Drinks expert Rose Murray Brown picks out a selection of the best drinks events to look forward to this year.

Drinks events to look forward to in 2019

Gin & whisky

Britannia Burns supper

Enjoy VIP treatment aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia with four course dinner in the State dining room, piping, haggis address and dram tasting, 25 and 26 January.

£205, 0131-555 8800, www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk

Island Burns night

Picture: Ayack/Wikimedia

Held in the idyllic surroundings of Ardbeg Distillery on Islay with three course meal, 26 January.

£25, www.islayfestival.com

Queen Street Burns Night

Celebrate Rabbie in the stylishly refurbished 28 Queen Street with piping, dancing, Burns poetry, three Society drams and an indulgent four course meal on 26 January.

£69, non members/members, 0131-555 2929

Amber antiques

Taste rare old whisky stocks at The Vaults in Leith with supper included on 8 March.

£90, 0131-554 3451

Gin membership

Taste new Scottish Spring gins in this series of gin tastings with WoodWinters in Edinburgh on 18 January and 5 April, £15; Inverness on 8 March, £15; Bridge of Allan on 1 March,£20.

www.woodwinters

Wine tastings & dinners

Getting to know Spain & Portugal

Picture: BodegaSpanishwine

A wine walkaround to taste from producers in Spain and Portugal on 19 March, The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh with The Wine Society.

£28, www.thewinesociety.com, 01438 740222

New Italy

Valvona & Crolla’s owner Philip Contini will host a tutored tasting of recently landed new wines, cheeses and salami at his Elm Row delicatessen in Edinburgh on 1 March.

£15, www.valvonacrolla.co.uk

Douro v Dao

A vinous masterclass comparing two of Portugal’s top quality regions and its treasure trove of indigenous white and red grapes with Master of Wine Rose Murray Brown on 21 February at The Royal Scots Club, Edinburgh.

£45, www.rosemurraybrown.com

Fizz & chips

Enjoy deluxe cuvée champagne with your fish supper at this now annual tasting at Bridge of Allan Cafe, 7 February.

£30, www.woodwinters.com

Wine & cheese

Ever wondered which wine complements Comte? Join Corney & Barrow for a tasting experience focused on cheese and wine matching, 26 February at Oxenfoord Castle, Midlothian.

£35, www.corneyandbarrow.com

Sherry & charcuterie

Discover the delights of Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso and Palo Cortado with Rose as your guide matched alongside an array of Spanish charcuterie, 30 May at The Vaults in Leith.

£42, www.rosemurraybrown.com

Top 100 Australians

Join wine writer Matthew Jukes to taste a sample of his Top 100 Australian wines as his roadshow heads to Bridge of Allan on 15 March.

£25, www.woodwinters.com

South Africa v France

A rare chance to compare South Africa’s progress against the classic regions of France on 26 April at The Scores Hotel, St Andrews.

£36, 07984 893138, www.rosemurraybrown.com

Rioja dinner

Discover one of Rioja’s most dynamic producers: Rioja Vega hosted by Luis Marculeta at Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh hosted by Great Grog on 18 February.

£90, booking with restaurant, 0131-553 3557

Pinot noir

Burgundy buyer Toby Morrhall will be in Scotland to host two tutored tastings celebrating the popular pinot noir grape, Edinburgh 23 April and Glasgow 24 April.

www.thewinesociety.com

Fairs & festivals

Gin Fayres

Dunblane 9 Feb; Dundee 7 April; Perth 20 July; Dumfries 7 Sept; Ayr 21 Sept; Elgin 26 Oct; St Andrews 16 Nov, from £17.

www.ginfayre.co.uk

Grog Spring Bottled Beer Festival

St Peter’s Church Hall, Lutton Place, Edinburgh, 30 March.

£10 www.greatgrog.co.uk

Spirit of Speyside Festival

Speyside, 1-6 May.

www.spiritofspeyside.com

Grog Spring Wine Festival

Merchants’ Hall, Edinburgh, 31 May, £20.

www.greatgrog.co.uk

Mhor Festival

Lochearnhead, Perthshire 24-26 May, £15 Friday; £30 Saturday; £30 Sunday, 01877 384622.

www.mhor.net

Whisky Stramash

Surgeons’ Hall, Edinburgh 18-19 May, £31.44.

www.thewhiskystramash.com

Islay Festival of Music & Malt

Islay, 24 May-1 June.

www.islayfestival.com

The Whisky Fringe

Mansfield Traquair, Edinburgh, 9-11 August, 0131-524 9380.

www.royalmilewhiskies.com or www.whiskyfringe.com

Foodies Festival

Inverleith Park, Edinburgh, 2-4 August: £19 single day; £29 weekend ticket: £38 single day VIP.

www.foodiesfestival.com

Best of the West Festival

Inveraray Castle, Argyll 13, 14 and 15 September, 01499 302203.

www.bowfest.co.uk

Festival of Wine

The Trades Hall, Glasgow 12:30-5pm: 29 June; The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh 12:30-5pm : 9 November, £25.50.

www.festival-of-wine.com

 

About The Author

Sean Murphy

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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