Our Society was founded in 1992 by oenologist Anton Massel. We meet on a monthly basis, usually over dinner in good restaurants in or around Denia, Javea, Moraira or Calpe.
Our membership has a range of nationalities. Many reside full time in Spain, others live elsewhere and are frequent visitors to the northern Costa Blanca region. We have over 120 members and most events are enjoyed by 40 to 60 members and guests of members. We are always happy to receive requests from potential new members to join us and to increase the number and diversity of our membership. Events tend to be held in English as the most commonly understood language.
Every year we invite members to an ‘away trip’ of 4 days to a wine region elsewhere in Spain, where we visit a number of local wineries. These trips are very popular and often oversubscribed.
The wine knowledge of our members varies considerably, however the emphasis of all of our gatherings is to improve our wine knowledge and to enjoy good wines, principally from Spain. We are constantly trying to develop different formats for our events. During the Covid pandemic we continued to hold successful wine tastings via Zoom. A ‘tasting team’ of members volunteer to organise and lead monthly events with the emphasis on innovation, such as:
– food and wine pairing dinners at good local restaurants;
– a visit to the excellent local vineyard of Pepe Mendoza, tasting his wines and enjoying tapas;
– presentations by Spanish winery owners and distributors;
– a fun, wine related quiz evening;
– a South American wine evening;
– an outdoor event in a traditional Spanish riurau tasting local wines with local produce.
At each of our events, members are invited to ‘score’ the wines tasted using a simple format. At the end of each year our top scoring wines are calculated and the top 5 are enjoyed again by members at an event early in the new year.
On several occasions during the year we give all of our members the opportunity to buy wines which we have tasted. These are usually at heavily discounted prices which we are able to negotiate with the producers.
The Society is run by our President, Neville Richardson and a small committee of volunteers. We have an Annual General Meeting in January, at which committee members are elected, the accounts are presented, the previous year is reviewed and members are encouraged to raise questions and make suggestions for change. Participation in all activities is at members own personal risk and not that of the Society.