Champagne is one of the elegant extras in life,’ so said Charles Dickens the English novelist. This fine elixir is just one of the drinks being celebrated at Fizz Feast, the sparkling wine and artisan food festival run by Diana Thompson, founder of Wine Events Scotland.
Edinburgh’s annual Fizz Feast, now in its fourth year, takes place on Saturday, 16 November 2019 at Edinburgh Academy. It’s the perfect opportunity to sip a few sparklers. 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.
Get your hands on a Riedel flute
On arrival, every visitor will receive a gorgeous Champagne flute (worth £15) from renowned wine glass company 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.
Fizz Feast is s 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.
There’s such a snob value attributed to Champagne and people will often right off other sparkling wines, which can often offer the same quality and much better value for money that a bottle of Champagne.
Diana Thompson explains: ‘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 there is 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.
Fizz Feast exhibitors
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. www.taittinger.com
Lanson Champagne: For more than 250 years, Lanson has been crafting Champagne using traditional techniques using grapes from the best vineyards. www.lanson.com
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. www.greyfriarsvineyard.co.uk
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. www.woodhousewines.co.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. This will be one of the first opportunities to try the supermarket’s always popular festive range. www.lidl.co.uk
Zonin: Run by three brothers, the Zonin family have been vintners since 1821 and today control the largest private vine growing and winemaking company in Italy. The Zonin Prosecco is always a favourite at Fizz Feast. www.zoninprosecco.com
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. www.contadicastaldi.it
Bellisimo Vino: An independent Edinburgh-based wine wholesaler, sourcing wine, Spumante and Prosecco from award-winning wineries across Italy. The family-run business works exclusively with a number of award-winning wineries, which means you won’t find wines they source anywhere else in the UK. www.bellissimovino.co.uk
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. With more than 250 wines on display in the small shop, this is a hidden gem sourcing unusual and hard-to-find wines. www.goldenacrewines.co.uk
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. Expect exciting sparkling wines at great prices. www.thewinesociety.com
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. Headed up by Andrea Wirsching, who will host a Fizz masterclass at this year’s event. www.wirsching.de
Croatian Fine Wines: This young company will introduce an interesting selection of new sparkling wines at Fizz Feast – all made from the same traditional method as Champagne – from Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia. www.croatianfinewines.com
Woodhouse Wines: Having been selecting, advising and recommending wine to customers for more than 30 years, Woodhouse Wines imports and distributes a range of wines you are unlikely to have come across before. Fizz Feast is also a chance to meet the dynamic driving force behind the business – Jonathan Simpkin. www.woodhousewines.co.uk
Aroma Academy: Aroma Academy, the global leader in Sensory Training of Sensory Skills, returns to Fizz Feast. Find out all there is to know about ‘nosing’ and explore your sense of smell. www.aroma-academy.co.uk
Wine Events Scotland
Wine Events Scotland, organiser of Fizz Feast and run by Diana Thompson holds monthly wine workshops as well as numerous other tastings and festivals. A WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) tutor Diana also holds private and corporate tastings around Scotland. www.wineeventsscotland.co.uk
WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust)
The Wine & Spirit Education Trust is the leading global organisation for wine and spirit courses.
The Edinburgh Academy
42 Henderson Row
Buy your tickets: www.wineeventscotland.co.uk
There are two sessions to choose from: 12-3pm and 4-7pm. Tickets start at £25 per person