WARE WINE & BEER CIRCLE
MEETINGS IN 2013
2013
December: Christmas meal at the Robin Hood and Little John, Tonwell
16 members attended the Christmas meal this year at the Robin Hood and Little John pub in Tonwell.
The menu choices of tomato and basil soup, breaded prawns, and pate for starters; turkey, chicken, and salmon for mains; Christmas pudding, raspberry cheesecake, dark chocolate and brandy torte, and cheese and biscuits for dessert gave suitable choices for everyone.


December: Ware Christmas Festival
Another extremely successful year selling our mulled wine to the cold and thirsty public of Ware at the Christmas Festival in Tudor Square. The weather was not as cold as last year, but still a bit chilly. The annual event was again very popular. We made up 15 gallons of red wine, supplemented by orange juice, water and sugar, and heated it in a Burco boiler again. We have a new boiler this year so there were no problems with heating up the wine. We also preheated some of the wine and blend in the orange juice and sugar, so we were able to serve the thirsty public without keeping people waiting. Again, we had a queue past our neighbouring stall for most of the evening, and sold out soon after 8.15pm, again leaving some people disappointed. We sent a donation to Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Thanks to everyone who helped on the evening, particularly Colin who looks after most of the infrastructure of our stall and controls the temperature of the wine; he even had to turn the boiler off occasionally as the wine was getting too hot! And to Peter R for mixing up the wine, and to Kevin who also made some of the wine.

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November: Beer tasting and the story behind the labels by Kevin
19 members and 3 guests (including a potential new member) enjoyed a very lively evening presented by Kevin. He had bought some beers from Beers of Europe and had then investigated the story behind the beer label on the bottle. He also told us stories behind other beer labels and various other interesting facts. There were also 2 home-made beers provided by Peter R and Roger. The beers were as follows:
Pabst Blue Ribbon 4.7% 355ml bottle USA 1.69
Budweiser 5% 500ml bottle 1.80
Brew Dog Dead Pony Club California Pale Ale 3.8% 330ml bottle Aberdeen 1.89
Cow Girl gold ale 4.2% 500ml bottle Broxbourne 1.89
home made 'Adnams Southwold bitter' 4.3%    
Worthington White Shield 5.6% 500ml bottle 2.99
Caledonian 80/- tawny beer 4.1% 500ml bottle 2.19
Ridgeway Santa's Butt 6% 500ml bottle 2.99
home-made medieval porter 5.1% 500ml bottle
Guinness Foreign Extra Stout 7.5% 330ml bottle 1.99

Kevin concluded the evening by giving out the recipes for next year's annual show and September competition. He also had bought 2 kits which he had 'decanted' into 2 litre lemonade bottles for members to make for a competition in March. The kits were a cabernet sauvignon and a chardonnay. Each member who took a kit was then given a different yeast, so it will be interesting to see what the differences will be with the wines made at the March evening.
Well done to Kevin, who had done a lot of research into the beers he bought, for an extremely interesting evening.

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October: Sweet White Wine tasting accompanied by desserts presented by Peter R
16 members and 3 guests enjoyed a tasting of sweet white wines accompanied by desserts, chocolates and cheese. Peter R described the different wines and told us how they were made. Each wine was matched with food, which made the wines taste quite different. Peter R was unable to provide any prices for the wines, as some of them had been purchased sometime ago, and were no longer available to buy. The Sauternes, however, was reckoned to be about 70. Some very nice wines and a very enjoyable tasting.
Thanks to Peter R for presenting the evening, to Peter R and Kevin for providing the wines, Mary, Margaret, Elaine and Peter R for making the desserts, and to Kevin for getting the chocolates. The wines were as follows:
Domaine de la Motte Coteaux du Layon 13% 1997 Apple tart  
Clos Fontindoule Monbazillac 13.5% 1983 Apricot Frangipane  
Vin Santo del Nonno, Tuscany 16%   Cantucci / Biscotti  
Home made blend S.G. 1065   Bread and butter pudding  
Morris Red Liqueur Muscat, Rutherglen, Victoria Australia 17.5%   Milk chocolate truffles  
Chatreuse de Coutet Sauternes 14% 1996 Roquefort cheese  

There also a competition during the evening of Ted's Carrot wine - 1st Chris, 2nd Peter R, 3rd Peter B, 4th Kevin - and liqueur - 1st Kevin, 2nd John, 3rd Peter B, 4th Peter R.

