The Wizard of Wine Oz Clarke Extravaganza 2015!

Oz Clarke Masterclass at The Assembly Rooms November 2015

After a quick dash through the busy city centre streets of Newcastle, winding our way around shoppers now intent on doing their Christmas shopping with a real sense of purpose, we arrived at The Assembly Rooms with time on our hands to get everything ready for the final event of the day and of Oz’s visit, our How to Taste Wine Masterclass with Oz Clarke.

We could not think of anything better to while away a few hours around mid-day on a Saturday. Forget that shopping, a wine tasting with wine guru Oz Clarke is more like it!

Our guests promptly arrived and were greeted with a sparkling glass of Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2010 – fresh red apples jump out amongst fresh baked pastries, this was certainly the way to go! One of England’s finest, and most certainly the estate that pioneered the way for today’s blossoming English (and Welsh) wine industries.

SONY DSCWe had the privilege of being invited to Nyetimber this summer – you can read all about our adventure here

Tapas was served to each of our guests tables so that they could pick at an array of cheeses, meats and other assortments whilst Oz took them through the fab wines that we had lined up.

He began proceedings by demonstrating actually how to begin tasting the wines by using a refined version of what is known to us wine geeks as The Systematic Approach To Tasting. Basically: look, sniff, slosh, slurp and ask: “Do I like this?”

Oz went into some detail about our blossoming English wine industry and how Nyetimber has been a real pioneer. This led nicely onto informing our guests of how sparkling wine is made, and how English wine is made in the very same manner,  using the very same grape varieties and that it was the English who played their part in sparkling wine’s creation in the first place!

In fact, Oz suggested that the climate in the South of England is now better suited to the production of sparkling wine than that of Champagne, and this has led to one or two Champaignois taking the ferry over to Blighty in order to check out potential sites! Things really do seem to have come full-circle!

A Sauvignon Blanc followed, less full-on than the Brancott that we had at last night’s Oz dinner, but still maintained that characteristic fresh green pepper and herbaceous zing. Made by Whitehaven of Marlborough, this family-run operation,  named this wine Mansion House Bay after the cove on Kawau Island just off Auckland where Governor Gorge Grey used to entertain in stately splendour.

Next it was time to compare a Chardonnay, one from the old world, in this case France and the other from the New world, this being Australia.

Oz spoke of how Chardonnay can have a bad tag-line but often folk do not realise that it is the very grape that is used in much of Champagne’s wines and is the only grape variety that is to be found in Chablis, and not to mention most of the fine white Burgundies that are to be had!

Our guests enjoyed comparing the fresh racey Domaine Pico Race Chablis 2014, which had some nutty almond notes due to the time it had spent on its lees (this being dead yeast and other particles leftover in the wine after fermentation, which had purposely been left in the wine for a duration to allow it to develop additional characteristics), alongside d’Arenberg’s The Lucky Lizard 2013.

The latter had more of a rounded feel with less acidity, ripe apple fruit and creamy buttery highlights, and with a touch of oak. 15% of this wine underwent fermentation in French oak barrels, giving it a silky mouthfeel.

Oz explained how Aussie wines have had to adjust themselves to a changing market and consumer trends. Whereas once upon a time, we couldn’t get enough of full-on big oaky wines, the trend nowadays is for something with a bit more elegance albeit without losing that Aussie charm.

Oz Clarke Masterclass Nov 2015

Moving onto our reds, Oz went on to talk about how red wine is made (it’s not just about using red grapes of course!).

We decided to woo our guests with Craggy Range‘s Te Muna Road Pinot Noir. This is a seriously good pinot from Martinborough on the North Island of New Zealand.

Craggy Range were one of the first in the Southern Hemisphere to adopt making single vineyard wines. Hence this wine being aptly named after their Te Muna Vineyard, which contains only Pinot Noir vines. However, the vineyard is sub-divided with up to eight different varietal clones (giving slightly different Pinot Noir nuances), which are then vinified separately prior to careful blending and aged for 9 months in French oak to make this fine wine.

Now it was comparison number two. This time the variety being non-other than the Syrah/Shiraz grape. Again an Old World/New World analogy was used to illustrate perfectly how a single variety can present different characteristics depending on the where it is grown and how the wine is made.

Here we had Domaine Gilles Robin Crozes Hermitage “Papillon” 2014 from the Northern Rhone that displayed black fruits, bramble and cherry spice with a round palate and firm structure matched with a McHenry Hohnen Shiraz 2013 from Margaret River in Western Australia. The latter had rich aromas of of currant muffin, plum, blackberry and smoked ham-hock, tied together with firm but smooth ripe tannins.

David Hohnen is well known in wine circles for once being a part of Cape Mentelle Vineyards (now owned by Champagne house Veuve Cliquot), and  it was he and his family who went on to create Cloudy Bay in New Zealand.

