I recently attended a wine tasting hosted by Liberty Wines in Edinburgh. They are one of our main suppliers so I was keen to try some new wines from them. The tasting was held at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society building on Queen Street which is looking magnificent following its recent total refurbishment. I’d recommend it for lunch if you are looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of Central Edinburgh as it’s a lovely place to relax, eat and maybe even try a dram or two! https://www.smws.com/queen-st
I would like to share some of my findings with you. These are my personal favourites from the day. They are now all available to order on our new website so if any of them take your fancy, please head to www.exelwines.co.uk to place your order. You can also call and place your order by phone if you prefer on 01738 493535.
Starting with the Sparkling Wines section, there were a couple of rather good English wines on offer. These wines are perfect for any celebration requiring a little bit of “sparkle” and are both of phenomenal quality. I shall be getting some for over the festive period but these are not just for Christmas. Think birthdays, dinner parties, family get-togethers, evenings with friends, the quintessential accompaniment to our favourite British cuisine – Fish & Chips. The choices are endless!
NV Balfour Leslie’s Reserve, Hush Heath Estate, Kent, Southern England - £24.79
Balfour Leslie’s Reserve is a delightful yet zingy light style of bubbly with consistent fine bubbles and a dry character behind a citrus sherberty lime and lemon flavour. It is fresh and delicious and can be well matched to various occasions especially as an aperitif or with nibbles.
2013 Rose, Hattingley Valley, Hampshire, Southern England – £34.20
This is a dry style of Rose which is predominantly red fruit driven. These include raspberries and redcurrant with a hint of cranberry. This is a lovely light style which has a good balance of fruit and acidity.
Moving on, I came across some tremendously enjoyable whites from various corners of the wine world. I have tried to be comprehensive with my choices and have selected three wines which are made using three different grape varieties. My main emphasis was to find easy drinking wines that will be enjoyed by a broad spectrum of people. I hope you agree with my choices – all I can say is I think they are delicious!
2016 Chardonnay, Peter Lehmann Wildcard, South Australia, Australia – £9.32
The Wildcard is a light and subtle un-oaked chardonnay with light peach and apricot flavours which has a lower acidity than I expected and would therefore go well with creamy pasta dishes and also chicken. This wine is a good all-rounder and will be enjoyed by most people so is an ideal choice as a gift or if you are having a get-together with friends.
2015 Organic Verdejo, Montanar, Castilla la Mancha, Spain – £9.61
This Verdejo has an exotic character that tantalises the tastebuds with aromas of tropical fruit. It does, however, retain a citrusy zest and freshness on the palate. There are also hints of intense fruit aromas, apple blossom and elderflower with an additional hint of almond. It is a light style of wine which is well balanced.
2015 Picpoul de Pinet Coteaux de Languedoc, Baron de Badassiere, Languedoc, France – £9.76
The Baron de Badassiere Picpoul de Pinet is a delicious dry white wine that is the perfect accompaniment to seafood. It is pale lemon in colour with crisp apple aromas which are enhanced by lime zest and ripe yellow plum flavours.
Finally, onto the reds. As tempting as it would be to go for all the rich full-bodied warming styles at this time of year, I also wanted to think about those people who want to drink red wine with lighter meals and meats such as chicken. I therefore tried various styles, some heavy, some light. These were all wines I would be happy to have grace my table and I am happy to recommend them to you.
2016 Shiraz Cabernet, Peter Lehmann Wildcard, South Australia, Australia – £9.32
A medium bodied wine with a character that tastes more full bodied. Spicy liquorice and blackberry flavours are plentiful in this wine which would happily pair with many red meats but would work equally well with spaghetti Bolognese.
2015 Organic Graciano, Montañar, Castilla-La-Mancha, Spain - £9.61
A deep red colour with violet hues. It offers bright, aromatic black fruits of plum and black cherry on the nose with refreshing acidity and round tannins. This wine would go very well with turkey as an alternative to white wine.
2015 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Il Faggio, Abruzzo, Italy – £9.48
A deep ruby red in colour, with lifted perfumes of dark fruits, plums and cherries and a hint of mocha. This wine has wonderfully soft, yet velvety tannins and a delicious chocolate-cherry finish. This familiar wine was a richer, fuller style than I was expecting and proved to be a great discovery.
2013 ‘A’ Amarone, Alpha Zeta, Veneto, Italy – £23.08
This Amarone is deep and intense on the nose with perfumes of dried cherries and blueberries, as well as notes of spiced autumn fruit compote. On the palate it is powerful with a lovely balance of ripe tannins and spiced, concentrated savoury cherry fruit flavours. A touch of woodsmoke completes the long finish. This is a rich, decadent wine which would work well with venison or other game as well as lamb and hearty casseroles.
I hope you enjoy these wines as much as I did! Please let me know if there are any types or styles of wine that you would like me to focus my attention on next time round as I want to ensure that I am chatting to you about the things you are interested in, whether that be wine or spirit related. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org – I look forward to hearing from you. Happy quaffing!