February 2019




Many thanks to Denis for hosting a Fortified Wine Tasting. It was very interesting and held some surprises!
Type Example Supplier ABV Price
Sherry Waitrose Manzanilla Pasada El Benito Waitrose 17% £11.49
Port Waitrose LBV Port Waitrose 20% £10.49
Madeira Blandy’s 5 Year Old Reserva Madeira Waitrose 19% £14.99
Vermouth Noilly Prat Waitrose 18% £12.00
VDN Les Jardiniers Muscat St Jean de Minervois Sainsburys 15% £5.25 for 37.5cl

Fortified wines were associated with lifestyle – Gentleman’s Club/Officers’ Mess; Senior Common Room/ Vicarage. Fortified wines are wines with added alcohol and seem able to withstand and benefit from high levels of oxidation. In the USA only spirit from grapes can legally be used to fortify wine.

All sherries start as a white wine and there are 12 styles of between 15% – 22% ABV. You will never find a vintage or a year on a label of a bottle of sherry as it is a blend across a number of years.

There are 100 different permitted grape varieties that can go into port and it is the 3rd oldest designated wine region (1756). It differs in style depending on how it has matured. There are 4 main styles – Ruby, Tawny, Vintage and White.

Madeira, Marsala (Sicily) and Comandaria (Cyprus) are island wines. There are 3 styles of Madeira – Single Varietal, Blended (at least 85% Noble grapes) and Finest (anything but!). Marsala wine is frequently used in cooking the USA and Italy and matured using ‘in perpetuum’. Cooking wine contains salt!
Aromatised wines have botanicals added, such as Vermouth, Cinzano, Martini, Noilly Prat, Dubonnet, Quinquina and Campari.

Vin Doux Natural (VDN) wines are Muscat (white grape) and Grenache (red grape). These are naturally sweet.

Pineau de Charentes and other vin de liqueurs.
There are also low end fortified wines such as Wild Irish Rose (American) and Buckfast Tonic Wine, which has 15% alcohol and 0.038% caffeine!

NEXT CLUB NIGHT –  20th March

Talk on Dunham Massey Hall by Peter Braun.


Congratulations to Bill, No. 48.

You can buy numbers in March/April, but they will only be valid in May (new Club year).


The next meeting is at David S’s on the 6th March at 7.30pm.



After an early morning fog had cleared 7 of us set out on a beautiful very warm February stroll around Ashley. No steep slopes, no stiles, a bit of noise when beside the M56, then peace and quiet of the Cheshire country-side, but we didn’t see any little lambs! A very welcome cool drink and some food in the Greyhound pub – where Joan joined us – completed a lovely morning. Grahame.



Meet at 11:00am at The Hanging Gate, 1 Sandy Lane, Weaverham, CW8 3HG – just off the A49.


ANNUAL DINNER – 16th March 2019  at Statham Lodge 7:00pm for 7:30. There are a few places left so if you wish to attend please forward your menu choices to Steve.


When members borrow the Club’s glasses, please can you replace any broken glasses.

If you bring a guest to a Club night, please can you let the Chair (Fred) know so they can be announced.

Buy, Sell, Swap, anything else interesting

Please remember to check out our website. There is a blog where you will find items of interest. Anna will be putting Neighbourhood Watch items on there.