First of all I am going give you a brief outline of how each meeting comes into being.. first the host decides what wine they would like to have at their tasting, so an email goes out to everyone a few weeks before. We reply if attending and tip up with the chosen wine. Sounds simple enough, or so you would think ....
We were hosting this month, being a planaholic (according to some ) I emailed out nice and early that our chosen wine would be Australian (Simple), however I did slightly complicate it, brought about by surfing the net looking for info on Australian wine. I found an article that suggested comparing Old & New World, what a good idea I thought...
So I sent another email out with roughly a weeks notice to say there would be a slight change of plan, three couples to bring a wine from the Northern Rhone region of France and the other three to bring an Australian Shiraz. Get it..Old World v New World... What we ended up with was two Australian Shiraz & one Australian Cabernet Sauvignon, One Northern Rhone & two Southern Rhone !
Best of all Mark arrived in the evening saying he had received a 'strange' email from Jacqui in the morning, he didn't understand it, so did nothing !
Here is the email ~
I am confused!!!anyway as long as we make it sue and Geoff’s ( I am even unsure about this!!) with a bottle !!
Two things 1) Only Mark looks at his emails on a Saturday so limited 'help' available and 2) All he needed to send back was " yes, Sue & Geoffs & bring a bottle of Shiraz... Oohhh and 3) If you know Jacqui, this is her life !!
Anyway, or anyways as our American friends always say...
Number One: Old world Shiraz 13%
Crozes Hermitage from Northern Rhone £9.79 from Sainsbury (6 voted it The Winner)
Big full bodied, aromas of black fruits with a rich liquorice palate, soft velvety tannins. Really lovely, I thought worth every penny. Geoff also liked it and he doesn't generally like red wine..
Number Two: New world Shiraz 13.5%
Blaxland Estate 2012 from South Eastern Australia (General verdict - Ok but not great)
Smooth medium bodied, ruby red with dark fruit aromas and ripe tannins.
Number Three: Old world we think from Southern Rhone villages 13.5%
(This was in that special cupboard)
Saint Ronain Cote du Rhone (Villages) 2011
A slightly sweeter tasting red and in typical french fashion, nothing on the label to give any information, so this was really Old World style !
Number Four: New World Australian Cabernet Sauvignon 14% (The excuse, didn't read the follow up email, if you know Karen & Mick, no surprise)
Rich, dark berries with hints of vanilla and oak.
Number Five: New world Southern Australia
McGuigan Classic Shiraz
Rich, spicy and bramble fruit, plums and raspberries, none of us got the raspberries.
Number Six: Old world we think Southern Rhone villages (The excuse here was, too busy watching the rugby so mad panic and rummage among wine rack to find a Cote du Rhone, so close but not quite. I can see how those rugby players would be distracting so slightly let you off)
Verdict, a close second to the first one
La Cote Sauvage Cairanne 2007 Cote du Rhone Villages 14%
A silky fruity red, almost 'sauvage' at first (or so the bottle says) this develops into complex sensation of ripe fruit, tinged with mocha and black cherries. This might be Old World but the detail on the label is new world, so some of the french producers are finally realising that the consumer needs info ...
So the big question which did we prefer the Old world Rhone or the New world Shiraz, half preferred the Old World the other half were undecided... general comments throughout the evening when you could hear above the noise.. were.. that we have come full circle and the old world wines give so much more in complex flavours than the big bold over the top Australian ones.
The food was a selection of antipasto, nice and easy put it all on the table and help yourselves.. the posh napkin folding was appreciated.. my secret Santa gift was a book on napkin folding, so gave it a go and did a lets all have a go demo late in the evening. Another of my secret Santa gifts later made an appearance too.. a bright red onesie (is that how its spelt ??)