I don’t know very much about wine but the little knowledge I do have is down to my best friend Miss P, and her colleagues at the excellent wine merchants Goedhuis & Co in London.
When I first met Miss P some six years ago I was regularly cast into ignorance: not only does she know vast amounts about wine, but both her father and her best friend, dearest H, collect, discuss & drink it with gusto. (The nearest I’ve got to collecting wine was buying a case of port for my godson’s Christening present.)
Fed up with attending wine events & sitting at dinner tables where wines (so I was told) of great venerability were drunk & praised in a vocabulary of staggering impenetrability, I persuaded my mother to give me Goedhuis’ Introduction to Wine course for my Christmas present.
After weeks of instruction & badinage from Goedhuis’ relentlessly cheerful & encyclopaedic Julian Chamberlen, I emerged the other end knowing my Viognier from my Vouvray, and with an ability to bluff my way through tastings, read a wine list and not appear entirely stupid in the company of oenophiles.
That ability to bluff my way through tastings came in handy at the Goedhuis Burgundy Wine & Cheese Tasting at The Saatchi Gallery ten days ago where Miss P, and her legion of helpers, had organised with her usual military precision a tasting of over 100 Burgundies at all stages in their development, with the growers themselves over from France to talk the tasters through their wines.
Of course Goedhuis supply all the essentials of wine tasting. The crackers to clean your palette:
And the spitoons:
With so many wines to taste you’d be on your knees begging for mercy after room one if you didn’t taste & spit.
I’m always reassured by the knowledge that even to the pros Burgundy is complicated: there are almost 700 different appellations from 5 different sub-regions, each claiming a unique soil-type and terroir. But, even if you didn’t know much about Burgundy, (that will have been me then), many of the names lined up were familiar, amongst them Montagny, Meursault and Puligny Montrachet.
Miss P’s papa & H were in their element, marking off their tasting cards and discussing (extensive) future purchases. I had a splendid time, as much as from watching so many people throughly enjoying themselves, as from the tasting: it’s always fascinating to watch truly knowledgeable people indulging their passion.
I have to admit that I was equally excited by this:
Maitre Philippe Olivier supplied the most delicious selection of cheese from their shop in Boulogne and Alison, Mich & I spent a happy half hour greedily stuffing tasting the cheeses.
The next Goedhuis event at The Saatchi Gallery is The Great Goedhuis & Savills Summer Rosé Tasting in aid of Starlight at 6.30 – 9.00 pm on Wednesday 9th June. It’s an extremely reasonable £25 per ticket, and will be a celebration of ten outstanding rosé producers: Ch StBaillon, Domaine de Jale, Ch d’Esclans, Domaine Ott, Domaine Reverdy, Ch deSours, Georges Gardet, Billecart Salmon, Laurent Perrier & Louis Roederer.