Tastings and Events

Arundel Wine Society launched in February 2013.

Regular Wine Tastings and Events are organised throughout the year and details posted here.


April 2014 - AWS Meeting South African Wines

An overview of the wines of South Africa, followed by a presentation and tutored tasting of an exclusive range of wines from this amazing country, given by Philip Portal of Portal, Dingwall & Norris who are the appointed importers of these wines. Philip knows the country well and will introduce the wines and wineries with which he works. Date: Wednesday 9th April Time: 6.30 pm Venue: The Cathedral Centre, London Road, Arundel

April 2017 The Surprising Wines of Hungary

A presentation of Wines from Hungary, to demonstrate modern wine-making in this country. Its definitely moved on from Bull's Blood. Brilliant dry whites and stunning reds, particularly Cabernet Franc wines. Not forgetting of course, the iconic Tokaij Tuesday 25th April 6.30pm to 8.30pm Fitzalan- Howard Suite, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel

April 2020 The Wines of Benguela Cove, Walker Bay, South Africa

A fascinating look at the production and wines from a single estate in South Africa.Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate is a low yield maritime wine estate situated in Walker Bay. Benguela Cove is the largest wine producer in this cool climate Walker Bay region. The focus is on low volume, high quality. Presentation by the UK representatives of the Estate, followed by a tasting of 6 wines - sparkling, dry white and red.

August 2016 - Arundel Festival Wine Events

The Society is organising a week full of Wine events for the Arundel Festival. Mon 22nd August Sussex Vineyard Tour Tues 23rd August Arundel Restaurant Trail Wed 24th August. Arundel Wine Trail - Diversity of Bordeaux Wines Mini Workshop Thurs 25th August Arundel Wine Trail - English Sparkling Wine Mini Masterclass Fri 26th August Arundel Wine Trail - Sherry, Cheese and Chocolate Sat 27th August Arundel Wine Trail - Old World versus New World

August 2017 Arundel Festival Wine Events

Monday 21st August Sussex Vineyard Tour . Visiting 4 Sussex Vineyards with lunch and tea. Minibus from Arundel. Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd August. Restaurant Trail. 4 courses in 4 different restaurants in central Arundel, paired with a glass of wine to each course Wednesday 23rd August Diversity of Wines from the Dordogne. Norfolk Arms Hotel Thursday 24th August Wines of Northern Italy Mini Masterclass La Campania Restaurant Friday 25th August Champagne Method wines from around the Globe Bay Tree Restaurant Saturday 26th August New Zealand Wine Varietal Showcase The Swan Hotel

Biodynamics - an Introduction

This is one of the most controversial topics in Viticulture, with a debate which has continued for several decades. There are a great many procedures which may or may not be carried out by all biodynamic practitioners. These range from carrying out certain procedures according to phases of the moon, to concocting various natural fertilisers, which mature in a cow-horn buried in the ground for a period of time. Whilst scientific proof of the effects and workings of the various methods so far seems elusive, there appears no doubt that wines made from grapes grown biodynamically can be of superior quality. Certainly some top wine-makers appear convinced - such great names as Olivier Leflaive from Chablis, Michel Chapoutier from the Rhone valley and Guy Cuisset from Bergerac.

Cano 2011 - Toro DO Tempranillo Garnacha

Tremendously good Spanish red from an almost unheard of region. Deep flavoured, ripe fruit and good length.

Chablis Grand Cru 1990 Les Clos

22 year old top quality Chablis - still drinking superbly!

Champagne Premier Cru - Tesco

Surprisingly good lower priced champagne from Mr Tesco! Very well-made and streets ahead of many which are much more expensive.

Chateau Lynch Bages 1984 Pauillac Grand Cru Classé

A Grand Cru Classe from Pauillac in the Medoc region of the Bordeaux vineyards, that punchs considerably above its weight in terms of its classification which dates back to 1855. The 1984 vintage was not great, but this bottle was still drinking remarkably well after 28 years (December 2012).

Chateau Vray Canon Boyer 2008 - Canon Fronsac

A great example of a Canon Fronsac, merlot dominated claret next-door to St Emilion.

Cotes de Beaune Villages 2010 - Laboure Roi

Classic red Burgundy drinking well now (August 2013) and good for a few years more. All the great characteristics of Pinot Noir.


Pre-Christmas Meeting! The meeting will involve a Blind Tasting of 6 wines from around the world. Prizes will be awarded! Test your knowledge, learn a lot about tasting and have a lot of fun! Date: Friday 6th December at 6.30 pm Venue: The Cathedral Centre, London Road, Arundel.

December 2016 - Madeira, followed by the Annual Blind Tasting!

Thursday 6th December 2016 6.30pm to 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel

English Vineyards

The re-birth of English wines since the 1950's is gathering momentum and there are now some exceptional wines produced in England - particularly regarding sparkling wines. This article has some general information about English wines, together with some examples of good vineyards - wines tasted at the AWS event in September 2013.

February 2016 - AWS Dinner and Tasting

February meeting is titled 'The Classics'. A tasting of White Burgundy and Red Bordeaux followed by a 4 course dinner at Arundel's newest fine dining restaurant -The Parsons Table. £40 to include the tasting and dinner. £10 deposit to reserve as places are limited. Click the image of chef Lee Parsons for a link to the menu. Wednesday 24th February at 6.30pm for prompt start at 6.45pm. Wines supplied and introduced by French wine importer Gilles Dubourg.

February 2020 Affordable Bordeaux

Against a background of falling sales of Bordeaux wines, the reasons why are explained, together with possible changes in the French Wine Rules. Bordeaux red and white is still affordable - you just need to know where to look. 6 wines to taste, with a vertical tasting of 3 vintages of one red Bordeaux. Norfolk Arms Hotel, 18th February 6.30 - 8.30pm Pre-booking essential. Members £15 Non-members £20.

