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

Wine Club Pair Food with Wines

Wednesday 18th October saw the UWC hold a food and wine pairing evening at the village hall. Wine and food paring can be a little daunting but in a very informal setting we had a lot of fun looking at some typical characteristics of wine including sweetness, acidity, tannin, alcohol levels etc and matching them with some food you may enjoy at a dinner party.

The results were fantastic!   Eight wines were tasted, which were paired with the following foods:

Starter: Thai spiced salad was matched with a Leckford English Sparkling Brut 2013, a great aperitif or sparkling wine that cleansed the palate after every mouthful.  We also tried a Riesling called Staatliche Weinbau Domane Oppenheim 2013, which had wonderful depth and was light in alcohol which complimented the spice really well.

Main: To match a hearty beef stew we tried a white oaked chardonnay 2015 from a grower in Argentina called Rutini, unusual for a red meat, but for anyone not a fan of red wine the oaked flavour worked really well with a “heavy” meal.  More traditionally we tried La Grange des Comes, 2015 St-Chinian-Roquebrun, a great French red form the Languedoc region that works really well if you make a stew with spices such as sage, rosemary and thyme.

Cheese: To match a soft camembert style cheese from France called Mont D’or we paired a white Savagnin-Domaine Jean Louis Tissot 2012 and a read Saint-Pourcain “La Ficelle” Rouge 2016.   The white was sherry like in style, which often divides opinion but an excellent example of matching food with local wine.  The red was good wine to go with most soft cheeses.

Dessert: Matching a wonderful cherry and amaretto cake we looked for something sweet, following the typical rule of pairing a wine sweeter than your dessert.  We matched it with a Monbazillac Rech la Calevie 2013  and a Moscato d’asti, Elio Perrone 2016, both great wines that went down very well.

Next month’s meeting is at 8.00pm on the 15th November at the village hall where Brian from Upton’s Strictly Wine will be talking about wines from Italy.  If you enjoy wine and want to come along to try some new varieties in a very relaxed environment then please give Ian a call on 850793.

Ian Langley

Wine Club Members Present Significant Wines

Upton’s Wine Appreciation Club final tasting of the year in May saw members of the club presenting wines that were significant to them.

A Cremant d’Alsace provided a sparkling start to the evening, followed by a sauvignon blanc and a Verdicchio accompanied by evocative tales of life in an Italian village beset by the occasional earthquake. A dry Tokaji allowed its presenter to reminisce widely and amusingly on a range of subjects from the volcanic wines of the Canary Islands to high quality German fizz which never makes the export market. Reds included a Costieres de Nimes from Aldi and a brazen Barossa Valley Shiraz. But the final wine was a real mystery – an intensely aromatic red, infused with quinine and with significant residual sugar, called Byrrh Grand Quinquina. Definitely something I’ll be considering as we move into mosquito season in South Oxfordshire!

This fun and friendly event, drawing on the interests and enthusiasm of our members, provided a fitting conclusion to the year’s tastings. We now have the annual club barbecue to look forward to in June, before our annual sabbatical. Looking forward to next season, if you would like to enjoy a glass of wine in convivial surroundings, perhaps learning a bit along the way, then why not join us? We meet in the Village Hall, and welcome everyone with an interest in wine. We usually taste four white and four red wines per meeting – small tasting measures, so as to avoid any deleterious effects! We try to cater for all tastes and recognise that club evenings are also enjoyed as a village social and chance to meet with other village residents. With a membership of around 60 villagers, we regularly welcome more than 30 to each meeting and make a special effort to welcome new members from the village. If you’re interested, you are very welcome to come along to your first meeting as a guest. The more the merrier!

William Betts

Chair

Food and Wine Pairing at the Wine Club

Upton’s Wine Appreciation Club enjoyed an evening of Food and Wine Pairing in April, allowing us to consider what pairings worked well, what worked less well, and why that might be.

