However, as the Bakerie is split into two and as this is specifically about the wine tasting, I'll save anything about its other elements for another time.
I don't claim to be a wine buff in any shape or form. I like to drink it, I like to taste it (I mean really taste it, savour it), but as I mentioned in my Three Wine Men post, I'm just as guilty of picking a wine because of its bottle or name, as anyone else. On my second foray into the world of tasting, I'm learning a lot - and that's due to the people I'm meeting as much as the wine I'm drinking.
I won't go into huge detail over the wine - I'll leave that to the experts such as Everyman who is incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic and, even better, isn't one of those people who makes such a novice as myself feel like one. I'll concentrate on the experience itself, with a very brief lowdown on the wines we experienced.
The Bakerie leans on the utilitarian style - in fact anyone who went to my old high school will probably be reminded a little of our chemistry labs, though I can assure you the stools are a lot more comfortable and the floor, stencilled and covered with a heavy varnish, is a big improvement on cork tiles. Bread is everywhere, divine nutty little brown loaves, big focaccia style slabs and round rustic white twists. As bread is a big weakness of mine, I'd be at home with a bread tasting, let alone a wine tasting. Thankfully some of these gorgeous dough confections were on offer and so we settled down to dip them into a balsamic dressing and appreciate them ahead of the main event.
The tasting had been arranged by Origin Wines and Alban de Guerin, who is the Export Manager for Henri Bourgeois was our guide to the wines, the history and the grapes. 12 different wines were available for tasting and these ranged from whites to reds, with a single rosé. The majority of the wines were French in origin, but interestingly, the producer also has New Zealand wines available and four of these were presented to us during the evening.
Discussion flowed, descriptive words were thrown around - pebble, flint, mango and peach though I'm not sure the assertion of aisselle as a fragrance is quite what I want in a wine...
The evening ended in a role reversal, with the 'naughty' end of the table wandering off to Kro Piccadilly for some sustenance and a further glass or two, whilst the 'sensible' wandered off to sample the tropical delectations of Tiki Tuesday at Keko Moku.
Things I did learn during the evening:
Don't wear a strong scent to a tasting. It's likely to interfere with your experience of the wine.
There are no right or wrong answers. Everyone's palate is a little different.
Everything affects a wine's flavour. The weather that year, the climate, the ground it's grown in. You can taste the differences, even between the same wine produced a few years apart.
The world is a much smaller place than you imagine - and then even smaller than that.
Le Petit Bourgeois, France, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Quincy "Haute Victoire", France, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Sancerre Blanc "LA Vigne Blanche", France, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Pouilly Fume "Jeunes Vignes", France, Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Le Petit Clos Sauvignon, New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Clos Henri Sauvignon, New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Sancerre Blanc "Le M.D.", France, Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Sancerre Rose "Les Baronnes", France, Pinot Noir 2010
Sancerre Rouge "Les Baronnes", France, Pinot Noir 2009
Sancerre Rouge "Les Baronnes", France, Pinot Noir 2006
Le Petit Clos Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir, New Zealand, 2010
Clos Henri Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir, New Zealand 2008