WARE WINE & BEER CIRCLE
THIS YEAR'S MEETINGS

2017
August: Annual BBQ
18 members, 2 ex-members and 1 guest, attended the annual club BBQ, which was hosted this year by Elaine & Peter. The weather stayed dry, and was reasonably warm. Everyone was able to sit outside on the patio.
Peter R and Colin did a grand job of bbq-ing the chicken, sausages, and spare ribs. Thanks to all members for preparing appetizers, salads and desserts.

Photo Gallery

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August: Annual Computerised Wine Drive, run by Elaine and Peter R
15 members attended the meeting which began with 15 members attended the meeting. Chris and Kevin presented certificates and trophies to the winners of the annual show in July. Kevin took the names of those wishing to attend this year’s Xmas dinner and Peter R took the opportunity to issue a reminder of outstanding subscriptions.
11 members took part in this year’s Annual wine drive, with 8 bottles of wine entered, one of which being a commercial wine. Eight teams (of one or two members) sampled and judged the wines in a series of comparative tastings with each wine being tasted at least once against all the other wines. Points were awarded on a strict 2 – 1 or 3 – 0 option based upon team discussion regarding wine quality. Result sheets were collected by Peter R and entered onto a computer league table by Elaine producing the following results -
8th Elaine (Mango), 7th Robert (Guava), Joint 5th Robert (Mixed Fruit) & Peter B (Elderflower), 4th Kevin (Strawberry & Raspberry), 3rd Peter R (Ware Club Rose Recipe), 2nd Chris Mixed Red Berries), 1st The Commercial Entry.
Founders Trophy points awarded to Chris 4, Peter R 3, Kevin 2 and Robert & Peter B 1 point each.

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July: 37th Annual Show
The club held its 37th Annual Show at Ware Arts Centre.
13 competitors, including 5 from other wine & beer circles, entered 139 bottles in eight wine classes and four beer classes. Entries and judges all arrived promptly allowing the show to commence on time. The Judges included Mike Davey, Geoff Fryer, Richard Baldwin, Dave Pulley and Peter Robinson. After the judging, the judges and assisting stewards and show organisers enjoyed a salad lunch.

Thanks to all who entered and well done to all the winners who will be announced at the August meeting and presented with their trophies.

Click here for results and trophy winners.

Colin brought along an article which had appeared in the latest Mercury about the club's recent successes and advertising the show.

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July: Food Pairing with Wine and Beer presented by Kevin
Glen donated two bottles of Harrow & Hope Brut Champagne and the 17 attending members toasted her recent 100th birthday.
Kevin reminded the meeting of the annual show on Saturday 22nd July and asked anyone wishing to make a late entry, to speak to him at the end of the evening.
Kevin gave a summary of the savoury and sweet foods and the wines and beers to be sampled. These were as follows:
Kevin Cold Italian Meats Chianti Classico 13% £7
Kevin/Sue F. Quiche & Pate Alsace Gewurztraminer 13% £8 / Kevin’s Belgian Brown Ale
Graham B. Salmon Mousse Louis Jadot Macon Villages 13% £8.50
Carol Gooseberry Pie Sauvignon Blanc 10.5% £5.50 / Belgian Strong Ale £1.50
Margaret Fig Frangipane Kevin’s “Figgy” Desert Wine
Mary Choc’ Mousse Cake Banyuls Traditionnel 16% donated by Peter & Elaine
Kevin’s Imperial Russian Stout 9.5%
John asked the meeting to show their appreciation for Kevin’s efforts in presenting the evening.

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June: Tea Party hosted by Graham and Mary
Graham and Mary very kindly offered to host a summer Tea Party in the garden of their 400 year old cottage. 16 members and 2 guests (including the hosts) attended and enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea of various sandwiches filled with smoked salmon and cream cheese, cheese and pickle, brie and cranberry, and egg and cress. Graham made a chocolate and raspberry roulade, a lemon roulade, and carrot cup cakes. The afternoon was also to celebrate, in advance, Glen's 100th birthday. This was duly done with a rainbow layer cake accompanied by champagne, and the members sang 'Happy Birthday'.

The weather for the afternoon was unfortunately a bit dull and breezy, but the sun did appear by the end of the event. The club President - John (the club's second oldest member!) congratulated Glen on her forthcoming birthday, and thanked Graham and Mary for their hospitality.

Kevin reminded members of the July meeting - matching food and wine - and also the wine drive in August.

