[glass] Events: Michaelmas 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.)


Bacchus Introduction to White Wine

White Wine

Tuesday 1st Week (11 October) or Friday 2nd Week (21 October)

The start of Michaelmas sees the return of the ever popular Bacchus Beginners' Classes which aim to give you an engaging, unpretentious and fun grounding in everything you need to know to enjoy wine. Last year we sold out, so book now!

Due to popular demand, this year we'll be running two identical "White Wine" classes as well as two "Red Wine" classes, so pick the dates that suit you – these classes are exceptionally good value!

Our first class explores how to taste wine and how to notice, understand and describe the main components of white wine. In other words, you'll be able to make sense of phrases like "a powerful fruity wine with soft tannins, a kick of alcohol, low acidity". We'll also taste the major styles of white wine so you get a concise overview of the wine world.

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

Bacchus Introduction to Red Wine

Red Wine

Friday 1st Week (14 October) or Tuesday 3rd Week (25 October)

The massively popular Bacchus Beginners' Classes aim to give you an engaging, unpretentious and fun grounding in everything you need to know to enjoy wine. Last year we sold out, so book now!

Having explored white wines in the first half of the BBC, this second half focusses on red wine. Again, the tasting is designed so that you can actually taste what sets different wines apart from each other and also explore the major red wine styles of the world. You can ask any questions you have and can expect a really fun evening of tasting ahead.

There are two identical "Red Wine" classes, so pick the date that suits you. Fantastic value is guaranteed!

60 places available. £5 for members, £10 for guests. 7:00pm for 7:30pm start. Intro to Red 1 at Baring Room, Hertford. Intro to Red 2 at Garden Room, St. John's.

Taylor’s, Fonseca & Croft Port Tasting

Taylor's, Fonseca, and Croft

Tuesday 2nd Week (18 October)

This evening a representative of one of Port Wine’s oldest and most renowned family companies will be showing a full range of quality Ports. The Fladgate Partnership is a group of three distinguished Port houses, Croft (founded in 1588), Taylor (1692) and Fonseca (1822). Family owned and managed, it is dedicated to the production of Port. Each firm maintains its own identity, traditions, vineyards and distinctive house style. These find their quintessential expression in each firm’s classic Vintage Port: the restrained power and longevity of Taylor, the heady opulence of Fonseca and the luscious and exotic fruitiness of Croft.

Underpinning this diversity of individual styles is each firm’s historical link with its quintas or estates. The group possesses one of the most extensive vineyard holdings in the Douro, including many of the valley’s most famous vineyards. Its dedication the development of these unique properties and to the best in both old and new wine making practices make The Fladgate Partnership the guardian of the finest traditions in Port production.

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

Summit Sales Bordeaux - Exploring Bordeaux with Anthony Stockbridge

Summit Sales

Wednesday 3rd Week (26 October)

Bordeaux is known the world over for its winemaking, and yet it's a difficult place for consumers to navigate as the name Bordeaux is attached to wines of quite varied quality. Bordeaux makes easily some of the best wines in the world but also quite a bit of table wine (which still costs quite a bit!). Tonight we invite Anthony Stockbridge, a WSET Certified tutor, to cover the basics of Bordeaux and the 60 appellations it includes. Tonight we will be trying both some well-known Chateaux and some hidden gems, and will discuss grape varieties, blending, some history and how to match Bordeaux wines with food.

Participants are invited to bring their own crackers, cheese and even charcuterie to this tasting. Please note the revised tasting date.

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


Riedel Glass Tasting


Tuesday 4th Week (1 November)

You've no doubt heard people go on about the importance of the shape of the glass on the wine. But how much of a difference can it really make? Surely this is just a marketing ploy?

Well, no. But it has to be seen to be believed!

Riedel have been crafting stemware since 1756. Their best glasses are mouthblown crystal, etched with lasers and hugely acclaimed throughout the wine world. There is a special glass, optimized in shape, to the aromatic and structural profile of almost any type of wine that you can imagine (think different shapes of glasses for the different sub-districts of Bordeaux!).

Can all this really make a difference? Do the wines really taste substantially better from their own specialized glasses, as so many figures from the wine-world claim? At this tasting we will try a range of different styles of wines, from a range of Riedel glasses and hear first hand from Matt Knight, of Riedel, about the importance of stemware.