Gladstone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 New Zealand

First class Pinot Noir from New Zealand. It has the classic light ruby colour of this grape variety, more akin to its European counterparts, yet there is no mistaking the New World origin when it comes to the intensity of fruit on the palate. Full, ripe fruit with great body yet elegant, well-balanced acidity and good length. Drinking superbly now (February 2013) but probably not quite reached its peak of complexity. Good for many more years.

January 2016 - The Loire Valley Explored

An exploration of the vineyards and wines from this fascinating region of central France. The region extends from the Atlantic coast to the borders of Burgundy, with many different micro-climates and soils affecting the types of wine made. An illustrated educational talk by Richard Esling, who has been visiting these vineyards for over 30 years. Tasting of 6 different Loire wines, concentrating on some lesser known regions. Date: Thursday 28th January Time: 6.30 - 8.30 pm Venue: Fitzalan Suite, The Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel

January 2018 - Armagnac Masterclass

A 'not too be missed' meeting for everything you ever wanted to know about Armagnac. Presentation by Amanda Garnham over from France from The Bureau National Interprofessionnel de l'Armagnac. Tasting of Armagnac from 7 different producers, including single year examples and 25 Year Old. Meeeting in association with Sussex Wine Academy. Usual contribution for members of £15. Tuesday 23rd January 6.30pm to 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel. Booking by email essential. Open to non-members at £20 per person

July 2015 - Visit to Upperton Vineyard

Visit to the Vineyard at Upperton near Petworth, Tasting of 4 different wines, tour of the vineyard with the manager, followed by a light supper on the outside terrace. Minibus available from Arundel centre. Minibus leaves 6.00pm. 6.30 to 8.30pm at the vineyard.

June 2015 Summer Rose Tasting

Led by Richard Esling, the evening will consist of an explanation of the different methods of making 'pink' wines, followed by a comparative tasting of 6 wines from countries around the world - mainly France! It will include the wine made by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt from Provence! The wines are not readily available to purchase locally, but all wines can be purchased on the night, with discounts available. Get ready for Summer!!! Usual cost of £15 per head. Venue: Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel 6.30 to 8.30pm

March 2015 AWS Meeting. Eclectic South Africa

A real insight into the history of South African wines and the recent changes. The evening will be guided by one of Arundel Wine Society's own members - Malcolm Farquharson. A native of South Africa, Malcom grew-up in the South African wine lands and knows many of the greatest wine-makers personally. There will be a tasting of some fantastic wines, all chosen carefully by Malcom through his knowledge of the area. Date: Wednesday 11th March 2015 Time 6.30pm Venue: The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, High St., Arundel

March 2016 - Chilgrove Gin cocktail event

The March event concerns spirits! Locally based Chilgrove Spirits will explain and present their products, together with a fantastic demonstration and tasting of cocktails. Chilgrove Gin and Vodka are the first UK spirits of this type to be based on distilled Grape spirit. The venue is the Arundel Brewery Shop on Town Quay. Date: Thursday 10th March 2016 at 6.30pm. Cost £15 per person. Limited places available.

March 2020 Masterclass on the Furmint Grape Variety

An in-depth look at this indigenous variety from Hungary. A presentation on the grape variety and its country and region of origin, followed by a tasting of 6 different Furmint wines - dry, sweet and sparkling! Wednesday 18th March. The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, 6.30 - 8.30pm. Members £15 Non-members £20.Pre-booking essential.

May 2016 - Wine Buying Trip to Northern France

The Second of our accompanied Wine Buying trips to Northern France This event is also open to friends of members and other groups. Limited numbers - maximum 15 double rooms. A trip through Eurotunnel with your own car, staying in the top four star Chateau Tilques Hotel with dinner and breakfast, preceded by a wine tasting and aperitifs. The following day visit to a hypermarket in St Omer, for advice on how to choose inexpensive but good French wine. All accompanied by wine expert and Certified Wine Educator, Richard Esling Monday 9th May to Tuesday 10th May 2016. £159 per person including accommodation and meals as above and return ticket with Eurotunnel. Email richard@arundelwinesociety.co.uk for bookings or more information

May 2017 Visit to Blackdown Ridge Estate

Blackdown Ridge Estate is relatively new on the English vineyard scene. Located high-up on the Weald just north of Petworth. Visit to the vineyard and winery accompanied by the wine-maker, with tasting of different vintages of sparkling and still wines - white, red and rosé. Travel by minibus from central Arundel and buffet supper at the vineyard. All inclusive price of £30. Numbers strictly limited on the bus to maximum 15. Book early. Thursday 18th May. Minibus leaves 6.30pm from Town Quay, Arundel. Return to Arundel approx. 10pm.

November 2016 - New Zealand Wines in depth

A detailed look at current trends in New Zealand and the changes occurring in the wine industry. Tasting of 6 wines which illustrate the modern approach and superb wines now being produced with regard to vineyard site and suitability to grape variety. Thursday 17th November 2016 6.30pm to 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel

October 2016 - New Wave Wines of Chile

A detailed look at Chile's wine regions and the many changes occurring in Winemaking and vineyard siting. Great emphasis on terroir. Tasting of 6 stunning wines, some of which are very rare and produced in tiny quantities. Introduction by Richard Esling and presentation by Alistair Cooper (almost MW!) who has lived and worked in Chile and has all the latest on changes to the Chilean wine industry. Thursday 20th October 2016 6.30pm to 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel

Palo Cortado Viejo - Apostoles 30 yr old

Sherry! Sherry? Yes sherry! After many years of neglect by the British public, having condemned it to the ignominy of 'Auntie's sideboard', it is making a much deserved comeback. Good sherry is a much under-rated drink and can be sublime, along with being a very versatile wine, accompanying many different dishes - or appreciated just on its own. To me, Palo Cortado is the ultimate style of sherry, and this 30 yr old is a supreme example


One of the 'new' red grape varieties grown for English wines with some considerable success.

