Since returning from my holiday, I haven’t been at all well (even typing is taking all my effort!), so sorry for not filling you all in on the delightful Spanish wine sampled while I was out there. I will catch up soon I promise!
In the meantime, my wonderful friend Angharad, brains behind quirky food, fashion, lifestyle, (and sparkle!) blog Edible Glitter, has recently been on a jaunt to Calais to source some wines for her up-and-coming September wedding. Here she tells of the bargains to be found if you devote some time and effort, and remove any price- based preconceptions you may have, when it comes to choosing the perfect bottle for you…
‘I want to start by explaining that I am not, in any way, a wine buff. I like a glass of wine as much as the next girl, but start asking me about the bouquet and I’m a little bit lost. However, I know that Jenny is refreshingly un-snobby about wine, and so hopefully she won’t mind that this guest post is less a technically sound appreciation and more a wonderful example of how personal taste really does win the day.
Last weekend my fiance Paul and I travelled to Calais to buy wine for our wedding in September. We went with close friends Emily and Dave, who are also Francophiles. We had been told that there was little point in going to Calais as it no longer represents a saving over English supermarkets, but hey – any excuse for a road trip.
After a brief look at a dedicated wine warehouse, we headed to large supermarket Carrefour to see what wine they had on offer (and to load up on food whilst we were at it). As we are wise enough to know that you shouldn’t judge a bottle by its label, we planned our own impromptu tasting. We purchased four different bottles of white (it’s a summer wedding and to keep it simple we aren’t serving red) that looked promising and were roughly in the planned region of €5. Then, for a bit of fun, we picked up the cheapest bottle in the shop (retailing at €1.91) to see how it measured up.
Then commenced possibly the least glamorous wine tasting ever. Armed with plastic cups the boys and I sat in the boot of the car whilst Emily (designated driver) poured out the wines for us to try. It was a blind tasting, so we were told the number of the wine (1-5) and had to provide a mark out of 10. Once the tasting was complete we added up the scores, to give a final mark out of 30. The results were:
Wine Number 1 – 19/30 We felt that this wine was overall quite smooth but with a certain sharpness coming through. It was pleasant, but there was nothing very distinct about it.
Wine Number 2 – 24/30 The first thing we noticed about this wine was its wonderful aroma, and the taste didn’t disappoint. Fruity and summery, it had a taste of melon that made us all keep drinking far more than was necessary for the tasting. Paul’s only concern was that he felt it lacked bite.
Wine Number 3 – 13/30 This wine hit us straight away with an overpowering (and not desperately pleasant) taste of vanilla. However, once the first shock of taste faded it actually turned out to be quite bland. Not a winner.
Wine Number 4 – 14/30 The odd smell of this wine did nothing to entice us, and in fact it turned out to be fairly acidic. It was quite refreshing, but overall didn’t meet with approval.
Wine Number 5 – 15/30 This wine had an appealing smell but we felt it was just too sweet for us.
So what were they? Drum roll please….
1) Augustin Florent Touraine Sauvignon 2010, €2.79
2) AOC Cotes de Duras Blanc, €1.91
3) Domaine des Perruches Vouvray 2010 €5.30
4) Pierre Chainier 1749 Sauvignon Blanc, €4.70
5) Augustin Florent Bourgogne Aligoté, €4.98
Yep, we loved the €1.91 (£1.67) bottle that we’d only included as a joke, followed in second place by the €2.79 bottle. Just goes to show that price and expert recommendation (Carrefour’s experts have selected the Bourgogne Aligoté as one of their favourites) aren’t necessarily all you should go by when making a choice that’s right for you. It also goes to show that, with the journey over to Calais only costing £25 each, a saving can still be made by going there to buy wine in bulk – despite what everyone said to us. Vive la France!’