You know those people who can shove their nose into a wine glass and actually smell stuff, other than, ‘wine’. The person who knows which wine to drink with a particular meal and knows about the different vintages.
I am not one of those people.
I’m the kind of person who checks that the label looks OK and checks that the price is OK and then puts the wine into my shopping trolley not even really thinking anymore about it. Sometimes it tastes great, other times it gets better the more I drink, but I’ve always hidden behind the claim that as I don’t know anything it’s the best I can do.
Well no more! Signing up to the Bookalokal wine tasting evening promised nibbles, a selection of wines and some good company. Yes, at the end of the evening all of that was delivered, but I realised that like so many of these evenings I’d had a great time and also learnt something too.
I was invited to attend the evening billed as an introduction to Argentinian wine, and although I like drinking new world wines, I know little beyond the colour that comes out the bottle, so this sounded perfect for the next time I was in Carrefour. The event was hosted by Barbi, an Argentinian recently arrived from New Zealand. An ex-sommelier, she now runs Cheers Tastings and had prepared a set of background sheets that not only set out the areas in Argentina that contain vineyards, but also the conditions that produce the various wines.
Linked to the different wines we were tasting, it helped me understand the flavours that were in the bottle and how they were created. Barbi had also put together food to go with the tasting, a traditional picada, including pickles, cheeses, breads, meats and salad. One of the best combinations was pairing smoky crisps with a heavy red Malbec, an amazing taste sensation.
We tasted each of the four wines on offer, and Barbi told us where we could get the same wine in the supermarket, a real benefit when we’d identified the favourites among the bottles. The other guests were also enjoying the education and we all had our favourites. Four hours later, I’d had some amazing taste experiences and felt excitement at the next supermarket trip to try out my new knowledge.