Sipologists' pictures, videos and articles
Examples of bespoke corporate and private events.
As we keep saying, it's not your average wine tasting...
Over lockdown we recorded some educational videos for our Sipologists so you can come back and see us time and time again. Lucky you!
Who’s who? (article written by Mandy for AWE blog Dec 2021)
And we thought you may be interested in reading some extracts from our Newsletters...
With SipSoc virtual tastings going Global this month we wondered- how far has wine travelled?
It turns out wine has made it to the moon!
Buzz Aldrin, being a religious man, held communion on up there complete in 1969 with a wafer and ‘fermented grape juice’.
It almost made it a second time, as NASA, trying out how to make space travel more comfortable for astronauts, actually hired a guy to choose wine for the Apollo program. He was tasked with finding something tasty that could stand up to the rigours of flying through space and settled on Sherry.
They even got as far as inventing a special bag to drink it out of with built-in straws but sadly some teetotal space fan convinced others to join a protest to ban it’s journey in the end.
Now days we know (though the Skylab Medical Experiment Altitude Test) program, that wine in zero-gravity releases an unpleasant odor so maybe it may never make another trip.
Some more lockdown Musings....
People often ask where the best place to store wine is. If you're not going to drink it for a while then the kitchen is the worst place (currently where my wine rack is. Then again I intend to drink my wine over the next month.) My one 'keeper' is stashed in my wardrobe- somewhere with the least temperature fluctuations. However someone in Australia built this during lock-down and we love it. A genius who has created demand overnight for something we all never knew we wanted.
Meanwhile in Italy this neighbourhood have invented wine glass holders that enable drinkers to actually 'cheers' more people than just who they are in isolation with. (Perhaps this is just a prototype to another genius idea, albeit niche and hopefully not needed for much longer)
While Germans respond better to understanding the 2m rule (well 1.5m there is seems) by the number of wine bottles away they are to each other. I'd love to see what the other European countries would have chosen. French baguettes? Spanish bulls? English cricket bats?
Highlights from 2019
It was one of SipSoc’s besties hen parties so obviously we were crazy enough to go swimming (defined as three or more strokes) in the North Sea. As you can imagine it was pretty Baltic and we all needed some warming soup upon reaching the beach hut.
Electrical tennis rackets and virtual drinks
A different Piggy Bank
We are all about being different here at SipSoc but we aren't sure it works here.
Now you've got our attention!
This on the otherhand looks like the perfect Sipologist accessory but maybe for red wine only as white would get rather warm.
The Rosé Rhône (write up of an epic wine trip 2018)
As some of you know I am not only a Professional Sipologist but also a member of the Association of Wine Educators (AWE) and was lucky enough be invited on a trip to the Rhône Valley this month with other wine trainers. Our first port of call was at the Ecole des Vins in Avignon - wine educators like nothing better than going back to school too.
We were led through a wealth of information about the region. Here are some quickfire facts –
The Rhône is the second largest appellation d'origine contrôlée (French AOC wine regions are controlled to protect the quality and style of a particular wine-making place.)
It covers both the north and south of the valley though there are different rules in every village so the wine styles vary across the 48 appellations, 5,300 producers, 70,000 hectares
Last year they sold 1 million bottles a day across the world and have a wine-making history going back 2000 years. And now they are focussing on organic and biodymanic production. Infact 10.5% of Rhône wine production is already organic.
Rosé may not be what you associate most with the Rhône, but is 13% of the total sales (more than white at 6%).
And as there are increasingly some really successful rosés to be found I was keen to explore this colour more than usual- the power of the sunshine and approaching summer!
There is much debate among wine drinkers about the colour of rosé, with most settling on only drinking the 'pale' ones like those made nearby in Provence. There is an AOC called Tavel in the Rhône that produces a very dark pink wine and is best to have with food, like you would a red.
The SipSoc verdict? There is a time a place for all colours of rosé, just make sure the acidity remains fresh.
When is a bargin a bargin?
Don't believe everything you see in the UK
Grab the Champers!
