So, I’ve got six bottles of wine lined up around the laptop and I’m ready to taste. Just another working day for me?

mcith_IMG_5520.jpgWell not really, these wines aren’t the usual cheapos from the local supermarket but a pre-chosen selection by Alistair Cooper MW from and he is going to take me through them.

Well me and the many others all logged into Zoom for a live wine-tasting Webinar.

For once it  makes a change not to be using Zoom to talk to my clients –  over the last few weeks it’s become as indispensable a work tool as Google Docs. The calls are always clear, the picture solid and sharp. Even if the clients aren’t always (joke, I love you all really)

Actually, via Zoom I’ve seen almost as many client front rooms as I have of TV news journalists. Is it me, by the way, or do all CH4 people live in agreeable Georgian houses in North London?

Those big sash windows they have are a real giveaway.  Nicely stocked bookcases too, all very impressive.

So, logged in, corkscrew at the ready I’m all set. Actually they are all screwtop bottles, which is. Handy.

With a reasonable flourish Alistair appears on screen and there’s a bit of virtual mic tapping as he verifies he’s on air.’Hello can you see me’?


My partner whispers something to me and I remind her we are not being filmed or recorded. On this occasion, the first, Alistair has chosen not to risk the possible anarchy of people feeding back to him other than by the text window. Sound move.

And so for the next forty minutes Alistair engagingly talks us through the wines. As there are just two of us here in locked down SW16 I feel opening all six bottles would be wasteful if not drunk, while on the other hand probably lethal if all consumed in the one session.

The time passes quickly, The two wines we have opened –  a Cantina di Monteforte – Montegrande Soave Superior 2017 and a Chakalaka – Spice Route 2016 – South Africa are stunningly good and Alistair’s talk around them enlightening.

Knowing more about a wine’s’story’ does make you pause and appreciate it the better and his tasting notes send us into each glass to see if we agree.

There is of course no need to agree, it is largely subjective. Remember how Jilly Goolden used to reference everything wine to the smells of her private boarding school, while Oz looked on in slightly pissed bemusement?


Like him, few of us had any idea what a damp hockey stick smelt like, unless perhaps we were male Tory MPs.

On the Zoom chat box comments and questions come fast and Alistair answers as best he can while still talking. My attempt to reach the keys to ask a sensible question has me knocking over a (fortunately) almost empty wine glass.

And then it’s over with a short Q&A to follow. I get our shepherd’s pie out the oven for us to eat with the staggering Chakala.’It’s Chakalastic!’

I type, a somewhat obscure reference to’shakkallakin’ (Marty the Zebra in Madagascar). Alistair laughs and moves hastily on. I don’t blame him.

The screen goes blank and we carry on drinking and debating.There are worse ways to spend lock down time, far worse, and this has been fun.

The video is available to view here, simply register, and we’ll be checking back to it as we open the other wines in weeks to come.


Another webinar with a new case of wine and a different Master of Wine is coming on May 1st 8pm, so keep an eye on and follow them on social channels to order wine and be ready

Winetrust 100 do regular cases personally selected by their team delivered to your home

You can have a seasonal case of 12 wines delivered direct to you every month or quarter.

This is a must have for any wine lover and it makes a great gift at this trying time They guarantee the best wines at the best value, direct to you.