Join the wait list for this wine tasting event We will inform you if tickets for this event become available. Just enter a valid email address below.
Email Quantity Your privacy matters and we won't share your email with anyone else.

Book your wine tasting

  • wine_tasting_chester_racecourse
  • wine_school_cheshire_Rioja
  • Chester wine tasting
  • IMG_0017 2
  • Wine School of Cheshire 1539 Chester
  • Lamb cooked to perfection for our guests
  • Wine School of Cheshire Smelling Wine

Rioja: an afternoon of food and wine pairing · Saturday 21/10/17 · Chester


The world-famous Rioja wine region is located in northern Spain, on both sides of the River Ebro and the region’s wines are favoured by many around the world. The wines, however, are diverse ranging from easy drinking white wines and rosés through to full-bodied Gran Reservas.


As so many of these incredible wines pair beautifully with great cooking, most of our wine selection will be matched with a gourmet four course lunch for you to really enjoy them at their best. As well as food pairing there’s a Rioja masterclass after lunch featuring the incredible range from Hacienda López de Haro.


Click on the links below to find out more.

Sold Out

Join our wait list
What's included

You’ll enjoy a fabulous Rioja wine and food pairing experience in The Private Dining Room at Restaurant 1539 overlooking Chester Racecourse. There’s a four course gourmet lunch with a glass of Rioja selected for each course. You’ll taste 9 different wines over the course of the afternoon which will include a Cava to welcome you and in the afternoon with our cheeseboard there’s a Rioja Masterclass featuring the different ageing processes which are Joven, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. This part of the day will showcase some of the outstanding wines from producers Hacienda López de Haro. Our bespoke wine tasting notes will be provided for you to use during the day and take home with you. Expect a great selection of wines, all of which will be sourced from our favourite local stores.


What to expect from your day out with us


  • 12:00 Arrivals and introductions with a glass of Cava to welcome you.
  • 12:20 An introduction to Rioja: find out about the grape varieties used and a little more about the region with our first still wine of the day.
  • 12:55 An introduction to food and wine pairing.
  • 13:00 Lunch: a different Rioja wine chosen to match each course. (select the menu bar below to read your menu for the day)
  • 14:45 Take a breather for coffee or tea in the lounge with our compliments as we prepare the private dining room for your Rioja masterclass.
  • 15:15 Rioja Masterclass: discover the different styles of red wines from Rioja and their ageing processes: Joven, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. These wine styles vary from medium to full-bodied and you discover how varied they can be in looks, on the nose and of course on the palate. Your food and wine pairing experience continues as we share our cheese selection with you to try with the four different red wines you’ll be enjoying.
  • The day and will finish at around 4.30pm.


Timings are approximate and subject to change

Our menu from Restaurant 1539 is featured below:
To Start

Chicken and leek terrine with burnt onion emulsion

Vegetarian alternative first course

Whipped goats cheese mousse with pickled vegetables and focaccia croute

Main Course

Braised duck ‘Shepherd’s Pie’ with flaked braised duck and red cabbage

Vegetarian alternative main course

Autumn vegetable ‘Shepherd’s Pie’ with red cabbage


Cherry pie with cherry crumble ice cream

Cheese Selection

Local and artisan cheeses, fruit chutney, grapes & celery. The cheese course will be served after a break for coffee or tea, paired with the red wines featured in our Hacienda López de Haro masterclass.


Your wine school host

The afternoon will be hosted by our Founder, Richard Smith, who will share with you some of his twenty five years knowledge of all things wine as well as some anecdotes (but alas, no secrets) from his time as a butler. Richard trained at one of the world’s finest hotels and is proud to have advised several members of the British Royal Family and a number of international heads of state and celebrities. Richard has recently been featured in The Daily Mail and Cheshire Life magazine and he regularly writes for The Taster magazine and During our Saturday wine schools in Chester you’ll get to meet either Paul or Doug too. Find out more about the team here.

Date & Time

Saturday 21st. October 2017, 12.00 noon – 4.30pm (approx.)

Timings are approximate and subject to change


The Wine School of Cheshire at Restaurant 1539, The Racecourse, Chester CH1 2LY.

wine school cheshire 1539 map

The pedestrian entrance to Restaurant 1539 is at 9 Nuns Road, Chester, CH1 2LY.

Access to Restaurant 1539 for customers with special access requirements is via a lift from the car park: proceed through the tunnel under the restaurant, bearing left. The lift is located directly in front of you.

Important Information & allergens

Spittoons will be available for any participants wishing to use them – this is of course optional! However we ask all attending to drink responsibly and strongly advise you do not drive after the event. Visit for the facts.

In accordance with the law, all persons attending our events must be over 18 years of age. Admission will be refused if suitable age verification photo ID cannot be provided upon our request and under these circumstances we regret that a refund will be not be possible.

We strongly advise that you do not drive on the day, however if it necessary to do so free parking is available at the racecourse for restaurant guests. There is a charge of £10 to leave vehicles overnight. Please advise us on arrival if you are driving.

Food allergens: we understand that some guests may have specific food allergies and we are always able to provide alternative ingredients and, if required, alternative dishes to ensure your food and wine pairing experience is enjoyable. We do require a minimum of 24 hours notice prior to the event start time to ensure our venues are able to access the appropriate ingredients and appreciate your understanding and kind assistance when this is necessary.

Sulphites: Please be aware as we are a wine school that wine is served at all our events and all wines produced do contain sulphites. We endeavour to feature wines where additional sulphites are not added by the winemaker or transporter, however UK legislation requires that all wines are correctly labeled as containing sulphites as these are produced in small quantities naturally during fermentation. If you suffer from a sulphite allergy we will be unable to offer any alternatives to wine and this must be considered before booking. We regret that a refund will not be available if we are informed of a sulphite allergy after your booking has been completed. Please refer to our full terms and conditions for further reference.


If you’re booking for someone as a gift and would like a presentation voucher sent to you to give to them free of charge please use the special instructions box at the checkout. Please also state here if you wish your voucher to be posted in plain packaging instead of our branded envelopes.


If you’d like us to send it directly to the recipient please include their name, address and personal message which we will include for you.


Our vouchers are sent UK first class within two business days of purchase. If you would prefer to buy a gift voucher for the recipient to select their own wine tasting, click here to find out more.


We’re really proud of the positive reviews we receive from our post wine tasting feedback surveys. Here you’ll find a selection of some of our most recent reviews: