WARE WINE & BEER CIRCLE
PAST YEARS MEETINGS

Other years available - 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001

2016
December: Christmas meal at the Salisbury Arms Hotel, Hertford
18 members attended the Xmas meal at the Salisbury Arms Hotel in Hertford on the 3rd December. The meeting point was the main bar for drinks before moving to our reserved table in the downstairs dining area. Our treasurer provided a glass of Prosecco from club funds and hotel staff proceeded to give excellent service throughout the meal.
The two or three course (optional) meal included a choice from starters of roasted red pepper and tomato soup with croutons, smoked mackerel paté with toast and horseradish cream, duo of pearls of melon with winter fruit coulis, and chicken and mushroom terrine wrapped in parma ham. The four main courses offered were traditional roast turkey with traditional trimmings, braised blade of beef on horseradish mash, fillet of salmon with roasted Mediterranean vegetables, herb oil and new potatoes and chestnut, spinach and blue cheese en croute. Desserts included Christmas pudding with brandy sauce, chocolate and orange bread and butter pudding, raspberry and white chocolate roulade with cream, and a selection of cheese & biscuits. Coffee, tea & mince pies were served to finish.
On behalf of the club, president John thanked Elaine for arranging the event. Once again it was a very successful evening.


December: Ware Christmas Festival
The club set up a stall at the Dickensian evening at approximately 4:30 p.m. on December 2nd. Peter R., Elaine, Kevin, Colin, Mary, Peter B., Margaret, Chris, Robert and Eddie manned the stall. Once again Peter & Colin took charge of the hot mulled wine production while others took turns in keeping the supply of jugs of wine flowing and actually serving the customers. Elaine took charge of the “till”. After the usual slow start sales increased to a high causing the stall to be sold out by about 8:30 p.m. which was a little later than the previous year.
With approximately 26 gallons of mulled wine the club managed to raise £695 during the evening which is considered another success.

Photo Gallery

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November: Autumn Food Competition
19 members attended the meeting and 12 entries were tabled for the internal food competition. Two of the entries were savoury and ten were sweet. Elaine issued judging sheets to each member and asked that each dish be marked in respect of presentation, taste & balance. Elaine made it clear that any points awarded by a member to their own dish would be discarded. Everybody examined the food table for presentation qualities before the green flag was given for the tasting to begin. The meeting room was quickly buzzing with compliments for the various dishes coupled with the guessing of ingredients as not all dishes were accompanied by recipes. At the end of the tasting session Elaine collected the marking sheets and the results were announced in reverse order with the top positions being as follows:

Savoury  1st Margaret who was awarded the Gourmet Trophy for her mushroom paté
               2nd Mary with butternut squash & chestnuts wrapped in bacon 
Sweet  1st Carol who was awarded the Blue Ribbon Trophy for spiced pumpkin bars
           2nd John with a fruit crumble
           3rd Sue Fergus with mulled wine jelly
At the end of the meeting John thanked the members for their efforts in making the evening a success and appealed for entries for next year’s National, Wales & West & Beds & Herts shows.

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October: Unfashionable Wines - a talk and tasting my Mark Duce
16 members attended the presentation of six wines and one sherry selected by Mark Duce to represent wines which are currently unfashionable i.e. those which are proving unpopular and difficult to market. The wines were as follows:
Contero Moscato D’Asti, Italy 2015 5% £14
Pauly Kabernet German Reisling 2015 8.5% £17
Yarra Valley Chardonnay “Innocent Bystander”, Australia 2015 13% £14
Dominique Morel, Beaujolais Villages, France 2015 12.5% £12
Grenache by Mike Familiar from McLaren Vale, Australia 2014 14.5% £13
Cahors Melbec, Chateau de Chambert, France 2010 14.5% £19
Solera 1842 “Very Old Oloroso Blend”, Spain Non vintage 21% £19.50 half bottle

Circle President John thanked the speaker for his time and sharing his knowledge.
At the beginning of the meeting Elaine reminded attendees that deposits for the Xmas meal were now required at £10 per person. At the close of the meeting Kevin handed out the recipe for the in-house March 2017 competition, an orange marmalade wine.

