Warm up with a virtual wine cruise!
By debzbinden, Mar 1 2018 11:24PM
On the coldest day in Surrey in almost a decade, a determined group of wine fans braved the snowy conditions to come and taste through the #WedNightWineSchool Mediterranean selection. Taking the format of a virtual wine cruise we boarded our imaginary liner in the South of France and journeyed immediately east with a couple of pitstops on the way to the Lebanon. We then took a leisurely route back to where we began, taking in six wines in total from five different countries along the way.
Picpoul de Pinet, Chateau Ressac (Marks & Spencer) 2016, £10.49
You can almost taste the sea breeze in this racy medal-winner from the Languedoc’s leading white wine appellation. With dry steeliness and vertigo-inducing acidity this “lipstinger” from the south of France is typically paired with seafood but made an invigorating start to the session.
Le Stelle Vermentino, Sardinia (Waitrose) 2016, £6.99
Known here as Vermentino, this perfectly suited Mediterranean grape variety has an amazing ability to retain crisp acidity in spite of the balmy climate in which it thrives. The juicy but crisp mouthful of grapefruit flavours were softened by rounded lime characters and a layer of almonds.
Hatzidakis Santorini (The Wine Society) 2016, £13.50
So much more than a holiday wine, with the rare skill of tasting just as delicious even without the beautiful backdrop of a romantic tourist hotspot - in this case the stunning island of Santorini. The renowned Assyrtiko grape variety dazzles with precise citrus and apple flavours and a long, clean finish.
Hochar 2013, Lebanon, (The Wine Society), £12.95
An excitingly accessible insight into the Chateau Musar range - Lebanon's renowned world-famous producer, now made by the third generation of the Hochar family. Perfumed aromas from the drought-hardy Cinsault were fleshed out with body and character from the Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon in this mellow blend.
Blau, Montsant, Spain (M&S, The Wine Society), 2016, £9.50
Not too dissimilar in style to the cult wines of the neighbouring Priorat region but with a slightly easier price tag. Dominated on the nose by the rustic characteristics of the wine’s dominant proportion of Cariñena but opening up in the glass to deliver mouth-filling wild bramble flavours and spice.
Fitou Domaine Jones, (Majestic, The Wine Society), 2015, £14.50
Languedoc-Roussillon by way of Ashby-de-la-Zouche. Harvested from gnarled old vines by an English pioneer, resulting in award-winning concentration and character. Grenache-dominant with bold, richness and a layer of wild intensity.
March's #WedNightWineSchool theme is Chocolate & Wine pairing, tickets available here.