Monday, 18 February 2013

I just knew Mr Michael 'Malbec' was a blip...

Eight of us tipped up for the wine tasting at The Stones, they were expecting six but we'll get to that later.

The brief was bring red & wrap it !  I knew all these years of wine tasting would turn us into wine buffs..just like I knew Mr Michael 'Malbec' with all the research he did in October was a blip, red & wrap it, is just what we'd expect, that said, we actually had a fairly good selection of half decent wines, with the hosts providing the most expensive however, it was proved that the more you spend doesn't always make for the best wine.

We started the evening in a slight state of chaos, two of the guest (you know who you are) hadn't let the hosts know they were coming until that morning (slapped wrists for you both) & then it was an answer phone message that didn't get picked up.   So I arrived and mentioned that they had emailed to say coming, needless to say, the messenger got it in the ear, whats that saying 'don't shoot the messager' .. well I have a few bullet holes in me.  So please please let the hosts know you will be coming as soon as possible & earlier in the week, or you may find yourself sitting watching everyone else eating, the food cannot always be stretched !

So after the table & chairs were re-juggled, plates & cutlery added & more glasses found and the hostess calmed down, we began the wine tasting.  There was a bit of a flash back to the Lawrence Page evening where he said we could only eat dry crackers whilst tasting the wine... someone had handed round the crackers & nothing else.. maybe those late people should have only had crackers... (sorry must stop going on about it)..

We started with a 2011 McGuigan Shiraz Viognier from Australia it was generally thought to be a bit insipid, most unusual for an Australian wine, turned out it was 12% too, which may explain it, maybe it was Bulgarian in disguise!

Number two by contrast (mine) was delicious and came out tops for the evening, An Italian from Laithwaites £7.99 Pillastro Primitivo 2010

The bottle said, well the bottle didn't actually say, as bottles cannot speak, sometimes you might think they do, when they keep encouraging you to have another glass, Jacqui hears them often (or so Terry said !) ...

Puglia, in Italy's deep south, is best known for big, smoky, exuberant wines made from its prized local varieties - Primitivo and Negroamaro in particular. This example is from Angelo Maci, a leading figure in the quality revolution that has occurred over the last two decades. Angelo made this wine purely from Primitivo - more commonly known as Zinfandel in the States. In southern Italy it produces fantastically rich, powerful reds with plenty of ripe fruit. A period of oak ageing has infused the wine's generous fruit flavours with notes of spice and vanilla. This weighty red has aromas of ripe raspberry and spiced plum with notes of cedar wood. Enjoy with game stews, cassoulet, pasta with a rich tomato sauce or a hearty lasagne.

The third, the most expensive at £11.99 was a Shiraz from Chile, real headache, blue tongue & teeth material.. sort of a herbally aroma and it tasted like the smell of germolene. It was full on and heavy, a bit too much for most of us, not all of us, some could handle it (ask Jacqui !)

Number Four a Cote du Rhone 2011, cheap apparently & tasted it, no more to be said about this offering.

Lastly, if you are on the ball, you may be thinking that was a bottle too many, Steve & I came without our other halves, so we could have shared but that would have taken planning, it was enough just to arrange to walk together (thank you Mick for offering to pick me up)... So.. anyway number five a very old Rioja 2005.. toasty vanilla flavours, long smooth finish.  Mick said "its alright if your Spanish, I suppose" well made me smile..

I usually stick to white wines so what was noticeable was how quickly your head feels swimmy drinking reds, particularly with those from Chile.

All round a good loud fun evening with tasty homemade cake to finish off with.

Some might think I am picking on Jacqui, not really, its just she didn't say the 'N' word once but had super quick reflexes at spotting and dobbing in those that did. 

So on the 'N' fines...

Me         £1.20    surely not

Mick           90p   kept saying he didn't want to be included, out voted though..

Karen S £1.20    Mick told her not to say anything (impossible)

Terry          80p   should know better

Jacqui        zip    she was too busy drinking.. :)

Nick            80p  Just for the hell of it I think

Steve          40p  Shocking

Our hosts..then...

Our hosts

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