Monday, 28 May 2012

Three Wine Men.... Indeed They Are

I don't pretend to know anything about wine. I know I like it. I usually know which I like and which I'm not so keen on. And I'm not afraid to try something new.

Also, I confess, I sometimes judge a wine by it's bottle.

Oz Clarke in full flow
You'll know from my previous, completely smug post, that I won the tickets to Three Wine Men on Sunday. Bringing my friend Lisa along for the ride, we set off, a little worried about being surrounded by wine snobs and frilly words that didn't mean anything.

The venue was MoSI, of which I am a fan of and not just because I like a steam train as much as the next person. We were greeted, immediately guided to where we needed to be and complimented on the way. What a lovely start...

Lisa ready to start
On entering, you receive your tasting glass to carry around with you and that's it, you're ready to start your tour. Lisa and I found ourselves wandering among the throng, admiring the crowd around the Booths stand and feeling perhaps a little overwhelmed as Oz Clarke whizzed by with a group of ladies and Tim Atkin began enthusing to a large group...

Jeremy Cook and myself
We then spotted Olly Smith, looking perhaps for someone specific, but we immediately leapt to our saviour. Within moments, having introduced ourselves, we were being guided towards a beautiful passion fruit scented wine, before being whisked on to the New Horizon stand and a Viognier (if some supplier doesn't snap these up, it would be a hellish shame...) and on to a Falanghina via the Co-operative.

Sadly Olly had to leave us, to dash off to a workshop, but we were feeling braver and wanted to investigate for ourselves. After a brief trip to the Ravenswood stand (wow), the Wines of Brasil stand (yummy) and the Barrica Wines stand (a little fizzy rose we could have taken away with us to sit in the garden with); we stopped by the Sparkling English Wines stand. Jeremy Cook, the Managing Director, took us through his three favourites on offer. I've drunk English wine before, but not like this. We tried three levels of sparkling white, from the crisp, to the rich and creamy. If you haven't tried any of their wines before, please let me heartily recommend them. They are fabulous.

Andy Green and myself at the Booths stand
Before we became tipsy, we went into the tasting organised by Andy Green and Booths themselves, our beneficiaries. This was a guide through the tastebuds - both how to taste to really appreciate  the drink and how foods meet drink in a delightful way. A beer with lime, a port with chocolate, a perry with a yummy Cornish Yarg and a wine with a lovely Cheshire Blue. All providing different flavours and textures. A real lesson to a non-expert like me.

All in all an excellent day spent tasting and learning - and not in a way that required huge amounts of effort or concentration. Olly in particular has a way of expressing ideas that make things easy to remember and stick in your mind. And Andy's lesson in tasting will stay with me.

For all of the above we thank them. Oh and come December, we'll be back again to learn some more.

Some of the wines we tasted:

The Co-operative:
The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2011, New Zealand
Rocca Vecchia Falanghina 2010, Italy
The Co-operative Fairtrade Organic Gran Reserva Malbec Argentina 2011, Argentina
Stork's Landing Pinot Noir Shiraz, 2010, Portugal

Pinot Gris 'Villa Wolf', Dr Loose, 2011, Germany
Zinfandel Rose, Bella Vie, 2010, Italy
Port 'Late Bottled Vintage', Quinta do Noval, 2005, Portugal

Ravenswood Winery:
Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel 2009, USA
Robert Mondavi Winery Private Selection Cabernet, 2010, USA

Wines of Brasil:
Miolo Brut Millesime Traditional Method 2008, Brazil
Miolo Pinot Grigio, 2011, Brazil
Rio Sol Chenin Blanc and Viognier, 2011, Brazil

New Horizon Wines:
Barboursville Vineyards Viognier, 2009, USA
Whitehall Vineyards Viognier, 2010, USA

Barrica Wines:
Casa Defra Raboso, Rose Frizzante, Italy
TYDY Sauvignon Vin de Pays due Val de Loire, 2011, France
Champ des Grillons Rose, Domaine La Croix Belle, 2010, France

Sparkling English Wines:
Court Garden Classic Civee, 2009, England
Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs, 2007, England
Gusbourne Brut Reserve, 2007, England

No comments:

Post a Comment