Visit vineyards virtually via Jon Wyand’s evocative photographs
- Credit: Archant
Ham&High resident wine expert Liz recommends the ex Ham&High bartender’s beautiful book and the websites to source bottles and wine info
So many wine lovers must be regretting the impossibility, probably for many more months, of visiting places where much-loved bottles come from or of joining in wine-focused events.
Let’s obey the rules, yet still travel and learn – virtually. For starters, something traditional: a book to browse with a glass of fine wine in hand. Once, long ago, Jon Wyand pulled pints at Hampstead’s lost Coach & Horses pub; now he’s an award-winning wine photographer, with a particular sympathy for Burgundy.
Four Seasons in Côte Chalonnaise (Bamboo Edition, £35, waterstones.com) takes him
to a lesser-known part of one of the world’s most famous wine regions.
You may also want to watch:
There are vineyards-in-the-sunshine shots aplenty, but this is equally a depiction of people: of work in the frost of winter or the exhausting heat of summer, of harvest celebration, of wine fraternity parades, even of life that goes on alongside winemaking – baking, music-making, the famous snails.
These makers of great, often underrated wines gave Wyand the friendliest of welcomes, and he thanks them with with a very special tribute to them and their achievements.
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Words provide essential facts. But Wyand’s pictures speak so much more evocatively.
You prefer lesser-known Bordeaux to Burgundy? Then head down the vine-lined driveway to Château Bauduc, where Gavin and Angela Quinney are celebrating their 20th vintage after escaping London for Entre-deux-Mers. Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsay are among Bauduc fans and long-term customers.
At bauduc.com a video sets the scene and, for the future, you can dream of renting the estate farmhouse. Buy the wines – super sauvignon and more – direct now: use code Ham&HighMay for 10percent discount, delivery free on 12 or 24 bottles.
Some more ideas:The biggest and broadest choice of web masterclasses is at 67pallmall.com. While the wine trade’s London club is closed, everyone is invited – free – to the online sessions. To buy the optional wine samples, become a £10-a-month virtual member.
I’m a fan of Honest Grapes’ webinars – last week’s, with Hampstead-resident company co-founder Nathan Hill and Mosel grower of remarkable rieslings Clemens Busch, was fascinating. See the upcoming calendar at honestgrapes.co.uk.
Meet buyers from The Wine Society or watch informative videos (free to all - thewinesociety.com/tastings-at-home). Follow knowledgeable, entertaining Quentin Sadler on a tour of Spain (six sessions, starts May 14, £50, optional 12 wines £175, westlondonwineschool.com). Or venture into the Rhône Valley with Simon Woods (manchesterwineschool.com, May 14, £12.50, 3 wines £45).
But rather than rely on this very minimal list, do take advantage of all the information gathered by Jancis Robinson and her team. The Wine Online - Lockdown Learning page at jancisrobinson.com suggests many, many more virtual experiences.