[glass] Events: Hilary 2011

BottlesBacchus are very excited to have some fantastic wine producers and wine merchants coming to speak to the Society this term. We hope that you will be able to join us to discover, learn about and enjoy some exceptional wines.

See below for more details and to book your place at some of our events. (Booking opens seven days in advance. Please cancel your place if you cannot attend a tasting for which you have booked a place.)


Oxford Wine Company Off The Rack

Oxford Wine Company

Wednesday 1st Week (18 January)

The ever popular Oxford Wine Company's Off The Rack tasting is back! This unique tasting will have a small group select wines from the ample stock available at OWC. The tasting is always an enjoyable and varied look at the world of wine, and Lee Isaacs of OWC is always an excellent guide. Space is limited, and time is short: book now!

15 places available. 5 for members, 10 for guests. 7:30pm for 8pm start, Oxford Wine Company, Botley Road.


Royal Tokaji Wine Company (Rescheduled for next term)

Australian Wine Tour

Friday 2nd Week (27 January)

This tasting marks a return of the popular "Bacchus Introduction To..." series, and will focus on Australia -- one of the top five wine exporting countries. Due to its large size, and the fact that wine is produced in every state, there are huge differences between different regions and producers, and Australia was one of the first New World countries to emulate the French concept of Terroir. The results can be excellent or... less so.

Tonight, we'll go through some of the most popular denominations, so that you will be able to make an informed decision between a Barossa and a McLaren Vale. At this point, we cannot yet confirm whether there will be any wine from the mysterious Kangaroo Island...

60 places available. 5 for members, 10 for guests. 7pm for 7.30pm start, Garden Room, St. John's College.

Esterhazy Wine

Esterhazy Wine

Tuesday 3rd Week (31 January)

Esterhazy Wine has been producing wine since the 17th century, and combines respect for traditional winemaking with an openness to new technology. Esterhazy is known for producing top quality wines in both traditional Austrian and internal winemaking styles. Personal tasting notes from Decanter includes circling the sweet wines and scribbling "What's good about sweet wine" excitedly all over the page.

Judith Stoll of Esterhazy Wine will be taking us through this producers full range, from sparkling to sweet wine. This promises to be an exciting tasting, and if you are a fan of sweet wine this is not one to miss!

60 places available. 5 for members, 10 for guests. 7pm for 7.30pm start, Baring Room, Hertford College.


Gonzalez Byass Sherry

Gonzalez Byass Sherry

Tuesday 4th Week (7 February)

Gonzalez Byass is one of the world's top sherry producers, and having them at a Bacchus event is truly exciting. Taking sherry out of your grandmothers hands, Gonzalez Byass will change the way you think about sherry. This will definitely be a memorable tasting of the term!

60 places available. 5 for members, 10 for guests. 7pm for 7.30pm start, Baring Room, Hertford.


Italian Masterclass

Italien Wine

Friday 5th Week (17 February)

Did you know that in recent years, Italy and France have been vying with each other for the title of "country with the highest wine production"? Italy is home of some of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, with records of viticulture going back to pre-Roman times. Italians also lead the world in terms of wine consumption per capita, more than doubling the UK's figure.

As you might expect, this means there are hundreds of appellations covering dozens of grape varieties, some only cultivated here. In this masterclass, we'll talk about some of the most famous ones, learn to differentiate between Barbaresco, Brunello and Barolo, and try the wines of some of the truly transformational figures of the wine world. If you've been avoiding Italian reds because as a rule you've found them too tannic, or if you think Italian whites tend to be boring, fruity affairs -- don't miss this tasting!

60 places available. 5 for members, 10 for guests. 6.30pm for 7.00pm start, Baring Room, Hertford.

Vega Sicilia

Vega Sicilia

Tuesday 6th Week (21 February)

Vega Sicilia is one of the most famous Spanish wine growers, with a history that spans almost 150 years. Wine writers routinely compare it to Bordeaux's first growth chateaus, with Hugh Johnson famously remarking "Vega Sicilia is the Latour; but Latour of a vintage that has raisined the grapes and fried the picking crews." Unusually for Spain, a significant portion of Vega Sicilia's plantings consist of the typical Bordeaux varieties. They are known for their patience in winemaking, occasionally holding back vintages for several decades until the perfect amount of aging has been achieved.