September 2019 Eclectic Italy

A presentation and tasting of 6 unusual Italian wines, many outside the DOC classification system. Monday 30th September 6.30pm to 8.30pm Venue: The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, High Street, Arundel Members £15 Non-members £20 Strictly limited numbers.

Soave Classico

These wines, together with those from the lesser DOC – Soave – can often be rather thin and disappointing. White wines from Northern-ish Italy, they come from the Veneto area near Verona. The principal grape varieties are Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave (similar if not the same as Ugni Blanc in France), and some have small percentages of Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay.

December 2019 Annual Blind Tasting!

The now traditional yearly blind tasting event. Teams compete to try to correctly identify a range of 6 wines. Wines are similar to those appearing in tastings and dinners through the previous year. A fun evening pre-Christmas - not taken too seriously! Tuesday 10th December 6.30pm to 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel £15 members £20 non-members.

November 2019 -Australian Wine Dinner at Parson's Table

A fabulous four course dinner at The Parson's Table, Arundel, one of the best restaurants in West Sussex. Each course carefully matched by a glass of a different Australian wine, with some unusual and interesting wines included, each introduced by Wine Educator Richard Esling. Preceeded by sparkling wine from Tasmania and canapes. Wednesday 20th November 7.30pm prompt. £85 per person all inclusive. Booking essential as the wine dinners are very popular. Open also to non-members

October 2019 The Wines of Portugal

An introduction to the wines of Portugal, considered by some as 'The Last Frontier' of European wine knowledge. Amazing value wines from unheard-of grape varieties, becoming increasingly popular for 'everyday' drinking. Tuesday 29th October 6.30pm to 8.30pm. The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel. £15 members £20 non-members. Advance booking required, as for all events.

June 2019 Wine Dinner - The Wines of Spain

The diverse and exciting range of modern wines from Spain, together with a 4 course dinner, wines paired to the dishes. Top quality and some lesser known wines from Spain. A different wine with each course, plus a glass of Sparkling Traditional Method wine as an aperitif. Great Spanish menu designed around the wines. Butlers Restaurant, Tarrant Street Wednesday 5th June . 7 pm for 7.30pm start. £75 per person. Members and their guests welcome. Places strictly limited. Please book and pay on-line.

May 2019 Digby Fine English

A comprehensive tasting and presentation of the English sparkling wines produced by Digby in Sussex. Made by one of the top English wine-makers, the company operates in a similar manner to many champagne houses. The venue is in Digby's own luxury Tasting Room on the High Street in Arundel. Wednesday 8th May 6.30pm to 8.30pm Usual contribution to expenses of £15 for members, £20 for guests. Please book and pay on-line as usual.

March 2019 The Modern Wines of Austria

An in-depth exploration of the new wave wines of Austria - all from indigenous grape varieties, such as the wonderful Gruner Veltliner. A new classification of the wines from this variety and some fabulously interesting red wines. Tutored tasting of 6 wines. Supported by the Austrian Wine Institute. Wednesday 27th March 6.30pm to 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel. Members £15. Non-members £20. Please book in advance.

February 2019 - Sauvignon Blanc Gone Global

An in-depth look at the hugely popular Sauvignon Blanc grape variety and its wines. Comparative tasting of 6 wines from around the globe - 5 continents! Compare how climatic variations affect aroma and flavour. Tuesday 19th February 2019 6.30pm - 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel. Usual contribution to expenses of £15. Please reserve you place. Payment in advance please.

August 2018 Arundel Festival Wine Events

Monday 20th August Sussex Vineyard Tour . Visiting 4 Sussex Vineyards with lunch and tea. Minibus from Arundel. Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd August. Restaurant Trail. 4 courses in 4 different restaurants in central Arundel, paired with a glass of wine to each course Thursday 23rd August World of Real Sherry Masterclass, Norfolk Arms Hotel Friday 24th August Sussex Sparkling Wines Masterclass, Norfolk Arms Hotel

December 2018 The Great Burgundy Wine Dinner

A four course dinner of typical dishes from the Burgundy region, each one matched by a superb Burgundy wine. Aperitif on arrival of a top sparkling Cremant de Bourgogne. Many of the wines from the great Burgundy wine house of Louis Jadot. A great start to the Festive Season! All wines introduced and commented. Friday 14th December. 7.30pm prompt The Loft at Sparks Yard, Tarrant Street, Arundel. Members and their guests £85 per person. Numbers strictly limited. Book early to avoid disappointment.

November 2018 Annual Blind Tasting + French Sweeties!

The now traditional Society Blind Tasting Event. Each table is a team, competing against the other teams to correctly identify 6 different wines tasted blind - no information, except that each is a different grape variety! Prizes for the best team! This will be followed by a tasting of 3 dessert wines from different regions of France. Just in time for Christmas! Wednesday 21st November 6.30pm to 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel Members £15 . Non-members £20.

October 2018 - Champagne de Barfontarc

A presentation and up-date as to what is changing in the Champagne region, the recent measures introduced to maintain quality and its position in world markets. Followed by a comparative tasting of 6 different styles of champagne, all from one producer - Champagne de Barfontarc, a multi-award winning producer in the Cotes de Bar area. Thursday 18th October 6.30pm to 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel £20 members. £25 non-members.

