Eight wines and four varieties spanning three countries and two hemispheres set the scene for Saturday’s tasting in which varietals were pitted against each other in a battle of old and new world, warm and cool climate.
The concept was introduced and the wines unleashed and everyone, inspired by a thirst for knowledge and wine in equal parts, grasped the idea straight off the bat. Soon the room was comparing wines side by side and claiming “fuller bodies” here, “harsher acids” there and “hints of marzipan” here there and everywhere. Jess supplied a complimentary cheese that wrapped up the assessments of the wine pairings beautifully, and cleansed the palate for the following wines.
The consensus was clear, the cooler climates made wines of higher acid that showed restraint and finesse and which could be quaffed on their own. The new world wines, typically from warmer climates, were bigger, fuller and slightly overbearing in some respects requiring food and hence marrying nicely to the cheese.
Highlights. Julie discovering she had a penchant for old, complex, Cornas, Jess’ adjectival purple patch in which she nailed a couple of wines so well it was as if she had been drinking them all her life (maybe she had) and Niall’s discovery of an unswerving love for Willy Willy. The happy purr of conversation at the end, as the liquid lubricant set the cogs of conversation in motion.
Winners and loser – Mahi and Pegasus Bay Bel Canto both slid down without a problem, and the Romanian Pinot Noir was the only real turkey of the evening, which flapped its way in before being exterminated under a barrage of less then complimentary criticism.
All in all a great evening, and thanks again to those who attended. See you at the next one.