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September: Beer Tasting presented by Peter R & Kevin & In House Wine Competition
17 members and 1 guest (suffered) enjoyed a comparative tasting of beers brewed by Peter R & Kevin against commercial beers. Peter & Kevin explained the basics of home brewing together with the differences and/or similarities between the beers. General opinion was that some of the home brews were easily compatible with the commercials while others were considerably better in aroma and flavour.
The beers were as follows:
Beer Produced by Strength
Raspberry Blonde Peter 5.9%
Ginger Pale Ale Kevin 4%
Belgian White Blue Moon Brewing Co 5.4%
Witbier Peter 5.3%
London Pride Fullers 4.7%
London Bitter Kevin 5.6%
Guiness Original Guiness Dublin 4.2%
Stout AKA Guiness Peter 5.5%
ESB Strong Ale Fullers 5.9%
Old Burton Ale Kevin 8%
Proper Black St Austell Brewery 6%
Midnight Black IPA Kevin 6.5%
After the beer tasting wine judge Mike D gave a brief review of his findings regarding the wine competition and Kevin announced the winners as follows;
Class 1 – Tinned Fruit 1st Chris, 2nd Peter R, 3rd Alan, 4th Robert
Class 2 – White Dry 1st Robert, 2nd Graham S, 3rd Peter R, 4th Chris
Class 3 – Red Dry 1st Elaine, 2nd Peter R, 3rd Kevin, 4th Chris
President John closed the meeting with thanks to Peter & Kevin for presenting the beer tasting and Mike D for his closing comments.


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August: Annual BBQ
17 members, 3 ex-members and 1 guest, attended the annual club BBQ, which was hosted this year by Sue & Robert. The weather stayed reasonably dry, although there were one or two brief light showers. Everyone sat outside, under gazebos, for the afternoon.
Peter R, who this year took over from Colin, did a grand job of bbq-ing the chicken, sausages, and spare ribs. Peter coped with minimal assistance which perhaps should be given consideration for next year. Thanks to Sue & Robert and 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 and one ex-member, Keith Brown, attended the meeting which began with Kevin announcing winners of the annual show wine and beer classes aided by circle president John presenting certificates and trophies. Overall winner across the show classes was Elaine with Peter R second and Kevin third. Winner of the wine classes was Elaine, however best wine in the show was awarded to Peter R. Best beer in the show was awarded jointly to Peter R. and Peter Lawrence of Luton Amateur Winemakers Guild.
12 members and Keith took part in this year’s Annual wine drive, with 9 bottles of wine entered. One of the bottles being a mystery commercial product. 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 -
Joint 1st with 14 points was Robert’s entry and the commercial wine which was an 8% British wine purchased from Lidl. Joint 3rd with 13 points were Kevin, John & Colin, 6th was Peter R with 12 points, 7th was Elaine with 11 points and joint 8th Chris & Peter B with 9 points.
Founders trophy points were awarded to Robert 4 points, Kevin 3 points for winning 3 rounds, John 2 points for winning 5 rounds and Colin 1 point for winning 4 rounds.
At the close of the meeting Elaine reminded members of the Annual BBQ and Graham’s offer of a tea party next year.

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July: 36th Annual Show
The club held its 36th Annual Show at Ware Arts Centre. 15 competitors, including 7 from other wine & beer circles, entered over 150 bottles in eight wine classes and four beer classes. Entries and judges all arrived promptly allowing the show to commence on time. Judges included Daphne Grant, Geoff Fryer, Richard Baldwin, Dave Pulley and Peter Robinson who, along with assisting stewards and show organisers enjoyed an excellent salad lunch after the event.

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.

