The annual EAT Festival in Newcastle and Gateshead came a little later this year, though this did not deter the crowds from the many events that have taken place over the last 16 days.
Earlier last month, we were involved in the Sideways Speakeasy film and wine show, in collaboration with Carruthers & Kent, and now on the final day of this event, Kel found himself helping out at The Newcastle Wine School Wine Fair at the Assembly Rooms in Newcastle City Centre.
Newcastle Wine School is part of the Wine School Franchise . This was the first of such and is the brainchild of Chris Powell, who since the turn of the Century has ran this venture. However, he recently handed over this responsibility to David Harker, so that he can concentrate solely on the growing Wine School franchise. There are presently 14 wine schools across the UK with more due on stream shortly. Coming soon are international wine schools , so watch this space!
These schools are a great way in which to get to know and appreciate wine. They also provide professional industry level training via the WSET programme from Level 1 to Advanced. All wine school facilitators are WSET Diploma and/or equivalent qualification or above. Check their website for some fabulous tastings and events.
This years wine fair saw a mix of local independent merchants such as Carruthers & Kent, Michael Jobling, Tyne Wines and Spanish Select displaying their wares alongside Majestic, Fenwick Stores and Marks & Spencer. Newcomers this year were Italyabroad.com and Heathcote Wines, whose Tim Hossack presented a Masterclass on their range of wines that was well received by all those in attendance. The WSET also had their own stand for those interested in undertaking some formal study either directly with them or via Newcastle Wine School or Carruthers & Kent/Taste Train with Helen Savage.
We look forward to many more Wine School events in the coming year.
The annual Newcastle/Gateshead EAT! Festival is now underway with various events taking place at a number of locations between these two cities over the next two weeks.
This year, we are privileged to be involved in two events. The first is with one of Newcastle’s leading wine merchants Carruthers & Kent, whilst the other is with the ever expanding Local Wine School, whose Newcastle franchise shall be hosting their annual wine fair on the final day of the festival. Alongside other local merchants, Carruthers & Kent will be showing a great selection of wines for you to try.
Carruthers & Kent’s leading ladies Mo & Claire, were on hand to deliver some fine wines at The Speakeasy “Sideways” film show, which was held in a makeshift bar and cinema at the Lit & Phil in Newcastle City Centre. The carefully selected wines* were handed out to the audience at the right moment to coincide with wines in the movie, which the audience thoroughly enjoyed and so did we!
The evening continued with live music and the chance to re-try the film’s wine stars.
* These wines will appear in our tasting notes “Wine Lab” section (in development).
Had a lovely tasting of California Hope Family wines last night, Liberty School & Treana labels. Liberty school were all very approachable and drinkable, personally I preferred the Treana range, lovely Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Viognier, Marsanne. Another wonderfully lovely tasting at Carruthers & Kent in Gosforth.
Tibby sat looking at us, head cocked to one side and ears pricked up, from his usual position on the stairs, as we said goodbye, gave him a stroke and ventured out into the cold and snow flurries on Tuesday 12th February 2013 to start what would be a wonderful 3 week adventure in the Winelands of South Africa.
I didn’t fully appreciate that I was heading into summer and just how wonderful the heat would feel on my rather pastey pale skin, which felt like it hadn’t seen proper sun in several years. After 24 hours worth of travelling and two very straight forward and comfortable flights with Emirates Airlines, we touched down in toasty warm Cape Town. This trip was all the more poignant as we came to South Africa for our honeymoon almost 6 years ago, and having said we would love to come back we had no idea what the future held and that it would be wine that drew us back to this beautiful country.
Our decision to go to South Africa was inspired by Jeremy Borg, founder of Painted Wolf wines, who whilst visiting the UK in late 2012 came to Carruthers and Kent wine merchants in Gosforth, where we had the chance to taste a selection of his wonderful wines.
Jeremy’s story of how he got into winemaking and his overall passion for wine production as well as the conservation of endangered African mammals, in particular the wild painted dogs, inspired us so much that Kelvyn introduced us after the tasting and asked if it would be possible to see where he makes his wines and maybe get involved by offering to work voluntarily so we could learn in a more hands on way about the wine making process. We were both in the middle of studying for the WSET Advanced level qualifications and were fired up and enthusiastic about a potential future working in the world of wine – a 6 year long dream. And thus the spark was lit!
It all happened quite quickly after that, the final decision to give up our day jobs and spend the next year visiting and working our way around some of the major wine regions of the world was not an easy a decision to make, although you may snort at me in an disbelief for saying that, the risks of what is at stake add up and haven’t been taken lightly but the chance to take our lives in a new direction and embark on such an adventure were too much to put off any longer, it felt right now!
Before we knew it February had arrived and off we flew to Cape Town.