After the stupendous launch of Wine Tasting at the Vintners’ Hall last week – an event that will go down in the annals of the Livery Hall’s 650-year history – it is now time to spread the word about the Académie du Vin Library and Michael Broadbent’s book in particular. Fortunately, I am on the road a bit this month, which gives me ample opportunity to do so.
The Bank Holiday weekend will find me in Italy’s Piedmont region to host a Master Class in the Castello di Barolo on English Sparkling Wine. This is part of a series of wine events in the historic town that are being organised by Ian D’Agata – Italy’s top wine writer and a contributor to Wine Tasting – under the umbrella heading of ‘Collisioni’, the collision between wine and people.
On Ian’s recommendation, I will be presenting two wines each from four English estates: a blanc de blancs and a rosé apiece from Gusbourne, Nyetimber, Wiston and my own Bride Valley. We are all in different parts of the country, on different soils, and with different climatic conditions. The blanc de blancs, all 100% Chardonnay, will display these variations very clearly, while the rosés will showcase our different winemaking techniques. I trust the attendees, a mixture of local winemakers and wine writers (many international) will be impressed. Rest assured, they will not be allowed to leave the room without an impassioned introduction to Wine Tasting!
At the end of May I will be at L’Académie du Vin de Tokyo – Japan’s first wine school, which I founded in 1987, and where I serve as Honorary Chairman. There will be a masterclass covering four white and four red wines, all classics, and we will illustrate as much as possible their intrinsic characteristics, which can only be discovered through concentrated tasting – the overriding theme, of course, of Michael Broadbent’s seminal book. Everybody attending will receive a copy for their own libraries.
From Tokyo I will go to Hong Kong, where Jeannie Cho Lee MW has invited me to be one of the six Keynote Speakers at her three-day wine conference, sponsored by UNESCO. My themes will be Appreciation, Education and Communication. And guess what will form the basis of my presentation? Michael Broadbent’s Wine Tasting, of course! Steven Spurrier