Monday Club Wine Tasting in Wales

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January, 2018

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This month’s wine tasting experience at the Harbourmaster in Aberaeron was as popular as ever, everyone eager to sample the selection of 6 wines with fascinating little canapes to accompany each one.

This month, Paul and Andrew from CPA’s Wine took us on A Mediterranean Wine Cruise with a selection from Italy, France, Greece and Lebanon, all available to buy from them as individuals or as a business. We started with one of the most popular wines in UK at the moment, Prosecco. This award-winning 11.5% Dollci Colline from Veneto, Italy is not as acid as some, made up with minimum 85% Glera grape, a pale straw colour with constant tiny bubbles rising and a delicate scent – very easy drinking (though takes a few swigs after drinking a rich red wine earlier!) and good value at £8.70 a bottle.

Another popular wine, Sauvignon Blanc from the Pays d’Oc region in France, the St Martin Reserve is similar to New World styles, but not such a strong taste as some New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Hints of grapefruit and lemon, with just a suggestion of acid on the back and side of the tongue. Still very nice, 12.5% and around £7.00 a bottle so a good one to keep in stock.

Domaine Papagiannakos is 3rd generation wine-maker from Athens area trying out contemporary versions of traditional wines from the region including this Savatiano, scathingly compared with “that deep-yellow harsh Retsina we all remember!” Actually, we still like Retsina and buy the same one we always did (Kourtaki – only found it available in some Sainsbury stores), although it may well be a little less harsh now than it originally was? Should be drunk with goat’s cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and olives of course.

Back to the Savatiano. Aromatic, slight hint of the pine we associate with Retsina, and a golden yellow colour. Definitely a good choice with the sushi canape.

The St Martin Reserve Pinot Noir is quite strong at 13.5%, but light and refreshing with typical cherries and cassis flavours. Easy drinking especially with red meats, and excellent value at around £7.00 a bottle from CPA’s Wine. A similar strength, Ca di Ponti is from Sicily using Nero d’Avola grape – a smooth drink a bit like a light Shiraz but with a hint of a bite as it goes down. This one is also a good price and very palatable after savoury food.

Our final option is a lesser-known Bekaa Valley wine from Lebanon (even though the producer has been making wine in the region since 1868), 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Syrah blends. More noticeable tannin in the mouth, but much smoother with the savoury sausage canape.

As you can see, this was an interesting mix of wines from the Mediterranean region, all offering something new and at very reasonable prices. As the firm is based in Swansea area and they deliver to the Harbourmaster here in mid-Wales, orders of 4 dozen or more are delivered free. The monthly wine-tastings continue to grow in popularity and are exceptional value at £10 per person. They certainly make a cold winter’s Monday evening pass quickly, educational (more or less!) and in very pleasant company.


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