Daily Newsletter of the Harrogate Medical Wine Society. 




                  “To enhance your understanding & appreciation of fine wine”


  • Greywacke: Thursday 1 February 2018. Harrogate Masonic Hall. Tickets £30 (Guests £35). (Sold out) 
  • Redoma & Batuta – A Niepoort Vertical: March 2018. Harrogate Masonic Hall. Tickets £40 (Guests £45). (16 reservations, 11 interested)
  • Volcanic Wines of Pietradolce: Thursday 5 April 2018. Harrogate Masonic Hall. Tickets £31 (Guests £36) (10 reservations, 2 interested)
  • Spring LunchSunday 6 May 2018. Pannal Golf Club. Cost to be announced. (11 reservations, 5 interested (total 36 places)
  • Trimbach 2007: Thursday 7 June 2018, Harrogate Masonic Hall (28 interested)
  • Boekenhoutskloof: Thursday 5 July 2018, Harrogate Masonic Hall. Tickets £38 (Guests £43) inclusive of supper. (7 reservations, total 30 places)
  • Little Known Wines of Western Australia: Thursday 6th September 2018, presented by David Connor. Tickets £45.50 pp. inclusive of 3-course dinner. (5 reservations, 14 interested)



HMWS Terms & Conditions

  • Tasting Events: Reservations are accepted only with a non-refundable deposit. Balance payments are refunded only if cancelled tickets are resold
  • Tours: (for members only). A 30% non-refundable deposit is payable at reservation
  • Current Wine Offers – (For members only), See Wine Offers 2017  
  • Wine CollectionsFridays 10 am – 12 noon & 4 – 6 pm 

Surplus HMWS Stock For Sale

  1. Laytons Champagne Brut NV £106 per case of 6 – 1 case 
  2. Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels Reserve Syrah 2014 – £24.36 each £23 each – 24bottles, 18 bottles 


TODAY – FRIDAY 19 JANUARY 2018 – (A Flower Day)

Greywacke & The Masonic Hall…

“I was sorry to read that the Masonic will now introduce corkage on all bottles of wine at the tastings there from next month.  I will send you £60 to cover corkage on 20 bottles for the Greywacke tasting which I greatly look forward to attending.  This will prevent HMWS losing money on the significant increase in Masonic charges. This is  a gift to the society to mark many years of great enjoyment which Ann & I have had  from your efforts to educate our palates!!” – Dr. Stephen Cameron, Pick Hill

  • Thank you very much – that is most generous! The Greywacke tasting is sold out. – BD

Collection Day

Today is designated day for collecting wine from the Society. Only one member has wine to collect (Stonecroft Reserve Syrah) this week.

The Calcotada

“The Calçotada is a Catalan winter food festival that involves eating loads of giant spring onions and red wine poured into the mouth from a great height. As you might guess, it’s a messy affair. The town of Valls, near Tarragona, is Calçot central. Tens of thousands are wolfed down during the annual festival (Sunday 28 January 2018) devoted to the slippery scallion.

Calçots are a young tender spring onion mainly grown in the Tarragona region. The season runs between November to April. The name ‘Calçot’ comes from the way they are cultivated: the white onion shoots are replanted and successively covered over with soil as they grow, an action known in Catalan as ‘calçar‘ (to wedge). The result is a tender white shoot around 15 to 25cm long that has a sweet, strong taste. Calçots protected by the IGP are the Blanca Gran Tardana variety.

Calçots are traditionally cooked on an open fire, until they are completely charred and blackened. The fire-blackened outer layer of the onion is pulled away to reveal a juicy white core. Then the tip is dipped into Romesco Sauce and the dripping Calçot is lowered into the mouth in one go. Do it badly and your face, hands and neck end up a black and red mess. Do it well and, er, it’s about the same…” – Basco Fine Foods, Wetherby. (They have bundles of 25 for £6.25)

Worth Reading…



News In Brief

Greywacke & Boekenhoutskloof: Cloudy Bay Pelorus Brut Rose was purchased (£24.99) as the ‘wine on arrival’ at the HMWS Greywacke tasting. Porcupine Ridge Chenin Blanc and Porcupine Ridge Syrah/Viognier were sourced for the post tasting supper at the Boekenhoutskloof tasting.

Farr Vintners are offering 2009 Château Lynch Bages at £1,380 per 12 bottles in bond.

Masonic Hall…

“After much consideration, we have decided that unfortunately we will need to charge corkage on all bottles opened moving forward from February.
I appreciate that this may have a negative impact on future events at the hall. But we feel unable to offer financially unviable functions any more.
Please let me know if you would like to discuss further, and I understand if you will need to cancel any currently reserved dates.
Many thanks,”
 – Adam (Vear), Harrogate Masonic Hall, info@harrogatemasonichall.com

Worth Reading…



News In Brief

Valentine’s Day Offer: Fells are offering the Society 12 bottles of Henriot Brut Rosé NV for the price of 10.

Barossa Distilling launches tawny port aged gin: The Barossa Distilling Company has released a limited edition gin aged for seven months in tawny port barrels. It is the company’s third gin following the release of the Generations Gin in 2016 and its Budburst pink gin later that year. The barrels originally held Barossa red wine and then spent eight years ageing Tawny port before being cut down to 100 litres at a local cooper, oak charred to a crocodile char and filled with Generations Gin. Read more

Worth Reading…



New Zealand Wine trade tasting was held in London yesterday and I made a day trip by train to meet ‘wine people’ of use to the HMWS (including Greywacke and their UK agents – Liberty Wines) and taste some of their wines. There was an abundance of Sauvignon Blanc but the best one I tasted was Greywacke Wild Ferment. (You too can taste it at the HMWS Greywacke tasting on 1st February). A blog post will follow. – BD




Greetings From Georgia

“Happy Christmas and New year my dear friends!!!! With great love and respect.” – Merab from Tbilisi. (Prof. Merab Kobakhidze was the guide during the third HMWS wine tour of Georgia in 2016.)




