Wine tasting at the Honest Grapes wine festival.
Last week Gary and I were invited to attend the Honest Grapes wine festival in SOHO.Gary and I are only really just getting into wine tasting and discovering different brands that we like.
My Dad is a wine buff and has taught me lots over the years, often asking me to “try this and see what you think” most of the time I wasn’t interested, but as I got older my taste buds began to change, with Champagne becoming a firm family favourite; especially around Christmas and New Year!
Needless to say I was rather excited to attend the wine festival .Gary enjoys being my guide for certain blogging events, especially if it includes food and alcohol!
I knew I wouldn’t be able to attend this event without sighted assistance, so it was good to get Gary on board and make it into a fun date day:)
After getting delayed with thanks to broken signals on the railway, having to walk half way around St Pancras just to get to the underground, and then having to ask for assistance and walking the 100+ steps up the escalator we finally arrived in SOHO.
Thankfully it was only a 5 minute walk from the tube station, and handy Google Maps got us there with no issues.
As we entered the building we were greeted by a lovely Chinese lady who informed us that the lift would only be able to take us up, so we would have to walk back down the stairs upon exiting.
Ida and I are becoming well versed in stairs, so I wasn’t particularly bothered about this.
Arriving upstairs we walked into a large, open, bright and white room.
The kind gentleman checked us in and even got a tray for Ida to have a drink from.
We asked if it was OK to bench Ida while we went around, just so she didn’t get under anyones’ feet, and he was more than accommodating, even offering to look after her on his table.
And then the fun began…
The first table we visited was Exton Park, an English Brewery. situated in Hampshire where the grapes are Grown in a very chalky environment which adds a distinct flavour to the wines.
We tried the Exton Park Brute first, this was a white sparkling wine.
We both thought it tasted very nice but as with most brutes’ it was Dry
You can purchase a bottle for £27.90
The next wine we tried was the Exton Park Pino MeunierRose. This was a sparkling Rose Wine with a fruity burst of flavour.. Out of the 2 this was our favourite.
You can purchase a bottle for £39.00
The second table we visited was the Chene Bleu- Vineyards, this is situated in the la verriere region of France.
The first wine we tasted was the Chene Bleu Rosé 2016. – This was a Rose wine with a silky smooth finish.
You can purchase a bottle for £20.90
The second wine we tried was the Chene Blue w 2010. This was a Red Wine,, I found it too full bodied for my personal taste. I’m not a fan of red wine as a rule and the taste made it a bit sour and sharp for me.
The third table we visited was the Clemens Busch- German Wine maker
We tried the Clemens Busch Vom Grauen 2015. This was a dry sharp red wine.
You can purchase a case of 6 for £122
The second wine we tried was the Clemens Busch vom roten Scgiefer This was a fantastic red wine, which I felt was not too full bodied for my taste. I felt that the wine completed itself nicely, by this I mean the flavour didn’t linger on the tongue or leave it dry. You can purchase a case of 6 for £122.40
Clemens Busch Marienburg GG The third wine we tried on this table was the Falkenlay 2012. This was a smooth sharp white wine that didn’t stick to the pallet..
The fourth wine we tried was the Greatest hits.
Grace Bridge Pino Noir 2013. This was a light fruity red wine, and affordable at £18.40 a bottle.
The next table we visited was the Team Picks table.
We first tried the Chardonnay 2015. – This was a light yet Crisp white wine.
You can purchase a bottle for £13.80
The second wine we tried was the Chateau Trebiac Rouge 2012-. This was an earthy flavour but was a light red colour.
You can purchase a bottle for £13.40
The next table we visited was the Spanish Tapas table.
We tried a selection of cheeses including; goats cheese, very creamy but not over powering.
A semi mature cheddar which was crumbley.
A mature cheddar which was strong and smokey, with a bit of crumble.
A blue cheese which was potent and creamy, not to my taste but Gary thoroughly enjoyed it.
We also tried some cooked ham cut straight from the hoof, this was sort of slimy in texture but tasted nice.
I also managed to taste the ham wrapped in breadstick, this was very tasty, it gave the ham a good crunch.
Our final tasting was the semi mature cheese with a sweet jelly, this was completely ccomplimentary to the cheese, and apparently very popular in Spain.
The next table we visited was Fine Wine.
The first wine Gary tasted was the Mastrojanni Brunello Montalcino 2012 This was a Medium bodied red which stayed on your tongue for a while, not to Gary’s taste.
You can purchase a bottle for £53.59
The last wine that Gary tasted was the mirafiore barolo lazzarito 2008 This was the last red wine Gary tasted, he thought it was very full bodied and clung to the pallet;not to his tastes
You can purchase a bottle for £66.50
The first wine I tasted was the Cal del Bosco Annamaria Clementi 2007 This was a white sparkling wine that was slightly dry, but refreshing.
You can purchase a bottle for £89.70
The second wine I tasted was the Frerejean Freres Blanc de Blancs This was a crisp white wine, it was tasty but not my favourite.
You can purchase a bottle for £61.40
The final table we visited was the Australia and New Zealand Wines
We met the co- founder of Honest Grapes,; Nathan, who had just come back from a 5 month trip to Australia and New Zealand meeting young people growing their own wines. He was very friendly and clearly very passionate about his job and the company.
The first wine we tried was the Jamsheed Ma Petite Francine Cabernet Franc 2016. – This was a very light and fruity Red Wine, both Gary and I enjoyed it.
Nathan explained that most people who declare they don’t like red wines, do in fact like these, because of their fruity flavours, he was definitely right.
You can purchase a bottle for £19.80
The final wine we tasted was the mirafiore barolo lazzarito Another very light and fruity red wine, it was not full bodied at all, and we both found it very easy and tasty to drink.
You can purchase a bottle for £66.50
Gary and I had a lovely day learning, tasting and meeting so many passionate people who knew so much about their craft. It was so interesting meeting the people that grew the wine, finding out their back stories as well as gaining more knowledge about how the wines were produced.
The only down side to the day was the public not understanding that Ida was a working dog and needed to be left alone. Too many people went over to her and gave her fuss that she became very excited and wouldn’t settle, so we ended up taking her around the last few tables with us.
She settled down instantly, but I do wish people would not interfere with her.
Before we headed out we headed back to the exton park table and tried the rose and brute one more time. The rose was definitely a hit for both of us, and it is wine we will be purchasing in the future.
Thanks to honest Grapes for inviting us, we had a fab day! 🙂
Getting to SOHO as a disabled person was a challenge, many of the train stations lacked lifts and had too many stairs or just escalators. The venue the event was hosted at unfortunately had a broken lift which only went up, meaning you would have to come down many stairs on your return.
As a wheelchair user this event would not have been accessible to me.
All of these things are totally out of Honest Grapes control.
The people that worked there on the day were absolutely fantastic, showed real passion and enthusiasm for the job, and were also extremely accommodating with my blindness.
Are you a wine lover? Would you attend a festival like this?
*We were given tickets for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are our own.