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  • Writer's pictureKeef Hellinger

Blog 148 Online Wine Club, Lockdown Escape

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

by keef & annie hellinger 11 Feb 2021, 15.32 pm

We are very lucky parents, for Christmas Craig and Leanne very kindly bought us a present of membership to the newly created online wine tasting club. Once a month 2 small cardboard boxes arrive (one each) inside which is a further 5 smaller cardboard boxes each containing about one half a glass of wine...white, red, rose, sherry etc....ready for tasting. Accompanying that our heroes Jamie & Alex hold a zoom conference once a month focusing on those wines all from one selected country and wine growing regions within that country. So far we have had the pleasure of experiencing Spain & New Zealand. Next month is scheduled to be our fave wine area in the world Australia.The presentation is a combination of videos of the region, interviews / chats with the wine growers from the selected vineyards / wineries, and discussion / advice by our heroes from what counts as a studio but looks more like the outroom in their wine warehouse. Wine tasting could be very pseudie but this is very relaxed and nothing like that formal. Indeed Jamie did what can only be described as a sea shanty dressed as santa last night, whatever next, most entertaining oh and of course there is the wines to sample at the same time.

we loved our wednesday evenings with the online wine club, hic!
we loved our wednesday evenings with the online wine club, hic!

We have so far always ended up being more than a little pickled, lightweights that we are on the drinking front. So we thought we had leant from our fellow attendees, there is a chat facility running alongside the viewing, and decided to employ cheese and bikkies with grapes to accompany our tastings. Still pickled at the end I'm afraid, but more than happy. The hosts also throw in a few quizzes along the way, all very light hearted and fun. They announced last night that even though they have only been going for about a year that they had won a new business award. Well done folks, in our humble opinion that is very well deserved. Love it , looking forward to the next tasting already. If you wish to have a look at their website, whilst agreed very little motorhoming is going on now, please click HERE Update 15 April 2021:- after the splendid session on Chile, whose wine we know next to nothing about we ordered our 1st few bottles from the club 2 of the truly wonderful Odfjell's Carmenere grape and 1 of the Vina la Causa Pais grape, both of which grape types we had never heard of before. Looking forward to supping. The Sav Blanc from the desert was a very interesting taste as well, all in all great fun as we have with our cheese and bikkies whilst listening. The Oz one the previous month was via Zoom and failed miserably tech wise so from this one on its all You Tube Live, seemed to work perfectly! Update 12 May 2021;- South Africa, entirely new packaging and 3rd presenter, Caroline who was behind the scenes earlier joins Jamie & Alex , good news plus and here's the really good bit for us amateur alcoholics, glossy new brochure - (see images on the picture show) and 6 wines to try rather than 5 and each increased to 75mls rather than the old 65ml... hic. Oh and the absolute best wine was the CabSav by the 1st black lady winemaker in South Africa Ntsiki Biyela of Aslina winery (progress BIG TICK!) PS as is often the case "they saved the best 'til last".

first black female wine grower, creator in south africa, a true plus for diversity

Update and sadly our last club membership after 6 months, UK vs the rest 9 June 2021 ;- Jamie & Alex compared 2 roses - Greece & Kent, Kent won for us hands down, the Greek one had the mustiness and harshness of some of my old Boots homemade wines before I discovered adding grape juice to die down the roughness then 2 whites Austrian vs Norfolk, Annie liked the Riesling type from Austria (no3) I loved the Bacchus grape (which I'd never heard of) especially its elderflower taste notes and finally 2 reds , Chile (one of my fave newly discovered Wine regions (see our Chile tastings session 4 here) and Kent, Annie liked neither I thought the Chilean Pinot Noir was by far the best of the night but if I was forced to chose on an entirely UK supporting basis I would have gone for the Norfolk white. Some nice videos of the country plus interviews again with the wine growers of Norfolk & Kent. Overall now we have finished our 6 months we have to thank Craig & Leanne again for such a fab pressie, during lockdown it made you feel like you were travelling abroad again from the comfort (& cheese & bikkies) of your kitchen with iPad x Surprise UPDATE 14 July 2021 and we were not expecting this , a single pack for the German discoverer series arrived (did they get this wrong?) who knows but never look a gift horse in the mouth so we decided to join Alex & Jamie for one last time, forget your 70's Blue Nun and Black Tower & Black Forest gateaux (apparently so popular back then because it went well with Auslese ,the sweetest categorisation of wines in Germany, Rieslings)... we got the cheese board, bikkies and iPad at the ready for 8pm... You Tube...The Online Wine Club, and hic twas interesting, lovely to see the scenery, talk to the first female sisters from their vineyard on the slopes of Platz (Jamie could not get a word in edgeways tee hee)... There are some nice wines in Germany, Keef didn't like the sweet ones. Overall Annie's fave was the Riesling, Keefs the Scheurebe (one from the sisters). Another fun night, thx again C&L even if you (and we) didn't know this one was coming x Yet another surprise UPDATE 11 August 2021. The wines of Argentina. This really really will be the last one, Criag has now stopped our subscription, we werent expecting this one so a real treat. Now everyone knows about Argentinian Malbec but on this voyage of discovery we have found the Bonarda grape. Bit like our discovery of the Chilean Carmenere grape, a real taste hit. Even their Sav Blanc was nice, quite different from our fave Kiwi Marlborough but nice just the same. With wine tasting the real key is everyone's palette is different, noted by the different likes Annie and I have as they say I'm dry, she is sweet. 😉 For quite a while now they have an online Tag map for taste recognitions by the audience, mostly all very sensible (i.e Blackcurrant, Gooseberry and if I may say pseudie (i.e Jilly Goolden's "like a wild spring meadow in a basket" ) but one that sticks in the mind overall was "dog urine"... how would they know one wonders? how tasteless , literally :) , oh and I remember Jamie saying after the numerous awards they have got (rightly) that he got to hold Oz Clarke's jacket tee hee!. Thanks for looking.

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