Q&A with Elizabeth Hawthornwaite, founder of Elizabeth & Wine

Inspired Villages chats with Elizabeth Hawthornthwaite, founder of Elizabeth & Wine – a company that offers bespoke wine tasting experiences. Elizabeth runs wine tasting classes for residents at Inspired Villages and is creating a series of wine tasting tutorials available for everyone on Inspired Villages’ Virtual Village Centre from today.  


Tell us about your background,  how you came to set up Elizabeth & Wine and what your company does? 

I started my career running bars and restaurants in the City of London before opening my business in 2018. I love working with people and creating amazing experiences for people to enjoy.  My business - Elizabeth & Wine - delivers wine tastings, events and consultancy, aimed at demystifying wine and making the world of wine more fun and accessible. 


Why is wine such an important beverage in your opinion? 
Because wine and food are a perfect marriage. Wine can enhance the flavours of food and transform how things taste. Wine relaxes us and enables conversation and social interaction. Wine is an ever-changing world and has been part of human society since before Christ!


What’s your favourite white wine? 

It changes daily depending on my mood, what I am eating and who I am with. That said my preferred grape variety is Burgundian Chardonnay, I love buttery and nutty wines with fresh minerality. 


What’s your favourite red wine? 
Has to be Pinot Noir from New Zealand at the moment, it is a hidden gem. This is a lighter-style red wine that can be drunk alone and also goes well with food like pork but also things like shellfish.


What’s your top tip for pairing the right wine with a meal? 
Top tip, break the rule book and go with whatever is your favourite!


How do you pick the winemakers you work with?  
I like to work with independent winemakers who make wine with passion and love. Equally important to me is working with winemakers who respect the environment and work in balance with nature, as I believe this creates the best quality of wines. 


What’s been the most fun event you’ve worked on?
Every day is fun for me, as its always different. One of the best days out was with a group from Inspired Villages when we visited Exton Park Vineyard, Hampshire. The residents asked Kit the vineyard manager about every flower and plant and he was extremely impressed with the residents’ knowledge and interest. Kit said their knowledge level was “more than most wine critics and journalist”.


What will we be seeing from you on our Virtual Village Centre over the coming weeks? 
We will be bringing the vineyards to the village virtually and meeting winemakers. I will be interviewing winemakers from across the world for an hour-long chat about their wines, passion and journey. 

We’re also introducing ‘Wine Wednesdays’, a Facebook live session where any viewers, not just residents, can join a wine tasting with me and learn more about a specific grape variety. Also in the pipeline are some really fun ‘blind’ wine tastings and continuing our masterclasses for residents.

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