Wine not?!

Amy has written up her thoughts on the very successful wine tasting evening!

Wow, what a meeting that was.  Not only was it one of the largest meetings we’ve ever had, it was also was the longest!  The thirst (excuse the pun) for knowledge meant that our meeting lasted until 10.30pm instead of the usual 9.30pm – incredible!  Toby Lane’s enthusiasm for wine really shone through and kept the Belles captivated throughout – all were eager to know all there was to know about making, seeing, smelling and tasting wine.

Toby took us through eight different wines: one Prosecco, three whites and four reds.  The wines were delicious and really catered for everyone’s tastes.  I think we all had our favourites.  As someone who isn’t a huge fan of white wine, I really enjoyed the taste of a dry rounded Sauvinon Blanc that tasted so light and delicate with a floral twist.

The Prosecco was a real delight and I think a firm favourite with the Belles. I know that those sitting close to me all commented saying that they were going to go and buy a bottle (or two) to have at Christmas!  At £10.99 a bottle you’d think it was dear, but I will admit, I think of was one of the nicest versions I’ve ever tried and would say that it’s worth every penny you pay for it.  After all it’s all about the quality!

With each wine, Toby introduced us to the grape variety, what region it came from (Bordeaux being his specialist subject) and how differently the wines are made.  White wine in steel barrels and red wine in oak.  Champagne and Prosecco are also both made in steel barrels, however the fizz comes from the fermentation process not by adding CO2, as many of us thought.  CO2 is only added to make a cheap sparkling wine like Lambrini – urgh!

After sampling our first four wines, we took a break for some food.  We’d asked Belles to bring along some savoury treats to go with the wine and my goodness they really delivered!  We were treated to an incredible array of homemade cheese & chilli biscuits, marmite cheese straws and homemade chutneys (the fig being my favourite), along with a huge selection of cheese.  We were really spoilt!

By the end of the meeting, yes some of the Belles looked a little flushed in the cheeks, some became a little tiddly but most of all our minds had been completely blown open with wine facts.  I can’t rave enough about Toby’s knowledge the enthusiasm of the Belles and how much fun everyone seemed to be having.  I can quite honestly say – we should do it again!

Same time next year everyone?

Amy, Treasurer for the Borough Belles

Favorite wine facts:
– the term ‘wine must’ refers to the the raw grape juice before it becomes alcoholic
– vintage wines smell of bread and brioche
– the tingling of a wine on the tongue is due to its acidity not because its off!
– corked wine is caused by bacteria in the cork.  The smell will be strongest in the cork and will be quite pungent, smelling like a damp basement – don’t drink corked wine!
– the term ‘having legs’ refers to swilling the wine around the glass.  As the wine drips down the glass it will leave ‘legs’ down the side.  The more legs, the more alcohol there is in the wine.
– If the colour of white wine is cloudy, then water has been added (unless it’s a white wine spritzer) by the bar, so they can make more for their money.
– If you insist on having a white wine spritzer, don’t mix with a quality wine – that’s just sacrilage!
– the more sugar in the grape, the more alcoholic (and calorific) the wine
– Belles love wine…
– ….and cheese!