Wine Events Scotland to take connoisseurs on a virtual journey of unknown wines - ahead of first in-person event

Diana Thompson of Wine Events Scotland has revealed what wines will be part of her latest virtual tastings.

Published 14th Jun 2021
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

The latest 'Off the Beaten Track' series from Wine Events Scotland will see wines with indigenous grape varieties from Greece, Macedonia, Georgia and Lebanon being tasted over two sessions.

Diana explains why she has opted for these regions and this type of tasting, saying: "I have a personal passion for indigenous grape varieties which are seeing a serious comeback and it’s great to see people keen to experiment trying them. 

"Likewise the wine regions within Greece, Macedonia, Georgia and Lebanon are now producing some really interesting wines. 

"They’re well made, clean, fresh with great fruit expression.  However, Lebanon’s reputation has gathered momentum but the others have still a fair way to go. 

"I’m really looking forward to sharing these wines since I know people will be surprised and impressed."

Diana has organised and hosted over 200 virtual wine tastings since the first lockdown, and, in normal times, would be gearing up for her summer wine festival Edinburgh Uncorked followed by Fizz Feast later in the year.

Diana explained that this series of relativity unknown wines came about as a result of a customer survey, saying: "Having organised over 200 Zoom wine tastings since 1 April 2020 I thought it would be interesting to send out a survey to see what people thought of the tastings, which of the various styles they were interested in and any regions people would like to see. 

"I was flattered by the response and how many people had taken a great deal of time to include so many comments. 

"One of the common themes was that people would to see more unusual wines, grape varieties and regions so it’s perfect timing for the Off the Beaten Track tasting.

"People are really keen to experiment try something new.  However, people also keen to enjoy old favourites and just learn more about popular regions and countries too."

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Regions covered so far in the Off the Beaten Track tastings include: USA including New York which Diana said surprised many, Chile, Argentina, France, Spain, Italy, up in the Dolomites with Margiotta, Austria, South Africa, Lebanon, Australia and New Zealand. 

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The tastings are hosted over two nights - 17 and 24 June - and include six wines, tasting notes and chat with Diana and winemaker Steve Daniel.

Diana added: "Guests will enjoy two, not just interesting, but really fun evenings with a huge character of a winemaker. 

"It’s really going to be great fun and the chance to be surprised and learn something new with the wines we’re showing."

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While summer looks set to be a bit quieter on the virtual tasting front, Diana does have a few online events (such as the Lidl wine tour) before being back in-person for wine masterclasses at the Foodies Festival from 6-8 August.

"Although I’m looking forward to holding events in person when we can, I think we’ll be able to keep going with some interesting tastings. 

"It’ll be slightly quieter over July and August although we do have the Lidl tastings at the end of July on 24 and 31 July, Diana said.

"I’m also going to be back doing the wine masterclasses at Foodies Festival 6-8 August in Inverleith Park which is exciting. 

"We also have a Meet the Winemaker Series planned for September when we’ll be off to Santa Rita and Vina Carmen in Chile.

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"To be honest I’m having a great time with these tastings, trying many new wines myself and just having fun sharing the wines we taste with others. 

"People are really enjoying having the wines to be able to continue enjoying – rather than being at a tasting where we just have tasting samples. 

"At these tastings, people are able to carry on enjoying the wines and “getting to know them”, having them with food etc which makes such a difference and gives people the chance to appreciate them fully."

Tickets for the Off the Beaten track tastings are still available and priced from £85.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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