Blackbeards social wine tasting

Blackbeards social wine tasting

When people stop by Blackbeard’s in Camana Bay to pick up a bottle or two (or more) of their favourite libations on the third Thursday of the month, they might feel as though they just stepped into a private event. They'll see people mingling, chatting, laughing, having fun and browsing through the store with wine glasses in hand. Conversations are abuzz and wine is being poured liberally.  It looks like a cocktail reception, but it's really just Blackbeard's free monthly wine tasting – and it's not private at all.

After a long hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Blackbeard’s resumed monthly wine tastings at its Camana Bay location in May. Monthly wine tastings also began at the new Eastern Avenue location on the second Thursday of the month and at the Grand Harbour location on the first Thursday of the month earlier in the spring. 

Blackbeard’s Wine Specialist Charlie Nicholson said the tastings are supposed to be fun.

“We wanted these wine tastings to be a social event where people come together and enjoy trying new wines," she said. "There is an educational side to the evening as well as a specialness, particularly when we have winemakers join us to share their knowledge.”   

The Camana Bay Blackbeard's wine tasting in May highlighted South African wines, including the Glenelly winery's flagship selection, Lady May. On 16 June, guests sampled the popular 689 Cellars wines.

To help keep the line-ups for tasting to a minimum, two pouring stations were set up near the front of the store. At one station, Blackbeard’s Mike Kennedy poured two of 689 Cellars' latest wines, a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir under the Submission label. Customers could then wander over to the other station, tucked in closer to the racks of wine where the reds were being poured by Nicholson. These included 689, Killer Drop and Devil’s Candy. 

“Usually, we offer four wines, but for this tasting we offered five,” Nicholson said. “What makes the evening really special tonight as well is that we have the winemaker Curtis McBride here to talk to us about his wines.”   

McBride chatted with customers throughout the evening, telling stories about his wines and the industry, and he even autographed bottles they purchased. All wines selected for a tasting are sold with a 20% discount on the day of the tasting.

Wine is made to pair with food, and to help make the experience even more enjoyable, there was a cheese and charcuterie board from Foster's supermarket next door to Blackbeard’s.
"Foster's has been creating bespoke food trays for us, free of charge, sourcing cheese, fruits and meats that are paired with each of the wines we are serving at a particular tasting," Nicholson said. "It really adds to the experience we are creating here, and it showcases their own offerings as well.” 

Follow Blackbeard's on social media channels to learn the schedule of wines being tasted every month.  


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