Monday, 21 October 2013

A Red Herring

October wine club was hosted by Mark & Linda, we were to taste Linda's favourite, Pinotage.  Now, Linda and I had a brief discussion about whether Pinotage was actually a grape in its own right, we thought it was & is unique to South Africa, after all we should know by now, we do belong to a wine club and for roughly the last 10 years, thus surely making us experts (now rolling on the floor laughing)..

About Pinotage -

They vary in style from young & fruity (like some of us) for example Beaujolais, with bubblegum & banana flavours, thats the wine not us, to rich (none of us) dark meaty & smokey (any of us ?) Many have an element of earthiness about them (could be a couple of us). They all have good depth, structure, character & are well balanced (naturally all of us).

After a glass of wine & general catch up we took our places around the table, the high & the low (more about that later).  Mr Micheal 'Malbac' than proceeded to tell us that actually Pinotage was a blend of two grapes.. Pinot Noir & .. before he could add the second we all said 'tage', you can see already how the evening was going to, no he said its Pinot Noir & Cinsault.. well, now, I am thinking could Linda & I have been wrong, he did sound quite sure (or say something with enough conviction & people believe you), it will become clear why & where this Red Herring came from when we get to his wine.

So, back to the high & low end of the tables, Nick pointed out the difference in height and said the low was for the little people and if that was the case why was Mark the tallest of the group sitting perched at the end on the highest chair ??  Could it be that he having just returned from the second leg of his Pilgrimage in Spain, felt the need to watch over his 'flock' from above and bestow his knowledge on 'taste'  how the different parts of the tongue taste different flavours, or I think that was the gist of it., also announcing we'd all be playing a game later (really ?!?)

Pilgrim Mark
I suppose we should be grateful that he didn't bring another way to drink wine, discovered on the trail, to our evening.. using a scalloped shell instead of a glass to take wine from the fountain (although I did spot a 'box' of wine on the windowsill, maybe that was to be the party game)

You can read his adventure on his Blog

I digress, whats new I hear you cry, get on with, stop being a Ronnie Corbet (is that one T or two T's ...)

One & Four - The Vineyards £3.99 13.5 % Tesco

We thought: Bright red in colour, cherry & plum flavours, clean & crisp for a red.

The bottle blurb: Big, bold red berry spicy plums (not Micks plums again, surely)
ending with a dry chocolate finish...

Mr Malbecs wine
Number Two - Houdamond 2012  14.5%  £10.49 from M & S

Everyone voted this the best of the evening by far.

We thought: Deep rich purple red colour with a lovely aroma. Full flavours of prunes, vanilla and black cherry, we loved it, worth the money.

The bottle blurb: Vibrant purple colour (Mick contests this, although thinking about it he is colour blind red & green) Packed with cassis and black cherry & a hint of spice.

 Pinotage is South Africa's very own grape variety, developed there as a successful cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault vines in the 1920's.  (Now you can see where the red herring originated)

Today it is prized for its wonderfully fruity aromatic character. This is 100% Pinotage, hand-picked from bush vines in the Stellenbosch area of the Western Cape, was aged in American oak barrels to add further depth of flavour and structure.
Three - Stellenrust 14%

We were all to busy eating our way through a delicious chicken & rice dish and slurping this wine (yes, it is a wine term) that none of us made any notes apart from ' too busy eating'

Bottle blurb: Rich raspberry aroma, fresh autumn berry fruits & chocolate smoothness.

Five - Fleur de Cap £8.99 from Morrison

If any of you are thinking where is wine number four,
it means you skimmed the above rather than reading it !

Very disappointed with this wine I bought, the price did not reflect the contents, it was very poor, the term that is often used to describe poor Pinotage is rustic..
Terry said this translates to 'rough'

The bottle blurb: Aromas of clove & vanilla, flavours of black & red berry.

Six - Simply Pinotage 13.5% Tesco

A classic ' rustic' Pinotage !!

Bottle blurb: Big bold red berry & dark bramble fruit notes ending in a dry chocolate finish.

The wines were tasted, the food was eaten, the chocolates were passed round and the tea was drunk... it was time for party games, half the table were up and keenly waiting in the other room the rest of us made no attempt to move (high table group of rebels..guess which group I was in).

Mark made a couple of attempts to get us to join the others, finally deciding on, just turn the lights off.. with our wings clipped we dragged ourselves to join the others for a word game (whoppee do) turned out, despite our reluctance to be quite good fun.

This brought the talk round to the Christmas get together, which will be at Jacqui & Nicks this year, expectations are high, all expecting fun and games.  Secret Santa envelopes were handed out, once again I have a toughie :(

All in all a splendid evening.

Time to stick a cork in it.

Bye S x

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