To start the evening, a wonderful sherry (Hidalgo’s Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada) was paired with olives and salted almonds. It must be said that not everyone expresses delight at the prospect of a glass of chilled manzanilla (a sad fact which helps to ensure that this fabulous fine wine remains available and affordable), but everyone agreed that the light bone-dry sherry worked admirably with the salty nibbles. Following on, we looked at pairing fresh goat cheese with sauvignon blanc and how the acidity of the wine worked with the tangy cheese. Continuing to consider pairings of cheese and white wines, a Macon coped with strong cheddar. Of interest though, the chardonnay didn’t match the goat cheese and the sauvignon blanc didn’t complement the cheddar. After a classic Cava paired with baked camembert, we turned to a Provencal rose accompanied by prawns warm from the oven. Then on to red wine, with Argentinian Malbec benefitting from its accompaniment of roast beef. Maury (from a solera dating back to 1928!) tamed dark chocolate, and a fortified Tawny from South Africa’s KWV cooperative rounded the evening off with blue cheese. But, for those still keen to experiment, while the Maury coped with the strong cheese, it was felt that the Tawny couldn’t cope with the chocolate.

If you would like to enjoy a glass of wine in convivial surroundings, perhaps learning a bit along the way, then why not join us? We meet in the Village Hall between 8.00pm and 10.00pm, and welcome everyone with an interest in wine. We usually taste four white and four red wines per meeting – small tasting measures, so as to avoid any deleterious effects! We try to cater for all tastes and the evening is also enjoyed as a village social to meet with other village residents. With a membership of around 60 villagers, we regularly welcome more than 30 to each meeting and make a special effort to welcome new members from the village. If you’re interested, you are very welcome to come along to your first meeting as a guest. The more the merrier! The club’s regular meetings continue on the third Wednesday of each month. Our next meeting is on Wednesday 17th May and is the last before this season’s BBQ – it offers a chance for members of the club to share their favourite wines and related anecdotes. Do join us if you can.

William Betts

Chair

Wine Club Go Blind

March saw committee members of Upton’s wine appreciate club presenting wines along a theme of “Blind Tasting”. While it’s often said that one look at the label is worth decades in the trade, how do we attempt to identify a wine when the bottle isn’t available for scrutiny?

Using benchmark wines from Riesling to Malbec, we explored the application of a systematic approach to identifying clues to the wine’s identity. And very quickly, it became clear that “Blind Tasting” did little to convey the importance of sight and smell when looking to identify a wine. From appearance, we deduced clues as to the wine’s age, grape variety and possible alcoholic strength. The smell of the wine could then be used to give an indication of the wine’s development, varietal group, climate and winemaking techniques (such as oxidative or reductive techniques and oak treatment). Having started to form an opinion, a considered taste of the wine could be used to consider sweetness, alcohol levels, acidity, tannic level and development, as well as the intensity, character, complexity and endurance of flavours that can help to distinguish a simple Chardonnay from a fine Burgundy.

If you would like to enjoy a glass of wine in convivial surroundings, perhaps learning a bit along the way, then why not join us? We meet in the Village Hall between 8.00pm and 10.00pm, and welcome everyone who has an interest in wine. We usually taste four white and four red wines per meeting – small tasting measures, so as to avoid any deleterious effects! We try to cater for all tastes and the evening is also enjoyed as a village social to meet with other village residents. With a membership of around 60 villagers, we regularly welcome more than 30 to each meeting and make a special effort to welcome new members from the village. If you’re interested, you are very welcome to come along to your first meeting as a guest. The more the merrier! The club’s regular meetings continue on the third Wednesday of each month. Subject to final confirmation, we intend to meet on 19th April for an evening of “Food and Wine Pairing”.

William Betts

Chair

Wine Club take a Trip Down the Loire

“A Trip Down the Loire”

February saw the return of Club member Derek Whitmell to discuss one of his many favourite wine regions The Loire. Much of his talk came from his personal journys round the region.  All the wines were sourced from The Wine Society but some of the wines can be sourced from other wine outlets and are noted where known.

The River Loire, is the longest river in France, 1000km long, source in the Ardeche, south of Lyons. Flows (mainly) north for several hundred km then bends through right angle to flow West, entering Atlantic to the west of Nantes.

