Have you always wanted to know a bit more about the wine you were drinking but were afraid you'd never be able to detect "a hint of the forest floor" or "raspberries fresh from the vine"?

Well, I've discovered the place to do just that. The Village Quaffers, run by Advintage Wines in Havelock North.

I went along last month and not only did I learn a thing or two about wine tasting, I also laughed a lot and talked to total strangers about the varieties we were tasting.

Read more: Linda Hall: Door knocking sets knees knocking
Linda Hall: Grand parade packs in fun, spectacle

Advertisement

It was so much fun trying wines I would never otherwise get to experience.

Like most people, I stick to the ones I know for fear of disappointment (and wasting my money).

The other big drawcard is the Advintage owners, their family and staff. They were all fantastic.

John (Mac) Macpherson was the MC and he was witty, knowledgeable and made the evening one I'm looking forward to repeating.

He said the Village Quaffers is a wine club for everyday people.

"It's for people who have been too busy drinking wine to ask questions.

"We are a like-minded group of locals who meet each month to try some interesting, affordable wines - with the odd showstopper thrown in to remind everyone what the really good stuff tastes like.

"Expect to learn lots in a fun, down to earth environment."

We tried eight wines. The first was a Summerhouse Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough.

I'm a sav lover so I expected to like this and I did.

I swirled it in the glass which Mac said increases the aroma, smelt it, then had a mouthful which I swirled in my mouth from front to back as instructed.

Mac asked us questions such as "does the flavour persist", something I'd never thought about.

"It's more than just a wet drink. Think about the flavours."

The room buzzed with chatter as people discussed the wine.

I won't go through the entire eight tastings in detail but just to give you an idea of the variety, I'll tell you what we tried.

After the sav there was an Urlar Riesling 2014, Martinborough; followed by a Mt Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Gris 2016, Central Otago; then a Big Villa Reserve Chardonnay 2015, Hawke's Bay.

Then came Perrin Cotes du Ventoux 2016, Southern Rhone, France (this was my favourite); then a Big Villa Reserve Syrah 2014, Hawke's Bay.

Next we tasted Big Villa Reserve Merlot Cabernet 2013, Hawke's Bay and finished off with the delicious Big Villa Reserve Noble Riesling 2014, Hawke's Bay. It was like drinking nectar.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and I went home with some lovely wines that I knew I was going to enjoy at amazing prices.

I had also learned about their background story and a bit more about wine tasting, thanks to Mac.

I'm looking forward to seeing what's on offer this month. I've got my tickets.

• Linda Hall is Hawke's Bay Today's assistant editor.