September 2018 - Australia, but not as You Know It

A presentation and Tasting of Wines from grape varieties not often associated with Australia. No Chardonnay, no Cab Sauvignon and no Shiraz! An up-date as to what is going on down under, followed by a tasting of 6 wines from grape varieties less seen in that country. Wednesday 26th September 6.30pm to 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel Members £15 Non-members £20

June 2018 Introduction to the Wines of Brazil

Wines from Brazil? Surely its too hot? No, Brazil has been producing wine for over 150 years in the south of the country. An interesting exploration of wines from an alternative South American country. Presentation followed by a tasting of 6 Brazilian wines. Wednesday 27th June 6.30pm to 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel

May 2018 Visit to Nutbourne Vineyard

Visit to the award winning Nutbourne Vineyard near Pulborough. Visit of the vineyards, tour of the winery, comprehensive tasting of still and sparkling wines, supper of pizza in wood-fired oven and transport by minibus from Arundel. £47.50 per person all inclusive. Numbers on minibus strictly limited. Early booking is adviseable. Minibus leaves Town Quay Arundel at 6pm. Return approx. 9.30 - 10.00 pm

April 2018 Sparkling wines Made by the Champagne Method - Not Champagne

Sparkling Wines made by the Traditional Method, the same as champagne, from different parts of France, Europe and The New World. How they are made, what makes them different, the grape varieties involved and the quality produced. Presentation by Richard Esling followed by a comparative tasting of 6 wines. Tuesday 24th April 6.30pm to 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel

February 2018 - An in-depth study of Alsace White Wines

The oft forgotten French wine region of Alsace is full of treasures. A great range of different grape varieties and different styles. Presentation and tasting of 6 different Alsace white wines, all from the top Grand Cru wines. Sometimes known as the ultimate 'food' wines. These are the 'crème de la crème' Wednesday 21st February 6.30pm to 8.30pm The Ballroom Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel

March 2018 The AWS Annual Dinner - France Reigns Supreme

Celebrating the 5th Anniversary of the Society, the Annual Dinner will be held at The Loft Sparks Yard, Tarrant St., Arundel. A sumptuous 4 course French dinner will be accompanied by different top quality wines from France for each course. Together with Taittinger champagne for the aperitif and XO Armagnac with coffee/tea. Wednesday 21st March 7 for 7.30pm start. All wines will be commented. Price £85 per person. Places strictly limited. Reserve early to avoid disappointment.

December 2017 Sweet Sherry and Team Blind Tasting

A presentation and tasting of sweet styles of Sherry. Great with the Pud or Christmas cake! High quality examples which show what proper sherry is all about. Followed by the traditional and legendary team blind tasting! Six wines tasted blind and teams scored at the end, with prizes for the best team. Wednesday 6th December 6.30 to 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel

November 2017 - Californian Wine Dinner

A four course dinner with different wines matched to each dish at Arundel's top restaurant - The Parson's Table. Wines from California, supported by the Californian Wine Institute, with some outstanding wines, all readily available in the UK.. Limited places available. Early booking advised.. £85 per person all inclusive. Tuesday 14th November 7.30pm prompt The Parsons Table, Tarrant Street, Arundel

October 2017 Bordeaux That Doesn't break the Bank

A look at the affordable end of the Bordeaux wine market, in terms of whites as well as reds. Explanation of the sub-regions and appellations and the historical influences on this region. Tasting of 6 wines -reds and whites. Tuesday 17th October 6.30 to 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel

September 2017 Malbec in all its Glory

An in-depth look at the Malbec Grape variety- its characteristics, where it is grown, where its come from and where its going. Including a rare White wine from Malbec. Presentation and Tasting of 6 wines. Tuesday 26th September 6.30 to 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel

June 2017 - The Amazing Great Value wines of Sicily

A presentation and tutored tasting of 6 wines from the island of Sicily, showing the diversity of grape varieties and wine styles from this southern region of Italy. Great value wines of great character. The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel Tuesday 13th June 6.30pm to 8.30pm

February 2017 Meeting Wines under £6 per bottle!

Find your everyday drinking wines. An interesting selection of wines of surprisingly good quality all available from The Wine Society. A selection of whites and reds will be described and tasted, including a Cab Sauvignon from Moldova and a spritzy white from Gaillac in south-west France. Usual contribution of £15. Tuesday 21st February 6.30pm to 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel

March 2017 - The AWS Annual Dinner

This event is what has now become the Arundel Wine Society Annual Dinner. This year it is a 4 course special dinner at The Bay Tree Restaurant and includes a different glass of wine with each course and a welcome glass of bubbly! The event will showcase the restaurant's new wine list from a new supplier. All wines introduced and described by Richard Esling. Book early to avoid disappointment as these dinners normally sell out rapidly. Wednesday 22nd March 7.00pm for 7.30pm. The Bay Tree Restaurant, Tarrant Street, Arundel £59 per person all inclusive - food, wine, coffee/tea

September 2016 - The Wines of Alsace

One of the great under-appreciated treasures of the Wine World - according to Jancis Robinson, and me! A tasting and exploration of this beautiful wine region with its aromatic, dry, full bodied wines including red and sparkling. Wednesday 28th September 2016 6.30pm to 8.30pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel

April 2016 - Unusual Grape Varieties around the globe

Forget Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a discovery of the lesser known and more unusual grape varieties from around the world. Tasting of 6 wines. Contribution of £15. Led by Richard Esling Date: Wednesday 20th April Time: 6.30pm to 8.30pm Venue: Fitzalan Howard Suite, Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel

June 2016 - Vineyard trip to Bolney Estate

A visit to the vineyards and winery at Bolney Estate, with a tasting of both still and sparkling wines. Guided tour of the award winning wine estate, followed by a tasting and buffet style supper. Minibus available from Arundel town centre - first come first served. Total cost including transport £38 per person. £30 without transport. Date: Thursday 23rd June Time: Minibus leaves Arundel at 6.00pm prompt from Town Quay. 6.30 pm at the vineyard if arriving direct. Venue: Bolney Wine Estate

