The IWSC has announced a major new venture at the London Wine Fair 2018.
Club Oenologique, a premium membership club, is being launched to mark the 50th anniversary of the world’s oldest wine and spirit competition, which will be celebrated in 2019.
Club Oenologique – the original name of the International Wine & Spirit Competition when it was founded in 1969 – will deliver a series of fine wine and spirit panel tastings, as well as a print publication.
The club will offer members discounts on top-scoring wines and spirits from its panel tastings, the first sight of and opportunity to buy IWSC winning bottles, and invitations to IWSC tastings, winemaker dinners, and other high-end drinks events.
The inaugural Club Oenologique winemaker dinner will be held in London in June: Severine Bonnie, owner of Château Malartic-Lagravière in Bordeaux, will present a superb dinner with a series of vintages from this renowned Graves property.
This will be followed by a second dinner in the autumn with Jackson Family Wines, where a principal from the award-winning Californian winery will show a selection of their most iconic wines, including the legendary Verité, over dinner.
Club Oenologique dinners will be run in partnership with UK-based ‘gastronome’s bible’ Harden’s Guides.
Company owner Peter Harden said “the ‘Harden’s Invites’ series of exceptional dinners has had great success with events at top-ranking restaurants such as Le Gavroche, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and Pollen Street Social, and we are excited to bring a new dimension to our series for those with a passion for wine via our new tie-up with the IWSC’s Club Oenologique.”
These events follow the hugely successful IWSC Chinese Wine Tasting at the Institute of Masters of Wine in March. Fifty award-winning Chinese wines – the largest collection of wines from the country ever shown in Europe – attracted high profile industry figures including wine writer and broadcaster Oz Clarke, consultant Lenz Moser of Chateau Changyu, and wine critics Douglas Blyde, Victoria Moore and Terry Kirby from the Evening Standard, Sunday Telegraph and the Independent respectively.
Club Oenologique will be headed up by IWSC General Manager Adam Lechmere and incoming Wine Director Christelle Guibert, who joins the IWSC at the end of June.
Adam Lechmere told Olly Smith of the Mail on Sunday: “As we move towards our 50th anniversary in 2019, we are positioning ourselves as the premium wine competition with a range of exciting new projects in the pipeline – not least the Club Oenologique, which will give wine and spirits lovers access to some of the thousands of wonderful drinks we taste each year”.