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The Blind Tasting Challenge

Tastings Presented for You

The Oxford Wine Company would be delighted to organise an informal and fun wine tasting for you or your company. More>


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Tastings and Events

If you would like to receive details of up and coming tastings and events, please email your name and address to us by clicking here


The Blind Tasting Challenge is an up tempo, fast moving and humerous interactive team game made easy. It works for anyone – no knowledge of wine required! It has proved extremely popular over the years – please see testimonials below.

At Portabello Restaurant or Your Own Premises

By far the most popular tasting I present is The Blind Tasting Challenge. This is an up tempo, fast moving and humerous interactive blind tasting event made easy. It has proved extremely popular over the years and I get lots of repeat bookings. We can supply an excellent venue at no extra cost which is a function room above the excellent Portabello Restaurant in South Parade, Oxford (just opposite The Oxford Wine Cafe). This will take 30 people maximum and has the advantages that there is a good restaurant and bar downstairs. (The free room hire comes with the proviso that customers eat in the restaurant after the event). Alternatively, there are the options to pay the room hire or I can come to your own premises and provide all equipment and glasses if necessary.

You will need a number of tables of between 4-10 people per table (denominations up to you) which would form the teams for the night. They will each give themselves a name at the beginning of the event and I will move around the room getting the teams to talk to each other and to me. The eight wines are served in pairs with the bottles covered – each pair features wines made from the same grape variety with one coming from France and the other an equivalent from a new world country. The teams have to guess which of the two wines is the French wine, what the grape variety is and which country the new world wine is from. I give them all clues and a limited number of choices so that it’s not hard, and by the end of the evening everyone will be getting pretty close anyway as they will have learnt the differences by taste. It’s very informal and a really good laugh. The winning team wins a bottle of fizz and there’s a raffle for a good bottle at the end of the event.

I offer a 15% discount on the wines for orders taken on the night (minimum 6 bottles) and there would be free delivery of all orders within 30 miles of Oxford – otherwise £9.99 nationwide next day delivery per drop. Costings are all inclusive of all wines, presentation fee and travel expenses. I provide tasting sheets, pens, order forms and champagne buckets for discarded wine.

Cost - £20 inc VAT all inclusive per person with 18 people minimum – this doesn’t mean that I can’t run the game with less people than 18 (12 or even 9 works fine) but less than 18 people is charged as 18 x £20 (£360.00). There are also discounts for numbers above 30.

(Please note that I am unable to run this event in The Oxford Wine Cafe itself due to space and cost issues).

For booking and further information please contact Theo on 01865 301144 or email me with your number and I’ll call you to discuss your requirements.

Tasting testimonials

Hi Theo,
Many thanks for a great evening last night. We’ve all been talking about it this morning, everyone really enjoyed themselves. It was a perfect combination of fun and learning about wine along the way - such a good team event. I’ll be telling lots of friends and colleagues about it! Thanks again,

The RM Learning Platforms Team

Massive thanks must go to Theo for hosting such a highly entertaining evening of wine tasting and great food at the Officers' Mess.  His anecdotes and interaction with the guests provided the perfect atmosphere to the sampling of what was an eclectic and expertly matched selection of wines. We look forward to inviting him back to similar events in the future.

Tom Roffe-Silvester, Medical Corps, Sandhurst Military Academy


We did not really know what to expect when we organised a neighbours’ wine tasting at home. It is rare for us to agree about anything but we were all unanimous in what a fascinating, informative and fun evening it was. Sadly glasses of wine consumed over the years did not equal points scored in the team quiz but we enjoyed the learning just as much as the supping. Theo has a relaxed and friendly approach, was able to answer our many questions and his vast knowledge seeped through the event making everyone feel that maybe they did know something about wine! We just want to do it all over again now!

Wendy Greenberg, Oxford


Great fun! Learnt loads! Well done Theo.

Helen Webb, Central Retail Director, Sainsburys


The blind wine tasting was an excellent event which was thoroughly enjoyed by all of our group. Theo's knowledge and enthusiasm coupled with a well-constructed format ensure that in-depth knowledge of wines is not essential for a really enjoyable event. Thanks again for a great evening!

Matt Booker, Neftex Global Resource Geoscience


Just wanted to say a big thank you for the very enjoyable wine tasting session that you hosted at the B4 Miele event. Although it was short, it was packed with really good info. Really enjoyed it, cheers!

Martin Matthews, Blueprint Imaging Ltd


Theo - we really enjoyed the wine tasting session that you put on for us last week – it was well thought out, informative and a great deal of fun; the perfect combination for our company away day. You are obviously very passionate about wine, and this really came through in the session. Thanks for a very memorable few hours.

Kate McEnery-Evans, Discovery Research Ltd


Dear Theo,
Many thanks for the fun evening you gave us at the Hanney Wine Circle meeting last night. Many people said how much they enjoyed it and one member said it was "the best ever" Wine Circle evening! A high accolade considering how many great evenings we have had!
Kind Regards,

Valerie Calderbank, Chair HWC


The blind tasting challenge was great fun and all my friends have said how much they enjoyed it.  It was an excellent way to start a party and a great ice breaker to get different groups of people talking.  Thank you very much for handling the tipsy banter so well.

 Joan Robson, Abingdon


We booked the Oxford Wine Company for a wine tasting for a hen party and it was a great start to the weekend. We had a blind tasting challenge of new and old world wine and Theo was a great host making the session both great fun and informative. We had the tasting in the function room in the Portabello Restaurant which was great and had a drink in the bar afterwards. The staff in the restaurant were very friendly and it was nice to chat about the event afterwards over a drink. The raffle was an extra bonus and added to the entertainment.

 Lizzy Clapham, Oxford


I was tasked with organising a fun, informal event for several clients and colleagues. Theo and his blind tasting challenge encouraged healthy competition and lively banter throughout the evening and I have received excellent feedback from all who attended!

Jemma Risk, Marketing Executive, Marks & Clerk LLP


We often have visitors from overseas and this time thought we would try something a little different – Theo’s Blind Tasting Challenge. It was just what the doctor ordered. It’s competitive nature yet jovial presentation transcended the international group in the room so that everyone could relate to the game and everyone enjoyed it immensely.  We all found it really informative and a great team building event. And two things were proven on the night: wherever you come from in the world we can all enjoy a good wine - and that the French do not necessarily make all the best wines!

Jarl SevernManaging Director, Owen Mumford


Just thought I would drop you a quick line to say thank you very much for a great event last night. Everyone really enjoyed the wine tasting and had a fantastic time. I very much hope that we can organise another wine tasting again soon, potentially in Oxford this time so it is a bit closer for you!

Lindsay Allen, Field Seymour Parkes LLP


Theo - I just wanted to say a huge thank you for our blind tasting challenge on Saturday evening.  It was very professionally run, informative and enjoyed by everyone. The team aspect worked very well. Everyone was saying it was the best wine tasting event they've ever been to, so there you go.
Good call on the Portabello Restaurant too. Most of us had steaks I think!

 Mark Oughtred, Oxford