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A fine vintage night in!

Published on: 14 December 2020

As we continue our fellowship nights out by staying in, Liveryman Dr Jason Aldiss BEM reflects on an evening of fine wine, cheeses and song.

Mother, the memsahib, and me gathered in the study in preparation for the WCB inaugural virtual Wine and Cheese night last Thursday evening (10th December). Taste buds dutifully tickled with the arrival, the day before, of a package of some splendid looking cheese from the Leicestershire Handmade Cheese Company and three sumptuous wines from Wine Poole.

WCB Virtual Cheese Night
Our hosts - Lindsay, David and Jo.

Now having attended many a wine and cheese event over the years there can be something of a degree of snobbery and pedantry associated with tastings – I had, therefore visions of well-heeled and well-fed Liverymen swirling fine clarets around sparkling crystal tasting glasses, gurgling, spitting and spouting such stuff and nonsense as “clearly from the chalky end of the village” and “I’m getting chocolate, I’m getting vanilla…. I’m getting squiffy…”. Fortunately, nothing of the kind!

The evening commenced with a gorgeous Chenin Blanc which Lindsay Poole invited us to savour accompanied by a wonderful soft creamy cheese introduced and described in glorious detail by Jo Clarke - and so the evening developed, just like a fine wine.

Over the course of the evening we were gently navigated through three very different wines – a Chenin from South Africa, a Ribera del Duero and a fine Cairanne. These were paired seamlessly with some wonderful raw milk cheeses from Sparkenhoe Farm in beautiful Leicestershire including a fantastic vintage traditional Red Leicester which paired with the Cairanne like a glove.

It is definitely a truism that food and wine matching is one of the true joys of life and this was achieved perfectly with our great thanks to Jo Clarke and Lindsay Poole who made the evening so fun and informative.

WCB Cheese Tasting Virtual Evening
A gentle sing-song followed the cheese.

And so the soiree came to a gentle halt and some rather happy looking butchers commenced the ‘après ski’ – the hounds were dutifully produced, our gallant Clerk excused himself and the bawdy ballads began.

I understand from our Master who (allegedly) hales from Leicestershire from whence our fine cheeses were produced, that the Horner’s had recently kept going until two o'clock in the morning – clearly built of different stuff we were serenaded off to bed at around ten by Dot, wife of Liveryman Steve Thompson singing some beautiful Scottish ballads including a wonderful rendition of the Fields of Athenry.

A fine evening – one to remember and repeat. Very well done to the organising committee.