The Algave in March. (2018)
All my previous Portuguese experiences have involved lots of sunshine and even more wine, why should this be any different? Quick answer, I was there for Bootcamp. And the sun did not shine, there were frequent hail storms. Normally a great excuse to cosy on by a fire and drink a warming, rich red. But no, having put my body through it's paces all day I didn't want what any 'empty calories' from my wine. What is a Sipologist to do?
What's lowered the calorie count?
Reverse osmosis uses high pressure and a physical membrane to separate water and alcohol from the concentrated wine. The extracted liquids are then heated to remove alcohol and added back to the wine concentrate. Additional water also needs adding to account for the loss of volume from the removed alcohol.
Back in Portugal...
In other Olympic news
DRY JAN (2018)
Happy New Year! I trust you drank all sorts of delicious things during the festive season. And now it's time to stay off the booze, right? Well even I am trying to give my liver a bit of a break.
Storm Ophelia and Wine (Oct 2017)
So, what has the recent storm to hit our shores got to do with wine? Well nothing really but some of the extraordinary phenomena got us thinking... Avoiding foam
Onto pouring which can cause an explosion of fizz if rushed. Traditionally the glass should be totally straight when you fill it. But this is hard to do foam free so we see most people tilting their glass like we do with beer. If you fancy giving the upright glass method a go, make sure you 'wet' the glass with a splash of wine, allow the bubbles to settle before pouring up to ¾ full.
So, chill the wine. Wet the glass or tilt, we're not bothered. But most importantly take the cage and cork off together and twist the bottle not the cork.
This is London on Monday when the Sahara sand and forest fire smoke got mixed up in the storm and turned our skies an eerie orange.
It reminded us of producers mixing the skins of white grapes and creating a textured, orange wine.
This process known as skin contact produces tannins so we get some 'grip' to our orange wines but also pick up colour. The style is somewhere between a white and a red and is becoming more and more fashionable. Head to a specialised wine bar and there should be one to try.
SipSoc @The Festival of Wine (Oct 2017)
Our Canadian Sipologists (Sept 2017)
So these musical Sipologists were the guys and gals, (yeehaw- getting more cowgirl by the day in my Canadian boots,) who helped put our play list together for our fab new and unique Sip to the Beat tasting.
We know you probably won't be able to read writing this small and perhaps aren't even interested unless you are a real wine geek but we got a real kick out of finding the Master of Wine exam that our Grandfather would have taken back in the 1950s at the institute in Battersea.
It was on the wall in the loo, so one of those situations where you end up looking like you may have some other issue if you're in there too long. But then again you have that problem at SipSoc HQ too as our bathroom walls are filled with photos.
Time to get some Sipologists up there we think!
Royal Tipples and more (Summer 2017)
An article about what the Queen drinks went viral recently after her cousin let on she, “takes a gin and Dubonnet before lunch, wine with lunch and a dry Martini and a glass of champagne in the evening.” As a Sipologist I was intrigued as to her preferred choice of wine and champagne and what these choices could say about her palate. Is our Queen a super-taster? We suspect not- these are strongly flavoured cocktails.
I actually saw Her Majesty last month, completely by accident. I was showing some tourists round on Boris bikes and she was entertaining the King of Spain in her carriage. It was a shame she didn’t see me as the wine list they had that night at the banquet would have suited my palate brilliantly. English sparkling wine, white Burgundy (Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2008 so not just any, for the record), Ribera del Duero and a 15 Year Old, Madeira.
A new company has received over $90,000 of Kickstarter funds to develop a glass that catches sediment in your wine so you'll never have any unwanted floaters. We say- this happens with so few wines on the market, what's wrong with a good old fashioned decanter? Invest in something better!
This South Koren ice-cream is called the Gyeondyo-bar, which translates as "hang in there" as it supposedly contains a magic hangover cure. Now we're talking! It is made from 0.7 percent oriental raisin tree fruit juice -a traditional hangover remedy cited in a Korean medicine book from the 17th century so it must work. Our money would go on this one...