MUMBLES FINE WINES IN SWANSEA (SOUTH WALES)
Established in 2006, Mumbles Fine Wines is an independent and popular Swansea wine merchant situated in the heart of Mumbles (South Wales), on 524 Mumbles Road. They aim to be different from and better than other wine merchants, and they achieve that by being the best IWC Regional Wine Merchant of the Year for Wales 2011, 2013, 2014, 2013 and 2015
They have wansea's largest selection of wines, with have a huge range of quality wines that is stocked for all tastes and budgets (Their wines range from £3.99 to £1495.00), from the ancient Chateaux of France, through to the new and exciting boutique wineries in the 'New World' such as South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, etc., and some of the most refined and great classic wines from Rioja in Spain. They also sell French, Spanish and Local Gourmet Foods, Books, Glassware and Wine Accessories. It's a unique place to shop where there is something for everyone.
Emphasis is always on quality, all wines have been selected by their experienced tasting team, which includes their especial in-house Wine and Food Consultant John Roberts. Because they have this team of passionate, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable staff working here, it makes this place ideal for asking about wine recommendations, whether it is a special occasion or just a quiet night in, they will have the right wine for you.
They have a Chateau in the Medoc, Chateau Rousseau de Sipian, itself producing award winning wines, that has enabled them to source many unusual and individual wines from France and over the last few years they have broadened their search and imported some truly exceptional wines from Australia and New Zealand. They simply strive to find the world's best wines at the best prices for their customers.
Their wines are complemented by a superb range of French, Spanish and Welsh foods, which are also to be found within the selection of specialist Hampers, a truly perfect gift all year round.
Wine Enthusiasts will further appreciate the extensive wine giftware and they stock many premium ranges of Crystal ware, silver plated wine accessories and all sorts of corkscrews and wine gadgets.
Their passion for wine is further reflected in the W.S.E.T. (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) courses they hold at the shop and in their very popular Wine Club, which enables their customers to taste many of the wines prior to purchase. Come and see for yourself - free tastings every Saturday.
- Name: Mumbles Fine Wines
- Manager: Jon Moore
- Wine Consultant: John Roberts
- IWC Regional Merchant of the Year for Wales: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011
- Company Type: Retailer. An independent wine merchant with it's own Medoc Chateau.
- Address: 524 Mumbles Rd, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA3 4DH, South Wales
- Phone: +44 1792 367663
- Website: www.mumblesfinewines.co.uk
Their very popular Wine Club has now been running for a number of years. If you are a complete novice or even an 'expert' within the realms of wine, then this club is for you. The Members have a range of knowledge, from very little to years of experience which make for a good balance.
Mumbles Fine Wines want every member to enjoy themselves when they come to a meeting. After all, drinking wine should be an enjoyment, and what better way to end a busy day than to transport yourself to vineyards across the world.
The 'Wine Club' takes place in the surroundings of the Mumbles Fine Wines store in Mumbles. The surroundings are comfortable and everyone is very friendly.
The 'Wine Club' evenings are led by their own Wine Consultant, John Roberts, with over 37 years experience in the wine industry, will take you through a 'Tutored Tasting', showing you how to get the most out of your wine experience. From the smell of the wine and the tasting technique to matching the wines with specific foods. John will take you through it step by step.
The Wine Club Format:
Every Member receives a file at the start of their membership. This is then updated by the member as the year progresses. Most Wine Club tasting events involve the tasting of up to 8 different wines, with various themes, e.g. Old World versus New World, Alternatives etc.
You will then take part in a structured tasting of the wines: White before red; Dry white before Sweet white; and then light red before full bodied etc.
During this time you are invited to make your own tasting notes (should you wish to) and observations about the wines that you are tasting.
After the structured tasting is finished there is an opportunity to retry wines tasted earlier, and to ask any questions that you may have.
- Invitations to Bi-monthly, wine tastings at Mumbles Fine Wines in Mumbles. With a choice of weekend and weekday evening times.
- Complimentary canapés at tasting events.
- 'Member only' Discounts on wines tasted at the tasting events.
- Membership card allowing 10% discount of all goods instore (excluding offers).
- Exclusive 'Members Only' Credit Account facility.
- Opportunity to join an annual members-only dinner with complimentary wines.
- 'Member Only' discounts on Guided Wine Tours to the Bordeaux Region of France.
