24 members of the Wine Society tasted 9 wines at the Malvern Lounge recently as part of their continuing local Restaurant Wine List Tasting Programme. Assisted by the Lounge manager, Rebecca Price, the event was presented by Anne McKinlay, Wine Development Manager LWC Drinks Ltd, supplier to many West Midlands restaurants.

The purpose of the programme is simple: to help make an informed decision when a drinker is reviewing a wine list and selecting wines to accompany a meal.

Often the drinker is wary of ordering an expensive bottle, since it can be a lottery when he or she has never tasted any of them. The lounge does serve some of these wines by the glass simplifying this issue but one wouldn't expect even a society member to buy all the available drinks. So with 9 under our collective belts members are now informed for future visits. This will encourage their visits to the Malvern Lounge (which also has an excellent cocktail menu ) confident that they can chose a wine to their taste.

Anne McKinlay explained, as the wines were poured, the different facets of each, the reason for their selection for the Lounge’s list and how the wine trade is developing within the UK market. Highlighting the growth in demand for Malbec and Rioja whilst Prosecco dominates the whites. Anne went on to explain how the public continue to seek out other, new to the mass market, grapes such as Picpoul de Pinet and a Torrontes/Chenin blend. Members were pleased to hear of the growing interest and further development of the tastes of the average drinker in the UK.

The most highly appreciated wines were:

White Waddling Duck Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand. £17.95 Glass: 175ml £4.50 250ml £6.50

Red Jarrah Wood, Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon, Australia. £15.95 Glass: 175ml £4.00 250ml £5.50

The room felt that a special mention be made of the Champagne De Castelnau Brut N/V at £34.95 a bottle (available on BA first class or at the Ritz) a very good value drink emphasising you don’t have to pay the earth for a champagne, despite of course the now regular high quality of the sparkling wines from English vineyards.

It was difficult to pick out a particular winner in either category demonstrating that, with its focus on drinks rather than food, drinkers can confidently order their favourite knowing it will perform.

*** In the centre of Great Malvern the Malvern Lounge benefits from the atmosphere of old Malvern nestling as it does in the shadow of the Priory, the Abbey Hotel and the museum gatehouse. Sited down the side of First Paige at 23A Abbey Road WR14 3ES Great Malvern. Woth a special mention the Malvern Lounge rear patio has a wondrous & unique view of the Priory especially when lit at night casting a relaxing ambience.

The Greater Malvern Wine Society meet monthly usually on the third Tuesday at Manor Park Club, Great Malvern at 7:30pm with a tutored tasting of a minimum of 8 wines with a variety of cheeses and biscuits followed by a social glass or two post tasting.

GMWS’ next tasting comprises the wines of Gallery 36 in their restaurant at 36 Belle Vue Terrace on Tuesday 22nd November. Just google The Greater Malvern Wine Society.