This is the first wine festival that Dorset have done and I was so happy to be able to witness it first hand. You pay your £36 ticket fee. ’35 quid!’ i hear you cry, yes but you get to drink pretty much as much wine as you can. I found a cheeky little discount code and took full advantage of it, because I am a student.
I’ll be the first to say know nothing about wine. Apart from I like reds more then white and sparking, but couldn’t tell you what regions I prefer of what grape is best.
We were given little glasses to try samples and a que card to take notes and to use our drink tokens. Ever the good student, I took notes but they got more incoherent as the day progressed.
We were in the grounds of 10 Castle Street which is a members only hotel, restaurant, bar but you can be a guest. I’ve wanted to see 10 Castle for about a year and only got a glimpse of the entry hall and bar, which were both perfectly decorated, but I would have loved to have been shown around.
Little marquees and spittoons were set up either side of the water feature, with all the wine vendors sheltering from the sun in the marquees. We started on the wine sparking side of the lawn. We sampled a German white from Philip Lang, and progressed down the Ardor. We got chatting to the merchant who chatted about how Ardor was made, the process of labelling the bottles the very impressive stand they were serving from. Ardor is the wine made from the same people who run The Larderhouse which is a restaurant in East Dorset with a unique bar. Which I really want to go to and will be going with H soon.
We explored the whole festival and found the Mother Ukers performing and the marquee where wine talks were going on, art sections to design the new label for 10 Castle Streets wine.
Having ticked off a few wine tokens we headed to the far field for some fuel. We chose the Growler food truck and got sweet potato fries which were delicious. I went for mayo and H had ketchup.
After refuelling we headed back for more wine tasting. One of the stands was a lady talking about needing all your senses working to really appreciate wine. We were given nose clips to show how effected you can be by not having a sense working while tasting things. You can actually go on courses about wine tasting which is something I’d really love to do. To actually be able to talk about wine rather then saying it tastes delicious. We were told that if you eat the right food you can really have which ever wine you like, you just have to know what it goes will with.
We caught the last section of the South African talk about wine. Their vineyards are in Franschhoek where they talked about rain fall, struggles of growing a vineyard. Holden Manz had a merlot which was one of my favourites of the whole day. Here we are with 2 of the 3 People from South African wineries.
We worked our way around to a very friendly guy who told us that there was a wine he had called Bonkers, which we of course tried and loved. Everything he recommended we loved and he’d only tried everything that day. I felt really on the same page with him yet he knew what he was talking about.
I really hope that they host the Dorset Wine Festival again because it was really interesting learning about wine, I feel like I know a bit more then i did at the start. Next time I’d like to book lunch.
I hope this inspired you to come to the next wine festival, I’ll surely be going again.