Helen Savage Wine Education Spring 2019

Helen, hard at work tasting French wines at London's National Theatre

Helen, third from the left, hard at work tasting French wines at London's National Theatre

Northern Counties Club, Hood Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

Our wine dinners at Northern Counties Club are, as ever, our flagship events, and all include a delicious two-course meal with coffee. To book, please now contact Olwen by email: or by phone on 01434 676852. For other events, please book with the venue. Full details are given under each event.

A World of Merlot

Thursday 14 February, 6.30 pm
Northern Counties Club

Tickets: £45
includes fine two-course dinner and coffee

Helen will lead a survey of top Merlot and Merlot-based wines from around the world - Saint Emilion to Hawkes Bay and lots in between. It's a rare chance to taste high quality examples of this approachable and often sublime variety from a wide variety of climates and soils.

By the way, did anyone ever tell you that Merlot is the romantic of all grape varieties? Well, now...

Jamie's Classics: White Burgundy and Red Bordeaux

Tuesday 12 March, 6.30 pm
Northern Counties Club

Tickets: £45
includes fine two-course dinner and coffee

Jamie Harrison will introduce a personal selection of favourites, drawing on his detailed, deep and engagingly accessible knowledge of two of the world's greatest vineyards. There'll be at least four wines from each classic area - a fascinating range of styles, sites and vintages.

Galicia Masterclass

Thursday 4 April, 6.30 pm
Northern Counties Club

Tickets: £45
includes fine two-course dinner and coffee

Helen will survey the wonderful wines of Spain's North West - a first for us. As was as the superb semi-aromatic white wines made from Albariño and Godello, we'll taste wines from other excellent local varieties including the fine red wine grape Mencia. It should be a fascinating and revealing evening.

The New East

Tuesday 7 May, 6.30 pm
Northern Counties Club

Tickets: £45
includes fine two-course dinner and coffee

A Tynemouth tasting last January revealed just how good the new wave of cheap and cheerful wines from Eastern Europe can be.

This is a chance, under Helen's expert guidance, to taste some of the very best wines. Local varieties proliferate in a wonderful mix of styles. This promises to be one of the best tastings we've offered for a long time. Not to be missed!

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Tynemouth - Holy Saviour's Wine Club

A series of more informal tastings at Holy Saviour's Church Hall, Manor Road, Tynemouth, with a simple, home-made supper. Amazing value! To book events at Tynemouth, please now contact Olwen by email: or by phone on 01434 676852.

Biodynamic Wines - Folly or Wisdom?

Friday 1 February, 7.30 pm
Tickets: £15.
(tasting postponed from the autumn).

Everyone has heard of organic wines, but biodynamic wines are significantly different. Helen will explain a little of their history and profile today and will introduce a fascinating range of high quality examples from around the world. Are they really better than organic or conventionally-produced wines? We'll not be able to give a definitive answer, but you'll be able to taste some very convincing efforts.

Supper: hearty, organic, vegetarian lasagne

The Chevalier Brothers: Bordeaux Treasures

Friday 1 March, 7.30 pm (to be confirmed!)

We hope to welcome Richard and Eric Chevalier to Tynemouth again to introduce their amazing wines and give you a chance to buy at cellar door prices in case a certain B****t door slams shut. More information as soon as we can.

Supper: Coq au Vin

The Wines of Greece

Friday 5 April, 7.30 pm

Greece, where wine-making seems almost as old as the hills, produces a marvellous range of flavours from a panoply of indigenous grape varieties. Modern wine-making has transformed an ancient craft and there's lots to enjoy.

Supper: Helen's Moussaka

The White Wines of South Africa

Friday 3 May, 7.30 pm

Instead of attempting to summarise the entire country in 8 or 9 wines, Helen will concentrate on just the white wines of the Cape, which will provide a fascinating and varied tasting. She'll reveal the latest trends and explore some of the best buys.

Later in the year we'll turn to the reds.

Supper: Helen's special recipe fruity Chicken Curry

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Rose & Crown, Slaley

Wines and Love

Saturday 23 February, 3.30pm
Tickets: £25, including a generous early buffet supper.

A seasonal tasting if ever there was one: Helen will contrive a collection of love-themed wines (and not just pink ones) from around the world, including, of course, some excellent Saint-Amour from Beaujolais. It will certainly be fun - and tasty!

To book, please contact Olwen by email: or by phone on 01434 676852.

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Matfen Hall

Douro Wine Dinner

Friday 22 February, 7 for 7.30pm
Tickets: £45.

The Douro (Duero) unites some of the greatest wine regions in Portugal and Spain. Helen will introduce complex, aromatic dry whites and fabulous, full-bodied reds from both sides of the border and will round things off with a delicious glass or two of port.

The Mighty Rhône

Friday 22 March, 7 for 7.30pm
Tickets: £45.

The Rhône is home to some of the world's finest grape varieties (Syrah and Viognier perhaps the best-known) and fabulous rich, silky reds in which Grenache bosses the blend; while the sweet wines from the south are sheer bliss. Come and taste Helen's carefully-chosen selection of some of the best.

To book please contact Matfen Hall directly: on 01661 886500

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Eslington Villa, Low Fell

Bergerac Wine Dinner

Thursday 14 March, 7 for 7.30pm
Tickets: £44.50.

Bergerac (one of Helen's favourite regions) is one of France's better kept wine secrets - forget the cheaper bottles you occasionally find in supermarkets, but indulge yourself with an elegant diversity of complex, flavourful wines that are superb partners for fine food. Think Bordeaux but with a lot more generosity!

Please book this event directly with Eslington Villa: 0191 487 6017 or e-mail: .

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Burgundy Wine Holiday 2019

Tuesday 21 May - Wednesday 29 May

What could be better to be in Burgundy just as Spring blossoms into Summer?

Eight nights as usual - first and last nights at the Hôtel de France in Abbeville, the rest of our time at the Hôtel La Gremelle in the very heart of the vineyards at Ladoix-Serrigny, just north of Beaune. Transport, as usual, will be with Weardale Travel. The detailed programme, booking forms and more information will be sent out very soon, but this, we hope will enable you to get the dates in the diary.

We are delighted to announce (Helen says, "I don't know quite how we've managed this!") that the cost will be same as last year: £1499 per person in a shared room (a modest single supplement is available).