Photo Gallery

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July: Talk and tasting by Matt from Majestic, Hertford
17 members attended. The meeting welcomed guest speaker Matt from Majestic Wines in Hertford who brought 6 bottles of wine that are sold in the Hertford store.
The wines were as follows;
Krasno Sauvignon Blanc Ribolla 2015 from Slovenia, 13% and priced at £7.99 but currently down to £6.99. Delicate aromas and flavours of green apple and white flowers with a fruity finish. Perfect for vegetable risottos.
La Cana Albarino 2015 from Spain, 13% and priced at £14.99 currently down to £13.99. Tastes of stone fruit, citrus, spice and minerality. Good with meaty white fish.
Casel Ventozela Alvarinho 2015 from Portugal, 13% and priced at £9.99 currently down to £7.49. A lively yellow wine with fresh flavours of citrus and apple aged in oak barrels. Good with seafood. (N.B. Albarino and Alvarinho are the same grape but the wines tasted a bit different.)
Morande Reserva 1 + 1 Pais 2015 from Chile, 13.5% and priced at £7.99 currently down to £6.99. Similar to a good Beaujolais, light and fruity with cherry and raspberry flavours. Delicious with charcuterie and ripe cheese.
Chateau de Lussac 2011 from France, 14% and priced at £13.99 currently down to £11.99. Rich bramble and damson fruit flavour with notes of graphite and cedar. Good with cured meats and hard cheeses.
Aniello 003 Malbec 2015 from Patagonia, Argentina,14% and priced at £11.99 currently down to £8.99. Gentle lavender notes with ripe black cherry fruits. Best enjoyed slightly cooled with red or white meats.
Dave stood in for John (who was in Dartmouth unveiling a plaque in memory of his father-in-law who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his heroic efforts in World War I) and thanked Matt for his presentation.

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June: Visit to The Gardens of the Rose
The visit to these lovely gardens was cancelled due to the exceedingly inclement weather.

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May: Quiz Nite with Dave and Sue
17 members took part in the annual quiz nite with Dave as the quiz master. Dave handed out the question sheets for each round and we had to select the correct answer from one of the four answers listed. The ongoing round was working out the names of places in England from the cryptic clues; this probably was the decider. The winning team was Mary, Wendy and Peter B.
Well done to the winning team and thanks to Dave and Sue for organising the quiz.
Members were reminded about the club outing to the Gardens of the Rose in June and about the Annual show in July. The entry form can be found on the Annual Show page.

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May: Beds & Herts Federation Show 2016
Peter, Elaine, Chris, Robert and Kevin entered the show this year; As the entries were down, Peter  and Elaine did not need to judge, but Kevin did judge; Chris and Robert were stewards, and Carol help Elaine with writing the certificates. Elaine got four 1st places and 16 other places; Peter got three 1st places and 2 other places; Kevin got three 1st places and 13 other places; Robert got 4 places; Chris got 8 places. Elaine won the National Trophy for most points in the dry table and after dinner classes, and the trophy for the lady with most points in the wine classes. Peter won the Herts Horticural trophy for highest points in the wine classes, beating Elaine by 1 point, and Kevin was 3rd. The circle was the guild with most points, for the third year, with 367 points.
Full report and results on the NAWB web site.

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April: Wales & West 52nd Annual Festival
The Wales & West 2016 Festival was held on 29th April - 2nd 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, and also Robert, entered the show.
Ware Wine & Beer Circle retained the Leytonian Cup awarded to the non-affiliated circle with most points across all open classes. Kevin was awarded Master Beermaker for which he was presented with the Ken Perry Trophy.
As a club, WWBC achieved one 5th place in the circle classes; Kevin two 1st, two 2nd, one 3rd, three 4th, three 5th and one 6th, Peter two 2nd, one 4th, one 5th and three 6th, Elaine one 2nd, three 3rd and one 4th, Robert one 4th place, Chris one 2nd, one 3rd, one 4th and one 6th and Carol one 3rd and one 5th for jam & chutney classes respectively.
The festival included tastings of commercial aperitifs, wines and beers along with the usual evening entertainment and a number of after show multi circle discussions upon the merits of individual’s wine and beer entries. With seagulls set to go off at 5:30 a.m. the days were long but definitely enjoyed by all.
Next year's show will take place over the weekend of the May Day Bank holiday.

