[glass] Events: Michaelmas 2008

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.)


PDF File
Download our termcard for Michaelmas 2008

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




Wednesday 1st Week (15 October)
7.15pm for 7.30pm
Baring Room, Hertford College

The good stuff. How can a wine producer with a truly global market share marry quantity and quality?

The wine industry often assumes that quantity and quality are incompatible. Gallo refutes this assumption: On the one hand, Gallo are the largest exporter of Californian wines; on the other hand, they rank alongside the world's most award-winning wineries. Sylvain Removille from Gallo will explain this paradox to us, with the help of a broad range of wines, to include some of Napa and Sonoma County's finest. This promises to be amongst Bacchus's most extensive tastings, and an excellent start to the term.


45 places. Please book online. £5 on the door.

Beginners' Wine Classes

 Glass of Red Wine

Friday 1st Week (17th October) and Friday 2nd Week (24th October)
7.45pm for 8.00pm
Danson Room, Trinity College

This term, we will be running our popular two-part introduction to wine, which aims to teach you "everything you need to know about wine". The classes are tailored to the pace of the group: fun, informal and interactive. Whether you already know a little bit about wine and want to re-trace the basics, or are completely new to the subject, you will gain confidence, knowledge, experience and enjoyment from the classes. In particular, over the course of the two classes, you will:

The classes are open to everyone: members and non-members. They will be led by Dr Ed Fitzgerald, an Associate Judge at the International Wine Challenge, past winner of Wine Australia tasting competition, distinguished WSET Advanced Certificate holder, and former Bacchus President. Ed has 8 years experience running these classes and his attitude is always well received.

To book a place, please send your contact details (name and email address) together with a cheque for £25 (members) or £48 (non-members), payable to "Robert West", to Robert West at University College. These classes are always oversubscribed, so please book as soon as possible to secure a place! For further information please consult the flyer or contact edward@oxfordwinesociety.org.

PDF File
Download flyer

Wines of Portugal


Thursday 2nd Week (23 October)
7.15pm for 7.30pm
Alington Room, University College

"The best wines from Portugal are like nothing else on earth. No modern cellar should be without them". Andrew Jefford, Decanter Magazine, November 2008.

Many wine enthusiasts are getting very excited about Portugal. This includes, for example, Jamie Goode, who spoke to the Society last term. Richard Mayson, in his capacity as Portugal Regional Chair at the Decanter World Wine Awards, characterized the current standard of Portuguese wine as higher than ever. The Society is pleased to welcome Ben Campbell-Johnston to present a range of Portuguese wines and explain to us why Portugal is going from strength to strength. This tasting will provide an excellent opportunity to discover in more depth a wine-making region that deserves its increasing reputation.

45 places. Please book online. £5 on the door.


Wednesday 3rd Week (29 October)
7.15pm for 7.30pm
Brasenose College

This summer, I was lucky enough to stop off for a lunch at the perfect small-town French Restaurant in Fleurie, in Beaujolais, where I enjoyed some exceptional Gamay. Very lightly vinified and delicately structured, some of these red wines can even be served cold. Beaujolais, uncharacteristic amongst French wine regions, has marketed itself badly over the years, which has served to obscure some of its very ‘pretty’. red wines. The Society welcomes back Patrick McGrath, Master of Wine and former Oxonian, who led our thoroughly enjoyable Louis Jadot tasting last year. We are sure that he will lead us through an equally enjoyable evening of Beaujolais.

45 places. Please book online. £5 on the door.

Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB)


Thursday 4th Week (6 November)
7.30pm for 7.45pm
Dorfman Centre, St Peter's College

From the banks of the Gironde, Bordeaux produces an array of subtly different styles, which, at their best, justify Bordeaux's reputation as ‘the king of wine regions’. Tonight the Council for Bordeaux Wine will guide us through a complete cross-section of the region from Médoc in the north to Sauternes in the south.

45 places. Please book online. £5 on the door.

Concha y Toro

Concha y Toro

Wednesday 5th Week (12 November)

Like Gallo, Concha y Toro are a global-player who have also managed to produce some exceptional wines: medal winners and wines rated with 90+ points. With vineyards throughout Chile - including the Maipo, Colchagua and Casablanca Valley - Concha y Toro will present a range of wines that offer a throrough representation of the Chilean wine-scene, including some top-quality wines made with Carmen, Chile's ‘flagship grape variety’. This event also promises to be one of the most extensive and memorable tastings of Bacchus's term.


