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A personal wine guru – yours for the evening

A new London-based company is cashing in on a booming new trend – private wine-tasting parties for well-heeled wine-geeks.

Taste-In, which bills itself as ‘a completely new way to entertain and impress at home’, has persuaded some of the UK’s most prestigious wine professionals to host its upmarket home tastings service.

Steven Spurrier, Oz Clarke, Michael Broadbent, Tim Atkin, Charles Metcalfe, Robert Joseph and Joanna Simon are on the company’s books.

With two services, the Classic and the Fine & Rare, Taste-In will deliver a wine celebrity and a tailored flight of wines (‘limited only by your imagination’ in the case of the five-star Fine & Rare service) to your door, for prices starting at £1200 for 12 people.

The company’s founders, pr professional Sophie Jump and journalist John Stimpfig, reckon they have a ‘slick and simple’ service. ‘Once your tasting has been defined, the rest is up to us,’ their brochure says.

They are also confident, with suppliers like Majestic, Harrods, the Wine Society and Berry Bros lined up, that they can supply any wine the customer specifies.

‘If they want to taste a range of minerally Chardonnays, for example, we’ll get eight different ones from around the world,’ Jump told decanter.com.

She added the impetus for the start-up came from two important trends – the continuing aspirational interest in wine in London, and the influx of wealthy ‘new Europeans’ setttling in the capital.

‘With the widening of the EU there are huge numbers of people coming to live here who want to absorb British culture – and wine is an important part of that culture.’

Sunday Times wine critic Joanna Simon said the idea of doing an informal tutored tasting at home was the most attractive part of the deal.

‘You might still be entertaining clients, but the fact you are doing it at home and not in an anonymous hotel makes it far less formal.’


Written by Adam Lechmere

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