Exploring a symphony of flavours

This item first appeared in 2007

Cambridge & Great Eastern Regional Group Event review: Cambridge wine tasting

‘A Scientific wine tasting’ with Luke Webster took place on 26 April 2007 following the annual general meeting of SCI’s Cambridge & Great Eastern Regional Group. Webster displayed nine diverse wines, and wove a fascinating story around them. He described grape varieties, their cultivation, the complex chemistry of fermentation and maturation, the importance of balancing acidity and sugar, different blending and procedures (for example the solera system for sherry), sensorial aspects of wine appreciation, choosing appropriate wine glasses and how to appreciate a wine.

The selection covered champagne, still white wine (Rieslings from Germany and Alsace), Manzanilla sherry, red wines (Beaujolais and Australian Shiraz), sweet white (Australian Semillion), port (Fonseca Guimaraens 1987) and the star of the tasting – a vintage Madeira, made from the nearly extinct Terrantezgrape (D’Oliveras 1977), which was an extraordinarily complex wine with a symphony of flavours produced by controlled oxidation!

Luke developed his love of wine while studying at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He is a former cellarer of the Cambridge University Wine and Food Society and for several years he worked at the Cambridge Wine Merchants. He is an enthusiastic and accomplished wine educator.

John Wilkins,
Cambridge and Great Eastern Regional Group

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