Tim's Blog
Posts Posts by: "Tim Syrad"

The Richmond Wine Society reached a very exciting new wine frontier last week as we explored the wines of China. We had a huge turnout over the two nights which reflects well on the insatiable wine curiosity (or is it thirst) that our membership has. The development and growth of China’s wine industry has…(Read More)

Continuing my preview of our exciting lineup of wineries represented at our New Zealand tasting this month. James and Annie Millton established Millton Vineyards and Winery in 1984. Their four individual dry farmed vineyards are situated on the East Coast of New Zealand in the wine appellation of Gisborne. Located just a few kilometres from…(Read More)

Our celebration of New Zealand’s Family of Twelve approaches, and I’ve been reminding myself about the wineries whose wines we will be tasting. Twelve independent wine producers from across the two islands, who share best practice but retain very distinct personalities, including: Kumeu River, the most northern of the family, whose vineyards are…(Read More)

Bacco was packed out for our March masterclass as we focussed on the superb red wines of Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret. Situated in the hallowed village of Vosne-Romanée just to the north of Nuits St Georges, the estate dates back to the 1920’s when the two families merged their vineyards but the Mongeard…(Read More)

Our Saturday cheese course sessions are designed to be a little bit more relaxed but cover more ground with more wines and cheese spread over three hours. The France & England afternoon soon became a contest as we matched similar style cheese from each country against each other and paired them with a French wine…(Read More)

Our Monday evening Cheese Course is well under way and our focus on 6th February was on the cheese and wines of Italy. There is no question  that Italy is a worthy rival to France in both departments – in particular the fact that Italy produces almost as many cheeses and many more wines. We tasted…(Read More)

Our 2017 Monday night cheese course kicked off last night with France as our destination. With over 370 recognised cheeses and probably a host more that don’t find their way onto the register, France is often seen as the centre of the cheese universe. Rightly so on the basis of the nine cheeses we…(Read More)

Richmond and Teddington Wine Societies visited Spain last week in what was deliberately a Rioja Free occasion. The theme was Spanish innovation and we took a good look at a number of lesser known regions and some wonderful local grapes. No one can dispute the success of Rioja and their importance to the Spanish wine…(Read More)

I have been delighted by the response to the courses I am running on cheese and wine in January and February.  As you know, I am passionate about wine and its amazing partner, cheese.  Over four weeks I will broaden people’s cheese horizons – tasting cheese that is absolutely in prime condition, and sampling some…(Read More)

We are updating the website and Facebook page with all of the events we are running at Richmond, Teddington and St Margarets this year and it is a fabulous line up of topics. We will celebrate the Old World, the New World and the Newest of the New World – our Richmond tasting in April…(Read More)

Last night 40 of us enjoyed an evening of exploration at Le Salon Privé in St Margarets. Our destination was Burgundy, and the objective was to compare and contrast, and enjoy, some wines from the fascinating region.  We didn’t venture to the Mâconnais, but the Côtes de Nuits, Beaune and Chalonnaise provided…(Read More)

There was a phenomenal turnout of over 50 people for Teddington Wine Society’s tasting of Portuguese wines last Friday. Excited by the prospect of an eclectic, wide ranging tasting of indigenous grapes and an exploration of some of the lesser known valleys and regions, we took over the main stage of the Landmark rather…(Read More)

Over February, March and April we have completed our Bordeaux trilogy: the Left Bank comprising the Medoc, Margaux, Pauillac and similar famous communes; the Right bank – Saint Emilion & Pomerol;  and Graves which also incorporated Sauternes. It is impossible to do justice to Bordeaux in one sitting, so the opportunity to focus on specific…(Read More)

Portuguese wines were the focus for the RWS tasting last night at the Britannia in a wide ranging and boisterous evening! Easter holiday mood was clearly in the air or was it the influence of fortified wine? It is impossible to do justice to such an important wine producing nation in one event but we…(Read More)

Valduero revisited


At Richmond Wine Society on Wednesday and Thursday and at Teddington tonight we explore the wines of Valduero. Probably the most memorable visit of the tour I ran in 2012 based in Valladolid was to Valduero.  One of the longest established wineries in Ribera del Duero, on our visit we enjoyed an amazing tour of…(Read More)

