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New festival set to appeal to Glasgow's wine lovers

Scottish wine lovers are set for a treat this June, as wine writer Tom Cannavan launches The Glasgow Festival of Wine. 

Published: May 30, 2016
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The inaugural event will take place at the Trades Hall on Saturday 11th of June and will attract an audience of 300, made up of participants from across the UK and beyond.


An international wine writer and broadcaster, Tom is Glasgow-born and bred, and this new event is aimed at bringing a high quality, major festival of wine to the city for the first time, as well as celebrating the 21st anniversary of Tom's hugely popular web site.

In part, the festival is a revival of hugely successful events Tom organised in Glasgow between 2002 and 2009, but its scale and ambition is much greater.

The event, which runs from noon until 5pm, will feature twenty of the UK's top wine retailers and importers who will also be joined by some of the world's best winemakers.

It is expected that there will be 250 high quality wines being poured for tasting, with examples of the best of the trade from South Africa, New Zealand and Europe being on offer.

Running alongside the main event, a series of sit-down, tutored masterclasses will be led by Tom Cannavan and the winemakers. The lucky ticket holders will taste between six and eight world-class wines in sessions that are both educational and deliciously enjoyable. Everyone can also enter a fun 'guess the wine' blind tasting competition, the winner taking home a bottle of Champagne.

A unique feature of the event is the Grand BYO Dinner on the evening of Saturday 11th following the Festival. 100 places are available at 10 tables for 10 at this not-for-profit evening. Participant will enjoy a Champagne reception followed by a carefully selected four-course dinner.

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Each will bring a bottle of their best, most interesting, or favourite wine, and the whole idea is about sharing; wines will be shared, enjoyed and discussed around the tables, but it is a relaxed and casual evening that's all about the food, wine and conversation.

Tom hopes the event will go down well with wine loving locals in a city that he believes is literally starved of quality wine tasting events.

Tom says: "For decades now Edinburgh has led the way in its restaurant scene and wine scene. Whilst Edinburgh had a handful of Michelin starred restaurants and dozens of independent wine nerchants, Glasgow seemed to lag behind. And every visiting winemaker or big wine tasting event also headed straight to the capital, rarely venturing west.

"But in the last few years Glasgow has suddenly developed a buzzing restaurant scene (the Finnieston revolution!) and a few quality wine merchants have popped up. I definitely thought it was time to give the city's wine lovers a serious wine festival event, with 200 quality wines on tasting, visiting winemakers holding masterclasses and a real celebration of wine for the city."

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Tom has been surprised by how well received the idea has been, adding: "I am delighted by the success - all masterclasses are already sold out and now only 25 tickets remain for the festival itself, having sold 275."

• To buy tickets or to find out more you can visit the Festival website

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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