All three wines were purchased from Lidl and were in their guest wine range.
The first wine was Outlook Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2019 from New Zealand. The Marlborough region on South Island is famous for its Sauvignon Blanc where no vineyard is more than 80 miles from the sea. The combination of sandy soil over slate shingles with a cool maritime climate combine to give a long growing season. This helps to bring out the flavours and intensity of the wines. This wine had wonderful flavours of citrus and passionfruit which was much enjoyed by all the group. Its ABV was 12.5% and cost £7.99. it would pair well with salmon or cod and chips.
The second wine Fleurie 2018 from France. This is a Beaujolais made from the Gamay grape variety. It was grown on the south facing pink granite slopes overlooking the River Soane. The flavours were of cherries with an after hint of spices. it would go well with carpaccio of beef or cold beef sandwiches. Its ABV was 13% and cost £7.49.
The third wine was The Saviour Cinsault from South Africa. Cinsault is a grape variety that most of us had never encountered before. It is commonly grown in South Africa, but was usually blended with Cabernet Sauvignon. Only recently have single varietals become more widely available. It is full of cherry and red fruit flavours followed by a soft spice finish. It is best enjoyed with steak, lamb chops and casseroles. Its ABV was 14.5% and cost £6.49.
We always try to make our December meeting a bit more special with food and wine relevant to Christmas. This year we met at Sarah’s house and Keith provided the wines. Instead of our usual crisps and popcorn, we had mince pies, cheese with biscuits, pate, sausages and chocolate.
The first wine was Pedro Ximenez PX sherry from the Gonzalez Byass winery in Jerez Spain. The grapes are dried out in the sun before being made into wine by the traditional solera process. The resulting wine is deliciously rich and warming with raisin and fig flavours. Marilyn said it reminded her of Christmas cake, and Bridget guessed the wine immediately. It is delicious on its own, served slightly chilled, or poured over vanilla ice cream. Its ABV was 15% and cost £6.00 from Tesco for a 375ml bottle.
The second wine was a dessert Semillon wine from the award-winning De Bortoli family winery in Australia. The grapes are picked very late allowing the natural sugars to intensify. This produces a golden-hued wine with citrus, peach and apricot flavours. It pairs well with sweet desserts, but also with blue cheeses. Ginny guessed this wine correctly. Its ABV was 10% and cost £6.00 from Tesco for 375ml.
The final wine was LBV Port 2014, a rich fruity wine with flavours of currants and berries with a hint of spices. This wine had been stored in the cellars of the Symington family in the Douro Valley for up to six years post harvesting. It would pair well with a cheese board or chocolate dessert. Its ABV was 20% and cost £11 from Tesco for a full bottle.
Our November meeting was at Marilyn’s house and she supplied the wines.
The first wine was Finest English White 2018 purchased from Tesco. This is the first time we have had an English wine that wasn’t purchased directly from the vineyard. It was produced in Kent using Pinot Blanc, Bacchus and Chardonnay grapes. Bacchus is a new grape variety first developed in 1933. The wine had a citrus and pear flavour with a lingering finish. Many of the group liked this wine, but I found the citrus a little over-powering. Its ABV was 11.5% and cost £9.00.
The second wine was Fitou Beaux Arts 2017 from the Languedoc region in south France. It was made from Grenache, Carignan, Mourvèdre and Syrah. The tannins and acidity were medium, flavours of red berries and spices with a lingering finish. A couple of the group felt it was rather bland compared with other wines we have tried. Its ABV was 12.5% and it cost £7.00 from Asda.
Our final wine was The Wine Atlas Negroamaro 2018 from the Puglia region in the heel of Italy. This wine is typical of the wines from this region, being dark red in colour with intense flavours of dark berries and spicy oak. It would pair well with grilled meats, rustic stews and spicy pasta dishes. Its ABV was 14% and cost £6.00 from Asda
The October wine group meeting was held at Pauline’s house with Keith supplying the wines. Since it was 31st October, several members dressed in a Halloween theme.
first wine was Rapitalã 2017 made from Grillo, a white Sicilian grape often found in the fortified wine Marsala. This was a dry white wine with a pronounced lemon flavour. It would pair well with pasta, chicken and soft cheeses, and cost £7.99 from Waitrose.
The second wine was Les Nivierès Saumur 2017 from the Loire region of France. This is a light bodied wine flavours of blackcurrants and sweet spices. It goes well with game, grilled mushrooms and goats’ cheese. It cost £6.99 from Waitrose.
The third wine was Baron des Tours Medoc 2017 from the Bordeaux region of France and is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine had aromas and flavours of blackcurrants and berry fruits with a lingering finish. It is good with grilled or roasted red meats and hard cheeses, and it cost £7.99 from Waitrose.
The September meeting was at Jill’s house on a very wet and windy evening. Pauline supplied the wines, giving us 4 choices instead of the usual 3.
The first wine was Rosso de la Cruz, a rosé from NE Spain. The wine was a deep pink colour with floral aromas and tasted of red berries and spices. It would pair well with seafood and salad. Its ABV was 12.5% and cost £6.00 from M&S.
The second wine was Isla Negra Merlot from Chile. It had flavours of dark berries, plums and chocolate which lingered for a long time on the palate. It is recommended for pairing with tomato-based pasta dishes. Its ABV was 12% and cost £5.00 from Tesco.
The third wine was Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia. It was a much darker red colour than the previous wine. The aroma was very light but the flavours were very powerful with hints of blackberries, pepper, wood, chocolate, plums and cassis. Its ABV was 13.5% and it would pair well with lamb, beef and stews. It normally costs £6.00 from Lidl, but Pauline bought it for £4.00 on a weekend deal.
The fourth wine was a surprise gift from her son when he returned from holiday. It was a 5 litre box of Tempranillo-Cabernet Sauvignon with very few details on the box. The wine was a light red colour with a soft berries flavour. The wine was drinkable, but compared poorly with the three previous wines. Nobody came back for a second glass.
|Dates for your Diary|
|Thu Feb 27th||Meet at Ginny’s house. Sarah will supply the wines.|
|Thu Mar 26th||Pauline’s house with Hugh & Bridget supplying the wines.|
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