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


New Zealand Pinot Noir

NZ Pinot Noir

Friday 5th Week (11 November)

If someone were to say "New Zealand Wines" the mind would jump all too quickly to the green pepper Sauvignon Blancs. Tonight we're excited to showcase the richer side of New Zealand wine; Ken Moon, senior wine judge at NZ wine competitions, will present the more prestigious Pinot Noir varieties from producers in the Martinborough and Central Otago areas. If you like the silkier, more complicated features of Pinot Noir, you'll really enjoy the wines tonight from Ata Rangi, Escarpment, Carrick, and Quartz Reef; Each award-winning, each very different in its method, each undeniably delicious.

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

Pol Roger

Pol Roger

Wednesday 6th Week (16 November)


Pol Roger.

The Champagne of Sir Winston Churchill -- he is quoted as remarking "In victory, deserve it. In defeat, need it!". We welcome Cassidy Dart back to Oxford to present the entire Pol Roger range, including the famous Cuvee Winston Churchill. This promises to be an excellent evening with some of the world's finest champagne and excellent Champagne related stories. This will be a popular tasting -- last time Pol set records in waiting list length -- so signing up early is recommended.

60 places available. £15 for members, £25 for guests. 7.00pm for 7.30pm start, Garden Room, St. John's.


Sandeman Port

Sandeman Port

Monday 7th Week (21 November)

When presented with an opportunity to have two excellent Port producers present their wines in the same term how could we refuse? The owner of Sandeman Port himself, George Sandeman will be here to introduce the ports (and sherries!) of the Sandeman house. This style of port is smoky, fruity and yet impressively balanced with acid and tannins - an award-winning beautiful style that we're really proud to present to the members of Bacchus. This Port house was founded by Scotsman George Sandeman in 1790, and seven generations later, George Sandeman again leads this house. We hope you can join us this evening for the first of two tastings we're putting on in this penultimate week of term.

40 places available. £5 for members, £10 for non-members. 8.15pm for 8.30pm start, North Seminar Room, St. John's.




Wednesday 7th Week (23 November)

The “Weingut Tegernseerhof” is a family enterprise with approximately 24 hectares of vineyards in the best crus of the Wachau such as Loibenberg, Kaiserberg, Kräutles, Superin, Kellerberg… however you don't need to be able to pronounce the names of the vineyards to enjoy the delicious wines that come from them.

Tegernseerhof produces white Riesling, Gruner Veltliner, Chardonnay, red Blauer Zweigelt and Blauburger, and rose Zweigelt, and tonight we are quite fortunate to host Martin Mittelbach, family owner of Tegernseerhof, right near harvest time. For wine drinkers who like powerful wines with finesse, complexity and character, do come by tonight and see what some of the best Austrian Crus can produce.

60 places available. £5 for members, £10 for guests. 7.00pm for 7.30pm, Garden Room, St. John's.


Virgin Wines


Thursday 8th Week (1 December)

Virgin Wines -- founded as Orgasmic Wines in 1999 -- is an online wine retailer specialising in boutique and, well, exceptional wines. A key distinguishing characteristic is their 100% satisfaction guarantee; if you don't like a wine or it is in some way spoilt, you get your money back, no questions.

If you aren't a member, talk to the Bacchus committee, as we may have some special introductory offers. Tonight we will welcome Selina Baxter, who will lead us through a delightful exploration of Virgin's range. Be sure to come!

60 places available. £5 for members, £10 for guests. 7.00pm for 7.30pm, Garden Room, St. John's.


A Bacchus Christmas Dinner

Xmas Dinner

Tuesday 9th Week (6 December)

Bacchus will hit the town for a lovely four-course wine/food paired dinner at Portobello Restaurant in Summertown, paired with SJC cellar wines. The menu looks delicious, the wines will be spectacular. Vegetarians will be treated to Portobello's quite good vegetarian food; other dietary restrictions can be catered to as well. Numbers will be restricted to 30. Prices will be £40 for guests, £30 for members, paid in advance via cheque to Stef Simmons at SJC (Made out to Bacchus Wine Society).

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