May 2016 - Spain without Rioja

An investigation of some of Spain's wines other than Rioja - both red and white. Some great wines from Northern and Southern Spain which show the great range of wine styles from this country. Wines supplied by Gusto wines which will be available for purchase. Tasting of 6 wines. Introduction by Richard Esling and tasting conducted by Simon Wallace, at the wine merchant's premises in Ford. Usual contribution of £15 per head. Date: Thursday 26th May Time: 6.30pm to 8.30pm Venue: Gusto Wines, Unit 6, Ford Lane Business Park, Ford BN18 0UZ

December 2015 - Wine Buying Trip to Northern France

An exciting trip for Arundel Wine Society members! This event is also open to friends of members and other groups. Limited numbers - maximum 15 double rooms. A trip through Eurotunnel with your own car, staying in the top four star Chateau Tilques Hotel with dinner and breakfast, preceded by a wine tasting and aperitifs. The following day visit to a hypermarket in St Omer, for advice on how to choose inexpensive but good French wine. All accompanied by wine expert and Certified Wine Educator, Richard Esling Monday 14th December to Tuesday 15th December 2015. £155 per person including accommodation and meals as above and return ticket with Eurotunnel. Email richard@arundelwinesociety.co.uk for bookings or more information

December 2015 - Port and Blind Tasting

A two part meeting. The first part will describe the different styles of Port and how they are made, followed by a comparative tasting of a range of ports. The second part is our now traditional team-based Blind Tasting! Prizes for the best team! Wednesday 2nd December 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, High St., Arundel

November 2015 Meeting - New Zealand Wines - an Exploration

Illustrated talk on the wines and wine regions of New Zealand, the changes and current trends. Tasting of 6 wines with emphasis on the more unusual and interesting. Talk and tutored tasting by Richard Esling. Thursday 5th November 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, High St., Arundel

August 2015 - Arundel Festival Wine Trail

Three different events, three different days, three different venues in Arundel - The Wine Trail is part of the Arundel Festival 2015. 27th August 4-6pm at The Moorings, Arundel Bridge. A Sparkling Wine Mini-Masterclass. 6 sparkling wines tasted will illustrate the different types of sparkling wine and how they are made. From Asti to Vintage Champagne 28th August 4-6pm at the Yard, Sparks Yard, Tarrant Street. Learn to taste wine like a professional and see how foods affect the taste of wine. Illustrated with 6 different wines. 29th August 4-6pm at The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel. Pinot Noir from around the Globe. A tutorial on this grape variety and a comparative tasting of 6 different Pinot Noir wines from 5 different continents. Tickets available from The Arundel Brewery Shop, Town Quay. £18 per event. Season ticket for all 3 events is £45. Discounted for members of Arundel Wine Society - £15 per event or £40 for all three.

October 2015. The Wine Investment Fund and Riedel Wine Glasses

A very interesting meeting involving presentations (and tastings) from two different companies. The founders of the Wine Investment Fund will give a presentation on the workings of the Fund and benefits of investing, illustrated by tasting of investment grade wines. This will be followed by a presentation from the Riedel Glass Company, with demonstrations and tastings of wines in varietal specific glasses. Date: Wednesday 14th October 2015 Time: 6.30pm to 8.30pm Venue: The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel

May 2015 . Visit and Tasting at Ridgeview Estate

A visit to the vineyards and winery of one of the most prestigious English sparkling wine producers - Ridgeview. The visit will be followed by a comprehensive tutored tasting of six sparkling wines, all of which will be food-matched with a delicious canapé. Venue: Ridgeview estate, Fragbarrow Lane, Ditchling Common, Sussex BN6 8TP. Date: Thursday 28th May 2015 Time: 6pm to 8.30 pm Cost: £30 per person inclusive of Visit, Tasting of 6 wines and Canapés.

April 2015. Argentinian Tasting and Dinner

Another great Townhouse event. A tasting of 6 great wines from Argentina - 3 Torrontes and 3 Malbec, followed by a 4 course Gourmet Dinner . Date: 21st April starting at 7 pm prompt Venue: The Townhouse Restaurant, High St., Arundel. Price inclusive of Tasting and Dinner: £38

January 2015 AWS Meeting Food & Wine Pairing and WSET courses

A different and very interesting meeting in two parts. One part concerns the matching of food and wine and how each influences the other - with practical demonstrations. The other part is all about the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and the courses and exams run by Sussex Wine Academy in Arundel - courses which are designed both for the wine trade and the interested consumer. Date: Thursday 22nd January 2015 Time 6.30pm Venue: The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, High St., Arundel

December 2014 - Blind Tasting!

Blind tasting! A seriously fun evening, testing your tasting skills and knowledge of wines and regions. Members are split into teams who work together to identify 6 different wines from around the world. Hugely successful evening last Christmas. To be followed by a glass of bubbly to toast the festive season. Date: Monday 8th December 2014 Time: 6.30 pm Venue: The Ballroom, Norfolk Arms Hotel, High Street, Arundel NOTE this is the new venue, changed form the Cathedral Centre.

November 2014 - The Rhone Valley Displaced!

The Rhone Valley displaced! An interesting tasting of wines from grape varieties originally from the Rhone in France, but now making wines all around the globe. Wines tasted will be from 4 different continents. Illustrated talk and tutored tasting by Richard Esling. This meeting will also be designed for guests to attend to see what they've been missing! Date: Thursday 13th November Venue - The Ballroom of the Norfolk Arms Hotel. Time: 6.30 pm Usual contribution to costs of £10. Please spread the word and get as many guests as possible with a view to increasing membership.

Upperton Alia 2011 Blanc de Blanc

Newly released in September 2014, this is a truly great example of an English sparkling wine. Excellent quality dry sparkler made from pure Chardonnay grapes grown in vineyards near Petworth, West Sussex. Click for full tasting notes.

