Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Quirky Bottles

It was Wine Tasting night last Saturday at our Scout Group - yes just for the adults. Regular visitors to my blog will know that these evenings started in 2014 as part of our 100th year celebrations but are so popular I now host about three or four a year.

There seems to be a trend appearing to have unusual wine labels instead of classic style labels - last year Majestic introduced a new range 'Majestic Loves' with great art work on the labels. Our friends came over to try a few last spring, you can read about our discoveries in my 'Duo of Quatre wines' post.

That said I decided to focus on unusual or quirky labels for this tasting and doing a little research discovered quite an extensive range at Aldi - Wonderful World of Wine. It was great fun choosing which wines to include, especially as some were new, either the grape or the country the wine was from.
Our first selection
Our second selection

Our two selections are separated by our buffet, a great chance to chat about the wines we tasted from the first section and enjoy a glass of our favourite. Everyone brings a plate or two of food which we put on a large table to make a sharing buffet, there's always cheese, bread, pork pie and other delicious nibbles.

To start our evening we had a little celebration. Hubby donated a bottle of Heidsieck Gold Top for us all to toast his retirement. It's a great bottle of bubbles, dry but not overly so with an abundance of small bubbles and a lovely biscuity flavour.

Our first wine was Pardon my French 'Gastonomy', a peachy tropical white wine made from Colombard grapes.

Everyone enjoyed this wine finding it very refreshing and evoking thoughts of warm summer days in the garden, although no-one wanted a garden of snails!

Our second was also Pardon my French - Ventoux a Grenache, Carignan, Syrah. Ventoux is the highest mountain in Provence and often part of the Tour de France cycle race hence the cyclist label.

This wine had plenty of dark red fruits with a hint of liquorice, although nice it could have had a little more depth.

Our third and fourth wines were new grapes for everyone to try. Isola Zibibbo from Italy was another 'summer garden' wine.

Lovely and light in colour, quite a floral nose and a mouth full of apricots with a subtle hint of mineral to give an edge to its finish.

Animus Douro was made from three grapes; Tinto Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca. As with our first red it was full of dark red fruits but with cedar notes and soft tannins. This Portuguese wine was certainly one of the evenings's favourite wines.

Our final white before our buffet had everyone laughing ... not at the wine but at me. For some reason I thought the label was a frog (I have just finished reading Wind in the Willows) but realised it is a Great White Shark hence the name 'The Grape White'.

Unusually from South Africa this Pinot Grigio was full of peaches and nectarines. A smooth wine with citrus notes and a long finish, I found it very enjoyable and easy drinking.

This final red before our break was the only wine of the evening I had tasted before as a member of Aldi's 17th Tasting Panel. Estevez Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenére and Syrah is a deep red, full of fruit with peppery notes.

It has a hint of coffee and is slightly oaked, it was a great wine to go with the mixed meats on our buffet and was also good with the stronger cheeses.

The labels on our first six bottles were certainly unusual and the reverse labels had changed too. There was very little information about the actual flavours in the wine, more of a general note and information about the wine's origins. I find it very interesting to watch wine trends; grapes that come in and out of favour, label styles, providence information being important and tasting notes less so. I wonder where wine and labeling will go next?

France was our next country as we started our second section with The Forgotten One with a label featuring penguins!

This white Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc was as expected full of tropical fruits, grapefruit and citrus. It  was a great palate cleanser after all our nibbles, one I'll be buying again for sure.

Chile next for a bottle of Malbec which is often from neighbouring South American countries. Quite a bold font on this Quisco label with a spikey cactus, which mirrored it's bold fruit flavour and hit of dark chocolate.

Our penultimate white was from Romania, Noctilio a Transylvanian Chardonnay. Such and impressive red label, quite dazzling.

The wine itself was surprisingly smooth; lemon, apple, vanilla and oak combining together leaving a long finish in the mouth.

Down the Lane is a Shiraz Tempranillo from Australia although it's label is quite Spanish/Mexican looking. It has all the characteristics of a Spanish Tempranillo and although a little lighter it had a good spice to its finish.

Our final white was from Germany. In my late teens/early twenties German wine was the main wine available but I don't remember having a Pinot Blanc which was the grape in Lot 18 from Baden.

Quite a crisp wine with pears and nectarines being the dominant flavour this was a lovely wine. This white would be perfect for a roast chicken dinner.

Our final red was Odd Lot, a Petit Syrah, Petit Verdot wine from California. It was jam packed with fruit, very rich with a touch of sweetness.

Initially it provokes a 'oohhh mmmm' amongst our tasters but everyone soon agreed that one glass was enough as it was a bit too jammy and overpowering.

Thanks Aldi for a great selection of wine, all our wines brought a quirkiness to the evening - the labels, the new grapes and plenty of new flavours. To finish our evening I took along Maynard's Pink Port I had opened at Christmas. In fact it was the tasting wine for Cuvée Reserve in December - you can read the reviews here.

Thanks to everyone who came along to our Quirky tasting - these events are always great fun. I wonder what theme we'll have for our next one in a few month's time.

1 comment:

  1. Great reading and comment/advice there Clare. Your scout group certainly enjoy themselves and you obviously put in a shift to get this show together. 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