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
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
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

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    ICE ICT: Lead Business Consultant

    £39,000: ICE ICT: Specific and detailed knowledge and experience of travel sys...

    Day In a Page

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map
    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
    Paris Fashion Week

    Paris Fashion Week

    Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
    A year of the caliphate:

    Isis, a year of the caliphate

    Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
    Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

    Marks and Spencer

    Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
    'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

    'We haven't invaded France'

    Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
    Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

    Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

    The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
    7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

    Remembering 7/7 ten years on

    Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
    Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

    They’re here to help

    We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
    What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

    What exactly does 'one' mean?

    Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue