The Scotsman wine columnist Rose Murray Brown gives her pick of the best drinks tasting events to look forward to in 2018.

Tasting events to look forward to in 2018

COGNAC AND WHISKY

Cognac and armagnac

Once fit for royalty and noblemen, cognac and armagnac are now less fashionable spirits.

Join The Scotch Malt Whisky Society on 9 February to retrace their history.

£30, www.smws.com

Valentine whisky, champagne and oysters

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is hosting a romantic evening matching whisky, champagne and oysters on 14 February in Queen Street, Edinburgh.

£65, www.smws.com

Coos and booze

A meat and malt night with five single cask whiskies matched with steak takes place at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Leith on 15 February.

£35, www.smws.com

WINE TASTINGS AND DINNERS

South Africa v France

Not a rugby match, but a wine taste off comparing 13 wines from the Western Cape against classic regions of France at the Royal Scots Club, Edinburgh on 1 February.

£45, www.rosemurraybrown.com

Winter cheese and wine

Valvona & Crolla has been importing top quality cheese from mongers and affineurs in Italy for three generations – come and taste five new season cheeses paired with wines on 15 February, Elm Row, Edinburgh.

£12.50, www.valvonacrolla.co.uk

Fizz and chips

An unusual combo – try deluxe cuvée champagne with your battered fish ‘n’ chips – now an annual tasting at Bridge of Allan Cafe on 8 February.

www.woodwinters.com

Wine and war

An evening of history and wine – learn how wine growers across the world have survived the ravages of war from the American Civil War to the Second World War with 13 wines to taste from Champagne, Bordeaux, Alsace, Cyprus, Macedonia and Virginia on 23 February.

£45, www.rosemurraybrown.com

Medal winners

Taste award-winning wines from Australia to Alsace at Aberdeen Douglas Hotel on 30 January and at Trades Hall, Glasgow on 31 January.

£28, www.thewinesociety.com

Australian wine roadshow

Matthew Jukes will be showing off his pick from his top 100 Aussie wines in this Bridge of Allan walk-around tasting on 2 March.

£20, www.woodwinters.com

Western Australia

A vinous journey through Margaret River, Swan Valley, Pemberton and beyond. Western Australia produces just five per cent of Australia’s wines, but quality-wise they are some of their best. There are 13 wines to taste plus finger buffet at Abode Hotel, Bath Street, Glasgow on 8 March.

£42, www.rosemurraybrown.com

Perthshire game and wine

There’s a fiesta of wine and fine game at The Four Seasons Hotel wine dinner in Perthshire on 23 March.

£75, www.greatgrog.co.uk

Wines of Armenia

Discover the indigenous grapes of South Caucasus, one of the oldest wine producing regions of the world, with Armenian wine importer Charles Masraff at the Institute of Wines & Spirits Scotland at the Royal Scots Club, Edinburgh on 3 April.

£20, www.iwsscotland.org

Classic wine dinner

A real treat for the wine lover: sample eight classic wines from across the world matched against four courses prepared by Rhubarb in Prestonfield House Hotel, Edinburgh on 10 May.

£96pp, www.rosemurraybrown.com

Romagna bella

Taste the treasures of Emilia-Romagna region including Lambrusco wines, balsamic vinegar, Parmigiano Reggiano and Parma ham plus pancetta and Mortadella cheese, 17 May, Elm Row, Edinburgh.

£20, www.valvonacrolla.co.uk

Organic, biodynamic and natural wine

Taste 13 wines focusing on organic and biodynamic production and
find out how natural wines are made in The Vaults, Giles Street, Leith on 5 July.

£42, www.rosemurraybrown.com

Laithwaite’s Live

Laithwaite’s flagship events are at The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh on 18 May and Glasgow Caledonian University on 19 May.

£25/£30, www.laithwaites.co.uk

Burgundy v New Zealand

Compare 13 chardonnay and pinot noirs in The Scores Hotel, St Andrews on 16 March (£36) and Abode Hotel, Glasgow 13 July (£42).

www.rosemurraybrown.com

FAIRS AND FESTIVALS

Gin Fayre

Victoria Hall, Dunblane, 10 February; Strawberry Barn, Dunbar, 24 February; Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries, 2 June.

£15, www.ginfayre.co.uk

Great Grog Beer Fair

St Peters Church Hall, Edinburgh, 17 March.

£10, www.greatgrog.co.uk

Spirit of Speyside Festival

Speyside, 3-7 May.

www.spiritofspeyside.com

Great Grog Wine Fair

Merchants Hall, Edinburgh, 11 May.

£20, 0131-555 0222

Stirling Whisky Festival

Stirling Highland Hotel, 12 May.

£30-£45, stirlingwhiskyshop.com

Islay Festival of Music and Malt

Islay, 25 May-2 June

www.islayfestival.com

Whisky Stramash

Surgeons Hall, Edinburgh, 19 May

£30-£40, www.thewhiskystramash.com

Glasgow Festival of Wine

Trades Hall, Glasgow, 2 June.

£25, www.festival-of-wine.com

Edinburgh Whisky Festival

Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, 16 June

£20/£40, www.thewhiskylounge.com

The Whisky Fringe

Mansfield Traquair, Edinburgh, 11-12 August.

www.royalmilewhiskies.com or www.whiskyfringe.com

Foodies Festival

Inverleith Park, Edinburgh, 3-5 August.

www.foodiesfestival.com

Edinburgh Festival of Wine

Balmoral Hotel, 3 November

£25, www.festival-of-wine.com

About The Author

Rose Murray Brown

Rose Murray Brown is one of only 323 Masters of Wine worldwide and is the only one to host wine courses and regular wine tastings in Scotland.

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