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September: Talk and tasting by Ritchie of Village Wines, Ware
12 members and 2 guests were present at the September meeting for a talk and tasting by Ritchie of Village Wines in Ware. Ritchie brought along 6 wines from South East Asia and told us about wine-making in that area.
The wines were as follows:
Fratelli, India 13.5% 2011 Chenin Blanc 9.99
Monsoon, Thailand 12.5% 2012 Colombard, Chenin Blanc 9.99
Grace Winery, Kayagatake, Japan 12% 2011 Koshu 18.99
Sula Vineyards, India 13.5% 2011 Shiraz 9.99
Monsoon, Thailand 13% 2012 Shiraz 9.99
Grover, India 12% 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz 9.99


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August: Annual BBQ
20 members, 2 ex-members and 1 guest attended the annual club BBQ, which was hosted this year by Elaine and Peter R. It had rained all the previous day, and Elaine and Peter were a bit concerned about where everyone was going to sit. The weather improved on Sunday, so the grass did dry out. However, everyone decided to sit on the patio, so the event was very social and convivial. The weather stayed dry and was a mixture of sunshine and cloud. The main problem was wasps; candles and a mostly empty jam jar only slightly alleviated the problem.
Colin did his usual grand job of bbq-ing the chicken and sausages, and for a change this year we had spare ribs as well. Various salads and desserts - a raspberry jelly, a chocolate and orange cake, and a fruit salad - were prepared by the members.
Thanks to Elaine and Peter R for hosting the event, and to everyone for preparing the food. Also thanks to Robert for taking most of the photos.

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August: Annual Computerised Wine Drive
16 members and 3 guests 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. Only 1 bottle of commercial wine this year - Caf Collection 3 litre box of ros wine at 4% alcohol, which Peter R won in a raffle thinking it was a wine kit!.
The results were as follows: 1st Peter R; 2nd Colin; 3rd Kevin; 4th Peter B; 5th John; 6th Robert; 7th Chris; 8th Elaine; 9th Alan; 10th Commercial; 11th David.
My plea last year for some better wines seemed to have been adhered to as only 8 of the pairs scored 3-0, suggesting that the wines were extremely similar in quality. Well done to everyone.
The trophies and certificates from the recent Annual Show were presented by the club president - Wendy.
Kevin forgot to remind members of the September competition (although some of the wines in the wine drive were of the September recipe).

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July: 33rd Annual Show
The club held its 33rd Annual Show at the Ware Art's Centre in Ware. 19 competitors, including 3 from the Luton Guild, entered 96 bottles in 8 wine classes and 14 bottles in 2 beer classes this year. The food classes were well supported with 10 entries. The bottles entered in the show prior to the day arrived extremely promptly, as did the 3 judges. A prompt start was made on the judging. Judges and stewards partook of a salad lunch after judging.
Thanks to the judges and the stewards. Well done to all the winners.

13 members and 2 guests got together in the evening at the Art's Centre to eat the food (click here for recipes) and sample the winning wines.
Click here for results and trophy winners.

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July: A talk by Robert Wright from Herts Air Ambulance
19 members and 1 guest attended the talk. Robert started by telling us the history of the Herts Air Ambulance. Hertfordshire was one of the last counties in England to have an air ambulance service as it was only launched in 2008. The county was served by the Essex air ambulance before then. There are 2 helicopter which fly 5 days a week during daylight hours only. It is staffed by a pilot, a paramedic and a doctor during a flight. There are three pilots - one of whom is a lady - and a number of doctors and paramedics. The paramedics are all volunteers. The helicopter is fully equipped to be a mini hospital; if necessary in an emergency the doctor and paramedic can carry out an operation at the scene of the incident! It can transport one patient on a stretcher and one patient sitting to hospital.
The service costs 440,000 to run per month, with fuel costs of 220 per hour. It gets no government aid or lottery funding. It is totally dependent on donations, fund-raising events and it runs its own lottery which is it main source of income.
Robert brought along various items of merchandise for sale, which the members very generously supported, and also leaflets about the service and its lottery. The club made a donation to the service.
Thanks to Robert for an interesting talk about a very worth-while cause.