October 2014 AWS Burgundy Tasting and Dinner

Burgundy Wine Tasting and Dinner at Arundel’s Premier Restaurant – The Townhouse. An introduction to the wines of Burgundy, followed by a tutored tasting of 6 wines from the region by Gilles Dubourg of Wines of Excellence. The tasting will be followed by a special four course dinner prepared by chef Lee Williams as follows: Menu Bourguignon Langoustines roties, sauce dijonnaise Boeuf Bourguignon, pommes purée à l’ail Sélection de fromages – époisses et chaource Tarte tatin et son sorbet aux cassis Café ou Thé £30 per head, inclusive of pre-dinner tasting of 6 wines from the Burgundy region and coffee/tea. All wines available to purchase with dinner either by the bottle or the 250ml glass. Wines also available to purchase by the case directly from the importer. Number limited to 24 only. Please book with £10 deposit per person as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

August 2014 - Pop-up Vineyard Tour - Tinwood Estate

Continuing our series of Summer Pop-up events, we have organized a private tour and tasting for members of the Arundel Wine Society and their guests, at the Tinwood Estate vineyards near Chichester. There will be a guided tour of the vineyards, with explanations of various viticultural techniques, such as planting density, geographical positioning and orientation, canopy management, etc. This will be followed by a full glass tasting of each of the 3 different styles of sparkling wine produced at the estate, accompanied by a range of delicious canapés. Date: Tuesday 19th August 2014 Time: 6.30pm to 8.00pm Venue: Tinwood Estate vineyard.

July 2014 - Pop-up Tasting -Arundel Brewery

A Short notice pop-up event. A tasting of wines from Southern France in association with the Arundel Brewery at their new shop near the bridge in Arundel. Great wines for Summer drinking. Introduced by Richard Esling. Date: Wednesday 16th July Time: 7pm to 8pm Venue: Arundel Brewery shop, by the bridge, Arundel.

June 2014 AWS Meeting Wines from Northern Italy

An exploration of some more unusual wines from Italy, together with a few well known ones. Presented by Richard Esling who is well travelled throughout the wine regions of Italy - the largest producer of wine in the world alongside France. A range of wines will be tasted and compared after an initial introduction to the North Italian wine regions and their grapes. Date: Monday 16th June 2014 Time: 6.30 pm Venue: The Cathedral Centre, London Road, Arundel (Downstairs room)

May 2014 Special Champagne Tasting

A special Champagne tasting for Members and their guests to be held at Harley House, 55 Maltravers Street, Arundel. Date: Saturday 3rd May 2014 Time: 12.00 midday until 1.00pm A range of award winning Champagnes from a small house in southern champagne to be tasted with a view to purchase.


Chile’s own signature grape, this red varietal disappeared from European vineyards in the mid-19th century and reappeared among Chile’s Merlot vines a hundred years later. The deepest, darkest, purplest of all red grapes needs a long growing season to reach its fullest potential. Rich in berry fruits and spice (blackberries and black pepper), with smooth, well-rounded tannins, making this a very pleasing and easy to drink varietal. Enjoy it with flavoursome red meats and game, or strong flavoured pasta dishes and light curries.


Chile has a long viticultural history for a New World wine region dating to the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors brought Vitis vinifera vines with them as they colonized the region. In the mid-19th century, French wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère and Cabernet Franc were introduced. In the early 1980s, a renaissance began with the introduction of stainless steel fermentation tanks and the use of oak barrels for aging. Wine exports grew very quickly as quality wine production increased. The number of wineries has grown from 12 in 1995 to over 70 in 2005 and now over 90 (2014). Chile is now the fifth largest exporter of wines in the world, and the ninth largest producer. The climate has been described as midway between that of California and France. The most common grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère. So far Chile has remained free of phylloxera louse which means that the country's grapevines do not need to be grafted.

Etna Bianco 2012 Nicosia

A very individual and characterful white wine from southern Italy. Available from Marks and Spencer. Click for more details.

March 2014 AWS Meeting and Tutored Tasting

An investigation and discovery of Chilean wines. An overview of this fascinating New World wine region by Richard Esling, followed by a tutored tasting of a range of Chilean wines conducted by Joseph Broad of Oakbridge Wines, who are exclusive importers of these great wines. Date: Friday 21st March 2014 Time: 6.30pm to 8.30 pm Venue: The Cathedral Centre, London Road, Arundel.

February 2014 - AWS Meeting and Tutored tasting

Sparkling Wines. A description and discussion of the different types of sparkling wines, how they are made and the effect on style and taste. Introduced by Richard Esling, there will then be a presentation by Trevor Clough of Digby Fine English, concerning the establishment of an English sparkling wine brand, followed by a comparative tasting of these and other sparkling wines. Date: Wednesday 19th February 2014 Time: 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm Venue: The Cathedral Centre, London Road, Arundel

Wine Buying Trip to Northern France

The first exciting trip for Arundel Wine Society members! This event is also open to friends of members. Limited numbers - maximum 14 persons. A trip in a luxury minibus, staying in a top four star Chateau Hotel with dinner and wines in a private dining room, preceded by a wine tasting and aperitifs. The following day visit to a hypermarket for advice on how to choose inexpensive but good French wine. All accompanied by a wine expert. Friday 29th November to Saturday 30th November 2013 Click for more details and how to book.

