When enjoying a glass or two of wine at home, it’s not often you get to experience more than one or two varietals at a time. That’s why we invited a few friends with instructions to bring something different…
Since most of the group were inexperienced wine drinkers, it had the potential to be more Ros with a White Zinfandel than Niles bringing a late harvest Gewurztraminer (Apologies to readers who haven’t watched “Frasier”). Despite this, the choices of the group were interesting and this was an opportunity to experiment and really taste the flavours. It was interesting to read out the descriptions on the labels and see if anyone could pick out the flavours they claimed to have.
First of the night was Sainsbury’s Winemakers Selection Pinot Grigio £5. A low key start from this supposedly ‘zingy’ wine. At 12%, it’s described as having “bright tropical fruit aromas and citrus flavours” but these didn’t stand out. Refreshing enough, but didn’t raise a single “mmm this one is nice”. If anyone has a recommendation for a good value Pinot Grigio, please get in touch!
Oyster Bay’s 2015 Sauvignon Blanc was the most expensive of the evening at £10 from Sainsburys. I’m a big Sauvignon Blanc fan so was keen to see if it lived up to my expectations. It was refreshing and crisp with a clear pale straw green colour. With aromas of passionfruit and tropical flavours, it was popular with the group.
We tried a second Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, this time from Aldi’s Exquisite Collection at £7.49. A couple of us had tried this one before and enjoyed it so were keen to find out what the others thought. The “Lime-drizzled nectarine” flavour gave this one more zing than the Oyster Bay and with a long finish, certainly worth the money. Comparing these two Sauvignon Blancs was an eye opener; showing that despite being made from the same variety of grape in the same region of New Zealand, the tastes can be miles apart.
Aldi’s Clare Valley Reising, another from their Exquisite Collection £6.99 never fails to disappoint. This mouth watering wine, with apple, lime and grapefruit was universally enjoyed. Another that a few of us had tried before and looks certain to see follow up purchases from our group.
Towards the end of the evening we moved onto sweet wines; something that a few of our group were trying for the first time…with mixed results. First up from our sweet wines was Sainsbury’s Moscatel de Valencia. Despite two of our group being a self-confessed sweet tooth, they really didn’t enjoy the sweet lingering honey taste although dessert wines aren’t to everyone’s liking. The others loved it though, and at only £5 a bottle of the dark-straw coloured nectar, I wouldn’t hesitate in buying it again.
Finally was the one I’d been looking forward to most, the 2012 Chateux de Myrat Sauternes. I’d spotted this in Aldi before Christmas, standing out in a wooden display box at £11.99 for a half bottle. At the start of the year, it had been reduced to an irresistible £6.99. Aged in oak barrels, this gave the Sauternes a more complex flavour than the Moscatel. A sweet treat, and would go brilliantly with poached pears, or my favourite; sticky toffee pudding!
A successful evening, giving us a small glimpse of the wide ranging aromas and flavours white wines can have. Not everyone liked every wine, but that’s why an opportunity to try a number different of wines in a single evening is a good reason to invite more friends round the next time you plan a social night in.