26May2002 A Right Royal Cheese and Wine

It was never going to be easy following the success of Captains Chaos & Calms last quiz night at the club. Something completely different was required and that is exactly what Roger and Linda Wheeler came up with. They indulged their love of fine wine and cheeses by providing an opportunity for members to sample a wide range of both. They also cleverly wove a very light-hearted quiz into the proceedings.

As members arrived at 8:00pm they were greeted by Roger with a non-alcoholic fruit punch and invited to complete the first part of a three part questionnaire. This was concerned with identifying the names of twenty-two types of grapes used for wine making from a supplied list. This caused great hilarity. Well I ask you do you know your Montepulciano from your Garafa? No, don't worry, nor did a lot of perplexed people!

Things then got 'serious' as half a dozen white wines were sampled and attempts made to identify them. My team actually got four out of six with the other two being the wrong way round.

A selection of some twenty cheeses were then uncovered. Linda provided some samples of eight of these and everyone was challenged to identify them. If you think that should have been easy I can assure you it wasn't, especially as some of them had names like Reblochon de Savoie and Fourme d'Ambert.

Next came 'the reds'. Fitou followed Bordeaux followed Syrah followed Cotes du Rhone and Beaujolais. My favourite was the Beaune. So dry it set your teeth on edge! If that wasn't enough a superb supper was then served, crowned, with what else but Coronation Chicken. Also on display was an interesting display of 1952 Illustrated magazines, records, books and silverware that members had also been asked to bring.

Many thanks to Roger, Linda and their helpers for a very different, interesting and enjoyable evening. Where or how long it took them to assemble all that cheese and wine, heavens only knows but it was certainly appreciated.

Several of us sailed the following morning and there didn't appear to be a hang-over in the house! Strange really contemplating all the empty wine bottles lined up on the bar Sunday morning

Mike (Haute Cotes de Beaune) Baker