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May: Quiz Nite with Dave and Sue
18 members (including the two quizmasters) and two guests attended the meeting.
Before the quiz commenced Kevin addressed the meeting with regards the club’s recent successes at the Wales & West and Beds & Herts shows. He also announced the club members with most points obtained in the past year’s shows as 3rd Kevin, 2nd Peter R and 1st Elaine.
Members and guests arranged themselves into 6 teams. Dave & Sue Kenny presented a food and drink related quiz of 6 rounds each with 8 questions together with a running 30 question sheet to be answered over the duration of the quiz. The results across the 6 teams ranged from 33 to the 48 points gained by the winning team of Margaret, Graham B and Chris.
Kevin rounded off the meeting with reminders of the June tea party to be hosted by Graham & Mary Brace and the need for food volunteers for the July food & wine meeting. Peter R added a reminder that subscriptions were due.
The entry form for the club's Annual show can be found on the Annual Show page.

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May: Beds & Herts Federation Show 2017
Peter, Elaine, Chris, Robert and Kevin entered the show this year; the entries were up, but Peter  and Elaine did not need to judge; Kevin did judge; Chris and Robert were stewards, and Carol helped Elaine with writing the certificates. Elaine got six 1st places and 9 other places; Peter got four 1st places and 19 other places; Kevin got three 1st places and 15 other places; Robert got two 1st places and 1 other place; Chris got 12 places. Elaine won the trophy for the lady with most points in the wine classes. Elaine won the Herts Horticural trophy for highest points in the wine classes, with Peter 2nd, and Kevin was 3rd. The circle was the guild with most points, for the third year, with 352 points (less than last year!).
Full report and results on the NAWB web site.

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April: Wales & West 53rd Annual Festival
The Wales & West 2017 Festival was held on 28th April - 1st May at the TLC Group Victoria Hotel, Torquay with five members of Ware attending, Elaine, Peter, Kevin, Chris & Carol, as well as Lynn.
Elaine, Peter and Kevin judged various classes and Chris and Lynn assisting as stewards. Elaine, Peter, Kevin, Chris & Carol entered the show.
Ware Wine & Beer Circle retained the Leytonian Cup awarded to the non-affiliated circle with most points across all open classes and was awarded the South Gloucestershire Trophy for the club with most points across all beer classes, finally breaking Luton's domination of the trophy for the past 10 years or so! Chris was awarded Master Beermaker for which he was presented with the Ken Perry Trophy, making a record of three consecutive Master Beermakers from one club!
As a club, WWBC achieved one 1st, one 5th and two 6th places in the circle classes. Kevin two 1st, two 2nd, two 3rd, four 4th, six 5th and three 6th; Peter one 1st, one 2nd, two 3rd, three 4th, three 5th and three 6th; Elaine one 1st, two 2nd, two 3rd and one 4th; Chris two 1st, four 2nd, two 3rd, three 4th and four 5th; and Carol one 2nd in the photograph class.
The festival included tastings of commercial aperitifs, wines and beers along with the usual evening entertainment. Then followed late night discussions upon the merits of individual’s wine and beer entries. Once again, the Wales & West was enjoyed by all attendees.

Next year's show will take place over the weekend of the May Day Bank holiday.

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April: AGM followed by third round of Countries Wine Challenge
14 members attended the AGM which was opened by club president John. The minutes of last year’s AGM were accepted, proposed by Margaret, seconded by Chris. The Chairman’s report outlined club successes throughout the year at the Beds & Herts, National, Wales & West and other shows. The highlight of this success being a record number of points gained by the club at the National i.e. 501 which was almost double the nearest contender. At the National the NAWB Master Trophy was gained by Kevin, the Hill Cup by Elaine and the Amateur Winemakers Shield was retained Ware Wine & Beer Circle. The report went on to mention the need to consider arrangements for this year’s Xmas meal and a successful Dickensian evening leading to a donation to The Ware Museum of £250. Elaine closed her report by announcing that she was stepping down as Chairman after 6 years.
Peter presented the Treasurer’s report stating a balance of circa £1300. Peter commented that due to the club’s financial status, annual subscriptions will remain unchanged. The report was accepted, proposed by Chris and seconded by Eddie.
Kevin was elected as the new Chairman, proposed by Margaret, seconded by Carol. It was proposed and seconded by the meeting that the remaining committee members would be as follows. Peter R, Treasurer/Secretary; Social Secretary, Elaine R; Competitions, Chris; Publicity, Chris; Auditor/Committee Member, Colin; Committee Members, Mary & Peter B; House Manager, Colin & Mary; Raffle Organiser, Eddie.
Other business included a reminder that the June outing would be a tea party at Graham B and that the Xmas meal venue, date and time of day required further discussion.
The AGM was concluded by Kevin who announced that Elaine had won the Founder’s Trophy which was presented by John.
The Countries for the Wine Challenge 2017 were South Africa and Eastern Europe (including China!). Six bottles of wine had been purchased from Tesco (2 white & 4 red) within the price range £4.00 to £8.00. All attendees sampled each wine and a vote was taken to establish the preferred wines. On this occasion, the winning country was Eastern Europe, albeit this included a degree of imagination with one bottle from China. The meeting thanked Kevin for obtaining the wines and arranging the challenge.
The meeting closed with Kevin issuing a kiwi fruit recipe for the September in house competition.

