Keith Newman

Member Article

Guest Wines aim to take snobbery out of wine tasting

A North Tyneside couple are aiming to share their love of wine and take the snobbery out of wine tasting at a series of fun events and pop-up bars on Tyneside.

Guest Wines, the brainchild of Kelvyn and Ruth Guest, have already appeared at the Eat Festival and are preparing a number of high profile events over the summer months. The events range from teaching wine appreciation at themed blind wine tastings such as speed dating to co-organising a dinner with TV wine expert Oz Clarke. Their latest event was a special “pop up” wine bar in Jesmond with a distinctly punk rock theme.

Kelvyn said: “We are wine novices and we’re not afraid to ask questions. We’d love to take the snobbery out of the wine business. Wine can be overwhelming but we like to keep it simple and help people to learn, so when we’re doing an event there’s nothing too complicated that people don’t understand.”

The couple met on holiday in Peru 11 years ago and bonded over their shared passion for wine. One of the first events they organised was a pop-up wine bar for an art gallery’s monthly exhibition launch in Ouseburn. Kelvyn and Ruth realised they could make a career from their mutual love of wine tasting and so decided to learn more about the subject. As a result, they studied to earn internationally recognised Wine and Spirit Education Trust qualifications and have worked in vineyards and wineries in South Africa, Portugal, France and England to learn how wine is produced.

Having now decided to take the plunge and start a new career, Kelvyn and Ruth launched Guest Wines. Rather than having a permanent base, the business focuses on popping up in different, often unusual venues, choosing a variety of different wines for all budgets and encouraging people to experiment with new tastes they may ordinarily not try.

Kelvyn said: “People get stuck buying the same wines because it is what is familiar - they know what to expect, we want to break down those barriers and show people what else is out there.”

“Wine tasting can have a bit of a stuffy image that puts people off, and there’s also some mystique about fine wines. We want to Shrug off that image and offer people a night out which will hopefully encourage them to become more adventurous in their wine choices.”

Ruth added: “It’s a journey of discovery and that’s what we’re hoping to inspire and share through our events and tastings. It’s not just about drinking it, it’s about understanding a bit better what’s in your glass.”

Guest Wines also enjoys working with other businesses in the wine sector, whether that be in the vineyard or winery, collaboratively providing wine tastings and private events, or being part of local events such as the Eat Festival for instance. Their latest pop-up venture, VinArchy, was in Jesmond’s Clayton Road where a financial advisor’s premises by day were transformed into a punk-themed wine bar by night.

Kelvyn said: “Different wines are like different music. You can have music for different moods and situations. Sometimes, you want a symphony and other times you want it brash, loud and in your face.

“That’s exactly how we look at wine; it’s like going into a record shop and thumbing through thousands of LPs. Eventually you will get the bottle that fits your moods and expectations for that day.”

The couple will be demonstrating their wine skills at a free wine tasting at Waitrose Eldon Square on Sat 23rd August, between 12-3pm


Photo shows: Ruth and Kelvyn at the pop up punk themed wine bar VinArchy

More information from Keith Newman Highlights PR 07814 397951

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Keith Newman .

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