- 10% Discount on W.S.E.T. (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) courses held at Mumbles Fine Wines.
Wine is an industry where you are learning all the time: New techniques; New tastes; New smells. There are so many different wines in the world, and to much fun in exploring and tasting them.
If you haven't got a clue about wine, then this is an ideal opportunity to come along and learn something. Then you can go away and impress your friends.
If you are an experienced wine connoisseur, then come along and explore different wines that you may not have come across before.
The 'Wine Club' at Mumbles Fine Wines has something for everyone whatever level of wine knowledge you have.
Membership of the 'Wine Club' is just £35 per year.
Gift Certificates are available.
For more information contact the shop on: 01792 367663
WINE COURSES (WSET QUALIFICATIONS)
Mr Roberts is a Wine and Spirit Education Trust approved tutor, with more than 37 years experience in the industry. Those that complete the sessions take a test at the end to gain a WSET qualification.
An Introduction to WSET Qualifications: Through its WSET Awards division, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust develops and manages vocational qualifications for the Wine & Spirit and related industries.
The WSET is the only wine & spirit education organization approved by the UK government as a national awarding body of vocational qualifications. The WSET qualifications provide underpinning knowledge which can be applied in a number of different job functions.
Mumbles Fine Wines have been focusing over the years on the continuous improvement and high standing of our core awards:
- John Roberts - W.S.E.T. Approved Tutor: John is the Wine Consultant at Mumbles Fine Wines. He is also an approved W.S.E.T. tutor and has over 37 years experience in the wine industry.
- W.S.E.T. Courses are held at Mumbles Fine Wines: The surroundings are comfortable and students feel at ease.
- WSET Schools Level 1 Intermediate Certificate Course: This wine and spirits qualification offers broad coverage of all product categories in the field of wines and spirits, together with basic wine tasting technique. It underpins job skills and competencies in the customer service and sales functions of the hospitality, retail and wholesale industries.
- WSET Schools Level 2 Intermediate Certificate Course: Is intended as vocational training in product knowledge for those employed in the drinks industry who have little previous knowledge of the broad range of alcoholic beverages available. The qualification is suitable wherever a good level of product knowledge is required to underpin job skills and competencies.
The course is also appropriate for those not employed in the drinks industry but who have a serious interest in wine, and wish to broaden their knowledge in a structured way. Intermediate Certificate covers the wines and spirits of the world in eight two-hour sessions, followed by a one-hour multiple choice examination on the ninth session. Wine tasting is a part of every class.
This qualification has full accreditation from the UK Government's Qualifications & Curriculum Authority as a Level 2 Vocational Qualification.
WSET School recommends that students complete at least 14 hours of personal study outside the classroom hours during their course of study. For those attending a consecutive day course it is essential that this study takes place prior to commencing the course. It is strongly recommended that anyone wishing to attend the consecutive day programme book in sufficient time to receive the study material a minimum of two weeks prior to commencement of the course.
- Level 2 Systematic Approach to Tasting and food and wine matching
- Grape growing and wine making
- Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
- Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc
- Syrah, Grenache and Riesling
- Italy, Spain and Portugal
- Sparkling and sweet wines
- Fortified wines and spirits and liqueurs
Participants are taken with the use of pictures and maps, to difernt wine regions of the world. And by tasting the wines they can experience and explore in first hand: The body, acidity, spice, ease of the wine, alcohol content, what foods, if any, a wine was best to drink with, and learnd how to read bottle labels.
Each attendee has an information pack, which includes descriptions of each region, space to make notes on different wines and a colour chart. Six wines are tasted during each two hour weekly session.
This qualification provides the knowledge required for those wishing to progress on to Level 3.
Fees include study material, tuition and examination.
Courses Held on Tuesday evenings at Mumbles Fine Wines by their Qualified W.S.E.T. Tutor John
Roberts Duration of Course: 8 x 2hour evening session plus End of course multiple choice assessment.
Number of Students needed for course: 5-10. Price for the 8 week course: From £265 (Vat Exempt) per student (depending on the number of Students).
- Booking Conditions: Bookings on courses cannot be reserved without payment of fees and places will only be confirmed once payment is received. Cancellations of confirmed places are accepted up to 10 working days prior to the start of the course. An administration fee of £25.00 will be charged, plus the cost of study materials supplied, and the remainder of the course fee returned to the payee. If a confirmed course booking is cancelled, for whatever reason, during the ten working days prior to the start of the course, or at any time after the start of the course, the fee remains payable in full. Once a booking is confirmed, any transfer to another course or to another applicant will only be accepted on payment of an administration fee of £25.00. Transfer requests must be made before the start of the course. Fees will only be refunded in full if the School cancels or changes a date of a course.
