A Tour of Italy for the Wine Club

Eight generously proportioned “tastings” of gorgeous Italian wines, oodles of delicious nibbles and all while learning about the origins of screw cap bottles and the most pungent chemical known to humankind.  What more could you want for only £5 per head!

In case you’re wondering, this was the great night out experienced by all those devotees who came along to the Upton Wine Club on Wednesday 15th November at the Upton Village Hall, where Brian Rippon of Strictly Wine (our friendly neighbourhood wine merchant) gave a first class evening of practical education on all things Italian wine.

The wines tasted came from all over Italy, covering a range of wine types from chilling-in-the-sun-with-friends whites, through lively sparkling wines, award winning, mouth watering reds, to a succulent but light (5%) wine to go with Italian desserts of all kinds.

Brian also took us on an exhilarating tour of the country and the vineyards, explaining the techniques used at each, the grape varieties grown (of which there are several hundred), the terrain (stunning) and the history.

We also had a whistle-stop tour of what causes a wine to taste corked and how different bottle stopping methods have been invented in attempts to improve how well wines keep in the bottle, together with what effects this year’s adverse weather conditions around the globe have had on levels of wine production (stock up!).

For those desperate to know, here are the wines, with a few tasting notes, which we tried on the night:

Colomba Bianca Zibibbo Vitese 2016
Notes of white peach and dried apricot combine with soft floral aromatics and finishing on a peppery note.  12.5% ABV: Zibibbo 100%
Pignoletto Colli d’Imola Frizzante 2016
A delicately floral bouquet and a crisp, refreshing flavour. A cross between Pinot Grigio and Prosecco in style, slightly sparkling.   11.5% ABV: Pignoletto 100%
Falanghina Albente Feudi di San Gregorio 2016
Steely lime and lemon flavours with a lively and mouthwatering finish. 12.5% ABV: Falanghina 100%
Pinot Grigio Alto Adige 2016 Tramin
Rich, full and dry. Ripe melon notes and a good mineral character through to a long, persistent finish.   13.5% ABV: Pinot Grigio 100%
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Feudi d’Albe 2015 Bove
A soft but full-flavoured wine packed with gorgeous forest fruit flavours and notes of liquorice.   12.5% ABV: Montepulciano 100%
Tenuta di Castiglioni Toscana 2014 Frescobaldi
Oaky notes with flavours of cherry and coffee through to a smooth and full finish.
13% ABV: Cabernet Sauvignon 50%, Merlot 30%, Cabernet Franc 10%, Sangiovese 10%
Collezione Cinquante San Marzano Vino Rosso
A big and fleshy wine with loads of chocolate and spice flavours, smooth and very long. Delicious.   14.5% ABV: Negroamaro 50%, Primitivo 50%
Michele Chiarlo Palás Moscato d’Asti 2016
A fresh, fruity and elegant bouquet with the sweetness balanced by a citrus edge and a slight petillance.   5% ABV: Muscat of Alexandria 100%

A lively and fun evening was had by all and all for the price of a glass of plonk at the local.

The next event will be on 13th December at 8pm, in the Village Hall, where we will be attempting to offer suggestions for wines to help make it through the joys and the tribulations of Christmas Day, from breakfast to nightcap.   The price will be £10 per head (these will be gooood wines) and you can reserve your place(s) by using the flyer that dropped through your letterbox recently or contacting Ian Langley on 850793 or ku.oc.oohaynull@yelgnal.nai

See you there!

Nick Thackray