Just for clarity on the title, it is Flight Club and not Fight Club, just in case you were wondering.
Well, what is Flight Club? It is an event hosted by @Legslonglength or more commonly known as Ruth. I have met Ruth a few times at the various StreetFeast events under her alter ego of @StreetVinWine
I had heard of Flight Club on twitter but received an email from Rotary to advise there was an event being held there in November 2013 (I know a little behind with the post), so I instantly emailed Mrs Smith to see if she was free and luckily she was. So tickets purchased.
I did not really know what to expect, but I knew that we were going to be tasting wines from Italy, in Flights (hence the name) and the theme was wines from the Top, Middle or Bottom of Italy.
On the evening of the event I headed down to Rotary Room, deliberately early as both myself and Mrs Smith needed to have a catch up and discuss a few big things in life, so I settled in with a glass of wine to wait for her to arrive. Rotary Room was a unique location and I had to wait for Mrs Smith to call me so I could show her the way to this wonderful hidden bar. I always loved the look on peoples faces as I took them through a private door and down a fire escape to find the bar, not sure if they believed there was a bar down there or not.
|Rotary Room – Just arrived and waiting for Mrs Smith
Anyway, once arrived we sat down with a glass of wine and put the world to rights.
|Flight Club all set up and just waiting for the guests
After all the other guests arrived (about 18 or so) we sat around the tables with 6 glasses lined up in front of us, always a good sign. 3 for white and 3 or red. Ruth explained that we would be tasting 1 glass of red and white from the Top of Italy, the Middle and the Bottom. The flights were designed to highlight the differences in the areas, with their different climates and styles.
|The wines poured add ready to be tasted – Mrs Smith managing not to be in a picture again 🙂
We also had a lesson in tasting and were offered a spittoon if needed, but thankfully no one wanted one, then or at any time in the evening, everyone swallowed.
So, with myself and Mrs Smith on a table with 4 other women, never a bad thing to be the only man with 5 women, the tasting began.
We had a sheet of paper that told us the name/producer of the wine and the year. We then had to make a judgement of whether it came from the Top, Middle or Bottom, along with a guess on the price of a bottle.
So we tasted, we sipped, we compared and considered all 3 whites. There was plenty of banter on our table with everyone suggesting what they could taste and what they thought, but then it was down to the serious (well not really but we all wanted to see our own individual thoughts) ideas on where they were from and how much.
There was one that surprised us all on the table as we all agreed that it tasted a bit like weak ribena, which was a shock for a white, but definitely not a bad thing and the wine was very nice and this in fact turned out to be the favourite of the evening for Mrs Smith.
We also had a few lovely nibbles of meats and cheeses and then hit the reds with more tasting, sipping and comparing. I noted that one of the reds went amazingly well with the salami we had, which was a Barbera 2010.
So after all that lovely tasting it was time to find out how we did.
Very surprisingly both myself and Mrs Smith pretty much agreed on where we thought the wines came from, although disagreed on some of the pricing. I got off to a flyer guessing that the first white one, a Verdicchio, was from the middle of Italy and I was not far out on the pricing with only a slight over estimation. Sadly the next 2 whites I got the wrong way round, thinking the bottom was the top, but price guessing was not too far out.
Now for the red results, the first 2 I got wrong thinking the one from the middle was from the top and vice versa, but I redeemed myself with the last one and got it right with the bottom. Then there was the pricing, now I normally drink red and thought I might be OK with the pricing, but was way out on 2 of them, thinking 1 was worth £12 but it sells for between £20-£24 and the other I thought was £23.50 but it was only £10.70. I actually thought that was my favourite wine to taste, 1952, so a couple of days later I managed to go and pick up a bottle for myself.
You may note I have not yet mentioned the pricing for the other bottle of red, well, I got it spot on at £16 and got a tick from Ruth for guessing it, and yes it was a guess and no knowledge.
The knowledge element is something I am going to try and focus on this year and actually learn to taste and appreciate wine rather than just drink it!
After the tasting was done myself and Mrs Smith, plus the 4 others on my table, all ordered food and more wine and continued to enjoy the evening and eventually it was just myself and Mrs Smith left and eventually even we had to head off in our separate directions.
It was a great night out tasting wines that I would never have had before and a very good way to spend an evening. I have been keeping an eye out for any more Flight Clubs and have just signed up to go to another one at the end of January, this time all about English Sparkling Wine from Nyetimber. I am already looking forward to it and Mrs Smith emailed back straight away to confirm she will be coming as well, so another Flight Club adventure with Mrs Smith.