On the grapevine

Those who tackled the Fiendish Quiz, will have learned that the new wine hotel on the banks of the Douro in Vila Nova de Gaia is The Yeatman, which opened last September.

Having seen the model of the hotel when it was still at the planning stage and then a mock-up of a room which was created in a warehouse, I was delighted to actually stay there just before Christmas. The hotel is set back into the hillside in Gaia, and all 82 rooms face the river and the historic city of Porto, providing spectacular views. Also spectacular is the infinity pool which was just a bit too chilly for me to enjoy in December, so I made do with the indoor pool which also shares the same fabulous views. The rooms have wine names, not numbers and each one is individually decorated by a Portuguese wine company. The food was terrific and the wine list is already a legend. This is just the kind of place to be whisked away to for a few days' holiday where you can enjoy a good food, good wine, an excellent spa, then a stroll into the rather chic parts of Gaia for a sampling or two of port. www.the-yeatman-hotel.com

Burns night supper

Join Eddie Ludlow of The Whisky Lounge on Friday January 28 at The Cedar Court Grand in York for a three-course Burns night supper. There will be haggis, neeps and tatties with whisky and wine included. Tickets cost 50, ring 01904 380038 for more details.

Tastings time

The Whisky Lounge is also holding blind tastings in Leeds (February 25) and York (February 26) of whiskies from three distilleries, comparing independent bottlings against distillery bottlings. This is a challenge to the tastebuds, but you do get to know which is which, after you have tasted them. Tickets to each tasting event cost 22. Check out the Whisky Lounge website, www.thewhiskylounge.com or ring Eddie Ludlow on 07515 854210.

Sipping society

Martinez Wines in Ilkley hold regular tastings on the first Tuesday of the month starting on February 1 with an informal tasting of six wines. The theme is "left-overs" but that has quite a different meaning in Martinez terms, with a white Burgundy, a Julinas and a wine from Toro in the line-up so far. Tickets cost 10 and the tastings start at 7.30pm. Ring Jackie on 01943 600000 for more details.

YP MAG 15/1/11

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