Monday, 22 July 2013

It was a strange evening at The Stones (strange!)

Our hosts were Karen & Mick who welcomed the smaller gathering of eight this month, tasting wines from Argentina, inspired I assume by our visit to the Marlowe Theatre the evening before to see Midnight Tango..brilliant.. Geoff & Micks suggestion was that Karen & I should give up the gym membership & take up dancing so we would have bodies like the dancers...what are they saying ?!?

I suppose I should jump right in here and explain the 'strange', Karen told us about Micks (latest) annoying habit which is to repeat a word from every question or sentence she said  examples " would you like a cup of tea" his reply, tea ! ... "shall we go in the garden".. he would say garden ! .. "would you like a clip round the ear"... he'd reply.. ear !... you get the drift... now the problem with Karen mentioning this to seven people who have had a few to drink is, of course,  it sounds really funny, needless to say in no time at all, it was picked up around the table for the rest of the evening, most of us chuckling away as we did it.... Karen had to smile in the end too (smile! )  So as you read the words in () read in Micks voice :)

Mick was on form (form!) quite early on Mick wanted to know if Jacqui was interested in seeing his plums (plums!), naturally a few chuckles here, he added that could take her down the garden, behind the shed (shed!) and show her (I bet he could), more chuckles here..but Jacqui wasn't interested she wanted to see his nuts (nuts!).... Mick said he couldn't oblige but Steve had some and could show her his !  This really set the tone for the rest of the evening.  I think it must be something to do with wines from Argentina & Chile, we always seem to have evenings bursting with laughter (with smutty undertones) when we drink these wines. (wines!)

Now onto the wines, I actually have four impressive set of notes this month (notes!), not bad four from eight, lets pretend they worked as teams making tasting notes, but those of you that read this regularly will know of course, that only four could be bothered (bothered!)

Some background to wines from Argentina (that you think the host would have supplied..I know they can 'google'..just), although not email, as the wine club invitation came via Neil their son !

Argentina enjoys the same ideal temperatures and climate for making wine as its neighbour Chile. But where Chileans are laid back, Argentinians tend to have a bit more passion and spark which I think rubbed off on us.

The Mendoza Province is one of Argentina's most important wine regions, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the country's entire wine production. Located in the eastern foothills of the Andes, in the shadow of Mount Aconcagua, vineyards are planted at the some of the highest altitudes in the world with the average site located 1,970–3,610 feet (600–1,100 meters) above sea level.
The first wine was the overall winner for the evening ~ rush out & buy it !

Number One   Besos de Cata Chardonnay Chenin Blanc  £4.99 Morrisons

We thought it was a great summer wine. Light & refreshing, Jacqui said a great way to start a summer evening (summer evening) Although Cliftonville struggled all day under low cloud (low cloud)and fine drizzle not a sunbeam to be seen. Back to the wine  which had honeyed fruit and floral scents. (floral scents) With zesty citrus tang and vibrant juicy apple and white peach, this is a spirit-lifting aperitif and a cheeseboard belter. (cheeseboard belter) actually I am starting to agree with Karen that this could be annoying ....

(For some strange reason when this is on the Blog the text is different sizes, if you don't see that it must be my computer)

The experts say (experts!):

This wines shows what under-rated Chenin Blanc can do when matched with the showpiece Chardonnay grape. The skillful Besos de Cata winemakers have developed both grapes to bring out their... huge raisiny fruit with big dashes of guava, peach and citrus zests in this surprisingly complex, but wholly delicious, wine. The floral blasts will almost knock you off your feet too. This white works terrifically well with notoriously tricky-to-match Mexican food.

Chenin Blanc A bit of info for you:
This white grape comes from the middle Loire region, where it makes all sorts of delicious wines across a wide range of sweetness, from the honeyed dry wines of Vouvray to the apple-flavoured Anjou and sparkling Saumur and Vouvray wines. It is also widely planted in South Africa and California, where it makes great dry whites.
Number Two   Artesano De Argento Pinot Grigio 2012 13%    £7.99

This wine was light lemon in colour, delicate floral aromas and tropical fruit notes. White stone fruit flavours of apricot and peach are complemented by mineral and slate elements leading into a zesty finish. Crisp and refreshing to drink. A slight harshness to it but may have just seemed that way after Number One.

What the experts thought:
Made with typical Argentina passion, Artesano de Argento is sourced from high altitude vineyards with a variety of soil profiles and microclimates. This allows them to produce elegant, vibrant wines of exceptional complexity, balance, and fruit purity.
Number Three   Tupungato Malbec 2009 13.5%  £10  M & S
Steve informed us we'd had this before & it was a winner last time. It did come out top of the reds this time.  It was very intense and dark, I want to add moody but I don't think a wine can be moody. (moody) sorry need to stop that. It was smooth & velvety, full of blackberry flavours. Nice shaped bottle too.
A real cork, had Mick fumbling for a corkscrew, who'd have thought you'd need one of those at a wine tasting evening ?!?
Number Four  Artesano de Argento Malbec 2012 13.5%  from Tesco 
We thought, blackberry, spice & oak with the odd hint of wellie boots.
Experts say:
Artesano de Argento Malbec has a deep violet colour and a lively nose initially showing notes of plums, (hopefully not Micks plums!) before evolving into complex aromas of black cherries and chocolate. Flavours on the palate of blackberry and blackcurrant with hints of spice are soft and elegant with a balanced acidity and medium body. The finish is long and smooth with round tannins.
The general opinion was they were all good and worth the money.
There was a spillage, Mick was over excited by something, probably his plums (!) knocked a glass of red that sploshed (it did splosh) out into my water glass (yes, I did have water in my glass & yes I do drink the water not just the wine, before any smartie pants says anything) anyway breaking news "Red wine floats on water",it didn't sink into the water it just floated on top !  Is that normal or was it dodgy 'oily'wine .....

So all in all we had a really good laugh Saturday evening..

Oh yes, just remembered one more thing, The Stones were raving about the about to be bumper crop of cherries in the garden, so Karen sent Mick down to pick some for us to try, (if you know Karen you'd have gone to if she sent you) the ripe red ones were very nice but some he'd picked weren't ready, you must ask yourself though, Mick can't be to blame he is red & green colour blind !

Time to stick a cork in it (cork) now stop it now !
Bye S x