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April: AGM followed by second round of Countries Wine Challenge
19 members attended the AGM. 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 awards at the National i.e. The Bournemouth Amateur Winemakers Cup awarded to Peter R., Lady Winemaker awarded to Elaine and the Amateur Winemakers Shield awarded to Ware Wine & Beer Circle. The report went on to mention the Xmas meal at the Salisbury, a successful Dickensian event and donation to The Mudlarks of £250.
Peter presented the Treasurer’s report which was accepted, proposed by Chris and seconded by Margaret. The competitions report was given by Kevin who stated that Ware show entries had been up on the previous year and thanked the members for their support. Kevin gave a summary of in house competitions and winners.
It was agreed by all that subscriptions for 2016/2017 remain unchanged at £14 per couple and £8 for individual membership. It was proposed and seconded by the meeting that all current officers be re-elected.
Other business included the June outing which was agreed to be the Gardens of the Rose. However, this was initially planned for Sunday 19th which is Father’s Day and therefore Monday 20th was proposed as an alternative. Final date to be confirmed. The date for this year’s Xmas meal is potentially Saturday 3rd December, to be confirmed.
The AGM was concluded by Kevin who announced that the Founder’s Trophy had been won by Elaine, with Kevin second, Chris & Peter R. joint third and Peter B. fourth. The Founder’s Trophy was presented by Club President, John.
The Countries for the Wine Challenge 2016 were Chile and Australia. Six bottles of wine had been purchased from Tesco (2 white & 4 red) within the price range £5.50 to £6.50. All attendees sampled each wine and a vote was taken to establish the preferred wines. On this occasion the winning country was Chile. The meeting thanked Kevin for obtaining the wines and arranging the challenge.
The meeting closed with Kevin issuing a tinned fruit recipe for the September in house competition.

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March: A Talk on the success of The Southern Maltings Group by John Wing
13 members attended the meeting which also incorporated an in house fruit juice wine competition.
Guest speaker John Wing, representing The Southern Maltings Community Group, gave a brief history of events leading to the successful prevention of the sale of The Ware Arts Centre by the council to developers. The original floor malting business had closed in 1960 due to ever increasing use of mechanical processes. The building became disused and derelict until volunteers carried out refurbishment in the 1980’s when there were proposed plans to remove a floor to form an auditorium, café and bar. However in 1994 the owners of The Waggers Club, originally located at the station and subsequently the gas works, made a deal with the council and the malting floors were removed, a new floor installed and the new Waggers Bar opened in 1995.
In January 2014 “For Sale” boards were put in place by the East Herts Council in an effort to sell the far end of the building. As a result an action group was formed of approximately 12 people. The action group went to the Town Council who agreed to hold a public meeting. The District Council plans to sell the building were temporarily delayed (approximately 6 months) by the Town Council placing the building on the Community Asset Register and gave the action group time to raise support and funds. The SMCG put in a bid for the building on the basis of a 30 year lease with a view to developing the building. In February 2016 the District Council put forward paperwork for a 30 year lease at £35k/year but discounted to £5k/year if SMCG invested £150k towards upgrading the building. The SMCG will be dissolved as the Council insisted that the lease be held by The Ware Arts Centre.
Circle president John thanked the speaker on behalf of the attendees.
There were six entries in the fruit juice wine competition and attendees sampled each of the wines and awarded points largely on the basis of bouquet and flavour. The wines had been prepared to a given recipe based upon apple juice plus a fruit juice of the maker’s choice. Some flexibility upon type and quantity of fruit juices had been allowed.
The results were - 1st Kevin Apple plus Guava; Joint 2nd Peter R. Apple plus Pineapple & Elaine Apple plus Peach, Mango & Passion fruit; 4th Chris Apple plus Pineapple; 5th Graham Apple plus Exotic; 6th Robert Apple plus Mango.

