Doubles, we had two Karens, Jackie and Jacqui and two Terrys then the two events, wine tasting and the big pumpkin competition.
Let's start with the Pumpkins, plenty of excitement as couples produced the pumpkins that they had been growing all summer, although I am not quite sure how some could be excited with their offering, just joking you all did very well..
There were three good sized ones all quite similar, we were quite proud of those, there were two smaller but again similar in size, then there was Marks cutie one, so small that it didn't register on the scales, imagine the laughter, yes we are a cruel and a harsh bunch that take no prisoners when it comes to competition...we had to get out the small kitchen scales to get it to register the 10oz, it's not all bad though it did have the best colour a deep orange.
The three of us with what we thought were good size pumpkins were feeling quite smug..then... Terry and Karen arrive, the car is reversed up to the house to unload...not a sign to inspire confidence in us.. They produced or should I say Terry had grown a whopper, we all thought he would however we didn't expect it to be quite so large.. 3st 4lb 2oz ! It did as expected cause a great deal of excitement..so Terry cleaned up with the prizes for weight and girth.
We did have a couple of other prizes, pumpkin most like it's owner went to Mick..a little rough around the edges (we love you all the same!) the prize for the most enthusiastic went to Mark, he really did deserve it, his pumpkin just didn't deserve him!
Here's how we did:
Terry and Karen. 3st 4lb 2oz. 55"
Nick and Jacqui. 12lb 8oz. 34"
Geoff and I. 11lb 2oz. 31"
7lb 4oz. 32". Bit of a light weight for it's size
Karen and Mick. 4lb. 25"
Terry and Jackie 3lb. 22"
Mark and Linda. 10oz. 12". They say it's not the winning but the taking part!
This cutie was probably most talked about, described as cute, sexy, pocket size, travel size, boob size (well some peoples) or were we all just trying to make Mark feel better after we laughed at the weigh in..funny, Linda had managed to disassociate (is that a word? If not it sounds as if it should be) herself from the little orange offering.
It was fun now onto the wine..
So let's start with the wines, we started with Sparkling wine (after all we can't call it champagne can we) from Chapel Down winery in Kent. A Pinot Noir Chardonnay 12.5% £24.99 ~ A light sparkling wine with pronounced red fruit character and rounded, honey notes on the palate and some of us felt a hint of apple. Fizzy in the mouth but little fizz in the glass and no mousse.
Now those paying attention will notice the strange order of wines as we go through.. I am unusually spoilt for choice with so many notes this time, don't know what came over us...
We then had a Merlot from Turner Road 2009 13.5% Deep ruby red, aromas of jammy plum and that old favourite 'wellie boots'. Hints of toasty oak, red cherries.
This was followed by shock horror a Pinot Noir, needless to say it proved only mildly popular with only one person marking it over a six but nice enough to leave an empty bottle at the end of the evening. Quite smooth and ripe cherry flavour. Redwood Creek 12.5% 2009 however this was the best wrapped bottle of the evening our guests Terry and Jackie got ten out of ten for the beautiful handmade Indian paper they used.
A Ruby Cabernet 2010 12.5% from Marks and Spencer, juicy red colour and jammy aroma, fresh and fruity taste with a clean fresh finish with maybe a hint of smokiness and a bit more tannin than some of the others.
Now things go a bit array and we have a white, I think in all the excitement with the various pumpkins arriving, (obviously not by themselves) 'people' forgot to mention their wine was a white and should for one thing have gone in the fridge and followed the sparkling. However, it faired quite well, Miwok Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2010 12.5% Fresh and crisp, aromas of citrus fruit plenty of grapefruit and lemon flavors, this wine came in second.
I have to point out that Geoff needs a lesson in wine swirling, he was far too enthusiastic and sploshed it (I am sure thats a wine term) over my new trousers, lucky it was a white lucky they weren't Ralph Lauren trousers (from experience never wear anything too good to our wine club if you do someone will always pour wine over you, they will of course say it's an accident but who knows).. not that I have any RL trousers in case you wondered, maybe you didn't, oopps starting to go on a tangent as usual!
So after the surprise of a white appearing amid the reds, low and behold another white, not only that it turned out to be a double, exactly the same as the one before..can you explain this (I am sure Lawrence could if he had been there)at least half the group thought it was a Chardonnay completely different in colour and taste, it was identical same year etc .... So how do you account for that and the scores on the doors were very different for the two...I suppose it could just mean most of us STILL are rubbish at wine tasting, no there must be another explanation.
We finished the tasting with the winning wine of the evening, Karen M said we would never guess the grape and guess what, we didn't, I don't think we have had it before, some smartie pants will probably correct me on this fact. A very smooth deep purple Petit Verdot 2010 13.5% aromas of raspberry and ripe blueberry, flavors of liquorice and subtle spice with well balanced tannins. This wine was the most popular by far.
Oh just one other thing can our guest Terry let me have the breakdown of his special 'codes' on the tasting sheet... All numbers no words ! The only thing I can make out he voted his own wine the best...
It was as always loud, great fun and good to be with friends.
Time to stick a cork in it.
Bye S x
The picture of the debris following an evening of wine tasting, actually the picture doesn't quite capture the extent of the carnage !