So often we go with what we know when it comes to selecting a bottle of wine. This month we challenged Derek Whitmell, one of our club members to present 8 wine that were all unlikely to have been tried before and he did not disappoint! Selecting some quality wines, all from the Wine Society (an on-line retailer who have experts recommend wines for us to try), he took us around the world to some different countries and some different grapes from countries we knew well.
Our first white was Vacqueras Blanc les Chefs d’Or 2016. White Vacqueyras is rare yet this white Clairette blend is a speciality at Domaine Le Clos des Cazaux down in Rhone, a blend of clairette, rousanne and white grenache. This example is described as “Crisp, dry and perfectly balanced”, which goes well with oysters or fish.
Next was a Greek wine called Tetramythos Roditis Natur,2017. A whistle-clean Greek white. Slightly pink skinned variety of grape, commonly grown in Greece. For those who were trying to pick out the flavours, they were looking for soft pear and pepper! The Greeks helped spread wine to the rest of Europe so we have a lot to thank them for!
Our third whites was Mtsvane Georgian Dry White Schuchmann, 2017, (mtsvane is pronounced ‘ma-ts-vay-nay’), a fresh herbal white made from the mtsvane grape. It has a zesty freshness which would work well with your fish starter this Christmas!
We finished the whites with Tuercebotas Tempranillo Bianca, 2017, Rioja. Many people will have tried Rioja, but few will have had a white Rioja made from the tempranillo grape (normally used to make the more common red variety). This was a great alternative and it was nice to try a crisp white from a grape most recognised.
Reds were all equally intriguing and to save space I have briefly listed them below for reference:
Naoussa Jeunes Vignes Thymiopoulos, 2016, Greece. The grape was xinomavro pronounced “tsi-noh-mavro”. This one is worth trying chilled.
Hochar Chateau Musar 2015 from Lebanon. This is a blend of Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan. The premier wine is normally around £28 per bottle so at just under £13 this is a good value wine (try it with a chicken tagine and apricots ).
Novac Sec, Prince Stirbey, 2015 from Romania. This had ripe but fresh and juicy flavours which make it a very attractive red.
Lagrein Alto Adige, Hofstatter, 2016 from Italy. Described as having a “bright vibrant, fresh, black-fruited bouquet and naturally sweet juicy flavour, with an appetising salty finish; and “A delightful example of this local north-east Italian speciality”. Lagrein is related to the more common Pinot and syrah grapes.