Lancashire Wine School’s Colin Burbidge shows how wine tasting and charity get together to raise funds

Wine tasting session
Wine tasting session
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If you’re going down to London and you plan to be in the Battersea area then remember to get there before the end of the month and you can enjoy a glass of wine in exchange for a tin or pack of dried food.

The Vagabond urban winery in London, which is making rare local wine, is running this Food Bank campaign in the Battersea area throughout the month of October where all the food donated goes to local food banks.

What a great idea this is and it is also a great opportunity to feel good on two fronts – firstly by supporting a local charity and secondly by supporting a local wine producer.

Charity might not be the first thing that springs to your mind when you are considering wine, but there has long been a link that exists with Charity Wine Tastings being a popular way of raising money for many good causes.

There are plenty of companies that can help you to set up a charity wine tasting session.

Just go on the Internet and you can search for ‘Charity wine tasting Lancashire’ for a list of the companies that can help, or you can approach your local merchant for help.

If you are thinking big and you are looking for big numbers to attend an event then this makes sense, as organising and running an event such as this requires a great deal of planning, and also the supply of glasses and the execution effort, not to mention the glass washing that is involved afterwards.

So it makes sense to pay these companies, as most of them have a charity rate that is much reduced from their normal charge.

If you are looking for a cosier affair than this then setting up your own event with just a few guidelines is fairly simple to do and it is also good fun.

Remember that you need to attract people to the event so bear in mind that not everybody is a wine aficionado.

Do something and organise an event that will appeal to those who just enjoy a drink.

You can do such things as running a quiz alongside the wine tasting and also providing food, cheese or charcuterie are a big favourite and they are easily arranged.

Make the quiz a reasonably simple one and also make sure that you provide all the clues that are necessary for people to get the answers and you can also advertise this fact.

Another thing is to choose a range of wines, around six or seven, at the same time keeping to your budget, but try to have a ‘special’ wine in the mix of wines and again advertise the fact – for example, ‘including a top ten year-old Rioja’.

But always remember responsible drinking. A bottle of wine used should stretch to at least 12 people, and that will give them half a bottle to be consumed on the night, that’s plenty.

On the other hand, if you want to have fun with a blind tasting you don’t need expensive bottle covers, kitchen foil will do just as well.

Finally, remember to have fun and please don’t forget to squeeze in your raffles, your auctions and other fund raisers while you’ve got a captive audience.

Finally, just a word about the drinks industry charity The Benevolent.

The benevolent is a charity dating from 1896 and it has provided support to those in the drinks industry suffering from serious social and medical issues, as well as financial hardship.

If any of your family members work in the wine industry then please bear this charity in mind for the future, though hopefully you will never need them.

The charity The Benevolent raises funds through normal channels and through support from industry partners.

One last tip for your charity wine tasting session.

Remember to use your discounts as much as possible so, for example, if a local supermarket is giving 25 percent off six bottles of wine then it’s time to stock up.

A final word – Enjoy raising funds for a good cause.