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The Dunstane Does….De Burgh Wine Tasting!

It doesn’t matter if the glass is half full or half empty, there’s clearly room for more wine! So when our friends at POSH called and asked if they could host a wine tasting in the Stroma Lounge at boutique hotel, The Dunstane, naturally the answer took a lot of thought and careful consideration. Then last Friday, Tarquin from De Burgh Wines arrived! What followed is a wine tasting like no other, so what happens when the Dunstane Does….De Burgh Wine Tasting!

Wine Tasting With A Difference

IMG_0166First off, Tarquin assured us this was more of a wine ‘drinking’ than a tasting so there would be no spitting of the wine, unless you don’t like it (unlikely!). Canapés courtesy of Chef Paul, a teaser for what’s offered in Skerries each night, were served with the first wine of the evening, a personal favourite of mine – a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region. Before I go any further I’ll tell you what Tarquin told us before we started drinking, I mean tasting, the wine – the same wine will taste completely different when drunk from a different glass…this guys talking nonsense is what we thought. Turns out, he wasn’t!!


Genuinely what followed blew my mind and by the look on everyone else’s faces they felt the same. This gorgeous New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with is strong citrus scent and signature gooseberry flavours, was tipped out of it’s specially designed Riedel glass and into the “Joker” tumbler and oh my word…the wine was odourless and tasted like a cheap bottle of plonk – straight back into the Sauvignon glass and the wonderful wine was back. Phew! Interesting fact about the Sauvignon glass, it’s quite narrow and the actual glass at the top is incredibly thin, reason being, when you drink the shape of the glass ensures the wine hits the front of your tongue first. This is where your sweet receptors are found! This pattern of tasting a nice wine and then effectively ruining it followed with an oaked Chardonnay, out the Chardonnay glass and into the Sauvignon one and the taste was awful! But the science behind the glass was the same, shape of the glass means the wine hits where it’s supposed to on your tongue, making sure you taste the wine at it’s best.

Lovely shaped glasses


We moved onto the red wines, now I’m not usually a red wine lover but there was an absolutely gorgeous Pinot Noir in it’s special glass, then Tarquin made us  pour it into the Chardonnay glass and I could have cried. It tasted like paint stripper, with the tannins in the wine burning it’s way down your throat, even the memory is bringing tears to my eyes!! Safely back into the Pinot Noir glass and you can relax. Last up was a gorgeous Merlot, the same process of pleasure, pain, then pleasure – it was emotionally draining! The shape of the wider red wine glasses ensures the wine hits the back of your tongue first, missing the sweet   receptors and focusing on the savoury ones.


So De Burgh Wines, with the expert help of the Riedel glass have completely flipped the way I think about and drink wine and I felt very strongly that I needed some of these wine and glasses in my life. It might have been because of all the wine but the feeling was so strong I ordered a few bottles of my favourite wine and matching glasses, along with almost everyone at the event, that’s how amazed we all were! I can’t wait to do this again and after spotting Dunstane owner Shirley and POSH Director Jenny deep in conversation with Tarquin I’ve got my fingers crossed for a repeat event. Keep your eyes on our Facebook page and website as we’ll be sure to invite you all along to our luxury Edinburgh hotel next time!

group of people speaking

Watch this space for future events!