Saturday, 14 March 2015

The 'Best of'

After the success of our 100 Wine Tasting last year the leaders at Nuneaton North Scouts asked if the wine nights could carry on .... no question about it - YES!

So to start this year off we decided to do a 'Best of' tasting. Looking back over the 100 we tried I decided on 20 of the favourites - well 18 actually as I added in a couple of newbies. It was quite tricky as some wines had been donated last year and I wasn't sure of where to buy them. The budget for our 100 challenge was quite tight so I did some careful shopping before and not all wines were still on offer, but after searching supermarket shelves we had our 'Best of' wine night !

'Best of' ready to go 
A slight change as we started off with the rose wine, I have to say not my favourite style of wine but it is amongst the ladies at the tastings. The rose wines were followed by four whites before we took a short break:

Mateus Rose - in it's unmistakable bottle this wine has been a favourite  for many years

Echo Falls White Zinfandel - a slightly sweeter wine which is a firm favourite with the ladies

Oak Leaf Chardonnay - this Californian wine is a smooth easy drinking chardonnay

Hardy's VR Chardonnay - this can always be relied on, served well chilled it is a refreshing wine

Liebfraumilch - another blast from the past but a favourite with those who prefer a sweeter white

Yellow Tails Pinot Grigio - a popular range from Australia, this pinot grigio is bright and crisp

A great selection to start the evening off - light wines that are coming into their own as we move away from enjoying reds on cold cosy winter evenings and start thinking about chilled whites sipped on summer evenings in the garden. 

Last year we also had 100 cheeses (20 at each tasting) but this year we've moved away from cheese. Nachos and dips had everyone moving round to try new flavours, the garlic and onion dip went really well with the Yellow Tails Pinot Grigio; the cheese and chive with the Hardy's VR Chardonnay. 

And so back to tasting:
Rose and White Wines

Cono Sur Viognier - not a usual grape for most but a lovely wine from Chile

McGuigan Classic Semillon Blanc - this Australian wine was the overall favourite white

Touraine Sauvignon Blanc - a dry crisp wine from the Loire Valley in France

Cheverney - another French white, a sauvignon blanc with a touch of chardonnay

Two new wines graced out tasting table - I didn't include these last year but added them for a little fun. The name and label always cause a giggle - the wines were a surprise to some as both the white and red are blends of three grapes, most tasters were used to drinking single grape wines (chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, merlot). I think both wines will be drunk again as everyone loved them. 
Quirky Birds
Pork and stuffing batches were served in our next break - very different from cheese and biscuits but very much appreciated. I'm not sure if anyone tried to match a wine to the batches but I enjoyed the Quirky Bird Shiraz, Mourvedre, Viognier with mine. batches eaten it was time to pour the reds.

Cepa Lebrel Rioja - a deep Spanish wine which we had decanted a few hours earlier.

Hardy's VR Merlot - a regular wine chosen by one of our tasters, always a good pour.

Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon - a deep red wine from Chile, one of the most popular reds

McGuigan Classic Cabernet Sauvignon - this deep fruity red was another wine liked by most

Kiwi Cuvee Pinot Noir - a lovely french wine made by a New Zealander

Cellier des Dauphins Cotes de Rhone - a mellow red with deep undertones

Trivento Malbec - deep ruby red with hints of cherries and chocolate

The Paddock Shiraz - this is the top red in all our tastings, so deep, so smooth

Quirky Bird and the reds
It was another successful wine tasting night finished with pudding, a ginger trifle cake. It was great to revisit some of the wines and taste again firm favourites. All the wines this tasting were from Asda, Lidl, Sainsbury's or Tesco (apart from the french ones from our own cellar). The supermarkets have some great offers at times, it's just a case of knowing which wine you want and keeping an eye out for a good price. 

Our next tasting will be a little different - beer !! Any suggestions or offers of donations will be very much appreciated. 

Next tasting is BEER


  1. Sounds like a great night Clare ! Some of the names are familiar to me and some are not. I enjoy wine but I am not as enthusiastic as you are. But they do all sound lovely !!

  2. Another great night out, I hope the scout leaders were walking home! x


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