For a long time, every other year, Jancis Robinson has encouraged the UK wine trade to partake in a wine-specific charity campaign, Wine Relief with funds going to Comic Relief (who help disadvantaged groups in Africa and the UK). A proportion of income from 80 selected wines available retail in the UK is passed to the charity, and various fundraising wine activities are held.
This year, I’ve decided to help by offering a May evening of fine Savoie wines to the highest bidder on Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day – Friday March 18th 2011. Read on for details and logistics.
Over nearly two decades, I’ve been privileged to get to know the very best producers in the relatively unknown little wine region of Savoie. I’ve watched how this region has gone from one thought of as simply a producer of light fresh ‘skiing wines’ to one that is making a buzz both in the UK and the other side of the pond, especially amongst lovers of unusual grape varieties and/or organic/biodynamic wines.
One of the producers I’ve known for many years is Michel Grisard of Domaine Prieuré St-Christophe, who makes mainly Mondeuse reds with some Roussette de Savoie (Altesse) whites, from grapes farmed biodynamically for over a decade. Michel is one of only a tiny handful of Savoie producers who since the mid-1980s, has made wines to age, and he has always been particularly generous with me in sharing older vintages to try.
My offer is to share with a group of up to 15 wine lovers a selection of 12 of the best wines from Savoie, including a mini-vertical of Michel Grisard’s Mondeuse. The wines will be accompanied by my insight and stories about the terroir, the grapes and the people of the region.
What you will be bidding for:
An evening at a venue of your choice in London or elsewhere in the UK by arrangement, hosted by me, Wink Lorch, and featuring a minimum of 12 fine Savoie wines including a mini-vertical of Michel Grisard’s Mondeuse going back to the 1980s.
Logistics of the evening:
Gather your friends at a venue you provide, on a date by arrangement with me, preferably in May 2011 (weekends possible). Details to be arranged between us.
Logistics of Bidding:
Send me an email with your offer of how much you will bid for the evening. 100% of the highest bid will be donated to Wine Relief (or rather Comic Relief).
Emails will be acknowledged within 24 hours of receipt and you will be notified if you are the highest bidder at the time, and kept informed if you are out-bid.
The highest bid
at mid-day UK time on Friday March 18th 2011 wins the tasting evening. Bids now accepted up to Midnight.
Minimum suggested bid: £500 – Now reduced to £450 (NB: This is £500 for up to 15 people tasting at least 12 wines – that’s less than
£35 £30 per person … hope we can do better!)
Updates will be given below as to how the bidding is going.
Please support this worthy cause:
Become a Savvy Savoie Sipper in aid of Wine Relief…
March 12th CURRENT HIGH BID: Have an almost bid of £250 but hopefully more from a tasting group just confirming amongst friends that they can go ahead. Come on, people …. any more??
March 12th UPDATE ON WINES: For logistical reasons, I cannot publish the full list of wines until March 16th, but having met with Michel Grisard only 2 days ago, I can assure you we will have a really interesting vertical of his Mondeuse Tradition and Prestige, with explanations of each vintage and development.
BONUS! Providing we can agree on a date in May, I will also provide personally imported Savoie cheeses and saucisson!