Anthocyanin Biosynthesis in Shiraz Grape Berries

Here's one for the scientists. Surely there must be some amongst us? Analysis of the Expression of Anthocyanin Pathway Genes in Developing Vitis vinifera L. cv Shiraz Grape Berries and the Implications for Pathway Regulation By P. Boss, C. Davies and S. Robinson Abstract Anthocyanin synthesis in Vitis vinifera L. cv Shiraz grape berries began 10 weeks postflowering and continued throughout berry ripening. Expression of seven genes of the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway (phenylalanine ammonia lyase [PAL], chalcone synthase [CHS], chalcone isomerase [CHI], flavanone-3-hydroxylase [F3H], dihydroflavonol 4-reductase [DFR], leucoanthocyanidin dioxygen-ase [LDOX], and UDP glucose-flavonoid 3-o-glucosyl transferase [UFGT]) was determined. In flowers and grape berry skins, expression of all of the genes, except UFGT, was detected up to 4 weeks postflowering, followed by a reduction in this expression 6 to 8 weeks postflowering. Expression of CHS, CHI, F3H, DFR, LDOX, and UFGT then increased 10 weeks postflowering, coinciding with the onset of anthocyanin synthesis. In grape berry flesh, no PAL or UFGT expression was detected at any stage of development, but CHS, CHI, F3H, DFR, and LDOX were expressed up to 4 weeks postflowering. These results indicate that the onset of anthocyanin synthesis in ripening grape berry skins coincides with a coordinated increase in expression of a number of genes in the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway, suggesting the involvement of regulatory genes. UFGT is regulated independently of the other genes, suggesting that in grapes the major control point in this pathway is later than that observed in maize, petunia, and snapdragon.

Cabernet Sauvignon

The most famous red wine grape in the world and one of the most widely planted. It is adaptable to a wide range of soils, although it performs particularly well on well-drained, low-fertile soils. It has small, dusty, black-blue berries with thick skins that produce deeply coloured, full-bodied wines with notable tannins. Its spiritual home is the Médoc and Graves regions of Bordeaux where it thrives on the well-drained gravel-rich soils producing tannic wines with piercing blackcurrant fruits that develop complex cedarwood and cigar box nuances when fully mature. The grape is widely planted in California where Cabernet Sauvignon based wines are distinguished by their rich mixture of cassis, mint, eucalyptus and vanilla oak. It is planted across Australia and with particular success in Coonawarra. It is also widely planted in many countries across the World, with varying success.

Kilikanoon Clare Valley Riesling 2011

Tremendous, well-made, Riesling from Clare Valley in Australia. Typical petroley aroma and full, fresh palate. Great similarities to high quality Alsace Riesling, but with greater fruit concentration in keeping with its New World pedigree.

September 2013 An Exploration of English Wines

The English Wine Industry is experiencing incredible growth currently due to a number of factors and this tasting will be a fascinating experience of just what is being produced. Date: Friday 20th September 2013. Time 6.30 pm Venue: The Cathedral Centre, London Road, Arundel Details: A presentation and discussion of what is happening to English wine production, followed by a tasting of 6 different English wines - including red, rosé and sparkling.

Ca Tullio 2011 Pinot Grigio

If you thought Pinot Grigio was just an inexpensive slurping wine of no consequence, this wine would make you think again. A first class wine with real depth and character, resembling Pinot Gris from Alsace or even the Rheinfpalz in Germany.

Ribera del Duero DO

In the last 30 years Ribera del Duero has emerged from almost nowhere to challenge Rioja for the crown of Spain's greatest wine region. Once known only as the home of Vega Sicilia (arguably one of the most prestigious wines of Spain) it now boasts numerous bodegas of outstanding quality like Pesquera, Alion and Condado de Haza.


Located south of the Cantabrian Mountains along the Ebro River, La Rioja benefits from a continental climate. The mountains help to isolate the region which has a moderating effect on the climate. They also protect the vineyards from the fierce winds that are typical of northern Spain. The region is also home to the Oja river (Rio Oja), believed to have given the region its name. Most of the region is situated on a plateau, a little more than 1,500 feet (460 m) above sea level.

Valdeorras - Denominacion d'Origen

Valdeorras is the easternmost DO (Denominación de Origen) in the autonomía of Galicia in Spain. Its location has earned it the unofficial title “Gateway to Galicia.” Known for its wines in Roman times, Valdeorras has made huge strides in recovering its native grapes in the last thirty years and in making distinctive varietal wines assisted by the most advanced technology in the field.

June 2013 Comprehensive tutored tasting and discussion of wines from the ubiquitous Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety

Arundel Wine Society is presenting a tasting of wines from around the world, made wholly or principally from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape variety. Date: Friday 7th June 2013 Venue: The Cathedral Centre, London Road, Arundel - Cashman Room Details: Starting at 6.30 pm, there will be a tutored tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon wines, from 6 differnet countries and 5 different continents. The pros and cons of this widely grown grape variety will be explained and discussed, illustrated by the different wines in a comparative tasting. There is the usual £10 per person contribution towards the costs of the wines.

Bordeaux - selected notes

The Bordeaux wine-producing area lies in the Aquitaine region of south-west France and remains the centre of the fine wine world. All its vineyards lie within the département of the Gironde. This vast region of 120,000ha of vineyards (four times the size of Burgundy) is home to 10,000 wine producers and 57 different appellation contrôlées The largest producer of AOC wine in France, representing 1.5% of the world's total vineyard area. Red wine, with minimal amount of rosé, accounts for 88% of production.

Pinot Noir

A finicky and fastidious varietal, Pinot Noir is sensitive to small changes in the season, the terroir and in how it is managed. Pinot noir is a very ancient variety that may be only one or two generations removed from the wild grape vine. Pinot noir grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler regions, but the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France.