The climate varies from ‘continental’ at Sancerre to an ocean climate warmed by the Gulf Stream at the western end.  The region is at the north western limit of vine cultivation in Europe (excluding England) and frost can cause problems. The climate varies from year to year so that quality and style of harvest varies significantly; cool summers can restrict ripening of grapes, whereas hot summers can produce exceptionally sweet white wines but rob dry white wines of their verve.

Wine varieties: At mouth of Loire, Melon du Bourgoyne (muscadet).  Central areas Sauvignon blanc , Chenin Blanc, (and chardonnays); cabernet franc, pinot noir etc

1.Crémant de Loire. Gratien and Meyer, Cuvée 1864. NV 12%

Grapes come principally from Saumur and Touraine.  Chardonnay 57%, Pinot noir 43%. Champenoise method, aged 8 months in oak casks. Second fermentation in bottle, stored 32 months in cold cellars in tuffeau caves beneath Saumur. Disgorgement by hand. The Wine Society £12.95; Majestic £9.99; Waitrose £9.74

  1. Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sue Lie. Ch. L’Oiseliniére de la Ramée, 2013 12%

Chéreau has been a leading name for winemaking for centuries. This Chéreau married Mme Carre (owner of Ch. L’Oiseliniere), joined forces and have been supplying The Wine Society since 1980’s.

Sur Lies (left on lies before racking off) provide extra dimension and character to wine. This wine is crisp, very dry, slightly salt taste from being near the coast? easy drinking, ideal with seafood, but also with a range of lighter dishes. Older years can develop with considerable length. This wine deserves to be more popular

The Wine Society £7.75, Majestic £5.99/£7.99; Waitrose £5.99/£7.99.

  1. Touraine Sauvignon Blanc, Domaine Guénault, 2015, 13.5%

Fresh young sauvignon (100%) from the Bougrier family’s own property near St. Georges, in the highest part of the Touraine situated  on steep slopes overlooking the Cher river near Chenonceau (SE of Tours, South of Amboise), gives grapes excellent sun exposure. Good as an aperitif, with fish, goat’s cheese etc. Dry, light, grassy and scented, with instantly recognisable aromas include ‘greenfruits, such as gooseberries, or nettles or tomcats!’

The Wine Society £7.95, Majestic £7.99, Sainsbury’s £7.

  1. Sancerre ‘La Reine Blanche’, Domaine Vacheron, 2015, 13.5%, Sauvignon Blanc

Soil has equal parts limestone and flint and at 40 hectares it’s one of the largest to harvest by hand.  Limestone contributes to the balanced acidity, flint helps to provide aromas and minerality. 2015 has a riper, rounder style but has freshness, steely backbone and palate length. “Bright and balanced” will keep to 2020. We tasted this in 2006, then priced at £11.95 and rated it 6.8/10. This evening the average rating was 8.5! Our palates or the wine must be improving but the price has increased faster than inflation! Best white wine of the night.

The Wine Society Sancerre’s: (3no.) from £13.50 to £16.50, Majestic (3no.) £ £12.49 to £14.39, Waitrose £19.99, Sainsbury’s £14.18

  1. Vouvray Moelleux ‘Noyer de Cent’, 2002, Chenin Blanc, 12.0%, £14.05

Chenin Blanc, (Pineau de la Loire) is believed to have originated in the Loire and is still the Loire’s signature grape. It is a vigourous grape with a tendency to bud early and ripen late making it sensitive to climate. It can range from dry (sec) to sweet (molleux). In exceptional years it can produce some of the finest longest lasting sweet wines. Vincent and Tania Carême established the property in 1999 and farm organically 14 hectares supplementing with local grapes to produce a negociant range alongside their domaine wines. Soils are classic tuffeau with some clay and flints in vineyards 300 feet above sea level. The ancient caves are handcut into the tuffeau cliffs overlooking the river.

This wine is described in its name as moelleux, attributed to its medium sweetness and has been aged for 15 years. The notes go on to say:  ‘This wine, from the fine 2002 vintage, notable for its refreshing backbone of acidity and resulting length on the palate tempers the wines sweetness. This mature parcel is in the old style and was too good to miss. Drink over the next year’.

