Fizz and Ships: Celebrate Liverpool’s maritime heritage and enjoy wine too

Fizz and Ships: The background

I love where Iive. I’m not a native of these here parts but when I moved to Liverpool I just knew it would always be a very special place for me.

It’s fascinating to walk along the docksides and feel the history, the sense of people’s emotions of those who have gone before.

It’s a special place.

Now I’m joining forces with another journo to share the love – and it’s happening because we both moved on from our roles in regional newspapers and are creating new pathways for ourselves.

When I left my job a few months ago I had a farewell lunch with my boss and, as journos, we couldn’t help but randomly throw wine-themed creative ideas around (helped along by one or two glasses of sauvignon blanc).

My boss (I’ll call him Neil because that’s his name) suggested Fizz and Ships – and it struck a chord. How wonderful to share my love of wine with the fascination I have for this region.

Jane Clare & Peter Elson

I knew exactly who to approach, my one-time colleague Peter Elson (above, right) who is THE journalist in the know when it comes to all things maritime in Liverpool.

I also wanted to hold our launch event at The Chancery restaurant in the city centre as Gary Adlen supported me when I started down this wine glass-shaped future.

There we have it  – we’re setting sail with our new venture. Here’s the official press release, composed by Peter.

(Thanks to another ex-colleague, Tony McDonough, for some terrific photos despite the windiest, chilliest night at the Pier Head.)


Fizz And Ships: The Maiden Voyage
Jane Clare and Peter Elson – Pictures by Tony McDonough (@tonymc39 – Twitter)

A NEW entertainment will be launched this month combining two of Merseyside’s favourite interests: Maritime history and drinking, in a fun but responsible way – obviously.

Two well-known Liverpool journalists, Jane Clare and Peter Elson, are steaming into port with Fizz and Ships, the city’s first ever ship-themed wine tasting.

Inspired by the city’s once phenomenal seaborne services, the event will be based around the wines found at ports of call or aboard liners during the golden age of sea travel.

The wine tastings will be interspersed with entertaining words and evocative pictures about the ships and the seafarers who made Liverpool’s name – and humour – world famous.   

Fizz And Ships will make its Maiden Voyage on Sunday, 27 May, 2018, at the Chancery Bar & Restaurant, with a two hour wine world cruise to give armchair sailors a taste of deep sea travel. 

Jane, the wine lady, and Peter, the ship man, bring together their formidable experience of more years than they care to remember, to quench Merseysiders’ deep thirst for learning about these fascinating subjects.

Peter said: “We’ve accumulated so much knowledge about our interests that it’d be unfair to keep it to ourselves or continue to inflict it on our families.

Jane Clare and Peter Elson Liverpool Fizz and Ships

“Our Fizz And Ships guests will voyage across a virtual world of the seven seas, enjoying sparkling wines and, hopefully, sparkling anecdotes, by simply raising their glasses. What’s not to like?”

Jane said: “I like to think of our new Fizz And Ships events as ‘winetertainment’. Although wine tasting can be perceived as geeky, in fact we’re far from that!”

“All our events will begin and end with a glass of fizz and in the middle will be a voyage of discovery both in maritime history and the world of wine.”


Fizz and Ships: How to book
  • Fizz And Ships – The Maiden Voyage, at 3pm, Sunday, 27 May, The Chancery Bar & Restaurant, 98 Paradise St, Liverpool L1 3HE.
  • Cost: £39.95 per head (includes five wines and a food platter).
  • Call Jane on 0779 5121003 for details on how to book, or for further information.
  • Or go directly to this link to buy tickets online: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fizz-and-ships-the-maiden-voyage-tickets-45759667397
  • If you’d like a Fizz and Ships talk for your own venue or club then please get in touch – 07795 121003

Oddbins launches The Palate to find finest amateur wine-taster

If you fancy yourself as a  savvy amateur wine-taster, then Oddbins’ The Palate contest might be the perfect place to show off your skills.

The High Street and online chain is launching its 2015 search for the ultimate amateur palate.  The competition is now in its fourth year and last year 21,000 people took part.

The first rounds are taking place at the Taste of London food and drink festival until June 21, and then in all  Oddbins shops  over this coming weekend, June 20 & 21 and then the following week, June 27 & 28.

So you’d better start training with a  sniff,  a swirl and a slurp.

Wine critic and educator Sarah Ahmed, a mentor and judge for The Palate,  says: “It is an incontrovertible fact that many, many people feel too intimidated to taste wine confidently and The Palate plays a vital role in demystifying and democratising the world of wine.

Oddbins' The Palate contest
Oddbins’ The Palate contest

“It’s about showing people that anyone can do it – and it was truly moving to see people on that journey from self-doubt to confidence last year.”

As well as the title of The Palate 2015, entrants can win: a ‘wine holiday’ to South Africa; a long weekend in Italy; a day course at the Raymond Blanc Cookery School; wine prizes totalling £3,000; much free wine; and the chance to pick a wine for Oddbins to list nationwide.

After Round One,  contestants are then whittled down over four rounds, culminating in wine Boot Camps  and then an intense final, filmed at a glitzy London location.

For Oddbins shops, please click here.