Saturday, 28 September 2013

Never volunteer...

The Summer passes into Autumn and the Wine Club proceeds, the last Wine Club meeting was one that gave us a glimpse, a very good glimpse of the wines loved by some of its members.

We asked for volunteers to share with us what they felt were their very best and favourite wine. This is not such an easy ask, not least of all  this means some speaking to a biggish group of people and showing off what is, to the speaker, a great wine with good memories associated to it.

So who were these brave souls and what where the wines?

Eight wines were chosen, and before we get down to the details a big thanks has to go to the choosers.

All the wines were good and  the randomness of choice gave us wines we have not tried but wines we could all enjoy.

Wine #1 was a very good Vouvray, this Loire wine  has always been popular with the British pallet and the first taste of this Vouvray explained why..

The wine was presented by David Jones and John Hewitt.

And the wine...

Such a good wine, not always a guarantee of quality, the fact that it come from the AOC etc, but here was a fine wine and a good wine to start our evening. It seems that this is widely available and at a good price but our hosts tell to shop around.

Wine #2

Our hosts, Graham and Sue Prowse treated us to a Picpoul wine,  A grape that during its recent life has been the basis of that iconic South of France drink, Noilly Pratt. It seems that Noilly Pratt needs a fairly bland wine to be the basis of the vermouth,  to this is added large amounts of herbs and spices to give its distinctive flavour.  Over the years the sales of the drink have fallen and the base wine needed to improve and be saleable to a wider public, so we have this wine.  A very good wine to have as 'an apero' or with sea foods.  Sue made a great job of telling us all about the wine's history and qualities.

Wine #3

Mark Stuart-Thompson presented the last of the white wines for the evening, this was one from Northern Italy, and one that for the host to the wine was associated with good times in that country. 

It seems  that Orvieto, a town just to the North of Rome is famous not only for its fine cathedral and the town that sits atop a huge rock outcrop but also its rather good wine.  

Another wine to drink with friends, to drink with anti-pasta and to enjoy.

Wine #4

The Rosé was presented by myself and supported by Marj, the wine is an unblended Syrah, Shiraz to the rest of the world. All present were asked to close their eyes, take a bite of the toast and Tapanade that came with the wine, think of evening sun, having drinks with friends and smell the herbs on the Provencal air.   As I was the one who presented I find it difficult say how good it was. I can say the best rosé of the evening but then it was the only one. For us this wine brings back many good memories of drinking the wine with friends just like that, in the evening as a pre - dinner drink while having nibbles such as the tapenade. It also goes very well with the glorious foods of Provence.  We bought the wine in the local Co-op in the Var, a mid prices number this at 4.50€ for a bottle. 

For those that liked the Tapenade here is the recipe. 

250 g of pitted, black olives
2 Anchovies
2 Tablespoons of salted capers, well rinsed
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Sprig of Thyme
4 Tbsp of Olive Oil

Put all the ingredients and blend in a processor or with a stick blender. Chop 'till you have the texture you like. 

It keeps a good while in the fridge.

Good to cook with, check out on Google.

Wine #5

Now the reds

Italy again for our first red, due to the nature of the three reds they came with first being the wine with the least tannin and astringency. This was the rather fine Rosso di Montalcino.  A very good 'softer' Italian wine. Available from Majestic in Witney and worth the journey many thought.  Our thanks to Matt Coburn. 

A very good wine with pasta, meat and cheese, a wine that could be aged for some time and would be none the worse for that.

Wine #6

Now for the bigger guns in the form of a wine from a country that in two years we have not tasted, and how amazing is that given that that country is Australia.  

Paul Gilford gave a us a very impressive wine, a gutsy but very good Red. The Jim Barry 2010 Lodge Hill Shiraz.  14.5% of quality to share with friends over some good foods.

Wine #7

The last of the Reds was a real treat and presented by Chris Onslow.  
The name Pomerol is renowned the world over as being one of the very best of wine AOC.  So a good, no a very good, wine to conclude the reds with. Chris gave a very intersting talk about the wine but also made the point to drink this wine its best to do so with bland food and let the wine speak to you. Good advice.

Our thanks also go to Doreen for the medley of cheeses that were available to take and enjoy as members felt best on each table. Thanks Doreen.

Wine #8 and the last wine of the evening.  A very good 'sticky',  a desert wine from Bordeux; the sublime Sainte - Croix - Du - Mont from the La Rame Chateau. 

Desert wines really do stand out for many as being incredible value and with the most wonderful depths of flavours, this was the case with this, the final wine of the evening, again available from Majestic in Witney.

Our thanks go to Mary Casey.

Future events

The next meeting will be on the last Friday of November. This will follow the very successful format of last year, a pot luck super with wines chosen that complement the Christmas lunch, we assume turkey and also Sherry as a type of wine.  More detail to follow.

The other plan for the new Year is to take a trip to the Loire region of France for a weekend to both try and possible buy wine but also to enjoy a weekend of food and wine in that region of France. Again more information to follow but we think the month of April will be the time. 

As ever a very big thanks to all that made last night so enjoyable, the choosers of wine of course but also David Casey for being the 'money man' and for all those helping set up and tidy away. And thanks for attending and being such a good audience.

My email if you want to contact me is

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