This was certainly a pleasant interesting wine, a 15 year old white wine! With subtle fresh sweetness. Certainly went down well with quite a few members of the Club

Other Vouvrays: The Wine Society: Dry Vouvray £7.75, £25, moelleux £14.5, £25, £30, various to £345, Majestic; demi sec £8.99, Waitrose moelleux £9.99; Sainsbury’

Red wines are in the minority in the Loire but a combination of vastly improved husbandry and climate change are making these wines more and more attractive. Generally lighter bodied, refreshing and lower in alcohol than wines from the south of France.

  1. Cote Roannaise ‘Eclat de Granite’, Domaine Sérol, 2015, Gamay, 12.5%

Roanne is about 300km south of Orleans, on the Loire, close to the Beaujolais district. Domaine Serol is leading estate, situated on gentle slopes of sandy-granite soils, where gamay does very well. Serol consistently produces plump, fragrant reds, not dissimilar to Beaujolais Village but even brighter. Best served slightly chilled. Hedgerow fruit, raspberry and dark cherry with a long finish. In Touraine Gamay generally has less fruit and a slightly earthy character which is not unattractive but some may find it an acquired taste

In 2006, club tasted this, at £5.95 rated it 6/10. Now The Wine Society £9.50

  1. Reuilly rouge, ‘Les Pierres Plates’, Domaine Denis Jamain, 2015. Pinot noir.

A small but expanding Domaine which has 11 hectares of sauvignon blanc and 4 hectares of pinot noir.  Limestone clay soils, resembling those in Chablis, which contribute to wines stony and mineral character. The best vintage since 2009. silky, supple and fresh on palate, with cherry and redcurrant notes.Goes well with roast pork and chicken. The Vineyard started in 1935 and is now farmed organically.

The Wine Society £12.50

8.Chinon ‘Pierre de Tuf’, Domaine de la Noblaie, 2014, Cabernet Franc, 13.0%

Cabernet Franc is a black grape tending generally to be overshadowed by Cabernet Sauvignon but remains more important in the Loire as it is well suited to cool inland climates. It buds and matures a week earlier, easier to ripen fully and is less susceptible to poor weather during harvest. This example was vinified in a 15th Century limestone vat, hollowed out in a tuffeau cellar which allows a long, slow maceration, then matured in double barriques, which Jerome says “softens Chinon’s somewhat gruff exterior”! Compared with its offspring  Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc is regarded as being slightly lighter in colour and tannins light to medium  bodied with more immediate fruit than Cab Sav, with a marked fragrance including sometimes herbaceous aromas associated with unripe cab sav. Regarded as an ideal lunchtime red this wine is has intense black-cherry and floral aromas with a touch of pepper and spice, fine mineral core and refined tannins.  Can be drunk from now to 2024

The Wine Society 3no starting from £9.95, £10.95, £12.95 Waitrose Saumur-Champigny £12.99, Sainsburys  Chinon £7.

A great evening with great wines from the length of the Loire and a big thank you to Derek for his time researching and presenting the wines!

Meeting in the Village Hall between 20:00-22:00 the Club welcomes everyone who has an interest in wine no matter how small. We usually taste 4 white and 4 red wines per meeting which are small tasting measures so hangovers are avoided and being in the village no driving is required!. We try to cater for all tastes and the evening is also enjoyed as a village social to meet with other village residents. A membership of around 60 we average 32 to most meetings and always welcome new members from the village so if you’ve wondered about joining us, please contact me, an existing member or anyone from the committee for more details. You are very welcome to try with your first meeting as a guest. The more the merrier!

The club’s regular meetings continue on the third Wednesday of each

Subject to final confirmation, we intend to enjoy:

 15th March: Blind Tasting.

 19th April: Food and Wine Pairing.

Cheers!

Kevin Jacklin, Secretary

01235 851404

Wine Club try the Local Supermarkets

Having pushed the boat out for the December tasting, at which members enjoyed wines ranging from Premier Cru Chablis to Twenty-year-old Tawny Port, January saw members of Upton’s Wine Club tighten their collective belts (and mix their metaphors) as we turned to research the more modestly priced wines of local budget supermarkets.

