Virtual Tasting - The Grape Escape (Part 2)
Welcome to Part 2 of our exploration of some varieties (and a few places) that we have somehow overlooked over the last 12-month virtual wine tasting.
This is NOT the end of virtual tastings, but it’s a good bookend to the year. We will follow on with some more wonderful wines and the stories about the places and people behind them.
In the meantime, join us for a further four weeks of lovely wines, all from the comfort of your own home.
Wednesday 23rd June - England
Rules are meant to be broken, as we deviate from our variety-based theme for one week by sampling a couple of wines from England, specifically Halfpenny Green Vineyard, Staffordshire. The quality of English wine is constantly improving and the sparkling wines in particular can hold their own against international competition.
So, its only right that our first wine is an English sparkling wine, made mainly from the “traditional” varieties of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and made in the traditional method (traditional is code word for “like Champagne”).
Our second wine may come as a surprise as it’s a RED wine. The English climate is far from ideal for making red wine, but because there are some specific varieties that can cope with the vagaries of our weather, it's more than possible. Our example has some Pinot Noir with a couple of varieties developed specifically for cool, damp conditions; Rondo and Regent.
- Halfpenny Green Brut 2018
- Halfpenny Green Penny Red
Wednesday 7th July – Malbec & Carménère
Both of these varieties have been sampled over the last 12 months, but we think a comparison between the superstar red wine of Argentina and its much less well-known Chilean equivalent is overdue.
Argentina is of course famous for its powerful, full-bodied Malbec and we have a great example from the relatively cool southern region of Patagonia.
Less well-known is Chile’s very own Carménère, a grape (like Malbec) originally from Bordeaux but now almost extinct in France. This example is a rich and fully ripe wine from old vines in Limari Valley aged in oak.
- Bodegas Aniello Malbec
- Tabali Micas Carmenere
Wednesday 14th July – Muscadet & Picpoul de Pinet
Muscadet has for many years been the “go to” French wine to accompany seafood (especially Mussels), but Picpoul de Pinet from the Languedoc is now uber fashionable and described as “the new Muscadet”. Will you prefer the old guard or the new pretender?
- Domaine Noe Muscadet sur lie AC
- Florensac Picpoul de Pinets AC
Wednesday 21st July – Beaujolais & Valpolicella
Strictly speaking we should be referring to these wines by their grape names, but most people haven’t heard of Gamay or Corvina so we will use their PDO labels instead (Protected Designation of Origin, under which the French AC and Italian DOC labels operate).
Two wines associated with warm summer evenings, designed to be served lightly chilled. Our Beaujolais example is from a “Cru” one of the selected villages allowed to use their own name rather than simply “Beaujolais Villages” and Fleurie is probably the best known. "Back in the day", Valpolicella was Italy's answer to Beaujolais, but so many producers now focus their attention on the richer and more full-bodied Ripasso style that traditional Valpolicella is becoming quite rare. This is a shame as it's a lovely light-bodied wine ideal for the warm evenings, ideally overlooking Lake Garda or if that's not possible, in front of your laptop screen...
- La Madone Fleurie AC
- Pra Morandina Valpolicella DOC
The course costs just £60 per screen., delivered via “Zoom” with the wines supplied separately (see below).
With relaxed social distancing rules perhaps invite your friends for an “al fresco” tasting experience in the garden.
The wines are available from our friendly local wine merchant, Momentum Wines of Oswestry for £120.00 including delivery (we do not sell wine).
Please allow 7 days for delivery.
Places remaining: 4
Course Date/Time: Wed 23rd Jun 2021 at 7.30pm
Duration: 4 x 1 hr
Venue: Online via Zoom (Link emailed)