Talking Wine – December 2016

Surrey’s Hog’s Back Brewery featured recently on the Countryfile TV show and the host Anita Rani was rather impressed with the hop aromas she experienced in the beers. She crushed some hops in her hand and declared that “you could wear it as perfume” before quickly retracting the statement in case she attracted all the wrong characters!

Some grape seeds from Turkey have been uncovered in an excavation taking place in the Bornova district of Izmir. These dried seeds were found in bowls and are believed to be from the Muscat grape. They are at least 5000 years old and will shed valuable light on life in the Bronze age.

A South African wine producer has just bought a golf course in Sussex with the aim of planting 45 acres of Champagne grape varieties and also keeping the main course open. They are hoping to create a golf and wine estate to encompass fine dining, tastings and vineyard tours. The company has done something very similar in South Africa and evidently have confidence in global warming and the English climate. As a rule most golf clubs have an appalling wine selection in their clubhouse which does nothing to encourage members to stay and spend. Perhaps this decision will inspire others. It just seems extraordinary that members who pay vast amounts in joining fees and annual membership, and by association are probably used to living well, get thrust a selection of commercial insipid wines often served from a dispenser!