If you have any queries with regard to your course or the above information please contact John Roberts on 01792 367663 or email John at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For businesses with more than 6 members of staff who would like their staff to be trained up to W.S.E.T. Standard please contact them for special offers.
Howard & Palmer Ltd, owner of Mumbles Fine Wines, is an Approved Programme Provider (APP) for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
WINE & SPIRIT EDUCATION TRUST (WSET)
The leading provider of wine education, based in London, offering courses and qualifications for both wine trade and consumer at several different levels in about 30 countries and seven languages. A WSET Diploma is the usual prerequisite for studding to become a Master of Wine.
The Wine & Spirit Education Trust, often referred to as WSET, is a British organisation which arranges courses and exams in the field of wine and spirits. WSET was founded in 1969, is headquartered in London and is generally regarded as one of the world's leading provider of wine education. It grew out of the Wine & Spirit Association’s Education Committee and was set up with the financial assistance of the Vintners’ Company. The management of the WSET reports to a Board of Trustees made up of 8 members; three from The Vintners’ Company, three from the Wine & Spirit Association, one from the Worshipful Company of Distillers and another one from the Institute of Masters of Wine.
The courses given by WSET were originally intended for people in the wine & spirit trade. The WSET programmes have increasingly been attended also by non-professional connoisseurs. The WSET also offers professional certification in the United States, with programs in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
The course content of WSET courses has its focus on general theoretical knowledge of the world of wine and spirits (countries and regions of production, regulations, their style of wine and spirits, grape varieties &c.), and practical identification of beverages and their flavours, including wine tasting techniques.
As of 2008, the levels of courses were as following, using the levels of the National Qualifications Framework of UK:
- Level 1 Award in Wines: This qualification was initially created for the front-of-house staff within the on-trade sector. It has grown into a course with global appeal, providing basic product knowledge to first time employees in the wine industry and the interested consumer alike.
- Level 1 Award in Wine Service: This qualification provides an introduction to front line staff wishing to gain basic wine service skills. It can be seen as a quick way to cover the basics for wine service and is ideal for people preparing for their first job in wine service, or those wishing to make a transition to wine service. Please note that to gain this qualification students must also successfully pass the Level 1 Award in Wines or the Level 2 or 3 Award in Wines & Spirits.
- Level 1 Award in Spirits: This qualification aims to provide the basic product knowledge and skills in the service of spirits to help prepare a person for their first job in hospitality or in other sectors of the spirits industry. This course may also appeal to the interested spirits consumer.
- Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits: This qualification is popular with wine and spirit employees and will give students excellent all-round product knowledge. The course is also suitable for the interested consumer.
- Level 2 Award in Spirits: This qualification underpins the skills needed in all areas of the spirit trade – customer service, hospitality, retail and wholesale. The course is also appropriate for students who are not employed in the drinks industry and wish to broaden their knowledge of spirits in a structured way.
- Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits: This qualification is open to students who hold the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines & Spirits or can demonstrate the equivalent level of knowledge. It is recommended that students complete the Level 2 Award in Wines & Spirits before progressing to the Level 3 Award. It is a prerequisite for candidates planning to study for the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits qualification.
- International Higher Certificate in Wines and Spirits: This qualification is designed for students for whom English is not their first language, or where the Level 3 Award in Wines & Spirits is not available in their mother tongue. The syllabus is aligned to that of the Level 3 Award in Wine & Spirits, but with a different assessment method which does not include short written answer questions or a written tasting note. Students wishing to study towards the WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits will need to complete the WSET Diploma Entry Examination, once they have passed the International Higher Certificate exam. This qualification is only available through WSET International providers only.
- Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits: This qualification is suitable for those working in the trade wishing to progress to roles such as food and beverage management, working as a member of a marketing team responsible for product ranges, a wine buyer, sales executive or other professional role in the wines and spirits industry. This qualification is also suitable for the dedicated wine enthusiast wishing to build on knowledge gained at Level 3 and acquire further expertise in wine tasting. Candidates who successfully pass the diploma are permitted to put AIWS (Associate of the Institute of Wine and Spirits) after their name.
