Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Ladies Choice - and what would that be?

Friday January 25th, and another year in the life of the Wine Club ticks by. Yes its hard to imagine but there it is, we now enter our third year and what better way to announce it than to have the wines based on a 'Ladies Choice'.

Ironically, what better way than to have, for our birthday, midwives in charge!  So the '14 season starts with a very good selection of wines, the choice of a team of members, as it happens, or so I am told, that the team including midwives, our own masters of wine.

From the left >  Ita, Julie, Nikki, Sarah and Hazel.

The wines may have been chosen on the basis of a Ladies Choice, but the wines went down more than just well,  they were exceptional and enjoyed by all member of the Wine Club irrespective of gender.

The Roll Call

#1  Crement de Bourgogne Brut Intense 'Billy Lapierre'

What a good starter, a fresh and vibrant fizz, yes we cannot call this Champagne but made from the same grapes and vines gown on similar soils and produced using the same methods of production.  A very good and good value alternative perhaps.  Gown in Burgundy, for many the premier wine area of France and from the Pinot Noir grape.

#2 Finca Flichman's Sparkling Extra Brut.

Another fizz but to follow the Pinot Noir was never going to be an easy act to follow.  A very good comparison, not so much of a Rosé but more a blush wine, not at all bad but not able to show the strength of character of the previous wine.

#3 Esk Valley

This was just the very best NZ Sauvignon Blanc, a superb wine with strong aromas, a wonderful and lingering taste and showing all the SB characteristics that has made this grape  such a favourite and why it has become the 'signature wine' of New Zealand.  Most members felt the wine was worthy of the title  Highly Recommended.

#4 Vianazza gPG, Garganega/Piot Grigio.

And now to Northern Italy, the Venito area for our second still white.  Italy, such a great wine nation and Veneto a huge producer of wines for Italy.  I guess we all are aware of the unique position Italy finds itself in with its huge array of grape varieties, and here we have a variety that may not be too well known, we have the Garganega blended with the ever popular Piont Grigio make for an easy drinking wine.

#5 Los Boldos

To Chile for the first red, a rather fine Pinot Noir, aged for 6 months in oak to add some depth. A good wine, perhaps a better wine when taken with food.

#6 Fleurie

The French do produce some very exceptional wines and here was just such an example, a soft, mellow and full flavoured wine from a vineyard still in the same family since 1754.  The area of France is the same area that produces the famous Beaujolais wines with the Flurie coming from the same grape types but have a reputation (and price)  elevating them to star status.  Highly Recommended.

#7 LA Mascaronne  -  Cote de Provence

For anyone that has visited the Var in Provence the wine that immediately returns you to the warmth, sights and smells of the area is such a wine. Almost all wine produced in the Cote de Provence is Rosé, in addition the area has produced wines since the Romans ran the show. So it comes as no surprise that these wines are memorable and good.  The matching of this wine is warmth, eating good food with friends. So not at all unlike Friday

The cheese selection was varied, good and based on local artisan cheeses as far as possible as well as a French Reblochon.  The cheese came via the cheese store based in the Covered Market in Oxford.

Notable were the two cheeses 'made' for the colleges, Oxford Blue and Isis White. Both very special.

This blog would be very remiss if it did not report on the mid meeting break, yes the quiz.  The definite slant was that of the way the wine producers and imbibers have treated women in relation to wine over the years.  A very good quiz with demanding questions based loosely on the format of University Challenge and with our very own  Jeremy Paxman in the form of Mat Coburn, and very good job done as well.

The raffle was won by Adrian who was able to take home a bottle of wine with the intriguing label, Chocolate Box, so we await to hear of this wine in due course.

To use the jargon of the day, my understanding that the 'team leader' for the evening was Ita Moore,  she and her team did did a great job but there now is more. Ita is taking part on the Blenheim Triathlon.

For those who are not that familiar the event it entails three demanding  elements, for Ita this will mean swimming in the lake a distance of 750 mtrs, followed by cycling 19.8 kms and finally running another 5.7 kms.     This is an event that is quite definitely not for softies.

The event is to raise money for leukaemia and lymphoma Research.  Ita hopes to add £500.00 to their funds and asks anyone who would like donate and sponsor her to do so via this link: >virginmoneygiving.com/itamoore

Dates for the diary are

Date of the next meeting:

March 28th, with wines presented by Majestic Wine Warehouse (Witney)

A weekend in France.

Please also pop in your diaries the dates of the Wine Club Long weekend Wine tasting excursion to the Nantaise region of France :- Friday 9th - Sunday 11th may 2014.    More details will follow as the full programme is worked out -  but some intend to drive over and others fly into Nantes and either share vehicles or Hire cars to allow 2 x vineyards on Friday 9th, 2 x vineyards on Saturday 10th, Sunday Morning 'Pot Luck'/Picnic with wine.

Finally possible chance to present the wines you care for, at the May meeting, May 30 (TBC).  Please email me with your thoughts....brucehammersley@gmail.com

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