Oz Clarke’s visit to Steyning

Oz Clarke and fans in Steyning

Oz Clarke and fans in Steyning

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Wine buff and TV personality Oz Clarke visited the Sussex Produce Cafe in Steyning on Tuesday, entertaining and informing wine enthusiasts with his knowledge and his tales of the past.

Steyning Food and Drink Festival supporter Reina Alston said: “The evening was arranged by Steyning Bookshop and staged at the Sussex Produce Cafe and was jam packed with wine enthusiasts, who were not disappointed.

Oz Clarke book signing in Steyning.

Oz Clarke book signing in Steyning.

“Oz began the evening with some glorious stories from his past, keeping everyone in stiches. He then moved on to the main purpose of the evening – tasting six wines from local vineyards, including Albourne, Wiston, Stopham, Nutbourne & Bolney.

“Along with his comments on the wines he amazed the vast audience with his tremendous depth of knowledge regarding the soil in which it was grown, the temperature that was needed to ‘ripen’ each variety of grape, the way it was produced and bottled - the information just flowed and flowed, keeping everyone on the edge of their seat, waiting to learn more.

“He told amazing tales about climate change, and how it is effecting the wine industry, with some areas – like England – becoming more and more able to produce top class wines and other, more familiar and established wine producing areas, facing weather challenges. He also enthused on the fact that the wines being tasted were local, made by local people and enjoyed by local people – something we should all be proud of and continue to support not just in wine, but in food and drink overall.

“The evening ended with Oz signing copies of his new book, Oz Clarke’s AZ of Wine 2015; he took so much time and obvious pleasure chatting with each person and then personalising a message before signing. After the end of the evening, along with organisers of the event, he crossed the High Street to visit The Chequer Inn where he enjoyed local ale before at last heading for Springwells Hotel for some well earned rest.”

Actress, author, and Celebrity MasterChef winner Sophie Thompson will be in Steyning on October 1.

The event includes a two-course dinner, glass of wine, and a signed copy of Sophie’s new book ‘My Family Kitchen’. Sophie’s family includes actors Emma Thompson and Richard Lumsden, Magic Roundabout narrator Eric Thompson, and Phyllida Law OBE.

Tickets are available from Sussex Produce 01903 815045 or Steyning Bookshop 01903 812062.

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