, fennel seed, and ground coriander). The herb and spice one was quite difficult.
Kevin then gave out a food quiz, some easy questions, some a bit obscure.
A tasting of old beers followed - Adnams Royal Ale, Adnams Princes Ale (brewed for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana) and 1981 Ind Coope Strong Lager. There was also a 1978 beer from the same source as the wines above; this had a marmite nose, was clear with good condition. We were also treated to a 2002 Margaux to round off the evening.
Well done Kevin for an unusual evening.
A competition was also held during the evening, judged by Mike Davey NGWBJ. The results were as follows:
Fruit Juice - White 1st Dave Kenney 2nd Elaine Robinson 3rd Peter Robinson 4th Kevin Martin
Kit Wine Red 1st Peter Robinson 2nd Elaine Robinson 3rd Kevin Martin 4th M C Black

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April: AGM and 'Old and Young' Wine Tasting
21 members attended the AGM. The treasurer's report indicated that the club is still in a healthy financial position, although a loss was made overall for the year. This was due to a subsidy being paid for the 30th anniversary lunch. It was therefore decided to keep the current subscription rate. The members have enjoyed a variety of meetings and wine tastings during the past year, some of them including food, which seems to meet the members' approval. All the current committee members were re-elected for another year.
Sue Kenney was then nominated as the club's next President, and elected unanimously.
Roger How then announced the results for the Founder's Trophy, as follows - 7th Eddie Hunt 5 pts; 6th David Kenney 8 pts; 5th Peter Byford 9 pts; 4th Kevin Martin 10 pts; 3rd Colin Lovett 13 pts; joint 1st Elaine Robinson and Peter Robinson 23 pts.
Kevin Martin then presented a 'Old and Young' red wine tasting.
The wines tasted were as follows:
Chateau Tour Haut-Caussan   1986 Medoc  
Lady Langoa, Julien 12.5% 1990
Chateau Labadie 12.5% 2001 Medoc
Carmello   2005 Rondo, Regent  

Well done to Kevin for the wine tasting.

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March: National Show at Scarborough
Peter and Elaine Robinson attended the annual show at Scarborough. As usual, a very good, if hectic, weekend. The weather was very good and was reasonably warm for the time of year. See the NAWB website for the full results and photos.
Peter and Elaine were even more successful this year than last year, with 33 places between them, including 6 1st places; their success made the club 4th highest in the points league table. Peter obtained 2 1st places, one of them for beer; and another 1st place; Elaine gained 4 1st places, amongst others. Their success meant that Peter was 3rd for the NAWB Master trophy, and Elaine was 4th for the Master Winemaker trophy. They took bottles for Kevin and Roger.

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March: Rioja Wine tasting by Peter Robinson
18 members and 3 guests from Hoddesdon Winemakers enjoyed a wine tasting of 7 wines, from the Rioja region of Spain, which Peter and Elaine had brought back with them from their holiday there last year. Photos from the holiday were shown using a projector. Elaine had also given out some recipes for tapas at the February meeting and some of the members made a tortilla, roasted almonds, stuffed peppers, marinated feta cheese and an almond tart. There were also some olives and Spanish Chorizo sausage.
The wines tasted were as follows:
Martinez Lacuesta Fermentado en barrique 12.5% 2007 Viura €5
Castillo de Vinaral Rose, Bodegas Ignacio Marin, Carinena 12.5%   Garnacha 3.55
Dunviro, Joven 12% 2007   8 (5 litres)
Don Jacobo, Crianza 13% 2004 Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo 6.80
Dunviro, Reserva 12.5% 2001 Tempranillo, Mazuelo, Graziano 7.00
Martinez Lacuesta Reserva 13.5% 2001 Tempranillo, Graziano, Mazuelo 10.85
Baron de Lajoysa Vino de Licor, Carinena 15% Moscatel 6.50

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February: Beer, bread and cheese evening
Peter R explained how he makes his beer to 14 members and 1 guest. He brought along some of his brewing equipment and explained the brewing process. Roger also explained how he brewed his beer in a less complex method than Peter. Peter, Roger, Kevin and MC also brought along different beers for the members to taste. Kevin also brought a home-made cider, which was unfortunately over-primed. Richard, Sue and Mary hade made some bread to soak up the beer and there was also a selection of cheese.

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January: Wine Blending Session by Peter R
Peter demonstrated how several different wines could actually be blended up from a single gallon of a base wine. He made a basic wine from grape juice, apple and elderflower juice, rhubarb, mango, honey and strawberries. This turned out to have a slightly harsh and bitter taste, although the elderflower and honey could be detected on the bouquet. By adding some water to the base wine and a touch of acid, the harshness and bitterness were reduced.
The third example had been previously blended to make a herbal aperitif; Peter had added some vermouth herbs to the base wine. However, possibly too much was added as the result was too bitter. Some people added some lemonade, which improved the taste; others blended the vermouth with some of the second wine which also took the bitterness off.
For the fourth example, Peter blended the base wine with some more grape juice and some apple/elderflower fruit juice to make a medium dry table wine. This gave the wine a good elderflower nose.
For the fifth example, a red grape, raspberry and cherry juice was added to the base wine. Unfortunately the fruit juice was not clear, so the resulting rose wine was cloudy. It would probably improve if left to drop out, or if used in the fermentation process.
The final blend was to add some sugar to the base wine to make a sweet table wine. Unfortunately, Peter forgot to bring some scales to weigh out the sugar, so it was a bit hit and miss; but the result produced a sweet wine that was not cloying.
Peter demonstrated that is possible to make several different wines from a single base wine, and therefore providing the wine-maker with several entries for a show, when they may have thought that they only had one! A very interesting evening.

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