Artisan Nibbles and Tipples – A Tasting Event with Barbury Hill
We love to read your glowing reviews of Barbury Hill’s incredible producers, but nothing compares to seeing the look on people’s faces as they sample a slice of Black Cow cheddar or have their first sip of English sparkling wine. Hosting our first tasting in our new space was an opportunity to meet our customers, and find out firsthand just what they thought of our products. As you’ll see, it was a resounding success and we look forward to repeating it in the near future! If you’d like to hear more about wine and cheese tasting events in Oxfordshire (and find out about the new and exciting British independent producers we’ll be bringing to Barbury Hill soon), keep an eye on our email updates. Read on to find out what you can look forward to at one of our tasting events!
Tasting the Best of British
On Wednesday 26th April, we welcomed foodies, customers and early supporters to our tasting lounge at The Charter Studios in Abingdon. This was our first tasting event in our new space and a wonderful opportunity for us to meet our loyal customers face-to-face and treat them to a tasting of some of our most popular artisan treats.
Our space is part of the fantastic Charter Studios and guests were able to view a series of portraits celebrating Makespace Oxford residents in The Charter Connect Gallery. The portrait series shines a light on some of the individuals and organisations that make up the Makespace community across Oxfordshire and it was the perfect introduction to our first tasting evening in our new space.
A Choice of Sparkling English Wine
To kick the evening off in suitable style, we welcomed our visitors to the tasting lounge with a selection of the finest English sparkling wine. Guests could choose between our flagship Sparkling; Langham Corallian Classic 2019 - a blend of Chardonnay 81%, Pinot Noir 11% and Pinot Meunier 8% with a citrus acidity and long finish - and our newest English Sparkling – All Angels Classic Cuvee 2014. This is a long aged on lees Sparkling, straw gold in colour, with creamy citrus notes and a hint of red apples. The feedback was exceptional and we’re looking forward to introducing more customers to this superb example of English wine. All Angels Sparkling wine is from a small family vineyard in the heart of historic Berkshire, just half an hour or so from Barbury Hill HQ, and we can see it becoming a firm favourite.
Three Cheers for Artisan Cheese
Of course, we had to showcase our exceptional range of artisan cheese. As guests enjoyed a glass of English Sparkling Wine we suggested a taste of our newest soft cheese – Monkey Chop Loveable Rogue. This is delicious paired with sparkling wine, where the acidity cuts through the creaminess of this delicious artisan cheese. We also served Black Cow Cheddar which is aged for 12 months in a thick black wax. A perennial Barbury Hill favourite, its flavour and tangy notes have won it many fans, and awards. We were also proud to introduce guests to one of our latest discoveries, Sinodun Hill. This soft goats’ cheese is handmade near Barbury Hill HQ in Oxfordshire and has a wonderful mousse-like texture with a deliciously fresh, citrus flavour which often surprises and pleases the palate.
English Wine & Craft Beer and a Blind Tasting
To accompany the cheese we served a selection of Pinot Noir Rosé (Henred Rosé) and craft beer in the form of Loose Cannon’s Abingdon Bridge. This is a particularly brilliant beer that’s both full-bodied and thirst-quenching. Our guests were then invited to take part in two blind tastings – we’ll have to keep the details under wraps for now though, we don’t want to spoil the surprise for future events! Safe to say, taste buds were both challenged and tantalised as they tried to decide between a correct answer and two incorrect, yet highly plausible answers. It was certainly an entertaining way to learn more about English Wines and Spirits whilst considering different flavour profiles and styles of wine.
Ending on a Sweet Note
Before we sent our guests home with goodies from our pop-up shop, we topped off a night of gastronomic delights with tasters of Salted Caramel & After Eight Brownies from one of Barbury Hill’s most popular producers – Jolly Good Brownies. This is another great example of a talented independent producer whose homemade brownies and bakes feature in our growing range of sweet treats.
Will we see you at our next tasting?
We loved hosting our first event here in Abingdon and we’re looking forward to bringing you more events soon. Being able to introduce foodie fans to little-known, talented food and drink producers is a joy, and we’re excited to roll out more wine and cheese tastings across Oxfordshire and beyond. To learn more about our events and the wine and cheese tastings we can arrange in your office, event space or venue, please see our Tasting page or contact us for more details. We’re looking forward to meeting you!