Whine Challenge

Last week, I was averaging 150 wines a day. In a professional capacity of course: I am one of the judges at this year’s International Wine Challenge held in London. Winning wines will boast a gold, silver or bronze medal – results released in May – hopefully making the (often hideously confusing) task of choosing a good bottle of wine slightly easier. Now, I realise I live in a slightly parallel universe with my working life and have very little to complain about, but I missed my daughter’s first birthday on Tuesday because of it. My mother threw her a little party and she looked like she had a blast, but I wasn’t there. We had another one today, just us and a cake covered in every kind of decoration known to the baking aisle. It would seem that sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it.

Current white in the fridge:
Tesco Finest Tingleup Riesling 2008, £6.49 (normally £8.16), Tesco
This is the grape that makes me go weak at the knees when good. Riesling is a bitch to describe as it varies so greatly depending on where it has been grown. It is often floral, even perfumed and occasionally smells a little like petrol with age, in a good way. This Australian one is just gorgeous: lime-infused, beautifully balanced with lots of acidity giving great freshness on the palate. Not one for real petrol-heads though. Not yet, anyway.

Current red on the side:
Maven Pinot Noir 2007, £7.49, Source Wines
Over the last week, the wines that have induced the most oohs and aahs from me and fellow judges have been red wines made from the Pinot Noir grape, especially when they are from New Zealand. For a long time, NZ has been all about the Sauvignon. I’ve got a feeling it’s going to have to get used to sharing the podium with NZ Pinot. This one is aged in French oak barrels and the result is knee-bucklingly delicious, with smoky black fruits and beautifully integrated oak flavours. 

Mwah x

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  • 13 years ago

    They sound delicious – and I've put you up as BMB of the week, btw. PM

  • 13 years ago

    As a wine guru what do you think of these bloody awful symbols?

  • 13 years ago

    Potty – I do actually love you, thank you x

    hpretty – this symbol is required in France by law, not in the UK yet but will be no doubt at some point. Completely agree, ridiculous. I refer to it fondly as 'fat chick with back-ache' symbol x

  • 13 years ago

    Just came over on Potty's recommendation (she picked me once, so she's clearly a woman of taste and discernment). And once again, she's played a blinder. Love the blog. Love the idea of the blog. Love the fact that I will be able to recommend wines to wine buff husband and look like I know what I'm talking about (at least until he discovers your blog for himself…)

  • Another visitor here from Potty Mummy's recommendation. Good choice PM! My Tesco is just round the corner so will add that Reisling to my shopping list – many thanks!

  • 13 years ago

    I bet the international Wine Challenge was fun. No Tesco here but plenty of NZ wines in our local shop – I'll check out the Pinot Noirs….

  • 13 years ago

    planb – exhausted for you, good luck with the move, so glad to have found you! do claim all wine knowledge as your own x

    trish – make sure you have the riesling well chilled (the bottle, not you) and it really sings when paired with slightly spicy food, thai esp.

    NVG – the Pinots (Peni?) are great, esp. from the South Island. Ask if they have something from Otago x

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