If ever there were a wine to challenge the blending skill of the winemaker that wine is surely Champagne. The commercial world dictates that Non Vintage champagnes be consistent in style regardless of the fact that the grapes are grown in one of the most unpredictable climatic regions in the world. That this consistency of style is regularly achieved is testimony to the experience and ability of the winemakers to blend dozens, sometimes hundreds, of different base wine components.
The diversity, quality, complexity and longevity of Champagne together maintain its perennial fascination. One only has to taste the fabulous elegance of a Blanc de Blancs or the unexpected depth of flavour in a good vintage Champagne to have one’s sense of wonderment refreshed.
Nancy became UK Champagne Ambassador in 2012 and is a passionate and knowledgeable tutor on all aspects of Champagne. Please contact her to discuss the creation of a tailor-made course to suit your personal or professional requirements (costs generally start at @ £50/head for groups of 16 or more) or to find out details of some of the master classes that she may be running at any one time.
English Sparkling Wines:
These are exciting times for English Sparkling Wines. England can certainly equal, even surpass, the region of Champagne in terms of unpredictable weather but it shares the same geological profile of chalk and limestone particularly in the South East where the majority of sparkling wine producers are to found. Top names such Nyetimber, Ridgeview, Gusbourne, Hush Heath, and Wiston are just beginning to become familiar with wine enthusiasts. Visit the wineries, learn about their beginnings; discover their future aspirations and taste their wines.
Contact Nancy to discover more about this very exciting and rapidly emerging quality region. Private tastings and tours can be arranged to suit your needs. Costs for private tastings start at @ £45/head for groups of 16 or more. The cost of tours are subject to length of time and numbers of guests. Please contact Nancy to discuss details.
Wine & Food Course
The interaction of wine and food has become a very popular tasting course offered by many wine tutors but when Nancy was first asked to put together a module for Leith’s School of Food & Wine way back in 1997 there really was nothing like it around.
Then, as now, not being one who enjoys fiddly details, she decided to create a class that would deal with the funadamental structures of taste – acidity, sweetness, saltiness, bitterness and alcohol in wine or umami* in food. The result is a series of robust generalisations that hold true regardless of the specific type or vintage of a wine or even the specific type of dish. The key is in the interaction of the structural components.
This means that in just two hours, Nancy can convey the main essentials of this remarkably simple but revolutionary exercise to anyone whether beginner or professional. Through a series of interactive tastings each person will experience for themself the effect of certain foods on wine and vice versa, and, just as importantly, they will understand why those effects occur.
Armed with these truths, every individual who takes this course will be able to explore the arena of taste with greater confidence and to experiment more freely with the world’s magnificent diversity of wine and food. That’s where the fun and excitement start. There are no rules!
* umami is a term first discovered and named in 1908 by japanese researcher, Dr Kikunae Ikeda, to describe sweet-savoury food flavours such as soya sauce, seaweed, monosodium glutamate, ketchup, tomatoes, chinese cabbage, smoked foods…
Courses can be arranged in a venue of your choice, alternatively Nancy can help you select an appropriate location.
Costs vary depending on the number of guests and the quality of wine requested but start at around £30/head for a group of 16 or more.