Wednesday, 19 December 2018 Contact us

WELL YOU WOULD, WOULDN’T YOU…? SATURDAY, OCT 13, 13.15PM

‘Drink More Fizz’ - Jonathan Ray

After all, consider the weather if nothing else - dark, stormy, grim and full of dark portent.
Then consider the invitation - ‘Drink More Fizz’: Leading wine writer Jonathan Ray talks about his latest book on 100 of the world’s greatest champagnes and sparkling wines and offers some tastings’ (and in particular those last three words).
Who then could blame anyone for choosing to deal with the grim outdoors by losing themselves instead in this highly educational talk on the highs and lows of bubbly?
Which is why at 11.55am I turned up at Blenheim’s Marlborough Room, full of admirable intent to listen and learn.
As it happens, if the Universe was keen to prove its sentience, it nailed it there and then by sending shafts of sunlight spilling through the windows as speaker Joanthan Ray took up the reins.
As for the rest of his talk…well, it’s cloudy. However, I do recall he wasn’t a bit like all the wine buffs you see on TV. Indeed, he felt like the kind of individual with whom you could enjoy a pint and basket of scampi and chips. And I especially warmed to his story of growing up in a household which boasted a fridge in every room and stating “We don’t like spittoons”.
Suffice to say that over the next 55 minutes we studiously worked our way through a Simmonet Febvre, Cremant de Bourgogne Brut, a Langlois Cremant de Loire, a Klein Constanta 2013 Methode Cap Classique, a Gosset Champagne Brut Grande Reserve and a Castillo Bonomi, Franciacorta DOCG.
And under the ‘tasting note’ section on the sheet of paper we were handed upon walking in, I can now read ‘Bloody lovely” for every one.
True, not technical or sophisticated in its analysis but unarguably high on the appreciation barometer.
And that’s how I’d like to leave it - a lovely hour in the company of fine wines and strangers who, by the end of Joanathan’s Talk, were rather good friends.

 

Blenheim Palace HSBC In partnership with HSBC Desmond and Fiona Heyward Lady Hatch Jill Dunsmore Mary and Cecil Quillen Italian Cultural Institute Owen Mumford Schools programme partner HM Government of Gibraltar Sponsor of festival green room Gibunco Group Hedges Law Lawyers to the festival Seabourn Luxury Cruises Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller European Commission Schools and colleges programme The Oxford Times Regional media partner Bear Ram Elk Digital Strategy and Web Design Eynsham Hall Floris of London Oxford Cultural Collective Macdonald Bear Hotel Festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Lord’s Taverners Festival sports charity partner The Feathers Hotel The King’s Arms The Sloane Club Literary Review Liaison Financial Services OX magazine K T Bruce Photography Save the Children Bookshop Experience Oxfordshire Wake up to Woodstock

Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature Film & Music 2018 partners & sponsors

Blenheim Palace HSBC In partnership with HSBC Desmond and Fiona Heyward Lady Hatch Jill Dunsmore Mary and Cecil Quillen Italian Cultural Institute Owen Mumford Schools programme partner HM Government of Gibraltar Sponsor of festival green room Gibunco Group Hedges Law Lawyers to the festival Seabourn Luxury Cruises Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller European Commission Schools and colleges programme The Oxford Times Regional media partner Bear Ram Elk Digital Strategy and Web Design Eynsham Hall Floris of London Oxford Cultural Collective Macdonald Bear Hotel Festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Lord’s Taverners Festival sports charity partner The Feathers Hotel The King’s Arms The Sloane Club Literary Review Liaison Financial Services OX magazine K T Bruce Photography Save the Children Bookshop Experience Oxfordshire Wake up to Woodstock