Taunton Amateur Country Winemakers

THE February meeting of the Taunton Amateur Country Winemakers was delayed by a week, due to the Ruishton village Panto taking precedence.

It did mean that the speaker, Stuart Avison of Wine Solutions, based at Willowbrook Nurseries, had then to forgo his birthday celebration on the revised date.

The Circle’s members appreciated his sacrifice and gave Stuart a rendering of Happy Birthday before he introduced the wines he had selected from 1,400 wines they have in stock. He explained the company had contacts with many smaller exclusive vineyards and were able to offer a range, rather than the run-of-the-mill products.

Those chosen had been selected to please a variety of tastes and the speaker emphasized that he wished to offer a wine to suit the customer’s palate rather than what they were told they should like.

The six bottles for tasting were a red and a white wine each from the French Rhone and Spanish Rioja regions and from Sicily. Some lesser known varieties of grapes were used, such as the Grillo and Viura from Sicily and Spain respectively, and not the usual Merlot and Chardonnays.

All wines tasted were praised by members with various favourites being selected by individuals and the Sicilian ones meeting the approval of the majority.

Stuart then produced a red Romanian Dulce wine made from cabinet Sauvignon grapes which had been harvested late in the season when the sugar content was highest.

It was slightly sweeter than most reds, but not cloying, and it certainly found favour with the majority of members.

The speaker answered the many questions posed by the interested audience before being thanked for his presentation..

Copies of the Schedule for the Taunton Flower Show on August 4 and 5 were handed out.

This includes details of the Wine Show being held there in which there are 23 classes for wine, including two for beginners, in addition to classes for sloe gin and beer. Copies of the schedule were said to now be available in the Tourist Information Centre.

During the wine forum a bottle of commercial wine described as chocolate wine was tasted but thought inferior to an excellent fruit juice wine made by Philip.

It was announced that a 10 per cent reduction on purchases had been arranged from a major supplier of wine making items and kits for the benefit of Circle members.

The next meeting, will again be on the second Tuesday of the month, March 14, and, as good weather is essential for wine quality, the speaker will be from the Met Office on the intricacies of weather forecasting.