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French wine tasting afternoon · Saturday 27/1/18 · Chester


Christmas 2017  If you’re purchasing a wine tasting as a Christmas gift, all tickets are available as a printed gift ticket.  Please request a gift ticket during the online checkout process and ensure the recipient’s details are completed accurately when prompted to do so. Please ensure the recipient will be available on your chosen date as your ticket may not be transferrable (refer to our booking terms and conditions) or consider purchasing a gift voucher as an alternative.  All gift tickets and vouchers must be purchased by 12.00 noon on Thursday 21st. December 2017 for Christmas delivery by Royal Mail. E-tickets and e-vouchers are available after this date.


France is arguably the most famous wine producing country in the world and it’s home to two of the most expensive regions, those being Burgundy and Bordeaux and of course it’s where you’ll find the Champagne region too. Yet there is so much more to discover from exiting regions such as Bergerac, The Languedoc, Alsace and, well, the list goes on!


New for 2018, we’ll welcome you to The Private Dining Room with a glass of The Gusbourne Estate Brut Reserve Vintage English Sparkling Wine and there’s a Burgundy Masterclass before lunch too!


Join us for an enjoyable afternoon out in Chester where you can taste your way around French wines and pick up some great wine facts along the way. Discover the benefits of the right food and wine pairing with a four course gourmet lunch with matched wines all included at one of the best restaurants in the city.



Click on the links below to find out more.


What's included

France is arguably the most famous wine producing country in the world and it’s home to two of the most expensive regions, those being Burgundy and Bordeaux and of course it’s where you’ll find the Champagne region too. Yet there is so much more to discover from exiting regions such as Bergerac, The Languedoc, Alsace and, well, the list goes on!


You’ll enjoy a fabulous wine and food pairing experience in The Private Dining Room at Restaurant 1539 overlooking Chester Racecourse, presented by Richard Smith, founder of The Wine School of Cheshire and wine writer for The Taster Magazine. New for 2018, enjoy a Burgundy Masterclass before lunch.


Also new for 2018, we’ll welcome you with a glass of The Gusbourne Estate Brut Reserve Vintage English Sparkling Wine:


The original Gusbourne Estate in Appledore, Kent dates back to 1410. In 2004, Andrew Weeber took over the estate with a clear vision and a single goal: to create English sparkling wines that would stand up alongside the very finest offerings from across the globe.


The first vines were planted that year. In 2010 the debut vintages of Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2006 and Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2006 were released to critical acclaim. Gusbourne quickly earned a reputation as a producer of outstanding quality wines, with accolades from some of the industry’s most exacting critics.


Winemaker Charlie Holland honed his skills in Australia, Germany, New Zealand and the USA before taking the helm at Gusbourne. With numerous international awards to his name, Charlie has produced some of the most celebrated sparkling wines in the UK and beyond.


Their best-selling wine, Gusbourne Brut Reserve, is a combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier which spends a minimum of twenty eight months on lees and three months on cork before release.


There’s a four course gourmet lunch with a different glass of wine selected to pair with each course. Learn all the basics of wine tasting (find out what all the swirling and sniffing tells you about) and much more!


What to expect from your day out with us


  • 12:00 Arrivals and introductions with a glass of The Gusbourne Estate Brut Reserve Vintage English Sparkling Wine to welcome you.
  • 12:15 How to taste wine: learn what all the swirling and sniffing tells you about.
  • Burgundy Masterclass: before lunch discover more about Burgundy – one of the finest wine regions in the world, you’ll find out what makes this region so special and we’ll taste two outstanding examples from the region.
  • 12:55 An introduction to food and wine pairing.
  • 13:00 Lunch: a different wine chosen to match each course. (select the menu bar below to read your menu for the day)
  • 14:40 Take a breather for coffee or tea in the lounge with our compliments as we prepare the private dining room for the afternoon red wine selection.
  • 15:00 Check in to the private dining room for your wine flight. Discover how to identify the different styles of red wines from light to medium to full-bodied and 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 red wines you’ll be enjoying.
  • Find out about the many wine regions of France and how they differ as well as learning more about the most popular grape varieties. You’ll also learn how to understand all that jargon on all the different wine labels.
  • We expect to finish at around 4.30pm.


Timings are approximate and subject to change

Our menu will be confirmed with Chef shortly before the event date

A sample menu from Restaurant 1539 is featured below:
To Start

Confit chicken and oyster mushroom terrine with a vermouth poached pear and toasted hazelnuts.

Vegetarian alternative first course

Shallot Tart Tatin with parmesan custard, lemon and thyme dressing and red vein sorrel.

Main Course

Lamb cutlets with braised shoulder of lamb served with sticky red cabbage and baby turnips.

Vegetarian alternative main course

Spinach, parmesan and broad bean risotto garnished with citrus jelly and purple basil.


Chocolate delice with blackberries and honeycomb.

Cheese Selection

Local and artisan cheeses, fruit chutney, grapes & celery. The cheese course will be served in the latter part of the afternoon, paired with the heavier red wines.


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 27th. January 2018, 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.

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.