Best of the bunch

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The wine tasting at the Cork and Bottle focused on wine from Languedoc and Rousillon.

Picking the best of the 6 wines we sampled is a tricky task. The two most obviously in the running would be the first wine of the evening – a dry white muscat – and the penultimate – a red grenache.

Domain du Vieux Chene – Le convivial Muscat Sec, 2010: This wine we agreed was really quite unusual and would be ideal super-chilled as a preprandial drink, similar in some ways to a sherry. There was an unusual but distinct dry raisin taste and the nose was almost non-existent but held notes of liche, rose and egg white. It really was a cracking wine to start with as it really made the mind work.

Ey Single Vineyard – Vigne d’en Gaume, 2005: This was the penultimate wine and really stood out for me, confirming my bias for red wine I will be choosing this one as the pick of the bunch. In fairness there would be a good case for the white to take that accolade but as I prefer red and found the white too distinct to be able to drink more than a small sherry style glass, and so the grenache takes the trophy. The colour was lovely dark and deep, a vibrant ruby and the nose was distinctly full of raspberries, violet with a hint of smoky bacon crisps. Although I made a few casual scribblings of the wines throughout the night, my tasting notes for this one rather unhelpfully say ‘great’. A testament both to the wine and to my degree of intoxication which thought that note would be in anyway useful in the morning. I do remember subtle tannins and spices on the palate.

The Grenache Grape formed a large part of the evening, we were told at the beginning by the compare that it is the most widely planted grape varietal. This makes some sense as it does form the body of a number of wines. It reminded me of a perhaps apocryphal story of why Apple pie is America’s favourite pie. In fact it isn’t, it is everyone’s second favourite. So when a family buys a pie for dinner they all settle on apple pie. If one looks at the sales of single-serving portions apple-pie drops in popularity. So, while this story now seems like a non-sequitur, it occurred to me on the evening and I share it with you now.

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