Eight wines were tasted, all priced at less than £10 a bottle and all selected from what was available on the day of my visit to our nearest Aldi and Lidl supermarkets. Both supermarkets are actively promoting their wines, a fair proportion of which have won awards. Indeed, a recent (wotwine?) survey concluded that Lidl and Aldi were the best supermarkets to buy wines that represented value for money. Would our members agree?

Lidl’s Franciacorta, essentially Brescia’s answer to Champagne, showed well but members thought it would face stiff competition from the many Spanish Cava available at a similar price. Aldi’s Clare Valley Riesling was broadly true to the expectations of the variety, with a hint of the lime that typifies Rieslings from this hilly district to the north of Adelaide, but lacked the extract of higher quality examples. Lidl’s Godello impressed, perhaps for the novelty of this lesser known grape, while Aldi’s Gavi won broad approval as a reliable staple. Three reds were shown, of which Aldi’s Barolo made an impression for being a tried and tested (DOCG) wood-aged wine typically associated with much higher prices. Lidl’s Monbazillac provided a sweet treat to round off the evening, perhaps lacking the admired botrytis character of the fine sweet wines of the region but enjoyable none-the-less and a fraction of the price of Sauternes.

We now look forward to February’s meeting, at which Derek Whitmell will lead us on an exploration of France’s Loire valley. If you’ve wondered about joining us, please do contact an existing member or anyone from the committee – you’re very welcome to try your first meeting as a guest, and the more the merrier. Or follow us online @UptonWine.

Cheers!

William Betts, Chair

Wine Club Push the Boat Out

“Pushing the Boat Out”

As is traditional for the Club this time of year the committee sourced a selection of wines of various  styles to be enjoyed with foods eaten over the Christmas festivities and pushed the budget to approximately £20.00 a bottle; and as always this proved a very popular evening with 40 people our highest attendance of the year so far which made for a very lively evening. Frankie began the evening introducing a Champagne (with Royal Warrant) – G. H. MUMM Cordon Rouge NV (Waitrose £33.50 750ml) and one of the best and well known English Sparkling Wines a Nyetimber Classic Cuvee NV – (Waitrose £32.99 750ml) matched with homemade roasted / salted almonds, olives and mini cheese straws. The Nyetimber held its own against the Mumm with its fine bubbles and toasty spicy slightly baked apple taste.  Frankie did take advantage of the 25% off wine deal offered by Waitrose at the time of buying the wines.

Sue chose to talk about a classic French Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons 2013 William Fevre (Majestic £23.40 750ml) on her debut as a speaker (and a great job she did too!) and prepared salmon blinis to match. David described Richard Kershaw MW Richard’s Elgin Chardonnay 2015 from a cool climate area of South Africa (Naked Wines £24.99/ Angel price £13.99 750ml) paired with Epoisses cheese and crackers.

Ian’s wines were a French and New Zealand Pinot Noir. A Saint Clair Pioneer Block Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough (£18.99/£16.99 750ml) was first followed by the Beaune 1er Cru ‘Les Toussaints’ 2010 Albert Morot (£25.00/£22.50 750ml) paired with mushroom pate (to match the tertiary notes of the wines we were told) and duck pate.

Finally we came to the Dessert wines. A Rutherglen Muscat from North East Victoria Australia Jen Pfeiffer The Diamond Rutherglen Muscat (Naked Wines £17.99/ Angel price £12.99 500ml) described as “Sweet, syrupy, raisiny, yummy goodness in a glass” and a William Pickering, 20-Year-Old, Tawny Port (Berry Brothers and Rudd £28.00 750ml) paired with stilton and chocolate brownies. The port with the chocolate brownies seemed to be the most popular combination!

Meeting in the Village Hall between 20:00-2200 the Club welcomes everyone who has an interest in wine no matter how small. We usually taste 4 white and 4 red wines per meeting which are small tasting measures so hangovers are avoided and being in the village no driving is required!. We try to cater for all tastes and the evening is also enjoyed as a village social to meet with other village residents.

