Friday, 28 November 2014

Majestic Winter Wine Tasting

Another great evening of wine - this time of year it seems there are many wine events on but what could be better on these cold wet winter evenings. Hubby and I took the train - thank you Cross Country, it's great to be able to reserve seats - to Leicester for Majestic's Winter Wine Tasting.

The shop was set up so we could browse along the aisles with tasting stations along the way - all the staff were really friendly and knowledgeable. It was a great atmosphere with many other wine enthusiasts chatting and tasting as we wandered around the room.

Nyetimber Classic Cuvée - our first English sparkling wine, full of bubbles in the glass, not as biscuit as champagne but a good bubbly, although the bubbles did disappear in the glass quite quickly.

As Caixas Godello Martin Codaz - another first, this wine's nose was full of melon and lemon, it's palette was lighter than I expected with a lovely lemon finish.

The King's Favour Sauvignon Blanc - my favourite grape and this New World wine was just lovely, a light gooseberry, elderflower nose with a good depth on the palette.

We also tasted Vigne Il Giardino Pinot Grigio and Chablis 1er Cru Fourchame Séguinot-Bordet, both were good wines as were Beefsteak Club Malbec and Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso La Casetta.

I surprised myself as I really liked these two riojas;

Vina Eguia Rioja Reserva with a beautiful deep fruit nose and a smooth slightly oaked dark fruit palette

Marques de Riscal Rioja with a deeper nose, fuller palette with a hint of vanilla

As well as wine the Majestic team had a beautiful tawny port.

Warre's Otima 10-year-old Tawny Port - such a beautiful colour, honeyed palette, with a nutty finish that just lasts and lasts - it was an endless after taste that gave more and more.

Warner Edwards were at the tasting with their superb gin. They take their 'farm's pure, natural spring water, grain spirit, hone-grown elderflower, plus ten other botanicals' to make a very good smooth gin.

And Purity Brewing Co. were presenting their wonderful range of beer - they are a Warwickshire brewery near Stratford-on-Avon who started in 2005 and produce 'high quality beers in a natural and sustainable way'.

Pure Gold has a light bitter taste with a beautiful golden colour, Mad Goose is a pale ale with citrus notes, and UBU a darker beer with a slightly sweeter taste, but my favourite was Saddle Back, a lovely dark beer with chocolate and coffee notes, just perfect.

It was a really good evening, thanks to everyone at Majestic and the representatives from Warner Edwards & Purity Brewing Co.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Bosworth Wine Tasting

Back in February 2011 Hubby and I had an amazing weekend at Bosworth Hall Hotel with Thirty Fifty hosting a wine tasting. This weekend we travelled the vast distance of 10 miles for another such mini-break, this time joined by friends making us a lively party of 9.

Bosworth Hall Hotel is a Grade II listed building that once belonged to the Dixie family and is located just outside Market Bosworth, which is not far from Bosworth Battlefield (1485) - its a beautiful building now a hotel with 192 en-suite rooms.

Bosworth Hall Hotel
Gardens at the far rear of the hotel
Beautiful architecture
Back of the hotel with Bosworth church
The weekend was all inclusive style - all meals were included with the wine tasting all day Saturday. The meals were mainly carvery style buffets, limited choice but adequate. Our room was huge with furniture to match the style of the Hall.

Saturday was wine tasting day with Thirty Fifty - Robert & Rob did a great job of entertaining us for 6 hours as well as sharing their knowledge of wine, all accompanied by a variety of wine - tasting total at the end of the day ..... 17 !!

A great start - 13% chardonnay packed with
honey and lemon
A second chardonnay but this time a
New World wine - lots of vanilla
The first red - slightly spiced,
damson fruited chianti
A light white from Spain that went
well with our lunch
Marmalade and ginger sweet wine
 - perfect with dessert
Rich red fruited Malbec from Argentina
A light example of sauvignon blanc
A syrupy vanilla filled chardonnay

A great opportunity to try a variety of wines, Old World and New World. The Gewurztraminer white in the blind tasting was superb, as was the Viognier. A really fun day filled with new ideas and wine facts.
And so to next weekend when Hubby and I present the Grande Finale in our 100 Wine Challenge - cheers !!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

A very exciting time

I am so excited - 29th November is our Grande Finale for the #100 Wine Challenge for our scout group Nuneaton North's 100th birthday. I cannot believe it's been a year since I heard the words pop out of my mouth saying I'd host a 100 wine tastings !!

It did seem an impossible task to begin with, especially with a bottle budget of just £4.50 - even more of a task when 100 cheeses were added to the challenge.

But we are nearly there and it has been great fun, both in sourcing the wines, preparing the evenings and of course the tastings. If you've missed any of my blogs here's the link to each round so far :

And so to our final round - Sparklers and the rest - over the year we have been very lucky to have received some lovely donations from various people - trade, friends and families.
I have put aside any special donations for our final tasting and managed to buy a few extra nice ones whilst in France. We'll also be having champagne and fizz as it's nearly Christmas. I am nearly ready, I just need to decide the tasting order and I think I need four more to make the 100 total !!
I have added thanks on each blog but I'd like to do a roll call so far as I really am grateful for all the support we've had - THANK YOU !!
Julie & Paul Sibson
Sarah & Ian Maycock
Jan & Keith Cornford
Beverley & Alan Mycock
Gill & James Platt
I could not have kept to my budget without the above donations, nor without our amazing superstores. We are very lucky here in the UK to have so much choice and I have been browsing the shelves and grabbing the bargains. Thanks goes to our favourite French superstores too.
From all members of Nuneaton North Scout Group we'd like to say a BIG THANK YOU - raise a glass with us on November 29th !!

Nuneaton North Scout Group 1914 - 2014
100th Birthday Photo