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March: Hatched, Matched and Dispatched by Sandy Highsted
Fifteen members and one guest attended the meeting. The circle’s recent success at the National was celebrated by a photo session whereby the five members who entered the competition posed with numerous trophies won individually and by the circle. Elaine gave a brief explanation of the awards and announced that Ware had once again been the highest scoring circle. Peter R distributed sparkling wine for a toast to the Circle’s achievement.
Peter R introduced the guest speaker - Sandy Highsted from the Stevenage wine guild - who then spoke about the history and progression to current registry procedures surrounding births, marriages and deaths. The speaker included humorous quotations from ceremonies and with the aid of volunteers acted out a birth naming ceremony (Wendy How and Christopher Martin), and a marriage celebration ceremony (Carol Evans and Eddie Hunt).
President John asked the meeting for a round of applause as a thank you to the speaker.
Elaine reminded the meeting that the April meeting would be on Monday 10th and was the AGM.

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March: National Show at Britannia Country House Hotel, Didsbury, Manchester

Peter and Elaine R, Kevin, Robert and Susan, and Chris and Carol went to the 59th National show at Didsbury, Manchester. See the NAWB website for the full results and photos.
Ware Wine & Beer Circle and its members were among the 4 federations, 8 circles and 68 individual entrants at the National Association of Wine & Beer Makers (Amateur) Annual Show in Manchester on Saturday 11th March 2017. A total of 1403 bottles and 7 photos were entered across the show’s 92 classes.
Ware Circle and its members gained 16 first and 102 other places and as a result retained their position at the top of the National Club Points League Table and the Amateur Winemakers Shield, for the third year in succession. In addition, Ware Circle won the Marconi Club Trophy and The Sweet ‘N’ Dry Cup. Ware Competition Secretary Kevin Martin won the NAWB Master Trophy and The Temple Tankard, Chairman Elaine Robinson, was awarded the Hill Cup. Ware Circle and its members won a total of 22 trophies.
The Show was a weekend event and included a presentation of home brew beers and wines. The highlight of the weekend was Saturday evening’s formal dinner followed by the presentation of major trophies and musical entertainment.
This year Robert and Chris took some of Peter and Elaine's trophies home!

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February: Marmalade Aperitif Internal Competition
15 members attended the meeting which opened with Elaine issuing a reminder about the date of the April meeting. Elaine handed the meeting to Kevin who gave a brief run down on the plan for the evening which had been expanded due to anticipated low entry for the marmalade wine competition.
Kevin started the session by pouring members a sample of his homemade sherry for opinion. Slight oxidation was detected and Kevin stated that the sherry was a little salty and acidic and suggested that he may have added too much gypsum. Kevin followed the sherry with a mystery commercial aperitif which generated discussion. The mystery proved to be Sangria.
The 7 marmalade aperitif entries were tasted by all attendees and marks awarded. The results were 1st Elaine, 2nd Robert, 3rd Chris, 4th Peter R. This recipe is the members wine recipe for the forthcoming National show. It will be interesting to see how the wines are placed then.
The next wine presented was a 1971 Sauternes which, as might be expected due to age, showed signs of slight oxidation. This was followed by a cinnamon “Whisky” that had been made by Peter R as a kit and then by Lemoncello produced by Kevin which had been made with lemon juice, lemon pith, vodka and sugar.

President John thanked Kevin for organising the evening.

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January: Fortified Wine Tasting by Peter R
17 members attended the first meeting of 2017 which began with Elaine confirming the success of the Dickensian evening which raised circa £700. A donation has been given to Ware Museum from these takings. Coincidentally Peter R. had received a letter from Ware Museum announcing an exhibition of malting in Ware.
Peter R. gave a talk on Fortified wines including seven commercial examples for tasting. The examples were as follows:
  • Taylor’s Chip Dry White Port 20% from Waitrose at £13.29 per 75cl bottle
  • Distillerie De Menhirs Pommeau De Bretagne Vieux 17% at €12 per 75cl bottle
  • Bodegas Barnadillo Amontillado 18.5% from Tesco at £6.00 per 50cl bottle
  • Bodegas Barbadillo Oloroso 19% from Tesco at £6.00 per 50cl bottle
  • Sainsbury’s Fine Tawny Port 20% at £7.00 per 75cl bottle
  • Alvada 5 Year Old Rich Madiera 19% from Waitrose at £12.99 per 50cl bottle
  • Maury 2009 16.5% from Lidl at £6.99 per 50cl bottle
Following discussion as to the meetings favourite, John thanked Peter for his presentation. Kevin reminded attendees that the February meeting is an in house competition based on the Orange Marmalade Wine recipe (i.e. the National 2017 fixed recipe class).

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Last updated: 05/09/17
Copyright: 2001 WWBC