Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Wine Challenge - Round 3

It seems ages ago since I started planning our 100 wine and cheese challenge We've visited North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa so this round was dedicated to Europe (but not France as that comes next)

And so to Europe -

I had sourced 20 wines from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Germany but due to this round being in holiday season we were only a group of 10 so I saved the five best wines for our final tasting in November. This will be a celebration tasting with bubbly and wines costing a little more than the £4.50 budget per bottle for each of the other rounds.

The original line up of 20 wines
We started the evening with two bubblies - a Cava and a German sparkling rosé. I was quite surprised to find the Cava a new tasting for most people and they were surprised to discover it is made exactly the same way as champagne, tastes fantastic but costs 'slightly less'.

These are the whites (and sparkling rosé) we tasted first:

Montcadi Cava - Spain - this was from Morrison's £4.99, a lovely light cava.
Prince de Sabatier - Germany - a blended sparkling rosé which I discovered on the shelf in our local Co-op £4.00
Liebfraumilch - Germany - a well loved favourite with the ladies, and a great buy at £3.29 from Lidl
Hock - Germany - a jolt from the past for most who had not had this wine for many years. Everyone was surprised how easy drinking it was and at £3.99 from Morrison's will be on a few people's 'patio' drinking list.
Dino Chardonnay - Italy - a good example of chardonnay from Tesco £3.74
Canti Chardonnay - Italy - this bottle was donated by out local Tesco store and was the preferred chardonnay of the two.
Las Primas Sauvignon Blanc - Spain - over the tastings people have come to prefer sauvignon blanc to chardonnay and this was another favourite of the night, £3.37 Tesco
Soave - Italy - a first for many but far too light for most, a good buy at £3.99 from Morrison's

After all these whites it was cheese time - and what a lot of cheese there was as we had catered for 20. The challenge is to also try 100 cheeses and it was getting harder to find 20 new cheeses to try but we did.

20 cheeses with their flag labels
Our 20 cheeses were:

  • Igor gorgonzola
  • Morrison's NUME 50% reduced fat chive & onion soft cheese
  • Morrison's NUME 50% reduced fat garlic & herb soft cheese
  • Morrison's Mexicana sweet chilli cheddar
  • Dairylea triangles
  • Morrison's Somerset brie
  • Morrison's Scottish mature coloured cheddar
  • Go Dutch edam
  • Morrison's mature cheddar and spring onion
  • Castello Danish blue
  • Morrison's Mexicana cheese
  • Morrison's mini camembert
  • Morrison's gouda
  • Morrison's double Gloucester with onion & chives
  • Morrison's Welsh mature cheddar slices
  • Primula original cheese
  • Babybel mini original
  • Morrison's mild white cheddar
  • Morrison's Austrian smoked cheese
  • Almette light soft cheese

The gorgonzola was very popular as was Morrison's gouda, although their Mexicana was a little hot for some. We did have a chuckle at Dairylea triangles and Primula cheese in a tube, back to our younger days.

It was rosé wine next and I couldn't do a European tasting without one of the most famous rosé - if only for the bottle shape.

Marqués de Caranó garancha, shiraz - Spain - quite a deep rosé that wasn't too sweet, £3.67 Tesco
Mateus rosé - Portugal - loved by all, another flash back to the past £3.74 Tesco

Only two rosé wines this time but another pause for a little more cheese and to draw the raffle. We've been so lucky with our prizes, I have had many items donated and have found a few wine related gifts in my 'pressie' cupboard at home. The Paddock wine was from Calais Wine Superstore (if you've been following our challenge you'll remember they sent a box a six) and the mini Friexenet was from Tesco - thanks to both companies.

Raffle prizes

Just 5 reds to finish, as I mentioned I 'saved' some for our November finale. It is always the whites and rosé that the ladies prefer and the men the reds, so by now the chaps are ready for their favourites.

Valencia - Spain - this wine was donated by my Mum as she had won it in a raffle and doesn't like red wine. It was an easy drinking blend.
Revero Tinto - Spain - the label on this blend was very striking £3.00 Tesco
Las Primas Temparillo - Spain - a lighter red from Tesco £3.37
Canti Sangiovese Melot - Italy - this was donated by our local Tesco store. It was a deeper red with a touch of spice.
Campo Viejo Rioja - Spain - this was a special bottle as it was donated by two of our group members to raise a toast to their first grandchild, Mollie.
Rioja is a deep red wine and I wanted to bring out the rich flavour so I had some chorizo for everyone to try. First a sip without, then the spicy sausage, then more wine - everyone was amazed at the difference. Some had not tried either spicy sausage or rioja before feeling both were too strong. It's been great to see everyone learn more about wine and food as we've done this challenge - discovering not all grapes taste the same, wine is different from different places and how wine matches to some foods. The rioja and chorizo was a hit, especially with Mollie's proud grandparents.
Special thanks for this round to:
Jan and Keith Cornford
Beveley and Alan Mycock
The donations of wine and raffle prizes is a HUGE help with this challenge as it is difficult with a £4.50 budget for wine. Our next tasting is France and we're hoping to bring some home from our holidays to include in the selection, the cheese too.

Cheers !!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like another successful evening, well done.


I'm so pleased you're enjoying my travel and wine ramblings - I love reading your replies too, thank you for posting a comment