Sunday, 6 April 2014

Wine Club

Every couple of months (not often enough if you ask me) I get together with some wine-y friends for a wine club. It is a great way to try lots of different things and learn about wine (and eat a lot and drink in moderation of course:)
This is The Wine Captain (she actually has a wine education business called this) organising the troups.

To test us out, we tasted all the wines blind and had a guess at varieties. It was actually quite a tricky bunch of wines to do this with.

2013 Livewire FBW6, Geelong
The challenge here was to guess the six (Six!) grape varieties in the wine.
Pale gold in the glass with exquisite aromatics- freshly cut grass, passionfruit, pineapple and kiwi. On the palate it had lovely texture, crisp acidity, more tropical fruits and a slightly briny, savoury, bitter almond finish.
This had me guessing Italian wine varieties but I was way off. It is a blend of the usual suspects with a couple of tricksy ones- Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Semillon, Muscadelle, Viognier and Chardonnay.
Available from Blackhearts and Sparrows in Melbourne- I had a bit of trouble finding any other stockists or even a website for the winery.

2008 Tahbilk Marsanne
I bought this from the winery in 2011 so have done pretty well with the aging. A well aged Marsanne is a rapturous thing but now that wineries use screwcap, the aging process isn't quite the same.* It wasn't the viscous honey nectar I was hoping for (plus it really needs more than 6 years under cork- I'm too impatient). There were some unusual characters on the nose- canned asparagus (not unpleasant though), talc and greek yoghurt; with honey, citrus pith and a bit of phenolic grip on the palate and a long finish.

2012 Sorrenberg Gamay - Wine of the Day (maybe even wine of the week!).
Gamay is a grape originating from France and is responsible for Beaujolais which is a bit unfashionable at the moment. In the hands of a good winemaker it can be revelationary. I originally guessed this as a Pinot Noir with it's strawberry, spice and earthy notes on the nose but it was more intense on the palate with higher tannin and my mind went to a blend (it is actually 10% pinot). On the palate there is sour cherry and fabulous earthy, gamey characters. So complex, so good, and pretty affordable for such an elegant wine at $40. You can get this from Dan Murphys- I since have been in to get another bottle and even the checkout staff were raving about this wine.

2009 Delatite Malbec
Another one I have managed to cellar cupboard for three years. World Malbec day is coming up (April 17) so if you haven't tried this varietal yet you should see a few about in the stores. Originally from France (called Auxxerois), Malbec has become the national varietal of Argentina.
This one from Delatite in Victoria has aromas of chocolate, black cherries, oak and some savoury herbal notes. On the palate there is rich berry fruits, and some spiciness with fantastic concentration and powdery tannins. It is still available from the winery and is great value at $30.

2011 Bindi Pyrette Heathcote Shiraz
2011 was a tough year for wine in Australia (and beyond) but it is absolutely not a year to be written off- there were some absolutely fabulous but completely atypical wines produced and this is one of them. Trying to guess this wine had us all completely fooled. With a lightish garnet colour and aromas of rose petals, leather, spice and some gamey, toasty notes I was thinking along the lines of a Nebbiolo. The palate only confused me further- quite a silky mouthfeel but with solid tannin and flavours of clove, redcurrant, and more leather, gamey, spicy notes. I haven't tried Bindi's Heathcote Shiraz before, and I must try the 2012 to compare (available from the winery), but this was unlike any Shiraz I have tasted before. Available at Dan Murphy's for $36.

And now for some gratuitous food pictures.
Cheese is important.

This is MSG. Yep, the evil stuff. It is a reasonably good example of Umami which is an important flavour in wine and food and as I had never tasted it by itself before, I did. It is delicious.... but it does make me thirsty.

Baked sausages and vegetables created by Nigella and brought to you by The Wine Captain

Roast potato salad

Nutty, seedy rice salad
A girl needs some carbs after all that wine.

Wine is also conducive to animated discussion

Time for sweets

Almond cake with buttercream and popping candy on top. OMG!

Lemon curd cheesecake

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

This cake made me so happy. I have never, but always wanted to, try a rainbow cake but even better is a chequered rainbow cake!

We moved on to a card game called Bullshit. At some point this amazing bling began to get passed around to identify the winner of the last round.

We may have got a little competitive

Or quietly confident.
I always adorn my head with shiny things- I think I must have been a princess in a former life.

But the wine won in the end.

*Corks allow minute amounts of oxygen in which helps to mature the wine. Screw caps are (ideally) completely airtight which makes ageing a whole new ballpark.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my this sounds like my kind of club!! I havent tried any of these wines, going to keep my eye out for the gamay.


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