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June: Annual Walk - Broxbourne Wood
Twelve members and 1 guest met in the East car park for the club's annual walk along the Sculpture Trail. Our guides were Peter and Margaret. The walk was a gentle stroll through stopping at the various sculptures along the way. Peter explained a bit about them as we stopped. Most had been carved from Hornbeam; one - the Acorn Seat - was carved from oak.
We did not see much wildlife, only a muntjac deer which scuttled away as soon as it saw us, apart from listening to a few birds. We retired to the Farmer's Boy for some refreshment, meeting up with 2 more members and another guest.
Many thanks to Peter and Margaret B for organising the walk.
P.S. Peter and I saw a fox on our way home!

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May: Kit comparison tasting, organised by Kevin
16 members tasted the kit wines that several members had made to test the quality of the kits and the price paid for them.
Beaverdale Sauvignon Blanc 12.50 made by Elaine voted the best Sauvignon Blanc kit
Conisseur Sauvignon Blanc 12.50 made by Kevin
Young's 28 day Sauvignon Blanc 8.60 made by Eddie
Young's 7 day wine buddy Sauvignon Blanc 10.00 made by Peter B
Beaverdale Cabernet Sauvignon 12.50 made by Peter R
Conisseur Cabernet Sauvignon 12.50 made by Robert voted the best Cabernet Sauvignon kit
Young's 28 day Cabernet Sauvignon 8.60 made by Chris
Young's 7 day wine buddy Cabernet Sauvignon 10.00 made by Chris
The exercise indicates that you get what you pay for with the kits; by paying more you get a better wine.
Thanks to Kevin and Peter R for organising the evening.

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May: Beds & Herts Federation Show 2012
Peter, Elaine, Chris, Robert and Colin entered the show this year; Peter, Elaine and Kevin judged. Peter got three 1st places and 15 other places; Elaine got two 1st place and 11 other places; Chris got one 1st place and 1 other place; Robert got one 1st place; Colin got 2 places. Elaine was lady with most points in the wine classes and Peter had 2nd highest points in the wine classes (only beaten by 2 points by Ted) and Elaine came third. Overall in the circle table, Ware came 2nd with 184 points, the best the circle has done.
Full report and results on the NAWB web site.

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April: AGM followed by Final of supermarket challenge
19 members (4 apologies for absence) and 1 guest attended the AGM. The club is a healthy financial position, despite the main income for the club coming from the Dickens event; there could be financial problems if this event was not sucessful. The club has again enjoyed a variety of meetings, including a talk about Hertford, and a walk around all the old pubs in Hertford; a talk and tasting by Charles Humphreys of Hazel End Vineyard, a wine tasting by Mark Duce of Liberty Wines and a sherry tasting, as well as our regular evenings. The current committee members were re-elected.
Wendy How - the club president - announced the results for the Founder's Trophy, as follows - 7th Dave 2 pts; 6th Robert 9 pts; 5th Kevin 11 pts; 4th Colin 18 pts; 3rd Peter B 18 pts (Peter came 3rd by virtue of gaining 2 1st places to Colin's 1); 2nd Elaine 24 pts; 1st Peter R 31 points. Peter and Elaine seem to be winning the trophy on alternate years!

