Comic Relief wine tasting causes grape amusement

Picture: TSPL
Picture: TSPL
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It’s time for a bit of Wine Relief. Wine lovers can get involved in the Comic Relief effort by tasting wines and buying bottles in the Wine Relief campaign from supermarkets, high street, internet and independent wine merchants across Scotland.

Stores are offering a 10 per cent donation to the charity on the price of a selection of wines from now until Red Nose Day on Friday 15 March.

Since its inception in 2003 when Jancis Robinson MW got the corks popping, Wine Relief has raised more than £4 million for Comic Relief. For each campaign, I have organised the Comic Relief Wine Fair to help you pick and choose which wines you would like to taste for charity.

The Comic Relief Wine Fair 2013 will be our 6th Scottish fair, run once again in association with The Scotsman. Held this year in the newly refurbished Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh’s George Street, it offers the only chance in the UK to taste the Wine Relief 2013 selections.

It’s not just a normal wine tasting – it has the added attractions of competitions, a raffle, auction and quiz to make it a fun night out.

Twenty-two exhibitors will show their Wine Relief selections this year, from supermarkets Waitrose and Marks & Spencer, to high street retailers Majestic Wine, Oddbins and Harvey Nichols – to web retailers Naked Wines, Laithwaite’s Wine and Virgin Wines. There will also be a host of Scottish independent merchants including Villeneuve Wines, WoodWinters, House of Menzies, L’Art du Vin, Henderson Wines, Peter Green, Cornelius Wines, Luvians, Valvona & Crolla, Raeburn Wines, Great Grog and Sideways Wines – plus newcomers Bacco Wine and Drinkmonger.

The Wine Relief selections include wines from all over the world priced from £5 to £30 per bottle – many will be available at this huge walkaround wine tasting. From a sparkling prosecco to Margaux claret there is something for everyone – and the 2013 selections even include a chocolate wine, raspberry-infused gin and amarone-finished Arran whisky.

To help us raise further funds for Wine Relief there will also be a chocolate and wine matching competition with Thinking Chocolate, a blind tasting contest with Wines of Chile and a quiz sponsored by Wines of South Africa. Raffle prizes will include magnums of Taittinger and Berry Bros champagne, cases of wine, restaurant vouchers from Henri’s of Edinburgh and Harvey Nichols, wine books and magazine subscriptions – and there will be an auction for star items such as a signed magnum of Pol Roger champagne.

Tickets (£20) for the event on Thursday 7 March are on sale at or tel: 0131-473 2000 or can be picked up in person at the Hub ticket office on Castlehill, Royal Mile, Edinburgh open Mon – Fri, 10pm – 5pm, over-18s only. For more information visit


Fizz: Villiera Brut Natural

(£10.99, Marks and Spencer)

An excellent bone dry, soft, refined fizz from a Cape family estate which pioneered the methode cap classique style.


Fizz: Lunetta Prosecco Spumante NV

(£8.95, Drinkmonger)

This is a gently sparkling, delicately fruited prosecco from Trentino’s largest producer, Cavit.


White: Laithwaite’s Sauvignon Blanc

(£8.99, Laithwaite’s Wine)

A good value grassy, vibrant, dry white Bordeaux.


White: Atalayado Mar Godello

(£10.99, Virgin Wines)

A citric, creamy textured, dry white from the revived Spanish native grape godello.


Red: Inspira Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

(£7.30, Cornelius Wines)

Great, good value, ripe, blackcurranty Chilean quaffer.


Red: Kahuranghi Montepulciano

(£10.49, Great Grog)

A Kiwi answer to an Italian classic from Nelson in South Island.


Red: Portal da Aguia Tinto

(£7, Oddbins)

A big favourite with our tasters: excellent, juicy, modern Ribatejo blend.


Red: Chateau Rausan Segla 2009

(£25, Harvey Nichols)

A cedary, refined, classed growth claret from Margaux in Bordeaux, now drinking well.