Our February meeting was held at Ginny’s house with Sarah providing the wines.
The first wine was Quirky Bird white wine from the Western Cape, South Africa. This wine is a blend of Chenin Blanc, Semillon and Muscat. It is soft and fruity with citrus and peach flavours, best drunk young with spicy food. Its ABV was 12.5% and cost £5.75 from Tesco.
The second wine was Pichi Richi Shiraz from South East Australia. This smooth and fruity wine had flavours of blackberries and plums. The wine is, according to its notes, best drunk while young and vibrant, but we weren’t sure if that meant the wine or us. It pairs well with grilled meats and cheeses. Its ABV was 14% and Sarah bought it from Marks & Spencer for £6.00.
The third wine was Barefoot Malbec from California. This was a richer, fuller wine than the previous red with flavours of blackberry, currant and vanilla. It pairs well with barbecued steak, spicy pulled pork or pizza. Its ABV was 13% and was purchased from Waitrose for £6.89.
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.
Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.