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Exploring fine wines with Guernsey u3a

14 March 2024

Mark and Karen from Guernsey u3a share insights into their u3a group for wine enthusiasts.

A selfie of a group of people sat around a table drinking wine

 Guernsey u3a has been running a Wine Discovery Group since October 2018, some six years ago. The Ethos is to discover new wines from your supermarket that perhaps you wouldn't normally try and to experiment. We describe ourselves as neither Guzzlers nor Sippers but wine enthusiasts who love to get together socially to try out something just a little different.

Led by the Group's two convenors Mark and Karen, Mark researches the wines, discovers their production methods, terroir, little nuances and give us an insight into wine production and what's a bargain.

Karen organises the notes which Mark writes into our Wine Library and helps collect numbers and arrange the venues with a team of able helpers on the day. Starting from a small list of 20 or so members of the group, we have grown to over 80 on our list and regularly get attendances of about 40 people.

The afternoon starts at 3.45 p.m. (to coincide with the local bus timetables!) and give us the chance to sample three Whites and 3 Reds before home time at 6.00 p.m. Each Wine is introduced by Mark, highlighting its features, and everyone has a copy of the comprehensive Tasting Notes, to enjoy and take away.

Our unique feature of tables of eight ensures that the event has a very social aspect. Even if you attend on your own you will quickly find yourself in a group and making new friends. Each table is allocated a bottle of each wine and it is up to them to divide it amicably. The bus ride as a group is also part of the camaraderie and fun. To aid our digestion we all bring along a small offering for a shared buffet, and some of the home made delicacies have been excellent with some great cooks amongst us.

We hope to continue for many more years, and if any other u3a wants to set up something similiar we would be happy to talk them through our 'modus operandi' which includes an air horn, to bring the ever louder attendees to order. This one always surprises new members!

Can you imagine, at about 36 bottles each occasion, we must have tasted well over 2500 wines - even given a summer recess to allow our palates to recharge.

Copies of our latest wine notes can be viewed on the Guernsey u3a website. ( Guernsey prices are quoted, not UK)

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