Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Tesco Wine Fair 2015

This was our 7th or maybe 8th year of attending the Tesco Wine Fair. It is always a great event and where over the years Hubby and I have learnt so much more about wine. It is probably the catalyst of our very enjoyable hobby; a hobby that is full of discovery, enjoyment, new friends and a glass or two along the way.

This year we chose the London fair, we have previously been to Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham but have always enjoyed the London one the most. A new venue this time, Olympia, but still an easy journey thanks to Virgin Trains and London Underground

Olympia was a lovely venue, a little tricky to find the right hall as there were other shows on too, but once inside everything was on one level with plenty of room between the stands. The cloakroom is a real necessity as it is impossible to balance coats, wine glass, show guide and pen, so after depositing our outdoor attire we began our wine journey 2015. 

Usually we begin our fair with a glass of Nicolas Feuillatte champagne but unfortunately they did not attend this year. Instead we headed for our other French favourite - Les Dauphins. Hubby and I have been buying this wine in France for many many years and a few bottles can always be found in our cellar. It was a real delight for us to find Les Dauphins now available in the UK both red and white. 

Having chatted with Jo online it was great to meet her in person, such a lovely lady. As well as Jo we also met up with two of our online wine friends; Dave & Agnes, who we see quite often, and Keith & Di, our first actual meeting. Dave and Keith are members of my wine forum Cuvée Reserve - a great place for sharing our wine finds. It's always good to meet with wine friends and share our discoveries.
Di, Keith, Nick (Hubby), Me, Agnes & Dave  at Les Dauphns
And so to the wine - 49 stands each with 5/6 wines. We have in the past used various systems; whites then reds, numerical stand order, up and down the rows; but any such plan soon dissolves as the tasting progresses.

This year we did 'just roaming' and wandered around trying whatever caught our eye, some old favourites and some new names. There are far too many wines to mention them all but these were our highlights of 2015, only a few notes as writing is not easy when wine tasting standing up !

Les Dauphins

Simply Cotes du Rhone Villages 2014, a lovely red that reminded me of our holidays.

Tesco finest Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu 2014, a nice hint of spice.

Mud House 

The Woolshed Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2014, perfect light sauvignon nose with a burst of flavour.

Mud House Sauvignon Blanc 2014, one of my favourites at home, I tried the 2015 too and am eagerly awaiting its shelf arrival, a lovely sauvignon blanc.

Jacob's Creek 

Jacob's Creek Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV, a lovely glass of bubbles that is produced in the vat rather than the bottle, great value bubbly.

Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz 2013, nice and rich with that must have touch of spice.

Jacktone Ranch

Jacktone Ranch Pinot Noir 2014, Hubby preferred this pinot noir after trying a few others at the show.

Jacktone Ranch Viognier 2013, very smooth, peachy notes, a lovely wine.

Borgo Molino Motivo Prosecco NV, so many small light bubbles, a real foamer. 

Trivento, Cono Sur & Concho y Toro

Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec 2012, an absolute favourite of mine, so rich, full of fruit and a long warming finish.

Marques de Casa Concha Syrah 2012, unexpectedly smooth and almost creamy red, again full of fruit.

Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier 2015, another that is always in our cellar, crisp and clean, perfect well chilled.

Tesco finest 

Vina del Cura Rioha Reserva 2010, Hubby's favourite in his rioja hunt.

Vina del Cura Rioja Gran Reserva 2008/9,  a little longer in the barrel, more vanilla.

Alsace Gewurztraminer 2013, turkish delight heaven, lovely wine.

Blanquette de Limoux 2012/2013, great bubbles from the South of France.  

North Row Vineyard Sauvignon 2014, full nose,                                                                                       crisp palate, a very good wine.

I did tend to try more reds this show although whites are my favourites. I know much more about white wine and so decided to try a few more reds. Tesco had a great 'What's Your Flavour' stand with 6 whites and 6 reds to try but without seeing the labels. It wasn't a blind tasting (we missed that bit of the show) as each wine had it's grape description. 

A great idea to learn more about the different grape flavours from Crisp and Fresh whites through to Full Bodied and Spicy reds. My favourite was the Tesco finest Cotes de Cascogne 2014, a rich and fresh white full of citrus and green apples. 

And so to my show favourites:

 - my favourite white 

Jackson Estate Stich Sauvignon Blanc 2013, inviting nose full of citrus and gooseberries, intense flavour with a lovely long finish. 

 my favourite red -

Yalumba Y Series Shiraz Viognier 2013, a great blend of red shiraz and 
white viognier with a palate full of blackberries, 
rich finish that lasts and lasts. 

- my favourite bubbles

Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top Champagne Brut NV - a lovely array of crisp bubbles with a biscuity flavour. 

This is our second favourite champagne (our favourite not being at the show), we've enjoyed many glasses but our most memorable was in 2014 on a river cruise of La Seine in Paris on our 25th       Wedding Anniversary. 

It was another great show, thank you Tesco Wines.

We enjoyed some great wines, chatted with very knowledgeable staff - 

lovely lady from Blanquette de Limoux
great chap from Bottle Green
generous lady from Mud House
enthusiastic Hector from Pernod Ricard 
and the 
lovely, lovely Jo from Les Dauphins

and met fellow wine appreciators, including our lovely friends. 

See you all next year and remember ....

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