Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Farewell - Friday will be a sad day

Sadly on Friday 28th August 2015 Tesco Wine Community,
a great forum for wine enthusiasts, will be closing after four years. 

I've been a member since 4th November 2012, after visiting a Tesco Wine Fair in London. There will certainly
 be a large hole in my 'bookmarks', although Tesco Wine by the Case still rests there ready. 

TWC was a place for wine enthusiasts to share their thoughts and findings - supported superbly by the Tesco Team of advisors including Laura Jewell (Master of Wine), James Griswood, Nick Juby, Gemma Duncan, Charlotte Stebbings to name but a few.

Tesco, through the Wine Community, offered many taste panels - a chance to try new wines and write reviews to share with other members. Through the taste panels I discovered so much more about wine, these in particular:

Piggybank Tempranillo

I was honoured to be chosen as Member of the Month, receiving their Fine Dining Dozen Mixed Case to taste and review.
There is a separate page at the top of my blog about the wines and our findings.

TWC have also offered great wine and dinner opportunities as members' competitions. Being located in the Midlands restricted us in entering some as most were London based, however earlier this year we were delighted to win tickets to Butcher, Baker and Winemaker dinner at Joseph Benjamin in Chester to enjoy a superb dinner accompanied by Yalumba wine, presented by their esteemed winemaker Louisa Rose. An amazing evening I'll remember for a long, long time.

As well as wine tasting opportunities the Tesco Wine Community has been instrumental in us meeting many new friends, all wine enthusiasts, and with whom we now enjoy sharing wine knowledge, tips and new ideas. A small group of members met in person in April 2014 at Oxford, where we enjoyed a weekend of wine tasting - our own choices and a very much appreciated visit from Trivento with a selection of their wines.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this farewell post Tesco have hosted many Wine Fairs. We have visited quite a few over the years: London, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham. It will be with an edge of sadness that on Sunday 1st November we will again be enjoying a Tesco Wine Fair in London - the sadness being that this could be the final Wine Fair Tesco host.

A chance to say farewell in person on November

but this Friday a glass will be raised to thank Tesco Wine Community for

 ........ everything

Friday, 21 August 2015

Slightly off piste !!

Those of you that visit my blog will know that I am a French girl at heart; the food, the country and especially the wine. So I'm a little confused at the moment as my lovely Hubby is going' off piste' with finding a liking for Spanish wines.

We have come to the conclusion however that Spain, Rioja region in particular, has changed their wine over recent years to keep up with the market. This was confirmed by an article in Decanter (sourced thanks to our Spanish wine loving friend Dave who has a great wine blog

Decanter article:

A few years ago, at a Tesco Wine Fair in London, Hubby decided to try all the riojas to find 'a good one' - and came away confirming his pre-event thoughts that there wasn't one. Now he's enjoying nearly everyone we buy - especially Finca from Majestic wines.

Finca Carelio from Majestic
Today I decided to have a sort out as our wine rack was looking a bit jumbled - and to my amazement I found many Spanish wines. This first one I have no idea where it was from, although another good wine friend informs me it's available at Tesco Wine by the Case.

Any information would be appreciated 
I also discovered we have three bottles of Campo Viejo - admittedly not bad, especially served with a spicy chorizo dish. My problem here is I have no idea about the difference between them all, other than the date and that I'm guessing the white label is the lightest wine.

Spanish trio 
And finally, on the Spanish front, we have this rioja from Aldi - I think we picked it up as it looks so similar to Campo Viejo. Has anyone else tried it? I feel a wine tasting night looming - maybe a chance to see how each develop over a few days too :)

Which is best?
I think this may call for a wine tasting night - for research purposes of course, and see how they each develop over a few days.

On the wine tasting front this weekend we'll be trying a white bordeaux from Asda - every month on the wine forum Cuvée Reserve a member nominates a wine to try. This month it's a white, Chateau Robertperols Bordeaux, and a very reasonably priced one too at £5.97  My favourite white is sauvignon blanc, usually from the Loire Valley but I have enjoyed a Bordeaux sauvignon blanc before so it will be interesting to see what this one is like.

This month's tasting
Unfortunately I am ending this post on a sad note - Tesco Wine Community is closing on Friday after 4 years. I have been a member for most of that time and have greatly enjoyed the forum. I have taken part in many taste panels, competitions, dinners and wine fairs and along the way have learnt so much more about wine; countries, grapes, techniques, to name but three aspects. It has certainly been the key to Hubby and I appreciating wine as a hobby rather than just a drink to have with dinner.

It has also been a place where we have met and chatted to many like minded wine enthusiasts and have made firm friends with people we would have never met if it hadn't been for Tesco.

Thank you to everyone involved, all the Tesco Team, all the suppliers who supported the forum and mostly all the members who made it a great place to visit. I was very touched by their final gesture in sending a bottle of their Finest Sancerre and a lovely letter, thank you

Parting gift from Tesco
I will be keeping in touch with many of our wine friends through Cuvée Reserve (a free forum but membership is required) and will be going to what may be the final Tesco Wine Fair on 1st November in London.

My bottle of Sancerre will be nicely chilled and enjoyed, not next Friday when the forum closes, but early in September as part of my 'special' birthday celebrations - but more about that next post ;-)

Please add a comment if you can help with any of my Spanish problems - thanks :)