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Wine expert & TV personality Olly Smith hosts 'Wine & Cheese with DKMS'

This World Blood Cancer Day (28 May), DKMS will be hosting Wine & Cheese night, a live interactive virtual tasting which will celebrate the perfect match of wine and cheese – and the lifesaving matches of our blood stem cell donors with people fighting blood cancer or blood disorders.

Last updated: 25/05/2021

The evening will raise much needed funds via GoFundMe, to help us to continue our lifesaving work, as well as raising a glass to celebrate the 800,000+ people across the UK who have registered with DKMS as potential blood stem cell donors. Each may one day be a ‘perfect match’ for someone in urgent need of a lifesaving transplant.

We’re delighted to be joined by multi-award winning wine expert, TV personality, author and columnist Olly Smith, who will be leading the event and sharing his world renowned expertise to help us find the perfect wines to match with a variety of cheeses. Olly will also be answering your questions live, so this is sure to be an entertaining and informative evening. Named as among the top 75 most influential people in the UK wine trade, it’s safe to say Olly knows a thing or two about his subject. As well as fifteen years appearing on BBC Saturday Kitchen, he has a string of TV credits to his name, a weekly wine column in The Mail on Sunday’s You Magazine and hosts his own drinks podcast ‘A Glass With’ which, now in its ninth series, has seen Olly sharing a glass with a dazzling array of celebrity guests including Kylie Minogue, P!NK, Sting, Sam Neill and Dawn French.

Author of five books (his latest ‘Fizz’) and winner of a slew of drinks awards, the only thing that Olly is more enthusiastic about than a glass of wine, is sharing it.

The event, which will be free to attend via DKMS YouTube & Facebook channels, will last one hour, during which Olly will talk us through five different wines – each easily available and affordable. The recommended ‘wine list’ and suggested cheese pairings will be available prior to the event so you can stock up!

Whilst the event is free to join, we are asking that you help us turn Olly’s perfect matches into lifesaving matches by making a donation to DKMS via GoFundMe, while enjoying your evening.

Olly said: “I am delighted to be working with DKMS on this brilliant campaign. They are a fantastic charity doing incredible lifesaving work, and I’m proud to be playing my part in the fight against blood cancer. We’re going to have great fun, enjoy some delicious wine and cheese, and maybe learn a thing or two along the way – all whilst raising much needed funds for this important cause.”

International wine judge Helen McGinn is also backing the campaign. Hugely respected for her wine expertise in TV and in print, Helen spent ten years as a supermarket buyer sourcing wines around the world, before setting up her award-winning blog (and now best-selling wine book) The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club. She is the drinks writer for the Daily Mail Femail Magazine and regularly appears on TV’s Saturday Kitchen and This Morning.

Helen said: “This is an incredibly important cause, and I am proud to support the work that DKMS do in finding matching blood stem cell donors for people fighting blood cancer. This event is sure to be a lot of fun with Olly at the helm, and it’s not everyday you’re able to say you are playing your part in helping to save lives with a glass of wine in hand.” Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with blood cancer. Often their only hope of survival is a blood stem cell transplant from a stranger. At DKMS, we work to add as many potential lifesavers to the global blood stem cell register as possible, so that more people in need can find their perfect blood stem cell match.

Adding each potential life saver to the register costs DKMS £40 and we rely on the generosity of our supporters and fundraisers to do our work. That’s where you (and wine and cheese) come in! By taking part in this event, you’ll be helping to give more people with blood cancer and blood disorders a second chance at life.

Wine & Cheese with DKMS will take place at 6pm on 28 May, live via DKMS’ Facebook and YouTube channels. For more information, and to register your interest, please visit dkms.org.uk/wine.