Although we have a membership of 60 members and attract an average of 32 to most meetings we always welcome new members from the village so if you’ve wondered about joining us, please contact me, an existing member or anyone from the committee for more details. You are very welcome to try with your first meeting as a guest. The more the merrier!

The club’s regular meetings continue on the third Wednesday of each month

Subject to final confirmation, we intend to enjoy:

– 18th January: Lidl/Aldi Tasting. Presenter-Will Betts. £5.00

– 22nd February: Loire Valley. Presenter-Derek Whitmell. £7.50

Finally have a Happy New Year and hope to see you in January

Cheers!

Kevin Jacklin, Secretary

Wine Club turn to the Iberian Peninsula

November saw the wine club turn to the Iberian Peninsula. Discovered by the Greeks as they ventured west, the peninsula incorporates Spain and Portugal as well as Andorra, Gibraltar and a small section of southeast France. In terms of wine production, it’s a fascinating and diverse region – Spain may lay claim to the largest area planted to vines of any country in the world, but other countries make more wine. Yields have traditionally been low, because there was little pressure for intensive production and irrigation was traditionally outlawed. And wow, does it make a variety of interesting wines.

Starting with a Portuguese Vinho Verde, with a characteristic spritzy prickle, we also sampled whites including an Albariño from Rias Baixas, a Sauvignon from Rueda and a Parellada (normally used as a constituent of Cava) in the form of Viña Sol from Torres.

Moving to the reds, I was delighted to be able to share a very decent crianza Ribero del Duero and a little known Priorat from the schistous llicorella slopes of Tarragona. Finally, we enjoyed a sweet treat in the form of Banyuls from the French Pyrenees.

We now look forward to December’s meeting, at which we extend the budget to show some high quality wines. Next year, we will be looking at wines from local merchants (at different price points), wines of the Loire and blind tasting. If you’ve wondered about joining us, please do contact an existing member or anyone from the committee – you’re very welcome to try your first meeting as a guest, and the more the merrier. Or follow us online, @UptonWine.

Cheers!

William Betts, Chair

Wine Club Sample Wines from South America

Our October meeting was presented by the double act David and Ian who gave us a tour of wines from South America as it is believed that the quality of wine from that region is increasing and there is still good value even with the diminishing pound against other currencies after Brexit.

Ian introduced the white and rose wines beginning with the Errazuriz Wild Fermented Chardonnay (Majestic £12.99), Vinalba Torrontes (Majestic £9.99) Hey Malbec Rose (Majestic £9.99) and a Morande Gewurztraminer (Majestic £8.99).

The Torrontes seemed to please most of the members and the label on the rose was a sight to behold! Not sure if it would make you buy the wine or avoid it!

David started the reds with a Beefsteak Malbec (Waitrose £6.59) which did exactly as it said on the bottle. A malbec to go with a good steak. Next was the Norton Reserve Malbec (Waitrose £8.99) which was a step up from the Beefsteak followed by the Ben Marco Malbec (Majestic £14.99) went to the next level and finally the Mendel Mendoza (Majestic £22.99) a Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon blend which was the wine of the evening.

All the reds were from the Mendoza area where they are grown at height (3000 -3500 metres) where they receive plenty of sunshine which aids ripening cool moist air from the Pacific and semi-arid desert condition which are irrigated by melt water from the Andes. I’m sure a well hung Argentinian steak was mention in the description of one of the wines.

We now look forward to November’s meeting, at which our Chairman Will Betts will be showing wines from the Iberian Peninsula. There may be an unusual wine or two!

If you’ve wondered about joining us, please do contact an existing member or anyone from the committee – you’re very welcome to try your first meeting as a guest, and the more the merrier.

The club’s regular meetings continue on the third Wednesday of each month with the exception of December which is the second week. Subject to final confirmation, we intend to enjoy:

 16 November: Wines from the Iberian Peninsula. Will Betts

 14 December: Pushing the Boat Out/Special Occasion Wines. Committee Members (Don’t forget this meeting is one week earlier and will be £12.50).

 

Cheers!

Kevin Jacklin, Secretary