This year's Wine Tasting will be held once again in the Hall at Blackfriars Settlement, 1 Rushworth Street, London SE1 0RB. For those familiar with London, this is south of the river unlike the railway station of the same name. It is within easy walking distance of Waterloo and London Bridge stations. The nearest tube stations are Southwark on the Jubilee line and Borough on the Northern line.
We will be sampling some wine from Alsace, together with the usual impressive selection of cold meats, cheeses, bread and fruit brought over fresh from the market in Brussels earlier that day by Hugh Gallagher who has been in our Wine Chair for nearly 20 years:
"In September 1998, following a Double Century Club debate on multinational pooling with Brian Waite of Mercer on behalf of the international employee benefits consulting community and me on behalf of the pooling networks, someone approached me to say that the lady from the wine trade could not do December's annual wine tasting of the Double Century Club (later to become the UK branch of IEBA). He told me that he understood I knew something about wine, and asked whether I could help out.
I agreed to do so on the basis that I presented on the 1997 vintage of Alsace, a subject with which I was well acquainted and because the 1997 Alsace wines were the best we had seen for some time.
It seemed to go quite well, and in January 1999 I was told that they didn't want the lady from the wine trade any more. I think this was mainly a result of the fact that I replaced her traditional tea and biscuits apéritif with something else slightly stronger! Come 2016 I still find myself helping out.
Nearly twenty years on then, it seems quite fitting to return to the wines of Alsace, not least because in the 2015 viintage, which we will feature, we have "un millésime qui fera date”. Some compare it to the outstanding 1971, others cite a potential of being as great as that of the exceptional post-war vintage of 1947.
Given that the majority of Alsace wines are white with the exception of Alsace Pinot Noir, which was dark and outstanding in 2015, we will feature a few red wine intruders to keep everyone happy and ensure the cheese course gets full respect. Having said that, one of the revelations of the evening will be to witness how well a good gewürztraminer goes with a bit of munster cheese and cumin! "
We are holding the cost to £32 per person despite the GBP/EUR exchange rate. Click on "Pay Now" below to register (if you have received this by email and cannot see a Pay Now button, click here http://www.ieba.org.uk/Events-byDate.asp?date=13/12/2016&view=yes&size=small&ItemID=0). As usual, spouses and/or friends are most welcome.
We wlll be returning once again to Brussels for our 17th Annual Conference, slightly earlier in the year than usual.
We will be continuing our pricing philosophy developed in order to attract even more delegates, for which we receive very positive feedback.
For delegates who are new to IEBA (i.e. are not, and have not previously been, members) and who are attending the Annual Conference for the first time, the fee will include a year's free membership for the 2017/18 membership year.
As in previous years, in order to achieve a good balance of delegates, we will be limiting attendance to two paying delegates from each organisation that is a service provider (insurance company, consultant, broker, etc). We do not limit attendance from corporate delegates (i.e. those responsible for the employee benefits of their organisation's own employees).
Registration will be open later this year. Watch this space!