A visit to Piedmont


We kicked off this year’s  tastings with a visit to Piedmont at the Teddington wine society. This is a favourite wine area of mine and while the region is famous for  Barolo and Barbaresco there is a wealth of other fascinating wines to be discovered. About an hour east of the lovely town of…(Read More)

The wine trade is buzzing with all the latest developments in Chile at the moment. Numerous journalists and correspondents are sallying back and forth to review the latest vineyards and grape developments. Indeed, I shall be sallying forth in a couple of weeks to do just that, perhaps in a more leisurely way – on…(Read More)

At Richmond Wine Society on Tuesday and Wednesday nights we tasted our way through some wines that for me, defined what the annual wine awards are about.       It’s easy to see these awards as the industry trying to drum up some hype, but my experience over the last few years has…(Read More)

The first of this year’s medal winning tastings took place at Teddington last night.  This is a much anticipted event as we reveal some of the best wines judged at this year’s wine competitions.  As always our focus was on gold medal and trophy winning wines, and this year’s results have delivered…(Read More)

English sparkling wine was our theme for the early July tasting and as the temperature gauge hit 35 degrees we sweltered through a fabulous selection of top class fizz from Hampshire, West Sussex and Dorset, assisted by some examples from Champagne, Franciacorta and Argentina. English fizz is on the ascendant and the wines are regularly…(Read More)

Last night, a select group from Teddington Wine Society convened at my house to sample the delights of the Loire Valley. These lovely wines, which I had previously shown to Richmond Wine Society at the end of May, once again demonstrate the breadth and diversity of the Loire region. Everyone agreed that the Muscadet de…(Read More)

Now completed two Loire tastings at Richmond Wine Society, and I think everyone was impressed by the diversity and quality of the wines we tasted. If you missed the tasting, and want to try some of the highlights, they are available in the Shop. We started in the West with a crisp and minerally Muscadet…(Read More)

Top night at Richmond Wine Society as we focused on the depth and breadth of the Loire Valley. For many this region has become synonymous with everyday quaffing wines and a few expensive Sancerres.  But we discovered a whole new world of top class Muscadet, the diversity of Chenin Blanc and just how good Cabernet…(Read More)

A fascinating Champagne Masterclass unfurled at Bacco last night as we explored Champagne through the eyes of Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards. With all the hype and marketing bling that the big names of Champagne bring to bear, the existence of the Echelle des Crus – a system that gives a % rating to…(Read More)

awaits us in tonight’s Masterclass at Bacco. The big Champagne houses have done a great job of brand building, but brands require consistency, achieved by blending from many areas and vintages.  Few people realise there are wines of wonderful quality and great value, made with great artistry and heritage by smaller producers.  We will…(Read More)

At Richmond Wine Society on Monday and Wednesday this week we explored cool climate South Africa, tasting a magnificent range from Constantia, Stellenbosch and Walker Bay. We kicked off with a trio from the famous Klein Constantia estate, comprising a delightfully mature 2011 Cap Classique: 100% Chardonnay, made in the Methode Traditionelle with a pleasant…(Read More)

Old Australians


Last Monday we met at Bacco for an extraordinarily diverse evening of mature Australian wines. With vintages going back to 1996, this was an incredible opportunity to witness at first hand how top class Australian Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon develop. It is rare to find wines from Australia this old and…(Read More)

Teddington Wine Society met for the first time at the Railway in Teddington last Thursday. We explored the well-known grapes such as Syrah, Grenache and Viognier and lesser known Marsanne, Roussanne and Mourvedre – varieties that were pursued by pioneering wine makers in California in the 1980s, seeking to  celebrate the quality of these grapes…(Read More)

Rhone varietals were the theme of two great evenings at Richmond Wine Society this week.  We explored the diversity of well-known grapes such as Syrah, Grenache and Viognier as well as the unsung heroes of Marsanne, Roussanne and Mourvedre. The term Rhone Rangers is coined from a movement that started in California in the…(Read More)