Mon 21 Oct - Mon 23 Jun

Wine Tasting

Programme Prices Lecturer Sponsor Terms & conditions


Among the most popular cheese & wine tastings in London, our sessions are back with a new season that will take you on a gastronomical journey across France. For over 15 years, we’ve helped Londoners sample the most refined wines and delicious cheeses while learning a host of interesting facts about their origins and production. With the best wines and cheeses, the expertise of our wine lecturer Sandy Leckie, a convivial atmosphere, and the prestigious setting of our Art Deco listed library or elegant Victorian lounges, you are guaranteed to spend a delightful evening!
Each session is in English, start at 7.00pm and last about 2 hours. We aim to make them as interactive and informative as possible: you will taste six specially selected wines and during certain sessions, an accompaniment of wonderful cheeses, courtesy of our partner, Androuet.


An Introduction to Wine Tasting

Mon 21 Oct 13 | Regular Tasting

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Wine tasting is both an art and a science. In this first session, we will look at the key elements of wine – acidity, tannin, alcohol and fruit – and learn how to apply a ‘systematic’ approach to tasting without getting too serious.

Le Tour de France

Mon 4 Nov 13 | Cheese & Wine

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France has the distinction of producing more fine wine in a broader range of styles than any other country. Small wonder that these wines have come to be regarded as benchmarks by wine-makers elsewhere. This ‘virtual’ tour will take you to Alsace, the Loire and Rhône Valleys, Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne and allow you to discover what makes the classic wines of France so distinctive.

The Wines of Bordeaux

Mon 25 Nov 13 | Regular Tasting

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The Bordeaux region is the largest fine wine area in the world. It produces a wide variety of quality wines – whites from dry to very sweet and reds from the austerely elegant to the richly complex.

Champagne vs Sparkling Wine

Mon 2 Dec 13 | Special Tasting

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Champagne is always associated with elegance, style and celebration. But there are many quality sparkling wines made around the world using the same grape varieties and method of production. Can we tell which are from Champagne and which are not? The bottles will have their labels covered!
You will have the opportunity to taste Mumm & Perrier-Jouët champagnes, courtesy of Pernod-Ricard and Sparkling de Léoube, courtesy of Château Léoube.

champagne-mumm   champagne-perrier-jouet

The Wines of Burgundy

Mon 20 Jan 14 | Cheese & Wine

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Burgundy, although a relatively small area, produces some of the finest red and white wines in the world. Come and experience the range and quality of the wines made in this great region.

The Rhône Valley

Mon 27 Jan 14 | Cheese & Wine

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The Rhône Valley produces some of the most accessible and best value wines in France. We will taste a selection of wines from the area including Condrieu, Tavel, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and, of course, Côtes-du-Rhône.


Old World vs New World

Mon 10 Feb 14 | Special Tasting

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It’s often said that France provides the ‘benchmarks’ against which most other wines are measured. We will explore this proposition by comparing three classic French wines – a white from Burgundy and reds from the Rhône Valley and Bordeaux – with leading examples from California, New Zealand and South Africa.

Fine Red Burgundy

Mon 24 Feb 14 | Special Tasting

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The Pinot Noir Grape variety produces some of the most sublime wines of Burgundy. We’ll taste a selection of fine expressions of the grape Pinot Noir from the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune, Burgundy’s ‘golden slopes’.


Mon 10 Mar 14 | Cheese & Wine

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Grapes have been grown in the foothills of the Pyrénées for over 2,500 years. Today, ‘new world’ wine making techniques are being used alongside the traditional, which means that the area produces a wide range of styles from crisp whites through robust reds to the classic dessert wines of Banyuls, Maury and Rivesaltes.

Classic Bordeaux – Part 1: Médoc and Graves

Mon 24 Mar 14 | Special Tasting

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The grape variety Cabernet Sauvignon predominates in the classic red wines of Médoc and Graves on Bordeaux’s ‘left bank’, which means they need careful cellaring to soften and develop in complexity. We will taste four mature reds and a pair of contrasting whites from these areas.


Mon 7 Apr 14 | Regular Tasting

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Alsace is one of our favourite regions of France – great food, and great wine! The wines, which are mainly full-flavoured, dry and white are the perfect match for the rich cuisine of the region.

Classic Bordeaux – Part 2: Saint-Emilion, Pomerol and Fronsac

Mon 28 Apr 14 | Special Tasting

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The extensive use of the grape variety Merlot in the reds of St-Emilion, Pomerol and Fronsac on Bordeaux’s ‘right bank’ means that they are typically softer in style and mature earlier than those of the ‘left bank’ where Cabernet Sauvignon predominates.


The Loire Valley

Mon 12 May 14 | Regular Tasting

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The Loire Valley is an area of outstanding beauty and historical interest. The wines from along the banks of France’s longest river are varied and fascinating. Come along and enjoy the ‘summery’ wines from the Loire Valley.


Levin Wines, a family owned and operated organic winery from the Loire Valley, committed to making world class wines, delivered from our domaine to your door.


Mon 19 May 14 | Cheese & Wine

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The very name ‘Provence’ makes us think about holidays, sunshine and good food. But how much do we know about the wines of this famous region? Innovation combined with a new sense of pride in the unique ‘history’ and ‘terroir’ of the region have given the winemakers fresh impetus to produce amazingly good wines.


Fine White Wines of Burgundy

Mon 23 June 14 | Special Tasting

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There is little doubt that Burgundy produces some of the finest dry white wines in the world. Our selection for this tasting will include two from Chablis in the north, a Chassagne-Montrachet, a Meursault and one each from the Côte Chalonnaise and the Mâconnais in the south of the region.


Wine Tasting Sessions Price Members**
1 Regular Tasting £30 £27
1 Special Tasting £36 £33
1 Cheese & Wine Tasting £42 £39


Special Offers* Price Members**
3 Regular sessions £84 £75
3 Special sessions £102 £93
3 different sessions Book 3 different sessions at the same time and receive a discount of £2 per session.

*Please note that special offers are only available when booking in
person or by phone.
**Please note that your membership number will be required for the



Sandy Leckie holds the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Diploma, and is an accredited international educator for French wines. He is a member of The Association of Wine Educators and Circle of Wine Writers and judges at the International Wine Challenge, Wine Magazine’s annual competition to find the best wines on the UK market. He has founded The Wine Education Service Limited (, one of the biggest independent wine schools in Europe and recently launched Wine Voyages Limited (, specialising in wine tourism.



Master Cheesemongers and maturing experts, the House of Androuet was established in Paris in 1909. Their London boutique and restaurant are based in Spitafields, a great place to eat out for lunch or dinner. They serve the best cheese & charcuterie board, burgers, main courses and a selection of nibbles, starters and sandwiches. Their menu features cheeses they sell in the shop, and is conceived and cooked using the freshest ingredients sourced from the best quality suppliers.


Terms & conditions

Advance booking and payment are essential.

The Institut français reserves the right to change or cancel any wine tasting session due to unforeseen circumstances. In the event of a cancellation, bookings can be exchanged for another similar session but we regret that money may not be refunded. The Institut français is unable to offer refunds on bookings once paid for and cannot accept responsibility for unforeseen changes in customers’ circumstances that may prevent attendance.



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