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Brockenhurst Wine Club is on the lookout for new members

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WITH English wine rapidly gaining popularity, now could be a good time to join a club of local enthusiasts to find out what all the fuss is about.

The UK wine industry is booming right now, and an increasing number of shops, restaurants and hotels are taking notice of what is being produced right on their doorstep.

A bunch of connoisseurs in Brockenhurst have been getting excited about Hampshire’s place within the fast emerging British wine scene for quite some time, and are inviting others to get in on the action.

John and Sally Harris
John and Sally Harris

Brockenhurst Wine Club was founded in November 2016 by John and Sally Harris and a few like-minded individuals, and has now grown to include more than 40 members.

The group meets every month to explore the world of wine in all its rich diversity, and often hosts talks by local winemakers, Masters of Wine, well-known food journalists, specialist wine merchants and the club’s own amateur experts.

Members can find out about quality wines from around the globe, including those made right here in the New Forest, as well as learning which dishes pair well, and enjoy regular tasting events.

John said: “We focus very much on matching food and wine and we have quite a few enthusiastic and adventurous cooks on our books.

“We also arrange tours to local wineries and host social events, such as the occasional garden party.

“Most importantly, we are a completely independent society and thus our tastings are unlike those often run by wine merchants. We do occasionally invite merchants or wine agents to present to us but we avoid any sort of advertising or ties that restrict the wines we taste.

“We only charge a nominal annual membership fee and then present the wines at cost – no profit is taken.”

Brockenhurst Wine Club was founded in 2016
Brockenhurst Wine Club was founded in 2016

Several members had discovered wines and wine styles at tasting events they had never experienced before, said John, which was “very rewarding”.

“We specialise in finding and tasting some fairly rare and unusual varieties,” he said.

“And of course we have some very good local wineries with whom we have relations.”

A recent tasting involved a second look at the wines of Brazil, said John, adding: “It’s not a country that most would associate with wine-making but, in fact, the cooler south of Brazil produces some world-class reds and whites.

“We are a pretty informal and friendly bunch and many new friendships have been established through the society.”

For more information, visit www.brockenhurstwineclub.co.uk

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