Relations have fermented between the Union’s Wine Society and the retailer Majestic Wines, after the club was allegedly “banned” from the company’s wine tasting sessions.
According to President Alex Fitzpatrick, he received a telephone call “completely out of the blue” informing him that the society was no longer welcome at Majestic’s free wine tasting courses.
“The company doesn’t want the society there,” Alex, a third-year Human Physiology student, told Leeds Student. “I’m shocked that this has come from nowhere, as we had such a good relationship when I took over as President.”
Since 2010, Majestic’s wine tasting sessions had been a regular date on the Wine Society’s calendar, with nearly 70 members enjoying the company’s hospitality.
Speaking to Leeds Student, Majestic’s spokesman Matt Philpott admitted that the company had struggled to accommodate the block bookings made by the society. “We have a very limited number of spots on the tasting courses available,” Mr Philpott stated. “We haven’t banned the society outright, but if they try to book up large numbers of places, I can’t say: ‘yes, that’s okay’.”
Mr Philpott stressed that all students are welcome to join the free tasting sessions offered at the company’s city centre store. “We can’t accommodate en mass bookings, but bookings of one or two are fine.”
Taking to social media, Alex has called for a boycott of Majestic, in response to their “completely wrong” treatment of the society. Writing on the LUU Wine Society Facebook page, he said, “Majestic clearly don’t want us as a society visiting them”; although he has conceded that suggestions by some members to “burn down” the shop were “a bit extreme.”
Budding sommeliers can join Wine Soc’s next tasting evening, to be held in the Union on February 19. For more information, see the society’s Facebook page.
Words: Max Bruges