Kevin then poured the wines for the supermarket challenge. The final was between Sainsbury's and Morrison's.
The members had to decide which was the better wine. The wines were as follows:
Masterpiece Chardonnay S E Australia 13% 7.49 Morrison's Taste the difference Redbridge Creek Chardonnay New South Wales Australia 2012 13% 6.99 Sainsbury's
Select Range Village Seguret Cotes du Rhone France, 2011 14.5% was 7.99 offer 5.99 Morrison's House Wines Cotes du Rhone France 13% 4.50 Sainsbury's
Select Range Cava Brut Spain 11.5% offer 5.49 Morrison's Taste the Difference Cava Brut Spain, 2010 11.5% 7.49 Sainsbury's

Kevin added up the scores and Sainsbury's won by 35 to 18. Thanks to Kevin for getting the wines.
The members were reminded about the Annual  Show, which has moved back to July. Kevin gave everyone an entry form - so there is no excuse for not entering! There is a special recipe class included. Click here for the recipe. Entry forms can also be found via the Annual show page.

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March: National Show at Mercure Hotel, Hull
Peter and Elaine R, and Kevin and Lynn went to the 55th National show at Hull. The weather was not brilliant, being damp and cold for most of the weekend. We even drove home on through a snow storm! See the NAWB website for the full results and photos.
Peter and Elaine entered 126 bottles between them, (Kevin had been too busy moving to sort his bottles out) as well as two bottles from Colin and Robert. The circle also entered the circle classes for 3 bottles of wine for dinner and the 3 bottle beer class; to Peter's and Kevin's great surprise they won the 3-bottle beer class. They gained 48 places between them, including 5 1st places. No major trophies this year, although Elaine won the Yorkshire Cup for the best sparkling wine, and Peter won the News & Views trophy. The club came 4th overall in circle ranks. Kevin still took the trophies home, although most of the trophies were smaller than last year! Elaine and Kevin both judged for the first time at the National.

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March: Quiz Nite with Dave and Sue
17 members took part in the annual quiz nite with Dave as the quiz master. The quiz this year was all about food, with various questions about types of food and varieties. The results were as follows:
5th with 35 points Carol, Alan, Colin, John; 4th with 38 points Susan, Don, Peter R, Reg; 3rd with 54 points Helen, Margaret, Eddie; 2nd with 56 points Elaine, Chris, Robert; 1st with 60 points Mary, Wendy, Peter B.
Well done to the winning team and thanks to Dave and Sue for organising the quiz.
Whist the quiz was taking place, Kevin was judging a competition of table dry white and table dry red wines; he had 19 wines in total to judge, an impressive entry.
The results were as follows: table dry white - 4th Peter B, 3rd Colin, 2nd Elaine, 1st Peter R; table dry red - 4th Peter B, 3rd Peter R, 2nd Elaine, 1st Robert. Well done to the winners, and thanks to Kevin for judging.

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February: Sherry Tasting by Peter Robinson
14 members and 4 guests listened to Peter R briefly explain the history of sherry and how it is made. We then tasted 7 different sherries, preceded by a wine made from the one of the grapes that makes sherry.
The sherries tasted were as follows:

Cimarosa Pedro Jimenez 13.5% 2012 Lidl 3.99
Harveys Fino Extra Dry sherry (50cl bottle) 15%   Morrisons 5.49
Valdespino Manzanilla (100% Palomino grape) 15%   Liberty Wines 11.99
Valdespino Tio Diego Amontillado (100% Palomino grape) 18%   Liberty Wines 17.99
Lustau Solera Jerezana Palo Cortado 19%   Waitrose 8.99
Bodegas Barbadillo special Reserve Oloroso (50cl bottle) 19%   Tesco 6.30
Lustau Pale Cream sherry 17.5%   Waitrose 6.49
Williams & Humbert Sweet Pedro Ximenez aged 12 years (50cl bottle) 18%   Sainsbury's 7.99

An very interesting tasting; all of the sherries were very nice.
Well done to Peter for sourcing the sherry, and thanks to Mark for bringing the sherries from Liberty Wines.

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January: Sherry tasting
The January meeting was due to be a sherry tasting, but due to the severe adverse weather conditions - lots of snow - the meeting was postponed until February. Some subsequent meetings have been moved around. Please see the Programme page for details.


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