Saturday, 2 May 2009

A perk of being in the wine trade - I get to taste lots of lovely wines!

Being in the wine trade has its perks, even for a small player like me. I get lots of offers of samples from growers who are searching for a merchant outlet in the UK, for one thing. I like to play fair, though - I only ever accept samples if I think they might be the sort of wines that would fit nicely onto my list. I can think of nothing more dishonest than a merchant accepting free samples from hard-working (and very often hard-up) growers, unless they are genuinely interested in the wines themselves, rather than just another free drink.

Another benefit is that - by some or other circuitous route - I received an invite a couple of years ago to become a member of the Nottingham Wine Circle. Now this is no ordinary wine group. The 20 or so regular members of the group are drawn from all walks of life (wine merchants, car mechanics, electricians, civil servants - you get the picture) many of whom have assembled some pretty special cellars over the last 20 or 30 years. And just in case any of them might read this, I can honestly say that they are the most generous bunch of wine lovers you could ever wish to meet. Almost to a man (plus a handful of women) they think nothing of sharing the fruits of their cellars with those of like mind. And that includes people like me, who can't - for the time being, at least - hope to contribute such wonderful (and often very old) wines on a regular basis.

Furthermore, this wine group meets not once a quarter, not even once a month, but every week, 51 weeks a year (we do have a break for Christmas). It isn't for the faint-hearted - especially as an average tasing tends to comprise around 20 different wines!

And, since I have often taken notes but have rarely bothered to catalogue or publish them anywhere, it seems appropriate for me to begin making occasional entries on my blog for the ones that float my particular boat the most. At the same time, I will also add notes on any interesting sample wines, which may one day find their way onto the Leon Stolarski Fine Wines list. For now, though, it is time for Match Of The Day, a nice lamb curry and a nice glass of wine.

My notes on some of the best wines I have tasted in April will follow tomorrow.............

Leon Stolarski

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