Tips and tasting from wine critic Christine at OGC meeting

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Yorkshire Post wine critic and international judge Christine Austin, née Wedge (OG69), shared her knowledge and love of wine with members of the Old Girls Club at their London branch spring meeting.

Christine described how she got into wine accidentally, when after a science degree, she worked as a food scientist for M&S, who sent her to wine school in Germany.

Explaining that there were wine critics as long ago as ancient Egypt, Christine talked about why wine tastes as it does, describing soil types, slope differences and grape varieties. The audience were advised how to drink and appreciate wine – in a tulip shaped glass, always held by the stem – and helpful hints included: don’t worry if you haven’t got a posh decanter, just splosh it into a glass jug – twice; and keep any leftover wine in the bottle as it can improve the next day when the oxygen balance has adjusted.

Despite the fame of some of the Grand and Premier Crus, Christine’s recommendations were to try wines from South Africa and New Zealand. She also talked about how England is now making some of the best sparkling wines, pointing out that the chalk subsoil from the French champagne region stretches under the English Channel as far as the South Downs. And in Yorkshire, wine producer George Bowden is growing vines on old rhubarb patches!

As the meeting was held at the home of Lady Solti, Christine had brought along a wine for tasting from the late Sir Georg Solti’s homeland, a Hungarian Royal Tokaji, as homage to the conductor.

The next meeting will be on Saturday 27 October at the Lancaster Hall in Bloomsbury, when Jane Bower (OG73) will give an illustrated talk about her childhood in Ashwood, a group of properties opposite the former LGHS in Headingley. Her talk will touch on the history of the Ashwood area and her family’s Leeds background. If you would like to attend please contact Jackie Chalmers,


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