Tasting with Wine Trust 100 #LOCKDOWNWINE TASTING.
How are you entertaining yourself during lockdown? There’s such a wealth of online events – from virtual pub quizzes to screenings of theatre, west end shows, ballet and opera. But, sometimes it’s good to just relax with a glass or six of wine and enjoy learning more about what you are drinking at the same time. An online winetasting sounds just the ticket to me!
Wine Trust 100 has set up their lockdown wine tasting events so that we can all enjoy learning more about the wine we love at the same time as sipping and savouring. I was lucky enough to get to join in with their very first event last Thursday, led by wine expert and host for the evening, Alistair Cooper MW. The concept behind Wine Trust 100 is that they have a very carefully curated selection of what they call ‘wine heroes’ – wines of character and deliciousness that over-perform for their price. The relationship between quality and price is shown in the “MWS” rating (Master of Wines). The closer to 100 the MWS, the better the quality is for the price. Only wines with a MWS of 90 or more make it into the WineTrust.
Now, I have great respect for anyone who has earned their Master of Wine qualification – it’s a really tough training and widely regarded as the top qualification in the world of wine. Any event where a Master of Wine is leading the conversation is going to be genuinely informative – and every Master of Wine I’ve met has had a great sense of humour too. Alisdair Cooper turned out to be no different as he led us around the world in 6 wines, each chosen for their excellence and exceptional value. Alisdair is a regular judge at the Decanter World Wine Awards and is a panel chair for the International Wine & Spirit Competition, as well as President of South America’s most prestigious wine competition, the Cata d’Or Wine Awards.
We started off with the white wines, Amalaya Calchaqui Valley Torrontes/ Reisling from Argentina which is available on the WineTrust100 site as part of the lockdown wine tasting box or separately priced at £10.50 – lovely, fresh and light with citrus flavours. It’s apparently the Reisling that lifts this wine a great start to the event.
Moving on to Cantina di Monteforte Vigneto Montegrande Soave Classico Superiore, another great spring wine which Alisdair explained was from the Classico or original part of the Soave region in Italy. Priced at £9.95, I’d happily buy this wine to serve with dinner for friends
The third and final white from New Zealand was a real treat. Greywacke was created in 2009 by Kevin Judd, the chief winemaker at Cloudy Bay. Our bottle of Wild Sauvignon was truly delicious – it’s ‘wild’ because e the juice is allowed to undergo spontaneous, indigenous yeast fermentation. The end result is a beautiful, complex, minerally wine with notes of mandarin skin. This one retails for £23.50 a bottle from Wine Trust 100 and I’d buy it for a special dinner – as Alisdair suggested, with Dover Sole or Lobster.
My own personal favourite was the rose wine I’d cheated and opened earlier to drink with my supper. I hadn’t realised that Chateau Miraval is Brad and Angelina Jolie’s vineyard. It’s a classical provencal rose – the kind of wine that sings summer to me, with raspberries, melon and nectarine and very lightly oaked to add a little body. It’s out of stock at the moment but normally retails at Wine Trust 100 for £19 a bottle.
Giant Steps Yarra Valley Pinot Noir, the first of our red wines comes from Australia. It’s very much what I personally look for in a pinot noir with a lovely spicy earthiness. Retailing at £18 a bottle from Wine Trust 100, it’s another wine I’d happily buy again.
I have to confess at this point I personally stopped tasting wines. The Chakalaka Spice Route from Swartland, South Africa was the favourite wine of many of the people online that evening. But, my over-enthusiastic sipping without spitting meant I didn’t want to try this wine which was described as having notes of liquorice, cherry, plum, oak and cedarwood. Mine’s in the cupboard – and that is the joy of online wine tasting – you can drink as much or as little of the wine as you like and even save things for later.
In fact, what I loved about this event was having a shared experience, but one I could take at my own pace. You can still buy the wine I ordered from the Wine Trust 100 site as a box for £89 – and you can also book for the next online wine tasting, which coincides with International Sauvignon Blanc Day and will be led by Master of Wine, Nick Adams who will be talking about six incredible wines from leading New Zealand producer, Lawson’s Dry Hills. If you’d like to taste along and join in the zoom event, you can register here
Meanwhile, here are links to the wines I was lucky enough to try
- Soave Classico Superiore Vigneto Montegrande
- Amalaya Torrontes-Riesling
- Greywacke Wild Sauvignon
- Chakalaka Spice Route
- Cotes de Provence Rose, Chateau Miraval
- Giant Steps Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley
Delivery is FREE for all full case orders (multiples of 12 bottles) in mainland UK or orders worth above £500.
Disclosure: I was gifted the wines for this tasting.