Wine can be a funny business.
There are people who get very serious about their wine, scoffing at those who don’t know their Chablis from their Chardonnay, and boring their friends at parties with endless descriptions about the terroir that each region is known for. There is nothing wrong with this per se, but it can exclude those not so clued up.
Being passionate about wine and wanting to know everything about it is a noble pursuit in my eyes. That being said, it should not be at the expense of being able to enjoy wine at a basic level. The best thing about wine is in drinking and discovering new wines. One way to do this is to take part in a tasting event or tour, and there is a new wine tour coming to Brighton that is a little more relaxed about the way it wants to get its message across.
The team at Brighton Food Tours have been running regular tours of Brighton’s independent food and drink scene for more than a year. The Very Independent Brighton Tour is a great afternoon out – I reviewed it some time ago in this column – and they have a Drink Brighton Tour too. On September 23 they will be adding a third to their repertoire in conjunction with “rebel sommeliers” Xavier Buendia and Radka Junova from food consultancy The Food Stuff.
The Brighton Wine Tour will showcase the new wave of wine experts in Brighton’s restaurants and wine retailers. Guests will be taken to venues across the city to meet and speak to sommeliers, restaurateurs and retailers to discuss their wines, taste some of their favourites and hear about how they choose wines and what to look for.
Xavier says of the concept behind the tour: “We believe that it’s possible for everyone – irrespective of budget – to really enjoy wine in Brighton. The tour will take our visitors to some amazing places and we’ll talk to some inspiring people who are incredibly passionate about wine and food. We will show people how wine isn’t inaccessible or serious – it’s about having fun. Brighton, with its brilliant independent food scene, offers massive variety and incredible opportunities to drink great wine with fantastic food without having to get a second mortgage.”
Having attended a preview tour, which was a test run for the group, I can say that it was an interesting and enlightening experience. We got to sample some fabulous and varied wines, plus some superb nibbles and canapés, at some of Brighton’s best venues. There was also the opportunity to test your skills at a blind tasting, just to make sure you had been listening and paying attention. The best part of the tour, however, was that no opinion or question was considered uneducated or wrong. It is an opportunity to ask some of those questions you always wanted to but perhaps felt you couldn’t.
Tickets are £65; to buy or for more details, head over to www.brightonfoodtours.com