A secret wine tasting

I’m off on my summer holidays tomorrow – I’m headed back to Las Vegas and Utah for a mixture of hiking (to keep the pounds off) and restaurant crawling (to put them back on again). I may post a few pictures while I’m away, but I’m planning on spending most of the next fortnight well away from any computers.

Box wine

Andrew Barrow, a man so sophisticated that he is unable to penetrate a wine box without the instruction manual.

In the meantime, I leave you with some pictures from Andrew’s Really Secret Event. Note the acronym – Andrew seemed awfully pleased about it, and it would be churlish not to draw your attention to it. This was a wine tasting on Coombe Hill in Buckinghamshire, which you may have noticed me tweeting from a couple of weeks back. Andrew Barrow, annoyingly good photographer, proprietor of Spittoon and a proper gent despite the tendency to humorous acronyms, marshalled a sundry group of bloggers (Eat Like A Girl, Simply Splendiferous, Supermarket Wine Reviews, Wine Sleuth, Cook Sister, Wine Woman and Song and Wine Passionista – all worth a click if your Friday becomes too much like hard work) and marched us up to the top of a hill. A very steep hill, not made any better by the fact that Andrew got lost on the way to the top – how do you get lost on the way to the top of a hill? – and ended up trailing a line of terrified bloggers through a dark and boggy wood, all of us convinced that he was about to turn on us with a shotgun and subject us to some sort of Shallow Grave-style performance art.

Booze bloggers

The reason everyone looks so serious is that we're all worrying about having to wee in a bush.

Happily for readers of food and wine blogs everywhere, we survived and made it to the top, where Andrew and a group of friends had set up gazebos, laid out a huge picnic, and, most importantly, prepared a blind tasting, courtesy of Nick from Bordeaux Uncovered. My favourite wine of the afternoon was the Champagne Barnaut Seconde-Collard Blanc de Noirs Brut NV, with a lovely toasty nose and a crazily low price, coming in at less than £20 a bottle.

Liz Upton

Yours truly, smug and cheerful having successfully navigated the prickles in the toilet bush. (Gorse. Lousy choice for a toilet bush.)


Surely this takes the prize for 2010's best wine tasting view.

A lovely afternoon, with some great company. Only one request, Andrew – next time you do one of these, can we please go somewhere with a toilet?


Related posts:

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  2. The Secret Larder: Riccardo Prosecco evening
  3. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Las Vegas
  4. Roast rib of beef with red wine gravy
  5. Samurai Sushi, Lake Tahoe, five years later

9 comments to A secret wine tasting

  • That Champagne seemed to be hugely popular; but was that really the only wine that left an impression? I must say though that ‘gent’ implies a less than savoury/trustworthy character – a spiv in short!

    Glad you enjoyed the day, the ‘scenic’ walk and the slightly shady company!

  • Liz

    Honestly? Of the Bordeaux, it was the stand-out – wasn’t overwhelmed by any of the others. I did like the very floral Bellbird Spring, but I’m still lost as to what I’d match it with. (And when I say gent, I most emphatically do not mean spiv. That’s a word I reserve for Douglas.)

  • My husband (another Andrew) was pleased to establish a group at his old office which had the same acronym. I’m not sure anyone noticed!

    I’m not a wine connoiseur but any event that involves walking up a hill with a group of bloggers, having a picnic, and tasting wine, sounds good to me! :D

  • OMG no toilet!! Probably a good job I was away in Dublin that weekend and couldn’t go!

  • “ended up trailing a line of terrified bloggers through a dark and boggy wood, all of us convinced that he was about to turn on us with a shotgun and subject us to some sort of Shallow Grave-style performance art.”

    ROTFLMAO!! That’s a classic. And then the Most Hungover Woman in Britain arrived. What a day ;-)

    Lovely to see you though!

  • We always get the unlabeled house burgundy and it is a secret brand or distributor! Does anyone know where I could get it?

  • I’m planning a wine tasting event as a fundraiser. We’ll be serving 4 or 5 different wines. How much wine should be purchased?

  • Liz

    Look to serve the wine in 2oz pours for a tasting: this means you’ll get about 12 tastings out of every bottle, so you can work out how much you need for your group size. It’s nice to have some extra for people to have a full glass at the end, but it’s not necessary!

  • [...] the star of the tasting if the conversation was anything to go by, but also view the mentions on Gastonomy Domaine “a lovely toasty nose and a crazily low price” and Wine Woman Song “has the nose [...]

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