April 2013 A Route-map of Affordable Bordeaux Wines

The April Meeting of the Arundel Wine Society will take place in central Arundel. A guided tour of Bordeaux wines will be given by Richard Esling, together with a tutored tasting of affordable Bordeaux - white and red. Richard has had links to the vineyards of Bordeaux for over 30 years. Venue: The Cathedral Centre, London Road, Arundel - Cashman Room Date: Monday 15th April 2013 Time: 6.00pm to 8.00pm

May 2013 - Spanish Wine Tasting and Special AWS Gourmet Dinner

Arundel Wine Society is organising a tasting of Spanish wines followed by a Special Gourmet dinner on a Spanish theme with one of our partners -Sage Restaurant in Tarrant Street, Arundel. Venue: Sage Restaurant, Tarrant Street, Arundel Date: Friday 3rd May 2013 Details: Starting at 7pm, there will be a tutored tasting of Spanish wines, followed by a 3 course Spanish gourmet dinner. Price is £25 per person payable to Sage Restaurant. The tasting is free of charge. The event is open to Members and non-members. Members of AWS receive a 10% discount on food and wines. Spanish wines available for purchase with the dinner.

Cerro Anon 2006 - Rioja Reserva

Very well-made Rioja from this classic region of Spain. A combination of wood ageing for the Reserva quality and bottle ageing subsequently, give this wine great balance and structure.

Chateau Le Pape 1998 Pessac Leognan

A mature wine (14 yrs+) from the central Graves region of Bordeaux. Showing its age in terms of complexity, maturity of character and subtlety, yet with a underlying youthfulness of spirit.

Chinon Blanc 2011 - Domaine Bruno Preveaux

Made from the Chenin Blanc grape variety in a small, well tended vineyard just outside La Roche Clermault in the Touraine region of the Loire. Those that know the Chinon appelation, usually think of red wine, but a small percentage of white is made from the classic Loire grape variety - Chenin Blanc. This is a particularly fine example - one of the best in existence and worth tracking down if on holiday in the region.

Champagne Moet et Chandon Grand Vintage 2002

Moet et Chandon Grand Vintage champagnes are luxuriantly aged wines of distinguished character first created by the House in 1842 to meet the demands of British and American Connoisseurs for more mature wines. Grand Vintage champagnes are rare and highly prized as vintage champagnes and only created in exceptional years.

Estola 2001 Gran Reserva - La Mancha

An amazing wine from an area of Spain which normally makes more everyday drinking wines - La Mancha. This wine, however, is big, powerful stuff. Difficult to find in the UK but it shows just what really good winemakers can do in an area not that known for top quality wines.

Amiral de Beychevelle 2006 St Julien

The second wine from the great Chateau Beychevelle Cru Classé from St Julien in the Medoc. All the great Bordeaux chateaux produce second wines, which are tremendous value. Half or less of the price of the main chateau wine, but normally far better in quality than half as good. First class wines from top world-class producers.

October 2013 Meet the President - The Society's Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Society in the presence of its illustrious President - Gerard Basset MW. Gerard will give a brief talk on his experiences in the World of Wine, followed by wine and nibbles. This will be preceded by an update on the Society and a tasting of Sherries, presented by Richard Esling Venue: The Cathedral Centre, London Road, Arundel Date: Wednesday 9th October 2013 . Time 6.30 pm


A favourite area of the Chairman amongst the lesser known regions of Bordeaux. Fronsac makes easy drinking reds in the St Emilion style, which is adjacent to the region. The grape varieties are the normal Bordeaux red mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, with a dominance of Merlot.

Oak Ageing

This is a complex topic which is not always readily understood and is sometimes treated as a simple ‘cosmetic’ enhancement of the wine. Oak ageing is in fact a very old practice and is designed in current times to give greater depth of flavour, interest and complexity to certain wines. The base wines need to be of sufficient structure and quality to start with, to be suitable for oak ageing.

March 2013 Inaugural Meeting of the Society

The Inaugural Meeting of the Arundel Wine Society will take place in central Arundel. There will be a wine tasting and address by the chairman of the Society. Venue: The Cathedral Centre, London Road, Arundel - Cashman Room Date: Wednesday 13th March 2013 Time: 6.00pm to 8.00pm This historic first meeting of the Society will launch a great new social Society for all those who enjoy drinking wine and wish to extend their knowlege of wines and the world of wine. We already have members from far and wide, including London, Kent and Devon and hope as many as possible will be able to attend. There will be an introduction to the 'Art of Wine Tasting', followed by a tasting of Pinot Noir wines from around the globe. This is a free event for all members, except for a contribution towards the tasting samples of £10, which is payable on the night, cash only.

Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)

Sulphur Dioxide is found in all wines to a greater or lesser extent. It has been the subject of great controversy and continues to be widely debated. It is the most widely used and the most controversial additive in winemaking. It has two main functions - to inhibit or kill unwanted yeasts and bacteria and to protect wine from oxidation.

The Charmat Method

The Charmat method (also called the "Italian Method") of producing sparkling wines, is often used in the crafting of Prosecco. This method forces the second fermentation to happen in a large pressurised stainless steel tank prior to bottling, rather than in the bottle like the traditional méthode champenoise. The Charmat method is a cheaper means of conducting the second fermentation and is best used on sparkling wines that are meant to be consumed young and relatively fresh.

Nero d'Avola

As the name suggests, a black grape variety which is one of Italy’s indigenous varieties.It originates from Sicily and the best areas are around Noto and Pachino. The wines are typified by sweet tannins, plummy fruit with a peppery finish. They are sometimes likened to New World shiraz wines, but are normally less powerful.


Normally thought-of as a wine type, since the beginning of 2010, it is now a ‘geographical indication’ according to Italian law (confirmed by EG-Regulation Nr. 1166/2009 of 30 November 2009). The grape variety used is the Glera grape – often previously called the prosecco grape.

Teroldego Rotaliano

Here’s a grape variety that few people have ever come across. It is grown in the Trentino region of the Alto Adige in Northern Italy. It has full DOC status since 1971 and there are about 300 producers, although the planted vines cover less than 400 hectares ( about 1000 acres).


Sometimes you just need to find a good alternative to Chardonnay. A grape variety that has defined character, is aromatic and has enough body to make it interesting - and versatile. Viognier fits the bill.