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Wine School Super Saturday: Italy · Saturday 8/6/19 · Chester


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Discover the incredible wines of Italy in one entertaining day out! Join us for a day full of education and enjoyment of Italian wines at Chester’s Restaurant 1539 at Chester Racecourse.


  • Learn what all the swirling and sniffing is really for
  • Understand what the Italian wine label jargon actually means
  • Find out more about the Italy’s many wine regions. We’ll help you understand more about how the climate and soil can change a wine’s character and style.
  • Enjoy 12 incredible different wines throughout the day
  • There’s a four course lunch with matched Italian wines included
  • Single grape varieties or a blend? Find out the difference and learn how to create a wine blend
  • Discover how wine is made and how to identify faults
  • Learn how to negotiate a restaurant wine list
  • Discover the best local stores for quality wines at prices that won’t break the bank
  • Enjoy an amazing food and wine tasting experience in one enjoyable day out


Enjoy spectacular views over Chester’s historic racecourse from the comfort of the private dining room at Restaurant 1539 and unleash your new found wine knowledge on your friends afterwards!.


Click on the detail boxes below to find out more.

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What's included

Italy is home to some of the world’s most famous wines and is the biggest wine producing country in the world, representing between one quarter and one third of global wine production. Wine has been produced in Italy since at least 800 BC. Italy’s 20 wine regions correspond to its 20 administrative regions and there are more than 2,000 different grape varieties! There is so much more to discover – join us to learn more and taste some amazing wines from all over Italy in one enjoyable day out in Chester.


You’ll enjoy an entertaining day of wine education and enjoyment together with an amazing wine and food pairing experience in The Private Dining Room at Restaurant 1539 overlooking Chester Racecourse with Cheshire wine presenter and columnist, Richard J Smith.


Richard will welcome you with a glass of The Gusbourne Estate Brut Reserve Vintage English Sparkling Wine. Find out more about Gusbourne here.


There’s a four course gourmet lunch with a different glass of Italian 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!


You’ll taste 12 different wines over the course of the day and pick up our top tips on ordering in a restaurant and how to choose your wines to serve at home and much much more. In the latter part of the day you’ll get to try your hand and wine blending. Your bespoke wine tasting notes book is there for you to follow during the day and of course take home with you. Expect a great selection of quality wines, all of which will be sourced from our favourite local stores.


What to expect from your afternoon out at wine school:


  • 11:30 Arrivals and introductions with a glass of our House fizz, The Gusbourne Estate Brut Reserve Vintage English Sparkling Wine to welcome you.
  • 11:50 How to taste wine: learn what all the swirling and sniffing tells you about.
  • 12:00 White wine workshop: discover the aromas and flavours of wine and try four different white wines before lunch
  • 12:45 Label talk: what does all the jargon on an Italian wine label mean? Does the bottle shape make a difference? Cork or screw cap? All your questions answered!
  • 13:00 Find out about the wine regions around Italy and the most popular Italian grape varieties and a few that are lesser known.
  • 13:10 An introduction to food and wine pairing.
  • 13:15 Lunch: a different Italian wine chosen to match each course. (select the menu bar below to read your menu for the day)
  • 14:30 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.
  • 14:50 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 four red wines you’ll be enjoying.
  • 14:55 Discover how wine is made and how to identify faults
  • 15:10 Blending workshop: Single grape varieties or a blend? Find out the difference and learn how to create a wine blend
  • 15:40 Pick up our top tips on choosing your wines to serve at home and how best to store them as well as how to negotiate a restaurant wine list.
  • 16:00 Enjoy your final red wine tasting of the day
  • Throughout the day you’ll discover the best local stores for quality wines at prices that won’t break the bank
  • 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

Homemade black pudding with a soft poached egg and sauce Hollandaise

Vegetarian alternative first course

Wild mushrooms on brioche toast with emulsion and pickled mushrooms

Main Course

Medallions of Welsh beef with braised shin and cabbage, vegetable gratin and potatoes

Vegetarian alternative main course

Ricotta, spinach & pine nut strudel with ratatouille sauce


Baked cheesecake with wild flower honey jelly, whiskey syrup and bee pollen

Cheese Selection

Local and artisan cheeses, fruit chutney, grapes & celery. The cheese course will be served after a break for coffee or tea and will be paired with the afternoon red wines


Date & Time

Saturday 8th. June 2019, 11.30am – 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, leading directly from The Walls and is well signposted.

For access to Restaurant 1539 for customers with special access requirements please click on the accessibility box below.

Your wine school host

The event will be hosted by our Founder, Richard Smith, who will share with you some of his twenty seven plus years of 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. He recently appeared at Three Wine Men in Manchester alongside TV wine legends Oz Clarke, Olly Smith and Tim Atkin MW and has presented English and Welsh wines in partnership with Wines of Great Britain for three consecutive years at RHS Tatton Park. At our larger wine tasting events you’ll get to meet either Paul or Doug too. Find out more about the team here.

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.


For all our guests’ enjoyment of our intimate tasting events, we ask for your kind understating that groups joining us are limited to 6 guests. If you are a larger group we may be able to host a bespoke wine tasting event for you. Please contact us for more information.


Restaurant 1539 at Chester Racecourse is fully accessible.

Wheelchair access to Restaurant 1539 is via a lift from the race course car park: proceed through the tunnel under the restaurant, bearing left. The lift is located directly in front of you and signposted. The restaurant entrance is just across the mezzanine level courtyard.


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