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March: National Show at Royal Court Hotel, Coventry

Peter and Elaine R, Kevin, Robert and Susan, and Chris and Carol went to the 58th National show at Coventry. See the NAWB website for the full results and photos.
The Circle had fantastic success at the recent National Association of Wine & Beermakers (NAWB) annual show, held in Coventry. The 5 members entering between them achieved more than twice as many points as the next highest place circle. The Circle was awarded 16 trophies!
Peter Robinson did not repeat his outstanding success of last year but still won the Master Winemakers Cup as most successful winemaker. To make it a family success, his wife Elaine was champion lady winemaker as well runner-up to Master winemaker. Three other members: Kevin Martin, Chris Evans and Robert Fergus were all successful with their entries and contributed to Ware’s winning of the Amateur Winemaker’s Shield for the most successful Circle in the show for the second year running.
This year Robert took some of Peter and Elaine's trophies home!

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February: Talk on 50 Years of The Ware Society by Bob Owen (written by Chris)
17 members and the guest speaker arrived at the South Maltings car park on or around 8 p.m. and following confusion over the gate padlock combination, access to the building was gained at 8:25 p.m.

In Kevin’s absence, Elaine reminded the meeting of the March in-house fruit juice wine competition.

Guest speaker Bob Owen presented a slide show reflecting 50 years of achievement by The Ware Society 1965 to 2015 (the society was 50 years old in November 2015). Bob told the meeting that the Tenants Society was formed approximately a year before hand in an effort to stop compulsory purchase of some cottages and could be considered the forerunner of the Ware Society. The first major concern of the Society was the plan to build an inner relief road through Ware and although this was eventually dropped by the local authority, many properties were lost to developers during the long drawn out planning process. Other matters taken up by the Society included the refurbishment of “Gazebos” along the river bank with work having to be carried out from the river and the unfortunate loss of the middle building which was needlessly demolished. Bob spoke of the Society’s role in the Premier Inn being built as originally planned by the developers despite the local authority trying to impose more modern design.

The Ware Society has played a part in many situations where the preservation of the character of Ware is at stake, for example Scott's Grotto, Bakers Walk, heritage maps, milestone restorations, Quaker burial site, Thunder Hall (currently ongoing) and more. The Society keeps a constant eye on local planning applications.

President John thanked Bob Owen on behalf of the members.

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January: Call My  Bluff by Peter and Elaine
14 members and 1 guest attended the meeting and all managed to arrive promptly by 8:27 p.m.!
The “Call My Bluff” challenge, arranged & presented by Peter & Elaine, consisted of six commercial white & red wines distributed to attendees for tasting. During the tasting of each wine Peter and Elaine would read in turn a description of a wine A and a wine B, one of which being relevant to the distributed wine. Attendees used their expertise to determine which one was a true or false description and mark their conclusion on an answer sheet.
At the end of the session no one person got 6 out of 6 correct answers; Graham S managed 5.
John (President) ended the evening by asking members to do all they could to help retain the club’s status at the National Show in March.
The wines were as follows:
Trivento Private Collection Torrentes 13% Mendoza, Argentina  
Villa Maria Pinot Grigio 13% East Coast, New Zealand  
Cono sur Bicicleta Riesling 13.5% Central Valley, Chile  
Valtier Reserva Tempranillo / Bobal 13% Utiel Requena, Spain  
Doppio Paso Primitivo 13.5% IGT Puglia, Italy  
Clos des Batuts Malbec 13% Cahors, France  


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Last updated: 15/08/17
Copyright: 2001 WWBC