The Society has been successful in arranging Oliver Connolly to attend the annual New Zealand Trade Tasting in London tomorrow as a member of the Serendib Promotions’ team. I will be there too and hope to meet the Greywacke team including Kevin Judd’s son and Jane Hunter’s winemaker, among others.

Insufficient uptake forced the Society to cancel the proposed day trip to London for the Cézanne Portraits Exhibition. The only definite HMWS trip in 2018 appears to be the “Autumn In The Rheingau” wine tour in September. I contacted the agent for the proposed tour of Argentina on Friday to see if the tour will be viable with the small number of members who have shown interest. Response is awaited.

Stonecroft Reserve Syrah 2014 is an elegant and utterly pleasing wine. It will be one of the ‘main course wines’ at the Society’s Spring Lunch in May this year.

The £1 increase in the cost of the supper at the Masonic Hall is acceptable but the introduction of corkage is not. Members’ views were conveyed to Adam and he has gone away to ponder. It is hoped that a satisfactory compromise could be reached.

During the week, Hedonist was viewed by – on average,  13 members daily. The week’s Twitter Links told you about Multi-vintage Blends, 2017 Northern Hemisphere Harvest, Volcanic Wines and the latest Coravin.



News In Brief

Boekenhoutskloof wines for the July HMWS tasting were delivered yesterday. The cost was £436.

Harrogate Masonic Hall…

“Food price increase is fine, it compares favourably with pub meals locally, and the quality has improved and the service is good, and we then get the room free. Corkage, is this a new charge? Does it apply to all bottles? It seems a cheek when we supply our own tasting glasses. An additional total corkage charge of £3 per person to cover the supply of glasses for the pre-tasting drink and for the glasses for the wine we drink with the meal may be acceptable, but even this seems a little high.” – Tony (Lee), Harrogate

“Does Adam currently charge corkage? If he does not can he confirm which bottles he will charge corkage on; by this I mean will he only charge corkage on the wines he supplies the glasses for (the welcome wine and the wine with dinner). I would not think it fair to charge corkage on the tasting wines as we provide our own glasses for these and therefore do not give him any extra work and his staff are not involved in the pouring of any of the wines. If it is just the 2 wines then to reduce costs we could use our tasting glasses for the wine we drink with the dinner. Regarding the increase of the supper costs of £1, I think this is reasonable as costs for raw ingredients are increasing and staff cost too.” – Renna (Benson), Harrogate




10 thoughts on “Hedonist

  1. I would drive 500 miles: I have travelled the western Inverness to Durness section (some parts many times) and the stunning scenery keeps calling me back again and again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Superb And well organised tour.Some excellent wine tastings and returning with increased knowledge and love of good quality wines and champagne.Thank you Bernard and HMWS.


  3. The Alsace and Champagne tour was as good as ever, again with superb organisation, good quality tastings and welcoming hosts. Riquewihr in glorious autumn colours is beautiful. HMWS is also about fine dining and the evening at Auberge de L’Ill at Illhaeusern was a memorable highlight. Thank you for excellent planning, agreeable company and the two well-chosen hotels. Alisdair and Elma


  4. Sending you both our love and seasonal greetings, a happy Christmas and a wonderfull new year from Yorkshire. (Ey up hava gudun an si thee next yer). Mandy and Les
    Si thi. Les


  5. Bernard the tour to the Englis Vineyards sounds very appealing. We recently visited the Three Choirs Vineyard and we were very impressed. The vineyard was well kept with vine rows widely spaced (the vineyard had previously been a fruit farm.). The vineyard had recently been extended to include a few acres of Chardonnay. We had a glass of the Classic Cuvee as an aperitif it was light and delicate and very enjoyable. For lunch we tried Oak Aged Red 2014 ” a soft rounded red wine with berry fruits and a hint of oak” it complemented our lamb beautifully. We were also offered a taster of an alternative wine which the staff thought would also go well with our meal. The food and presentation were excellent. The staff were attentive and knowledgeable, one of the owners also came out to chat with us. We were sorry we didn’t have time to explore more vineyards but we had birthday party celebrations to attend. Best Regards Peter and Carol. P.S. We bought a guide to The wines of England and Wales.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just like to say how much I enjoyed the tasting by Ian on Thursday night. A really interestingly conceived tasting which certainly demonstrated the 2014 vintage to be one of great quality and potential. I thought that the Sylvaner and the Kuentz-Bas muscat were probably the best examples of those two grapes that I have ever tasted. like Ian, I am not normally a fan of dry muscat, but the Kuentz-Bas was so intense and relatively complex that I really enjoyed it. I also felt that the Pinot Gris was certainly among the best that I have encountered and for me was among the best 3 wines at the tasting, along with the Gewürztraminer. The wine I found the most impressive was however the Ginglinger Riesling. Must go back after about 30 years – he also makes great Gewürztraminer.
    Finally I would like to thank Ian for his clear and informative talk. I was particularly impressed by his calm forbearance as the acoustics were not ideal and perhaps it would have been kinder had some of us been better able to control our excitement to pass comment on the wines to our neighbours rather than listening to what Ian had to say. A very enjoyable evening capped with a good meal. Thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

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