As you maybe aware I’m a big foodie who loves dining out in the finest of restaurants. But when it comes to choosing wine we either go for the countries that we know or we leave it to the recommendations of the sommeliers. So with this in mind we wanted to broaden our horizons let’s say by learning more about wine in general ie taste , smell , tannins , acidity etc. with the additional knowledge of knowing what wine wine is good value for money and which style of wine goes with which style of food.

So we gave it some thought and approached our good friend and drinks expert Alison Taffs at the Hop Inn Hornchurch our local micro pub to see what she thought and because it was only going to be the two of us if it would be worth her while. But after a little chat we discussed a budget so it would make her time and effort worthwhile. We gave her a couple of weeks to put together a format and gather some wines to taste and talk about.

This led us to sunday when our tasting would take place. We arrived at the Hop Inn and our table was laid out in the corner. You could see straight away that Alison had put a lot of effort into this to which we were very grateful. She had laid out tasting note sheets , an iPad screen displaying various information and a list of the six wines we would be tasting.

She decided that we should keep the discussion to european wines and in particular Portugal , France , Austria & Germany. Her knowledge was incredible as she guided us through the different stages of tasting wine. This begins with appearance which will include the colour. This is followed by smell , condition , intensity and the character. Then it’s time to taste to find out if the wine is sweet or dry as well as how much acidity , length , body and tannins. To finish you would decide what type of food you would match the wine with.

We followed this by talking about pricing and what wines from specific regions when you look at a wine list are good value for money. This information really was invaluable and will certainly help us in the future.

We’d personally like to thank Alison for a fabulous wine tasting afternoon. To listen to her knowledge and passion really was a pleasure and we definitely got more out of this than we first thought. I would highly recommend if your interested in wine to arrange a session yourselves whether your a couple like us or a larger group you will certainly benefit from her vast experience in the industry. We’re certainly looking forward to booking another session with her soon.

Thank You Alison for a fantastic afternoon and look forward to seeing you again soon at the Hop Inn Hornchurch

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