- Honours Diploma: The WSET Level 5 Honours Diploma is an individual research project that enables students to develop skills in research, evaluation and analysis in a wine and spirit related subject of their choice. This qualification is open to anyone holding the WSET Level 4 Diploma.
- WSET Certified Educator: WSET offer a training program for candidates who wish to teach WSET courses at an Approved Program Provider. The candidate must have passed the level above the one they wish to teach and after completing the appropriate teaching modules may become a 'Nominated Educator'. Candidates who have passed the Level 4 Diploma and completed all six educator modules and passed the assessment, qualify as a 'WSET Certified Educator'.
WSET's courses are also given by a large number of "Approved Programme Providers" around the world. This has made WSET's course levels the international de facto standard for "practical" knowledge of wine and spirits, outside academic programmes of oenology, viticulture, food technology and similar subjects, where science and engineering aspects of beverage production tend to be in focus.
WSET has created a membership body for WSET Diploma holders called "Institute of Wines & Spirits", and upon completion of the WSET Diploma are permitted to put 'AIWS' (Associate of the Institute of Wine and Spirits) after their name. Qualification at the WSET Diploma level 4 is generally required to be allowed into the Master of Wine training, which is arranged by a body (The Institute of Masters of Wine) separate from the WSET.
Qualifications received by true experts on the world wine trade, awarded by the prestigious Institute of Master of Wine, whose principal sit is located in the United Kingdom. Born in the mid 1950´s from an initiative of industry professionals, its principal aim is the examination and certification of the capacities and knowledge in practically all fields of those aspiring to become wine experts.
Exams in English language are very exigent and whoever passes them is granted the title of Master of Wine or MW, intitials which members proudly place after their names.
The number of candidates is terribly high, while that of MWs is very low (in December 2008, only 277 active members, of which only one bearing a Spanish passport).
- Objectives: The Institute of Masters of Wine is a non-profit organization funded by its members and by corporate sponsorship from within the wine industry. Its stated objectives are:
To promote the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of wine.
To uphold the highest standards within the wine industry.
To enhance personal and professional goals in pursuing wine-related activities.
- Qualification: Before enrolling on the MW study programme, prospective students must obtain a Diploma level qualification from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, or another wine qualification of at least a comparable standard. Also, by the time they attain the title 'MW' they will need to have had five years trade experience. Applicants must submit a basic essay, a tasting paper and a brief statement explaining their interest in becoming a Master of Wine.
The study programme is made up of three stages:
Stage 1 is the foundation year and gives students the opportunity to meet Masters of Wine and fellow students in both professional and social settings.
Stage 1 assessment includes six pieces of work throughout the year, culminating in an exam that takes place in early June. The exam involves one tasting paper and two essays.
Stage 2 is a crucial time for students - it can be very intense but immensely rewarding. Students must provide three pieces of work for assessment throughout the Stage 2 year, and must pass both the Theory and Practical parts of the June MW Examination in order to progress to the Research Paper in Stage 3.
Stage 3. The Research paper is an individual paper of between 6,000 and 10,000 words in length, on a topic of the student's choice. The whole qualification takes at least three years to complete in full.
- Membership: Until 1983, the examination was limited to United Kingdom wine importers, merchants and retailers. The first non-UK Master of Wine was awarded in 1988. In 2005, there were 278 members of 18 different nationalities, living in 19 countries throughout the world. Most of the 74 members living outside the UK became members since about 1990. As of May 2015, there are 322 MWs in the world. Today, members hold a range of occupations including winemakers, viticulturists, winemaking consultants, wine writers and journalists, wine educators, and wine service, restaurant and hotel management. In addition, many are involved in the purchasing, importing, distribution, sales and marketing of wine. Typically, sommeliers choose to become Master Sommelier, but a handful of individuals have achieved both qualifications.
- Notable Masters of Wine: Pierpaolo Petrassi; Patrick Farrell; Tim Atkin; Gerard Basset; Nicolas Belfrage; Michael Broadbent; Clive Coates; Mary Ewing-Mulligan; Ned Goodwin; Doug Frost; Anthony Hanson; Jeannie Cho Lee; Benjamin Lewin; Brian McGrath; Jasper Morris; Jonathan Pedley; David Peppercorn; Jancis Robinson; Arne Ronold; Igor Ryjenkov; Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan; Serena Sutcliffe; Rebecca Gibb.
