COVID-19 UPDATE (12 June 2020)
In line with current Government advice to avoid non-essential travel and social gatherings, wine school events scheduled from mid-March until the end of July, have been postponed. If you have already booked a course, or tasting, due to take place during that period, you will be contacted, with an update, at least two weeks ahead of the date of the event.
If it looks as if you haven’t received our email, please check your spam folder or, contact me for confirmation. The position with regard to courses and tastings due to take place beyond this time frame will be reviewed and updates provided here.
Gift vouchers are still available, which will be delivered free of charge and will be valid for at least two years from the date of issue.
As a small, local, business we are extremely grateful for your understanding and continued support, and look forward to seeing you again soon.
David Rough, Hertfordshire Wine School
Revised Terms & Conditions (from 22 March 2020 until further notice)
In the event of cancellation of a wine school course, or tasting, as a result of COVID-19, due to take place up to, and including, 30 June 2020* we offer:
• free rebooking with no amendment fees; or
• free cancellation and a credit, equivalent to your original ticket price, to be used as payment for future events. This credit is valid for two years from the date of the original event
Any gift vouchers purchased during the same period, will be valid for use until 30 September 2022.
*Developments are being reviewed on an ongoing basis and this time period will be revised accordingly.
For our full Terms & Conditions please follow the link here or at the foot of this page.
If you are stuck for something to watch, until you can get out again, you may like to read the Hertfordshire Wine School Film Blog, which first appeared in the June issue of our newsletter:
If, by now, you’re done with your ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Fleabag’ and ‘The Sopranos’ box sets, you might fancy a wine-related movie instead. Every once in a while a wine film is released, often to mixed reviews! But, some stand the test of time and, this month, we run down some of the best – all of which are available on major streaming platforms. So, grab a bottle, dim the lights and kick back in front of these.
Uncorked (2020) A new ‘feel good’ movie about a young man from Memphis, Mamoudou Athie, who defies the odds, and his Dad, in his quest to achieve the notoriously challenging Master Sommelier qualification. Undemanding Lockdown viewing – a bit formulaic in its treatment of the ‘Father-Son relationship’ but enough here to keep wine fans interested. Where? Netflix. Rating – 3 grapes (out of 5)
Sour Grapes (2016) A fascinating documentary which follows an investigation into the mysterious Rudy Kurniawan, who, in the early 2000s began selling his stock of, mostly, fake wine, to a bunch of unsuspecting billionaires. The film lays bare the some of the pretensions, ‘must have’ attitudes and extortionate prices at play in some small corners of the wine world. Also confirms that blind-tasting can make a mug out of anyone. Where? Amazon Prime (£3.49) or Netflix. Rating – 4 grapes (out of 5)
Bottle Shock (2008) Based on a true story and starring the late, great, Alan Rickman who plays the part of the equally great, Stephen Spurrier and the 'Judgement of Paris'. Spurrier had visited Napa Valley in the mid-1970s and, keen to show the quality of Californian wines to a sceptical French audience, organised the now famous blind-tasting competition. You can guess what happened next. The term ‘Bottle Shock’ relates to a temporary sickness, which can occur immediately after bottling and which, in this case, almost scuppered the success of the whole venture. The film also stars Bill Pullman and Chris Pine and, whilst it gets the ‘Hollywood treatment’ is, nonetheless, enjoyable and highly watchable. Where? Amazon Prime (free to Prime Members). Rating – 4 grapes (out of 5)
Sideways (2005) The original and the best. A story of two guys (above) on a stag tour of the wine country in the area north of Santa Barbara, in California, and the doomed attempt by Miles (Paul Giamatti) to educate Jack (Thomas Haden Church) in the finer points of wine. Also starring Sandra Oh (from ‘Killing Eve’) the movie was partially shot in real vineyards and wineries, most of whom are still making hay on the back of the film’s success. Is it a comedy, a love story, or a film about wine? All three, actually, and more. A rollicking good yarn and now a modern American classic. You’re going to need a bottle of Pinot Noir for this one. Where? Amazon Prime (£3.49). Rating – 5 grapes (out of 5)