OS Corkscrew Society

The OS Corkscrew Society hosted two wine tastings this year. Despite the fact there has been a virus that affects our taste buds – we have had a great year! I am delighted to report that the club continues to be an extremely popular part of the OS events programme.

We started the OS Corkscrew Tastings in February, there was a full gathering of over 30 people (with many waitlisted due to the demand). The tasting was held at ‘The Fox and Pheasant’ in Fulham managed by Toby Milne, son of Old Stoic, Nigel Milne (Chandos 68). The evening was led by the pub’s own fantastic sommelier, Phillippe, featuring French wines. The evening began with a delicious glass of prosecco, followed by two white and four red wines. Phillipe provided us with a wealth of fascinating information, structuring the evening with an interlude of information between each wine, which was followed by the Old Stoics’ loud mingling and comparing of notes. The atmosphere was full of chatter and it was a brilliant evening accompanied by some delicious canapés.

We were very sad to have to cancel the trip to Champagne, France, in May, however, the event has been moved to 19-21 May 2021 (we are keeping our fingers crossed!). The adventure is going to take us to Ardres, in the Pas-de-Calais, where we shall meet up with our tour leader and native wine expert, Guy ‘the Guide’ Boursot, and then onwards to Reims and Épernay. We will explore two Grande Marque Champagne houses and enjoy tastings by ‘Guy the Guide’ and indulge in some memorable ‘cuisine Française’. Please contact the Old Stoic Office 01280 818 252 for more information.

Our first ever remote wine tasting took place in May and was hosted by the wonderfully entertaining and charismatic Vintner, Jack Scott (Lyttelton 80). Jack curated a special case of wine for Old Stoics from his former company, Jascots. The box contained six full bottles of wine and the Pouilly-Fuissé and Bellvale Pinot Noir were the ones to be opened for the tasting. The Pouilly-Fuissé needed to be drunk at around 10 degrees so, if cooled down in a 5-degree fridge for a 7pm tasting, it was essential to open the wine at 6pm, leave the cork out and then take it out the fridge at 6.30pm to give it 30 minutes to come up to temperature. The Bellvale Pinot Noir needed to be at 16 degrees so the bottle would be cool to touch (but not cold) so, unless you had a perfect cellar, Old Stoics were instructed to pull the cork at 6pm and pop the bottle in a 5-degree fridge at 6.15pm and then take it out just before the start of the tasting. The remaining wines were left unopened for the tasters to enjoy at their own leisure. Jack touched on how to taste wine for the uninitiated and then continued by looking at the macro picture of the two key wines, looking at their grape varieties and the ‘seismic shifts’ affecting them since he left Stowe in 1980. The tasting was lively and pro-active with various questions from our keen participants and by the end, everyone wanted to carry on with the other wines and discuss the wines worth investing in.

We warmly encourage Old Stoics to attend our future tastings, be it in person or virtually. We decided not to do too
many tastings due to ‘zoom fatigue’. However, at the time of writing we have a remote gin tasting with Chase Distillery lined up and we look forward to more events next year. For more information on future tastings, please join our Facebook group, ‘Old Stoic Corkscrew Society’.

Talulla Barrow (Lyttelton 07)