The grand finale to our masterclass and Oz’s epic stay in Newcastle was treating our guests to a glass (or two) of Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes. With neighbours such as Chateau d’Yquem right next door, who could not be impressed by this lush dessert wine and a surprise to many, as dessert wines often get overlooked nowadays though they shouldn’t! Especially not a stunner as this one!

Oz had just enough time to mingle with our guests, sign a few more books and have the odd picture taken before heading of to Central Station and his train to the big smoke.

Wow! What a weekend it has been! Thank you Mr Oz Clarke for entertaining, wining and dining us.

It has been great to hear all the positive feedback from those who attended our events over the weekend and those that helped to set social media alight for us with their wonderful comments and pictures! Thank you!

We would also like to thank our gorgeous partners and sponsors for this event:

Enotria

Louis Latour Agencies

Nyetimber

Waitrose

We would also like to give a big THANK YOU to the Assembly Rooms for their hospitality and making us and our guests feel welcome over the weekend!

Guest Wines are next out and about at Campbells of Leyburn in North Yorkshire – stop by if your in the local vicinity and say hello. We shall have some great English wines for you to taste – a fantastic Christmas present we think!

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Learn How to Taste Wine Masterclass with Oz Clarke, followed by Q&A

The Assembly Rooms, Newcastle, Saturday 28th November 2015

SOLD OUT!

Oz Clarke 2015 -Credit Gary Moyes

Sauvignon Blanc or Sancerre? Chardonnay or Chablis? Syrah or Shiraz?

What’s the difference? Do you know what you’re buying?

Looking for a Christmas Gift with a difference?

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up to date news on this event!

Why not get up close and personal with renowned wine guru, TV personality, writer, actor and broadcaster, Oz Clarke at this exclusive wine tasting event at Newcastle’s Assembly Rooms to learn more about what’s in your glass. Oz’s down to earth, no nonsense approach to wine really brings it to life!

“Geordie Duo” Ruth & Kelvyn Guest of Guest Wines are proud to announce this exclusive wine tasting event with renowned wine guru, TV personality, writer, actor and broadcaster, Oz Clarke.

“We love Oz’s no nonsense, down to earth approach to enjoying wine, he brings it to life and makes it entertaining. Exactly what we want to inspire in our customers.”

Learn How to Taste Wine with Oz Clarke on Saturday 28th November 2015, in the historic Assembly Rooms, one of Newcastle’s oldest and grandest Georgian buildings. Let wine expert Oz Clarke guide you through a carefully chosen selection of wines over lunch with this exclusive wine tasting masterclass followed by a Q&A. Be inspired and entertained as Oz guides you around the world for just £55.

We have a fantastic selection of wines for you including Nyetimber Sparkling English wine, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc & Pinot Noir, Australian Chardonnay & Shiraz, alongside classics from France such as Chablis & Sauternes. All this served with a charcuterie platter & English and Continental cheese with accompaniments.

Oz’s formidable reputation is based on his extensive wine knowledge and accessible, no-nonsense approach. His tasting skills have won him an international reputation and he is acknowledged as having one of the finest palates of anyone writing about wine today. He brings a refreshingly unorthodox wit and directness to the subject and has won all the major wine writing awards both in the UK and the USA many times over.

Oz’s frequent TV and radio appearances are broadcast internationally. Oz is well known for presenting on the long running series Food & Drink and more recently he has made three successful BBC Two series with co-presenter James May and appeared as a guest in episodes of James May’s Toy Stories, as well as two series with Hugh Dennis. Not just a TV star, Oz is an actor and singer, appearing in the West End in shows such as Evita playing General Peron and he famously appeared in Superman and Superman II, being the first villain apprehended by Superman in 1978.

Oz’s best-selling books include Let me tell you about wine (2014), Wine Atlas, Grapes & Wines (2014 with Margaret Rand), and Bordeaux. His popular annual guides: Pocket Wine Book and 250 Best Wines Wine Buying Guide are published by Pavilion Books.

Oz can regularly be seen at wine and food events around the world and is also currently touring the UK as one of the Three Wine Men.

So book your ticket now to ensure you don’t miss Oz’s exclusive visit to the North East.

Ticket price just £55! – Scroll down to book

Exclusive offer! 20% discount on Oz’s new A-Z pocket guide 2016 (normal retail £11.99), only available when you book to attend this event! Order here and quote coupon code a-z offerSimply pick the book up on the day, which Oz will be more than happy to sign for you!

Our Gorgeous Sponsors & Partners!

bon-bar-logo-white- Connoisseur Logo EnotriaNEW logo Majestic Nyetimber louis-latour-logo TWE logo Waitrose logo

Would you like to be wined, dined and entertained by TV wine personality Oz Clarke? Click here to read more about this special evening and Discover the History of Wine with Oz Clarke on Friday 27th November, just £99 including 6 wines with courses to match. Payday Deal – Pay just £33 now to guarantee your place!

