Garstang Wine Circle

About Garstang Wine Circle

The Garstang Wine Circle was established in 1970. The total membership has varied between 50 and 70 persons. Our membership is best described as having a mixed interest in wine. A small proportion is seriously interested in learning all about wine and viticulture; for a few, meetings are largely regarded as a social event and not a specific learning experience. We also have additional visits to local Vintners and the occasional overseas trip.

  • Meetings: 7.30pm on the 3rd Monday of each month with the exception of July and August
  • Venue: Garstang Arts Centre
  • Subscription Fees: On Application
  • Contact: Anne Marie Whitehead – 01995 603311
  • Website:

Garstang Wine Circle News – November

As one of its ‘extracurricular activities’, the wine circle held a Port and Cheese tasting at the Arts Centre on the 9th November. The Port was supplied by Stuart Rothwell from the Vineyard Wine Shop at Ramsbottom, and the cheeses  were sourced by circle member Anne Whithead. We tasted six Ports, all from the Niepoort Lodge, the selection consisting of a White Port, a Rosé, both sampled with and without tonic. Then a Tawny, a Ruby, a Late Bottled Vintage Port, a Crusted Port and a Vintage Port. These wines were followed by a Portuguese Muscat. Certainly a chance to compare Ports of various age, and of various prices. The selection of cheese, most of which came from local cheesemakers Dewlay, included Garstang White, Garstang Blue, and Manchego (not local of course)

A most convivial evening, and thanks must go to Stuart for coming across from ‘Rammy’ with the Port and leading the tasting and for Anne’s hard work in sourcing the cheeses.

The regular programme of tastings continued on Monday 18th November. The proceedings were started with Debbie Hewitt presenting a Welsh Sparkling Wine to the group. Pefriog is produced  at the Gwinllan Vineyard near Conwy, and it demonstrates the quality of sparkling wines now  being produced in the British Isles. It was clearly a hit with the circle members.

Jennifer McNamee presented a selection of wines from the Lebanon including some from the iconic Chateau Musar.

The Chateau Musar wine is produced in Lebanon, in the Bekaa Valley. The winery was established in 1930 and has remained in the Hochar Family to the current day. Over recent years, with the exception of 1976 and 1984 it has continued production in spite being close to what has been a war zone. Since peace was established, the number of wine producers has increased in that area of the Lebanon, and Jennifer also presented wines from Chateau Kefraya and the Ixsir Winery, competitors to Musar. Musar tends to be controversial, and opinions were split about its wines presented at the tasting. The wines from Kefraya and Ixsir were well received and provide good alternatives to Musar. It was certainly an enjoyable tasting that provoked much discussion of the merits of the wines amongst the members of the circle.

The food for the evening was provided by Carol and Bruce Allan and Mike and Brenda Ashton, and the vote of thanks by Jolanta Basnyet.

The next meeting of the circle will be on Saturday 14th December at 7.30pm in the Arts Centre. This will be the Wine Circle Christmas Social. Members of the Circle will be given priority in purchasing tickets, and any queries about the event should be addressed to Alan Jefferson on  01995601842.

Mervyn Stokes