On the 21st July this year, #ukwinehour regulars from many corners of the UK descended on London to celebrate ukwinehour’s first birthday with a live meet-up and tweet-up. After a year of online interaction on Twitter from participating in the weekly wine Twitter chat, a year of sharing wine knowledge and developing wine friendships, it was a joyous occasion to see so many of us together in one place for the first time! I founded ukwinehour because of a lack of wine Twitter Chats on this side of the Atlantic, and it has been very satisfying to watch it grow and develop. You can join us every Thursday on Twitter from 7-8 pm UK time. Although I try to host personally as much as possible, I am so pleased to have a growing group of guest hosts now. I trust these guys completely and am so impressed with the excellent job they do when they take the reins. Thank you one and all.
We are very grateful to Ben Austin and his team at the Eurocave UK showroom on Chiltern Street, London, for hosting our first live meet-up. It was the perfect place to meet and mingle while enjoying the use of their beautiful Zalto wine glasses. It was really interesting to look around at the wine storage solutions and cabinets, and also the wide array of wine accessories that they have available. Check out their website here.
A number of wines were showcased at the event. Thank you to Luca at Vinitalia for asking to join us earlier in the year. Luca showcased a delicious creamy extra-dry Merotto Prosecco which was very well-received, in addition to some “baby amarone” from Accordini, a very interesting sparkling red Ottouve Lettere della Penisola Sorrentina DOC 2015 and a white Falanghina dei Campi Flegrei DOC. We are so grateful to Luca for his ongoing support of ukwinehour and #ukwinehourlive.
Fabulous Greyfriars Vineyard in Surrey also showcased their stunning Blanc de Blancs and Sparkling Rosé which everyone loved! It’s also a great place to visit, and some of our ukwinehour regulars helped with the harvest there this year. Thanks so much to Mike and Hilary Wagstaff for continuing to support and build such an excellent relationship with ukwinehour.
The other sparkler of the evening was the stunning Crémant de Loire from Langlois Chateau, courtesy of Matt Barrère at Mentzendorff. Thanks so much, Matt & Langlois, the Crémant was the evening’s much admired representative of La Belle France.
Paul Laurie shared some AA Badenhorst’s Papegaai white blend of Chenin Blanc, Marsanne and Viognier from The Pipe of Port and SWIG wine, and Andy Leach some Two Dogs, a Peacock and a Horse Sauvignon Blanc from Black Elephant Vintners. Thank you both for such interesting and enjoyable contributions.
Finally, the Sherry world was also well-represented, via Helen Highley, Sherry Educator. We enjoyed some Tio Pepe and Viña AB from Gonzalez Byass and some delicious Oloroso from Rocio Urium. Helen has since opened her own online exclusive sherry shop Sherry Boutique. I do recommend you check it out!
It was so much fun for everyone to actually meet in person, and we were so pleased that Joe Fattorini from The Wine Show could join us. He is such a great guy with some great stories to share. Sure, the ladies found him charming, but I think the boys all felt a little “bromance” for sure! Joe has been our special guest on ukwinehour and often drops in to join the chat whenever he can.
We are all looking forward very much to our next #ukwinehourlive which is provisionally planned for the 26th January 2017. It will also be held in London, as it is probably the most central place for people to access. However, we are still seeking a venue, so if you would like to host us at your venue, or know a venue that might be interested, do get in touch. You can email me at email@example.com. We are already receiving enquiries from suppliers and wineries who would like to showcase at our next event, so if you would like some exposure for your wines from Twitter’s most prolific wine tweeters then do let us know.
#ukwinehour every Thursday on Twitter, 19.00-20.00 BST/GMT
I have been recommending the beautiful wooden wine coolers made by Rob Thomson for some time now, but I thought I really should provide some evidence to back this up. Yes, they are beautiful and an asset to any wine lover, but do they really keep your wine cool? I decided it to put it to the test for this wine cooler review.
I decided to compare the temperature of wine bottles, all chilled in the fridge overnight, in three different categories – a control bottle, left on the table at room temperature, one in the wooden cooler, and one in a terracotta cooler I bought a few years ago at a Jamie at Home event. I measured the ambient temperature at the time of each reading, and measured the temperature of each bottle at 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 minutes.
I didn’t wish to open three bottles at the same time so used an external wraparound thermometer (“Connoisseur” from Barcraft). I am unable to verify its accuracy. The scale goes up in two degree intervals so some readings, for example, fell between two readings and are given as the number in between e.g. 12-14 was recorded as 13.
The results can be seen in the table and graph below:
It is quite obvious that in the first hour especially after removing a wine bottle from a fridge that Rob’s handcrafted wooden wine cooler keeps the wine markedly cooler than either no cooler or the terracotta cooler, in fact 4° cooler than the control after 30 minutes. Throughout the whole three hours, the wooden cooler was consistently more effective than the terracotta cooler or no cooler at keeping the wine bottle cool.
After 150 minutes, the wooden wine cooler still maintained the bottle’s temperature 3°C cooler than the control and 2º cooler than the bottle in the terracotta cooler, and after three hours there was still a 4º difference compared to the control bottle.
Unsurprisingly, since wood is a heat insulator, Rob’s wooden wine cooler is effective at keeping chilled wine 3-4°C cooler than either a terracotta “cooler” or no cooler. The difference is greatest in the first hour after removing bottles from the fridge. Therefore, I will happily continue to recommend Rob’s coolers.