Greek Wine Night in pictures

Tasters at Greek Wine Night at Caravan, King's Cross

Our Greek Wine Night last Sunday was a huge success. But we have a question for you on timing. See also Greek Wine Night – the tasting notes.

I don’t think any of our tasting events has sold out as quickly as last Sunday’s Greek Wine Night. This may have been due to the lively curiosity of visitors to, to widespread appreciation of our self-pour tastings and accompanying food at Caravan King’s Cross, or perhaps to the sheer quality of the wines now being made by Greece’s talented and ambitious winemakers.

Julia tasting at Greek Wine Night

Julia, seen above tasting before the event began, had chosen 42 extremely varied wines, from a seriously good sparkling through 23 dry whites, a couple of skin-contact whites, two light reds, seven fuller reds, five sweet (sometimes very sweet) wines of both colours and two stimulating retsinas. Below we are putting out the bottles, having checked and tasted them beforehand. We will share our tasting notes next week.

Julia and Jancis put out bottles for Greek Wine Night

There were no disappointments, and nor when we were opening and pre-tasting the bottles did we have to reject more than a few. In fact there were just four bottles which we considered to be not quite right on the night. We thought those were perhaps slightly oxidised rather affected by cork taint.

Tim Jackson MW has taken over from Richard Hemming MW, who is now in Singapore, as organiser-in-chief of our tastings and had the bottles marshalled extremely efficiently. He has moved printing of the information-packed tasting booklet to the day before the tasting and the day after he checks what has actually been delivered so there were none of usual added stickers correcting alcohol levels or vintages.

We miss Richard's role as our in-house photographer. These images have been kindly supplied by Sofia Perpera and George Athanas of the Greek Wine Bureau–North America, who assembled all these wines in Greece, in co-operation with EDOAO, the Greek Interprofessional Organisation of Vine and Wine. They are seen here with Julia and me.

George, Jancis, Sofia and Julia at Greek Wine Night

Our usual timing is 6.30 until 9 pm but even on this damp evening, keen tasters were lined up outside the door from 6 pm or even earlier. As a result, we are considering moving the timing so that we start at 6 pm and finish at 8.30 pm, and we invite comments on this in this thread on our Members’ forum. The only problem may be getting the bottles checked, tasted, chilled in some cases, and in place in the two-hour window after Caravan closes to the public at 4 pm.

Julia gave a short introductory talk about the wines, and stressed the range of regions (including many at high elevations), grape varieties (virtually all indigenous), styles and flavours.

Glasses and booklet at Greek Wine Night

As is usual nowadays, we provided my beautiful and versatile glasses for tasters and only two were broken, one by me and one by Julia, in each case owing to a surfeit of enthusiasm. Also as usual, we will donate any surplus from the night to a charity chosen by whoever assembles the wines, in this case to Boroume, whose mission is to reduce food waste and fight malnutrition in Greece.

Copies of the brand new, 8th edition of The World Atlas of Wine were available, thanks to Blackwell’s of Holborn, but most people simply concentrated on the liquid treasures on the tasting tables and food that seemed even more delicious than usual on the tables in front of the kitchen. Caravan, who now have six outlets around London, now have someone specifically in charge of menus for their events, apparently, and the dishes definitely showed a thoughtful Greek twist. 

Food at Greek Wine Night, Caravan, King's Cross

Chefs prepare dishes ready to be served...

Eating at Greek Wine Night, Caravan, King's Cross

... at tables separate from the tasting tables (seen in the background).

Our next tasting event, at Caravan King’s Cross on Sunday 1 December, will be devoted to the subalpine Nebbiolos of Valtellina, handpicked by Walter. We plan to put tickets on sale to members a week today, 24 October, and as usual will put them on general sale one week later on Halloween/Brexit(?) Day.