Discover the History of Wine with Oz Clarke,

The Assembly Rooms, Newcastle, Friday 27th November 2015

SOLD OUT!

Oz Clarke 2015 -Credit Gary Moyes

Fancy a night out with a difference this Christmas? Dinner with friends, family, work mates? Looking for a different gift idea? This is a great excuse to get your party outfits on and get ready for Christmas!

Indulge in great food and great wine with our Discovery dinner.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up to date news on this event!

SPECIAL OFFER DISCOUNT 15% OFF BOOKINGS OF 4 OR MORE PEOPLE!!!

Enter Coupon Code SPECIALOFFER when you check out 

Bringing wine to life our guest host is renowned wine guru, TV personality, writer, actor and broadcaster Oz Clarke. Oz’s down to earth approach to the enjoyment of wine brings it to life.

“Geordie Duo” Ruth & Kelvyn Guest of Guest Wines are proud to announce this discovery dinner,

“We love Oz’s no nonsense, down to earth approach to enjoying wine, he brings it to life and makes it entertaining. Exactly what we want to inspire in our customers.”

What better way to celebrate the run up to Christmas than be captivated and entertained by Britain’s most popular wine writer and one of the world’s leading wine experts, with great wine and great food too.

Discover the History of Wine with Oz Clarke on Friday 27th November 2015, in the beautiful Chandelier Suite of the historic Assembly Rooms, one of Newcastle’s oldest and grandest Georgian buildings. Who better to take you on a journey through the history of wine than expert Oz Clarke. From its beginnings in 6000BC in Georgia up to present day controversies which have rocked the whole wine world! Be inspired with tales from Oz’s new book on the History of Wine in 100 Bottles as Oz wines and dines you through history for just £99.

Oz Clarke Dinner Menu 2015

On arrival, you will receive a sparkling English wine that rivals Champagne to get your tastebuds tingling. Followed by a five course dinner with carefully paired wines, our guest speaker Oz, will introduce to you The History of Wine whilst also sharing some of his escapades in wine.

The menu for the evening will be prepared by Assembly Rooms dedicated team and dietary requirements will be catered for. The dishes will be created especially for this evenings dinner, inspired by the countries and regions that each wine hails from. The 5 wines to match will be specifically chosen by Oz himself.

Corporate bookings for tables of 10 are welcome. Please contact us directly to enquire.

Oz’s formidable reputation is based on his extensive wine knowledge and accessible, no-nonsense approach. His tasting skills have won him an international reputation and he is acknowledged as having one of the finest palates of anyone writing about wine today. He brings a refreshingly unorthodox wit and directness to the subject and has won all the major wine writing awards both in the UK and the USA many times over.

Oz’s frequent TV and radio appearances are broadcast internationally. Oz is well known for presenting on the long running series Food & Drink and more recently he has made three successful BBC Two series with co-presenter James May and appeared as a guest in episodes of James May’s Toy Stories, as well as two series with Hugh Dennis. Not just a TV star, Oz is an actor and singer, appearing in the West End in shows such as Evita playing General Peron and he famously appeared in Superman and Superman II, being the first villain apprehended by Superman in 1978.

Oz’s best-selling books include Let me tell you about wine (2014), Wine Atlas, Grapes & Wines (2014 with Margaret Rand), and Bordeaux. His popular annual guides: Pocket Wine Book and 250 Best Wines Wine Buying Guide are published by Pavilion Books.

Oz can regularly be seen at wine and food events around the world and is also currently touring the UK as one of the Three Wine Men.

So book your ticket now to ensure you don’t miss Oz’s exclusive visit to the North East.

Ticket price just £99! Scroll down to book.

Exclusive offer! 20% discount on Oz’s new book The History of Wine in 100 Bottles (normal retail £20), only available when you book to attend this event! Order here and quote coupon code history offerSimply pick the book up on the night, which Oz will be more than happy to sign for you!

Read more about Oz’s visit to Newcastle last year here.

NEWS – WE HAVE A WINNER!

Congratulations to our competition winner Julie Fletcher who has won TWO PLACES at our Discover the History of Wine with Oz Clarke Dinner plus Sunday lunch at Bonbar plus a signed copy of Oz’s new book.

Our Gorgeous Sponsors & Partners!

bon-bar-logo-white- Connoisseur Logo EnotriaNEW logo Majestic Nyetimber louis-latour-logo TWE logo Waitrose logo

Would you like to learn more about what it’s like being a professional wine taster? Learn more about your own wines tastes and what foods work well with which wines? Click here to read more about our special How to Taste Wine with Oz Clarke Masterclass on Saturday 28th November, just £55 including at least 6 wines and food.