Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Tasting wine - someone's got to do it

Attended a charity wine tasting in aid of St John Ambulance at the magnificent Vintner's Hall in London last night (their photo). No sign of the credit crunch. The canap├ęs were fantastic and elegantly served: beef on a kind of forked chopstick, crispy duck, onion tartlettes, fish & a single chip on a stick, spring rolls, prawns in a sauce on a spoon, etc etc. Unfortunately I couldn't drink more than a glass at the reception, as was driving from the station home eventually, but we tasted eight wines and heard a spiel on each one from an expert. The most expensive was from New Zealand, Villa Maria (sadly, I left the list behind.)
Britain is full of mysterious arcane traditions that most of us haven't even heard of, and if you want to know more about The Vintners, a City livery company, and the strange fact that they share ownership of mute swans with the Queen, click here and here.


Ms Mac said...

I'm lucky enough to be friends with someone in the wine industry here in Switzerland and get to go to some lovely wine-tastings. I must admit though that I haven't learned much about the wine but can remember just about each and every finger food that has been served with them!


Susie Vereker said...

Yes, you're right, Ms Mac, me too. I forgot to mention last night's smoked salmon & sour cream in a blini sandwich, cut in half. As you see, as a consumer, I take a professional interest in these matters. I don't know when cocktail eats became so grand.

Karen said...

I get frustrated when there are good canapes at a do like that - I just want to stand in a corner with a plateful of delicious nibbles and be left to enjoy them, and not have any of the 'grab a single bite every five minutes or so as the waiter passes' busines. I'm probably just greedy!

Elaine Saunders - Complete Text said...

On a drinks/swans/Vintners theme, you'll sometimes see pubs called the Swan With Two Necks.

This name originates with the Vintners' swans. When they're rounded up and marked during Swan Upping, their beaks are marked with two nicks. Over time, this went from "nicks" to "necks".

The Swan With Two Necks was therefore an advert outside a pub to show that it sold wines as well as beers or had some other connection with the Vintners Livery Company.

Elaine Saunders
Author -A Book About Pub Names