Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Wine, wine, Christmas wine

The bottle/bottles keep pouring just lately but of course I'm not complaining 😉

First a late update on our tasting night at Nuneaton North Scout Group. I've been doing these tasting nights for the last couple of years for the leaders and adults in the Group, always a fun night and a bit of a 'thank you' for all the time they give freely for the youngsters.

16 bottles this time from all over the world and all perfect in some way for Christmas. I'm so very grateful to Yalumba, Negociants, Les Dauphins and Jo Thompson who donated some beautiful wine for us to try - thank you 🍷
Our tasting table 
We began with Pink Bubbly from Black Tower, priced at £4.99 from B&M Bargains. Some of the ladies are fans of rose wine and this caught my eye as a great bottle of rosé fizz, nice and light and perfect aperitif.

Celliers des Dauphins Grenache Rose was one of our donated bottles - a lovely rosé that would be great with lunch, the French way.

Moving on to white wines we had quite a range with some new varieties and some known grapes from new locations. I do try to do some food matches and for our Christmas tasting I matched .....snacks !!

Some pairings were hits, some definitely misses, our whites were:

Image result for oxford landing chardonnay
Oxford Landing Chardonnay £5.99 Majestic - grapefruit, pineapple with creamy vanilla - our accompanying snack was salted peanuts !

Alsace Gerwurztraminer £8.00 Morrison's - they kindly sent a voucher so this was a great purchase as it was a little over our budget price of £7.00. It was the first time most had tried this grape with it's distinctive Turkish Delight flavour. As it's good with curry we tried it with Bombay Mix !

Two Sauvignon Blanc's next, one Old World, one New. Asda Bordeaux White £5.97 a lovely citrus nose with a crisp flavour, softer and more subtle than our New World Mudhouse Sauvignon Blanc with it's full nose of gooseberries and citrusy mouth. The room was split when asked which was best but both wines were enjoyed.

Yalumba Viognier, kindly donated by Negociants, was another first. This full bodied white with its peach and apricot flavour was enjoyed with goats cheese, as was our final wine Sauvion Chenin Blanc £5.99 Majestic. This French white had a delicate nose and a crisp white apple taste which was perfect with the cheese.

Bubbly time - as you'll have noticed in my previous post we all enjoyed the Heidsieck Gold Top Champagne at our Majestic tasting but it is a little pricey especially if you have a large family and need a few bottles to go round.

Image result for burtons fish and chips crispsMy bubbly choice was Philippe Michel Cremant de Jura £7.29 Aldi. This 100% Chardonnay Bubbly is gull of elegance with an array of bubbles, crisp apples and perfect acidity in its finish.

Champagne or a good bubbly is the perfect match for fish and chips so that's what we had 😉

Time for our reds with a bit of comparing. Many of the chaps like Cotes du Rhone wine, as I mentioned before Celliers des Dauphin kindly donated some wine, two of which were Cotes du Rhone. I also bought one of their wines from Asda £6.00 so we had three french reds all from the same winemaker.
Our three Cotes du Rhone 

I must just add that some of the wine photos are not taken by me - unfortunately I forgot on the night :( and for some reason Blogger is jumping around so who knows what the layout will be - probably look ok if you're reading after a glass or two haha

Back to the tastings - our three reds were Vineyards Cotes du Rhone, Cotes du Rhone Villages and Cru des Cotes du Rhone, all full of fruit, deep flavours and a touch of pepper in their finish. No bottle came out as favourite they were all lovely bottles of wine from this great region of France.

Image result for yalumba y series cabernet sauvignon
Our next red was Vina Maipol Merlot, a wine none of us had tried before. Merlot is a favourite of one of our chaps and this did not disappoint with it's deep ruby cherriness. The second bottle kindly donated by Negociants was Yalumba Y Series Cabernet Sauvignon. I do enjoy Yalumba wine and earlier in 2015 my Hubby and I were so lucky to attend one of their Butcher, Baker and Winemaker dinners hosted by their chief winemaker Louisa Rose.

This Cabernet Sauvignon is soft and warming on the palate, full of fruit with leafy notes. It makes you want to settle on the sofa with the fire roaring on a winter's night.

And so to our final two - in my opinion the nicest Malbec from Argentina, Trivento Malbec. I've enjoyed this wine many times, and we've had it at previous tasting. It was again enjoyed by everyone, even more so with the chorizo snack. Our final wine also paired really well with the spicy sausage, El Bombero. This Spanish wine was one of my Dad's favourites, we've had this at our house since he passed away and thought it time to enjoy this 2008 red. It was so rich, deep and very warming, it's 15% very apparent, a great wine to finish our tasting .....

.... but not quite as I had a little surprise. I had baked a carrot cake and to accompany this I took a bottle of my homemade elderflower wine made in 2014. Oh it was delicious, so syrupy, so smooth, absolutely perfect with the cake. I do have two bottles left and will be definitely making more in 2016 so here's hoping for some beautiful blooms.

It was another super night, great fun tasting some great wines.

I have been very lucky to be chosen as a wine reviewer for Aldi. They very kindly send two bottles for me to taste and review - the tasting is certainly not a difficult task however the review is slightly more tricky as it has to be in the for of a tweet on Twitter so can only be 140 characters. So far I have reviewed these four super wines:

Valdobbiadene Prosecco dancing bubbles, golden straw colour, pear & floral nose, applely palate, crisp finish, perfect

pale pear colour, crisp nose with flavour of melon & apple, a creamy long finish - gorgeous 🍷

foamy burst settling to delicate bubbly, super citrus nose, full of tropical flavours

Baron Amarillo Rioja Reserva - blackcurrants & cherries developed 3 years in oak releasing vanilla and spicy finish :)

And today to my complete surprise UPS knocked the door with another parcel.It looked like the Aldi wine deliveries but I wasn't expecting a delivery. The parcel contained two lovely looking bottles of Pinot Noir which after a little questioning tweet revealed they were in fact my next two tasting bottles - perfect for Christmas. Thank you Aldi :)

As for our Christmas wines .... I have no idea as yet - so many lovelies in our rack but I am driving for many of the festive days so they may have to be enjoyed another time. I hope you have enjoyed my wine/travel blog in 2015, we've one more little holiday before 2015 finally fizzes out and I'm 100% certain there will be plenty of wine, holidays and special moments to blog about in 2016.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

1 comment:

  1. How lovely to be chosen as a wine taster for Aldi, lots more new oens for you to try next year then.


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