Wine Festival going online – tastings and masterclasses to enjoy!

At a time when events are being cancelled and the winter is closing in, Wine Festival Online will be providing something fun to look forward to – not to mention an escape from the lockdown!

Saturday 28th November will see a delicious line-up of online wine masterclasses curated by the organisers of Wine Festival Winchester, the acclaimed annual event that this year has taken a creative leap online in response to the current situation.

The festival’s re-launched website features a line-up of 15 sessions running from 1pm until 8.30pm. Each session lasts 30 minutes and the range covers everything from 20-year-old port to fine Burgundy, new wave California and top-quality Hampshire sparkling wine.

One masterclass sees high-end caterers Rocket, under their A Cook’s Tour banner, lead guests through making a sumptuous three-course meal including truffle risotto, with wines to match.

Access to this year’s event is entirely free. There are no ticket costs to encourage as wide a participation as possible. Festival-goers are invited to order wines in advance to taste along with the masterclasses, with the organisers suggesting ‘side socials’ (eg via Facetime, Zoom, Whatsapp or other online platforms) while tasting as a way of emphasizing the sense of fun and communal activity. There is also a ‘tasting selfie’ competition planned, with a prize for the winners.

Winchester-based Masters of Wine and broadcasters Susie Barrie and Peter Richards are leading festivities, as ever, and will also be conducting a live feed all day on Instagram Live. What’s more, special VIP guests Sam Neill and Ching He Huang will be making an appearance on the day.

‘This year it’s all about being positive and finding fun things to do together and look forward to,’ comments Susie Barrie. ‘We had so many people asking us to do something to mark the usual weekend we’d be doing Wine Festival Winchester, so we’ve teamed up with a brilliant group of wine companies to lay on a really exciting online wine event. We can’t wait to see everyone on the day!’

For more details or to choose which sessions at Wine Festival Online to join, see

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