Wine: Crowd pleasers for Christmas

 

A taste of wine is worth 100 ads. So it proved with the wine walks which are consistently one of the most popular features of the Wine Gang's Christmas tastings in London, Edinburgh and Bath. Groups of 10 wine consumers go walkabout with a member of the Wine Gang, stopping at different exhibitors to taste and talk about a wine. The interaction gives everyone the chance to taste wines normally outside their comfort or shopping zones and it gives the five members of the Wine Gang invaluable feedback as to consumer preferences.

Australia's new wave whites included a satisfyingly restrained 2011 Tempus Two Copper Plate Wilde Chardonnay, £8.39, drinkfinder.co.uk, and Shaw and Smith's subtly oaked, complex, Burgundy premier cru level 2010 M3 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, around £24.99, Majestic, and independents. There was exceptional riesling, too, in Pike's 2011 Clare Valley Riesling, £14.99, Red & White (01548 854473), Great Grog (0131 555 0222), all lemon and lime-like minerality, with a superb Austrian counterpart in a zingy dry 2009 Riesling Steinhaus, Hiedler, £18.95, Berry Bros & Rudd (0800 240 2440).

Among many other excellent whites, there was the best of modern Spain in the deliciously floral and peachy 2011 Ailala Ribeiero Treixadura, £9.95, Great Western Wines (01225 322810), from northern Italy an opulent, nutty Italian dry white, the 2010 Biscardo Lugana, Veneto, £11.92, Exel Wines (01738 493535) and from Provence, a succulently sweet and sour apple and pear-like 2011 Côtes du Lubéron Château la Canorgue, £13.50, Yapp Bros (01747 860423).

From a plethora of magnificent reds, the 2011 Bodegas y Viñedos Monfil, Cariñena, £7.50, Lea & Sandeman (020-7244 0522), was a model of strawberryish spiciness, and the 2010 Route du Van Dolcetto Shiraz, £10.99, Strictly Wine (0845 1283 838), a spicy and mulberryish blend from Australia's Victoria. Big red wine guns included Finca Allende's modern, lightly smoky 2006 Rioja Tinto, £17.95, Berry Bros, Trizanne Barnard's sleek and opulently dark berryish 2009 Trizanne Signature Wines Swartland Syrah, £17.59, Newark Wines (01556 690544) and the spicy, peppery Rhône classic: 2011 Alain Graillot Crozes Hermitage, £19.25, Yapp Bros.

The best way to finish a wine walk is on a sweet note and among those singled out by the wine walkers, the peachy ripe 2010 Jurançon Cuvée Julie Domaine Clos Thou, 50cl, £12.50, Tasting Room (01225 483070) stood out, along with the luscious 2008 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon, half-bottle, around £15, Hailsham Cellars (01323 441212), Four Walls Wine (01243 535353) and the Domaine des Demoiselles Rivesaltes Ambré, Solera, £17, Aubert & Mascoli (020-7252 3460), whose liquid toffee-apple richness was one of the greatest pudding wines any of us, wine walkers and I, had experienced.

Suggested Topics
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'