Who knows whether French monk Dom Perignon really exclaimed, ‘Come quickly, I am tasting the stars,’ when sipping the first Champagne, but it sums up the feel-good factor that enjoying a glass of bubbly brings.
Edinburgh’s annual Fizz Feast, now in its fourth year, is the perfect opportunity to sip a few sparklers, and takes place on 16 November this year.
Scotland’s only sparkling wine festival brings together 12 diverse producers, offering up to 100 wines from all over the world to try as well as buy, including Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, Italian Franciacorta, German Sekt and one of the fastest-growing trends, English Sparkling Wine.
On arrival, every visitor will receive a gorgeous Champagne flute (worth £15) from renowned wine glass producer Riedel, for tasting on the day and to take home. Anyone who signs up for one of the many Fizz Masterclasses – hosted by exhibitors – will receive a second glass to keep. There will be special offers on the day with a delivery service available, which allows you to mix and match bottles from different producers.
As well as fabulous fizz, the festival plays host to a wonderful range of small artisan food producers, all of whom are based in Scotland. Delicious offerings from Isle of Mull Cheese and the Tobermory Fish Company, plus Pacari Fair Trade organic chocolate and broccoli crisps from Growers Garden Crisps – which takes snacking to a healthy new level – will all be available.
Festival organiser Diana Thompson said: ‘This is a unique opportunity to be able to compare and contrast different sparkling wines, all under one roof. Quite often, you only have the chance to try one or two sparkling wines, so this is a real chance to explore the different flavours and styles around.
‘It’s a unique opportunity to discover something new. We all get into the habit of going for our tried and tested old favourites time and again, but Fizz Feast allows you to explore new tastes. You will be amazed at the variety on offer and are quite likely to find a new favourite. Winemakers and producers will all be looking forward to talking to you about their fabulous fizz. It’s a great chance to ask questions and find out more about the wonderful world of sparkling wine.
‘Fizz Feast has been designed to let you wander around at your own pace. Food and fizz are in separate rooms, so you have plenty of space to move about and chat to each other, and, most importantly, the producers. It’s a great day out and it’s also a lovely way to enjoy a bit of relaxed Christmas shopping.’
Sparkling wine exhibitors attending Fizz Feast 2019 include:
Taittinger: Champagne Taittinger’s origins date back to 1734. Today it remains one of the few top Champagne Houses actively owned, and run, by the family named on the label.
Woodhouse Wines: The company has been trading for more than 30 years supplying wines to private individuals as well as corporations, hotels and restaurants across the UK.
Lidl: Well known for its extensive range of excellent wines at affordable prices, Lidl will offer tastings from its everyday core range as well as the Wine Cellar Collection.
Zonin: The Zonin family have been vintners since 1821 and today control the largest private vine growing and winemaking company in Italy.
Greyfriars Vineyard: A 40-acre family-run vineyard and winery based in the Surrey Hills near Guildford, the makers of several award-winning English Sparkling Wines.
Contadi Castaldi: This renowned Italian winery specialises in Italy’s hidden gem, Franciacorta, a truly delicious sparkling wine made using the same traditional method as Champagne.
Bellisimo Vino: An independent Edinburgh-based family-run wine wholesaler, sourcing wine, Spumante and Prosecco from award-winning wineries across Italy.
Goldenacre Wines: Housed within CostCutter on Inverleith Row, this is Goldenacre’s very own wine shop bringing a wealth of sparkling wines from around the world to the festival.
The Wine Society: Having championed the joy of good wine since 1874, The Wine Society’s co-operative business model puts good wine, fair pricing and ethical growers above anything else.
Lanson Champagne: For more than 250 years, Lanson has been crafting Champagne using traditional techniques using grapes from the best vineyards.
Hans Wirsching: This German winery ranks among the best known and largest privately held wine estates in Franconia. Now in its 14th generation, the Wirsching family has been making wine since the 1630s.
Artisan Food exhibitors attending Fizz Feast 2019 include:
Hoods Honey: The Hood family has been keeping bees since 1950 and owner Stuart Hood is beekeeper in residence at the Scottish Parliament. The company produces three distinctive types of honey – Blossom, Wildflower and Heather – as well as a range of candles and natural skincare products.
Pacari Chocolate: Edinburgh-based, family-owned Ecuadorian company on a mission to produce the highest-quality organic dark chocolate in the world in the most ethical and sustainable way possible. The fair trade, vegan, soy and palm oil-free certified organic and kosher chocolate has won more than 220 International Chocolate Awards since 2012.
Tobermory Fish Company: This small, award-winning, family-run business uses the finest natural ingredients and carefully crafted recipes to offer unique and delicious tastes, including the famous Tobermory Smoked Trout and Hot Smoked Salmon.
Caorunn Gin: Handcrafted in the Scottish Highlands, Caorunn infuses five locally foraged gin botanicals. This artisanal, small-batch gin works perfectly with tonic and slices of red apple.
Isle of Mull Cheese: A family-run dairy farm situated on the Isle of Mull creating traditional artisan farmhouse cheese, a wonderful Hebridean blue, cloth-bound handmade small truckles, and plain and whisky wax-coated flavells.
Growers Garden Crisps: Healthy snacks in the shape of broccoli crisps – there are four gluten-free, vegan-friendly flavours made using fresh broccoli grown on the East of Scotland company’s farm fields.
Organiser Diana Thompson has more than 25 years’ experience within the wine and hospitality industry, including national and international roles with Corney & Barrow, Southcorp Wines (now Treasury Wine Estates) and Waverly Wines & Spirits. A Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) certified tutor, Thompson launched Wine Events Scotland in 2016 during the first Fizz Feast, and works with producers and consumers, holding wine workshops, tastings and events across Scotland.
Since the launch, Diana has scooped up several awards, including ‘Best Drinks Marketing Company in Scotland 2017’ at Lux Food & Drink Awards and ‘Wine Event Organiser of the Year 2018’ at SME Scottish Enterprise Awards.
Fizz Feast takes place at The Edinburgh Academy, 42 Henderson Row, Edinburgh, there are two sessions to choose from: noon-3pm and 4-7pm.
Tickets start at £25 per person from www.wineeventscotland.co.uk