Public Tastings February-July 2020

Please find below my schedule of tasting dates for the second half of 2019. If you are buying the tasting as a gift then please let me know and I will create a voucher for you. 

If you are interested in a private tasting at home or other venue then please contact me on the details below. 

Wine & Food Pairing Dinners, Speldhurst

The Wine Dinners Series is held at my home in Speldhurst, Tunbridge Wells where I prepare freshly cooked meals to pair up with wines selected from local retailers.  The aim of these evenings is to try some different wines and foods in a relaxed and comfortable setting where you will pick up tips and advice on wine and more specifically on food and wine matching.  These evenings are limited to a maximum of 12 guests.


Yotam Ottolenghi Wine and Food Pairing Dinner FULLY BOOKED

March 27 8, 7.30pm, 18 Roopers, Speldhurst, £60 per person 8 places available

This is a follow on from the hugely popular Ottolenghi dinners run in 2018; further recipes from the Israeli-born chef who works wonders with flavours from the Mediterranean and Middle East.  Drinks on arrival will be followed by a minimum of 6 wines alongside 5 dishes. 

Greek Wine Dinner 2 PLACES REMAINING

June 26, 7.30pm, 18 Roopers, Speldhurst, £60 per person

Exciting things are happening on the Greek wine scene thanks to a solid wine heritage and some fresh, dynamic new producers who are determined to increase our interest in their wines.  Greek cuisine is full of delicious possibilities to pair with the wines and I will be cooking dishes from the Real Greek recipe book, among others.

Wine School at The Secret Cellar, Tunbridge Wells

The Wine School is a series of tutored wine tastings I run at the Secret Cellar Bar in Tunbridge Wells.  The evenings give guests the opportunity to learn more about wine in a relaxed and informal setting.  Please see below for full details of the tasting programme for the first half of 2020:


February 5Wines from England, Germany & Austria, £35 per person 9 PLACES REMAINING

The English wine scene is dominated by the huge success of its sparkling wines but England has some beautiful whites and reds to offer too.  Germany is a country often forgotten when we make our wine choices but has some stunning whites and elegant reds to offer as well delicious dessert wines.  Austria is one of Europe’s pioneers on the organic and biodynamic wine scene and produces some really pure, clean, vibrant wines.  We will taste a mix of white, red and dessert wine at this Northern European tasting.

March 4Wines from South Africa, £40 per person                 16 PLACES REMAINING  

South African wines have for some time been very popular with UK drinkers, thanks largely to a marked increase in quality and variety.  The country’s reds are bold and vibrant and feature some interesting blends of different grape varieties.  Its whites, from refreshing, tropical Chenin Blancs through to serious Chardonnays, offer the chance to try classic grape varieties from cooler New World coastal regions.  This tasting will take a look at both whites and reds and will cover as many different regions of South Africa as possible.

March 25Wines from Spain, £35 per person                                7 PLACES REMAINING

Spain has far more to offer than Rioja and Cava.  From crisp, fresh whites and vibrant, elegant reds from the North, to stunning reds from the Ribera del Duero and blockbusters from the warmer areas, this is a very diverse wine producing country.  We cannot cover all 69 regions in one evening, but we’ll have a very good try! 

May 13Hidden Gems III, £37.50 per person                            6 PLACES REMAINING

The third in our series of Hidden Gems tastings where we will focus on bottles from the Secret Cellar that you might not necessarily choose yourself, a selection of left field wines that will hopefully pleasantly surprise your taste buds and open your minds further to something a little different.  There will be a range of colours, styles and grape varieties to discover.  You do not need to have attended the other two evenings to enjoy this one.

June 3Wines from Chile & Argentina, £35 per person    12 PLACES REMAINING

We are consuming an increasing amount of Argentinian wines in the UK and this tasting will demonstrate why the country’s wines have become so popular.   Whilst showcasing a couple of contrasting styles of Malbec, the country’s most popular grape in the UK, we will taste other reds and some delicious whites.

Chile is renowned for producing very drinkable, flavoursome and commercial styles of wine.  However, a new wave of Chilean producers has set out to show that Chile can do more than that, producing exciting, premium wines of unique character.   This tasting will give you a greater understanding of these two giants of the South American wine scene while enjoying some very flavoursome wines.

July 1Southern Italy including Sicily, £35 per person            13 PLACES REMAINING

Southern Italy includes mountainous Campania, Puglia- Italy’s fertile ‘heel’- and the exciting and dynamic island of Sicily.  During this tasting you will discover more of Italy’s plethora of interesting and unique indigenous grape varieties and learn about how these wine regions, traditionally lagging behind the rest of Italy in terms of quality and excitement, are turning around their production and making some fantastic, particularly great value for money wines with bags of flavour and character.

What Is Included

Each Wine School tasting includes a minimum of 8 different wines, some cheeses and charcuterie, tasting sheets and fully tutored tasting by Jo Maclean.  Jo has spent her career in the wine industry, running a wine shop in Hong Kong, travelling through Europe whilst buying wines for Oddbins and as the Head of Marketing for one of the oldest sparkling wine producers in the world.


Each tasting will start at 7.30pm and should finish around 9.30pm. 


The Secret Cellar, 43-45 Church Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1JT.

How to Book

Email or call Jo Maclean to book and pay for your place: or 07967 814 224.  Following a booking, places will be held for 7 days and will be confirmed only after receipt of payment.  Places cancelled less than 4 weeks before the tasting cannot be refunded. 

Jo Maclean

07967 814 224