TASTING WITH PEDRO BENITO URBINA
Whether you love Rioja wine, enjoy exploring new wine styles or sampling new varieties, you’re in for a treat for this October with the winemaker Pedro Benito Urbina at the Sketty Hall. The light and spacious Patti Restaurant symbolises the style and elegance of Sketty Hall and Urbina Wines.
A winemaker is any person who practices oenology, regardless of whether he or she has a specific degree for it. Basically, there are two main categories: Those who are fully and exclusively employed by a winery or a wine producing firm, and those (an even growing number) who render their services part-time at different locations. Among the latter are the famous "flying winemakers", who even fly to different continents to offer their services (from which they take their name).
In Spain, the winemaker (he or she) has acquired a much deserved professional prestige in recent years. If in the past they were considered simple workers and prominence was exclusively given to the owners, at present some are regarded as authors (giving rise to author’s wines), who by signing their works of art can multiply the wine’s price, and increase the recognition by the specialist press and the general public. Moreover, many of them have their own wineries or brands for their craftings, besides collaborating with third parties and/or lecturing on wines.
Bodegas Urbina is one of the most traditional and family own wineries remaining in Spain. It was founded 1870, and even today their family members still growing their vines, produce, and export the wine they produce. But this is not the only charm of this peculiar bodega. The facilities are located in Cuzcurrita del Río Tirón, in a very beautiful medieval town.
It is perhaps that balance between ancient tradition and cutting-edge technology that best characterizes Bodegas Urbina in Cuzcurrita. The recent history of this bodega started in 1975, when Pedro Benito Urbina Senior becomes in charge of the winemaking. In 1975 an ambitious renovation project takes place, with his wife Catalina Sáez and his brother Jesús Angel.
The winemaking philosophy is base in the respect for tradition, using dry-farmed, densely planted, traditionally trained vines, and plenty of artisan vineyard labour: regular pruning, green-harvesting, bunch-thining, and in the winery the perform spontaneous fermentations without adding any commercial yeast. With these methods, wines cannot lie, and any experienced taster should be capable of identifying these as Spanish Tempranillo based reds, almost certainly Rioja but not necessarily so. After all, the issue of typicity is their mayor concern, since they are dealing here with the westernmost section of Rioja, with a more continental climate and, therefore, with an area that is difficult to compare with the rest of the region.
- Urbina 2013 Blanco: Pale golden yellow colour with green glints. Aromatic, floral nose (acacia) with white fruit, melon and ripe citrus notes. Good body and structure, flavours of apricot, peach and some pear notes with a subtle, elegant, slightly and lingering finish. £9,49
- Urbina 2014 Rosado: Bright, delicate, pale, salmon pink colour. Dominated by aromas of red fruits including strawberry, cherry and cranberry with delicate floral notes. Excellent weight packed with summer berry fruits, strawberry, hints of grapefruit and crisp Granny Smith apples. The finish is creamy yet crisp, dry and long. A great Rioja Rosado. £9,49
- Urbina 2008 Crianza: Ruby colour with garnet hues. On the nose, good intensity with elegant, mature and cherries, vanilla, coconut and spice on the nose. On the palate, well-balanced and complex, creamy smooth, velvety texture of red berries, nuts and spice flavours with firm tannins and background, good structure, long lasting, with persistent aftertaste. Pleasant and easy-drinking. £12.49
- Urbina 1999 Selección: Intense, dark ruby red colour. Very concentrated nose of berries, damsons, and figs. On the palate, full-bodied, rich fruit cake and savoury vanilla flavours, well-structured, mellow, firm tannins with the fine elegance of the Urbina marque. £15.99
- Urbina 1998 Reserva Especial (Blue label): Dark ruby red colour with amber glints. On the nose, good intensity. It has a very pronounced nose of seductive figs, apricots, nuts, savoury vanilla oak bouquet. On the palate, voluptuous, sweet middle palate with delicious, concentrated ripe berry, mature fruit broadening out. Wonderful length, classy and complex wine. £18.29
- Urbina 1996 Gran Reserva: Colour reddish garnet. On the nose, powerful, complex and elegant. Rich vegetable and tobacco aromas, a perfect harmony of oak and glorious fruit. On the palate, intense rich fruit, prunes, dates and sweet raisin flavours, silky and creamy. A wine with great finesse and velvet smoothness, wondrous length and full finish. £19.99