Host Nick Mason had inspired participants to sample a selection of rose wines from around the world - and the addition of a rose champagne gave the evening a sense of the celebratory.
Organised by the Kennels Members’ Club it was held in the library with canapés chosen to complement each of the eight wines.
If a sheet for guests to make their own tasting notes with gimlet sharpened pencil gave the impression of a hard evening’s work ahead, the fear was quickly dispelled.
It was a hugely relaxed occasion - more of an informal cocktail party than marshalled wine tasting.
The wines ranged from Rioja to Sancerre and from geographic places of origin as far flung as New Zealand and Italy.
There were some surprises and challenges. A Granache Rose which had its alcohol removed by osmosis and then reintroduced to precisely 9 per cent, was of more academic than sensual interest.
This disgusting little number was quickly tipped into the spittoon in my case.
For the rest, the selection was a sheer indulgence. The elegantly brutal dryness of the Sancerre was a masterpiece. The champagne Piollot is not a bland little number you will find on the supermarket shelves but one that was bursting with multi-layered tones and texture.
Nick, a director of Mason and Mason Wines, was the perfect host. Happy to impart the full story of each wine to those who were interested - or merely refill your glass if taste took precedence to text.
Throughout the year The Kennels hosts a variety of events for members, from compelling talks, masterclasses, gastronomic delights, comedy and fantastic parties.
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