Wine tasting lends itself well to working over Zoom and I’ve enjoyed quite a few great virtual tastings over the last few months. On Friday evening I ventured to the Loire Valley for a tasting with well-known wine educator, Heather Dougherty from Red, White and Rosé. Tickets were a reasonable £10. This didn’t include the wine and so I popped out to buy a couple of bottles beforehand. Heather gives an overview and as the tasting progresses everyone gets a chance to chip in and talk about their wine (or wines).
At over 100km the Loire is the longest river in France and the region includes some of the world’s best-known wines. Heather is an excellent guide and she navigates expertly through the Loire’s regions. We began at the coast in Pays Nantais, home of Muscadet. Muscadet is sometimes maligned but it seems like you can get some great value Muscadet at the moment. I’ve very happy memories of Muscadet and seafood so am looking forward to trying more.
One of the best things about a wine tasting is the chance to try something new and my new wine for the evening was a Savennieres. This rich, white wine is made from Chenin Blanc and I was lucky to try an outstanding example. Thanks to Lea & Sandeman in Notting Hill for the recommendation. I found notes of honey, peach, nuts, and dried fruit. It wasn’t cheap but it was definitely worth it. The region is especially known for Cabernet Franc wines. I’ve enjoyed some delicious Saumur and Saumur-Champigny in the past.
I sampled two wines from Touraine, the first was a Chinon and the second a Sauvignon Touraine. 24 different grapes varieties grow in the Loire and this diversity gives an opportunity to choose from a huge range of wines, from sparkling to still. I will be rushing out to buy some Cremmant de Loire in the very near future.
The home of some of the greatest Sauvignon Blanc appellations in the world; Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. There is just so much from this wonderful region. I haven’t even touched on the great rosés yet.
You may be wondering how I am going to keep all this open wine fresh. We have discovered a great wine preservation system, Wine Save Pro. It keeps open wine completely fresh using inert argon gas to form a seal over the wine. It’s on special offer with us now.
Our Christmas season is usually full of lots of wine events however this year things are going to be bit different. Heather is involved in Love Wine Festival which sadly won’t be happening however, she is running a Prosecco tasting on 2nd October. We love a glass of Prosecco and this is a wonderful chance to find out more. Winchester Wine Festival is running a virtual event this year. There will be masterclasses, tastings and a chance to explore new wines for Christmas.
We’ve designed some new, original gifts for wine lovers this Christmas. Take a look at our Wine Organiser Discs and limited edition wine coolers.