45 places. Please book online. £5 on the door.

Wines of Languedoc-Roussillon

The Real Wine Company

Wednesday 6th Week (19 November)
7.30pm for 7.45pm
Danson Room, Trinity College

Bacchus is pleased to welcome Mark Hughes from The Real Wine Company to lead us through a tasting of Languedoc wines and tell us about his experiences sourcing them for the Real Wine Company. Speaking to me about the Languedoc, Mark said: "I believe it is the New World of the Old World; shedding its image as the wine lake of Europe it is starting to produce a new wave of great wines, and I use great in the sense of serious quality on a par with any wines from around the world, and because they don't carry the badge of greatness yet, they are top value for money." We will be arranging an order of some of these wines, as a Society, to follow-up the tasting, in which members are welcome to participate.


45 places. Please book online. £5 on the door.

Bacchus Dinner at Univ Formal Hall

Tuesday 7th Week (25th November)
University College

I've heard it said that you can spot an Englishman at an Italian bar very easily: He's the one drinking wine without food. It's almost sacrilegious to enjoy some of the world's wines without any food to go alongside. This evening, we'll have dinner at University College Formal Hall, where we'll be able to try some of these more food-friendly wines, as selected by the Bacchus committee. We'll also start and end in the Green Room, with Champagne (before dinner) and Port (afterwards). The evening will be informal, although it will include a brief talk, relating to the wines. (Gowns are not needed, but are never discouraged).

17 places. Please book online. £20 for members and £30 for non-members on the door.



7th Week

"Le Spécialiste International de la Boisson"

Since its inception in the 1950s, Castel have evolved to become a major international distributor. With a varied portfolio of Chateaux under its management, particularly in some of Bordeaux's greatest appellations, our evening with Castel will complement our CIVB tasting earlier in the term.


45 places. Please book online. £5 on the door.

Christie's Auction


Monday 8th Week (1 December)
Christie's Auctioneers, South Kensington, London

These days, rightly or wrongly, many fine and rare wines are traded as commodities like blue-chip stocks. Proudly at the centre of this international trade is Christie's of London, an auction house known to many for their fine art sales rather than fine wine. However, with their first wine sale taking place in 1766 and a team of nine highly respected experts on hand to advise clients, this is the one place to buy and sell the world's most famous wines. From everyday claret to a bottle of Château Lafite-Rothschild 1784 (which sold for £24,200 in November 2000) Christies is rightly proud of its historic tradition. By a special annual arrangement, Christie's have again agreed to host a small number of Bacchus members for the pre-auction tasting. This sale promises to be one of the largest of the year, with over 700 lots. David Elswood (Head of European Wine Sales) and Carolyn Holmes (Senior Specialist) will be there to greet us and take our group through the line up of wines and auction itself. Complimentary auction catalogues are kindly being provided.


12 places. To book a place, please send your contact details (name and email address) together with a cheque for £10, payable to "Bacchus Wine Society", to Robert West at University College. Please book at least one week before the event. Members are responsible for making their own way to London for the event. No refunds are possible.

Italian ‘Grand Cru’

Thursday 8th Week (4th December)
7.30pm for 7.45pm
University College

Italian wine is three things: Confusing. Charismatic. And, exceptional at its best. With literally thousands of indigenous grape varieties, and many localized styles unique unto their respective regions, Italian wine can be overwhelming, which is, in turn, what makes its discovery so rewarding.

At this Italian ‘Grand Cru’ tasting, we will pool the money that has accumulated in the Bacchus ‘kitty’ to bring you some of Italy's finest wines, to expand our understanding of this fascinating country. The line-up will include some exceptional wines, some going back to the early and mid nineties, showing the range of styles unique to Italy. Amongst them: Barbaresco, Barolo, Chianti, Brunello, Amarone and Sagrantino.

45 places. To book a place, please send your contact details (name and email address) together with a cheque for £20 (members) or £30 (non-members), payable to "Bacchus Wine Society", to Robert West at University College. To make other arrangements (e.g. if you don't have a cheque book), or if you have any other questions, please email Rob at president@oxfordwinesociety.org.

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