This is going to be a very special tasting at an upscale venue, and should not be missed by anyone interested in the finer things in life.

30 places available. 15 for members, 25 for guests. 6.30pm for 7.00pm start, St. Giles House, St. John's.


Villa Maria

Villa Maria

Thursday 6th Week (23 February)

Heralded as New Zealands most awarded winery, Villa Maria has been family owned since 1961 and continues to produce delectable new-world wines. Penny Fear from Villa Maria will be taking us through this range of wines in what promises to be a strong showing of new world style.

30 places available. 5 for members, 10 for non-members. 7.15pm for 7.30pm start, Prestwich Room, St. John's College.


John Hoskins Master of Wine

Master of Wine

Monday 7th Week (27 February)

'Master of Wine' - What's it all about?
You may not be a budding 'Master of Wine' but you might be interested to know what being a 'MW' means, how you get the qualification and, most importantly, how you master the blind tasting tests that are the key to success.
John Hoskins MW (who won the prize for best taster in his year and is now in charge of the MW exam process) will teach you how to taste blind; how to analyse wines as the professionals should do it. Factual knowledge is much less important (and much less enjoyable) than the ability to taste well.
This will be an informal opportunity to learn more about the wine world all the while getting some tasting tips from one of the most experienced wine tasters in the UK. Needless to say, the wine we're matching to this event will be suitably fascinating as such an opportunity doesn't come around often.

30 places available. 5 for members, 10 for guests. 7.00pm for 7.30pm, North Seminar Room, St. John's.

Vina Ventisquero

Vina Ventisquero

Friday 7th Week (2 March)

Vina Ventisquero was founded in 1998 and now owns vineyards in some prime sites in Chiles key wine producing regions - Casablanca, coastal Maipo, Apalta and Lolol vineyards in Colchagua Valley, Leyda Valley. All the company's wines are produced from grapes grown in their own vineyards and VV is one of the top 8 Chilean wine suppliers to the UK.

From the beginning, Vina Ventisquero has hunted out and hired a team of professionals in viticulture and oenology - Aurelio Montes, Eduardo Silva, Roberto Pizarro and soil expert Pedro Parra - who have worked closely with the companys resident team of viticulturalists to identify the best vineyard sites and individual blocks for the different varietals. Australian winemaker John Duval, ex Head Winemaker for Penfolds Grange, has also been involved as a consultant for Ventisqueros premium wines. VVs flagship Vertice and Pangea from Apalta are the result of a collaboration between John and Head Winemaker Felipe Bruna.

60 places available. 5 for members, 10 for guests. 6.30pm for 7.00pm, Garden Room, St. John's.


Bovey Wines: d'Oliveira Madeira

Bovey Wines

Monday 8th Week (5 March)

This is the last tasting of term, and so we're going to make it a special one.

The wines produced on the Portuguese island of Madeira defy many conventions in the wine world, with spectacular results. The modern wines as we know them are a direct result of the incompetence of 18th century shippers, who "accidentally" routed a shipment of wine bound for England all around the world -- "vinho da roda", meaning "wine that's made a round trip", became incredibly popular (and expensive) until the island's producers figured out a way of emulating the conditions more economically.

Normally best described as "seriously tasty", Madeira's wines range from bone-dry to tooth-numbingly sweet, and are some of the most age-worthy wines in the world. But let it not be said that Bacchus makes empty claims -- while the precise line-up is still being finalised, we'll almost certainly be able to try wines over 100 years old; a first in the history of our society.

Spaces are going to be fairly limited, so book early.

60 places available. 15 for members, 25 for guests. 7.00pm for 7.30pm, Baring Room, Hertford.

Photos of events

View photos of previous tastings and events on our alumni page.
If you have any photographs of events to submit please email web@oxforduniversitywinesociety.com.

Earlier Termcards