Another Fantastic Evening!

Wow! What a fantastic evening!  As ever we are humbled by the support we receive at our annual Christmas tasting, both from our suppliers and, more importantly, from our customers.  It was great to see some new faces this year as well as our loyal regulars.
 

The Wines of Interest 2014 Christmas Tasting gets going!

Based on the orders we have seen so far there are certainly a few highlights which seemed to be particularly popular.  On the Spanish table the Botani Moscatel Secco from Bodegas Jorge Ordonez won lots of friends.  It’s not cheap certainly, but you’d be paying this sort of price for decent dry Muscat from Alsace.  Equally, it was great to be able to give the Pedro Ximenez Reserva de Familla Malagafrom Lopez Hermanos an outing.  It’s effectively liquid raisins so what could be better with mince pies or Christmas cake?  Actually it did have some competition for this slot – more on that later!
 

David Benito and Fernando Sastre of C & D Wines
present a selection of Spanish wines

From the Italian selection everyone seemed to enjoy the Prosecco and perennial favourites Colle dei Tigli and Rosso Passo from Cantine Lenotti hit the spot again.  Be warned though – the equally popular Malintoppo 2007 is running out and there is no more so jump quickly if you’d like some.  The undoubted star of this table was the Rosso di Montalcino from Verbena - Tuscanyat its best and on offer too for the rest of the year.
 

Ian and Jan Steel from For The Love of Wine
have a super range of Italian wines from individual producers.

On the French table my own personal favourites were undoubtedly Alain Chavy’s Bourgogne Chardonnay (which comes from vines located in Puligny Montrachet) and the fantastic Cairanne “Le Ventabren” from Domaine des Escaravailles.  So often it’s easy not to look beyond the brighter commercial lights of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas in the southern Rhone, but lesser-known villages such as Cairanne are well worth sniffing out.

 

Jonathan Kinns regularly discovers fantastic small producers from all over France.

There was certainly a buzz spreading around the room about the 2014 vintage of The Cloud Factory Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and the 2013 vintage of the Verdiccio dei Castelli di Jesi Pallio di San Florianocertainly stopped me in my tracks.  So often a wine that it’s easy to overlook.  Reduced prices on Grand Cru wines from Alsace are also difficult to ignore!  Popularity of the reds certainly favoured the more obvious delights of Pablo Y Walter Malbec and Coyam (one of the best Chilean wines you’ll ever taste).

 

Ed Fancourt always manages to produce an eclectic mix of wines from all over the world.

It was great to welcome Paul Boutinot to our tasting this year with a fantastic range from his winery at Waterkloof in Stellenbosch.  The Peacock Ridge wines were certainly a big hit (it’s so good to see South African Chenin Blanc taken to the heights it deserves rather than being left to produce the run-of-the-mill anonymous whites of old).  The flavours delivered by the Circle of Life pair are well worth their price tag too!

 

Paul Boutinot shows a selction of his wines from Waterkloof in South Africa

As for the “spirits” table… well I’d not tried a Swedish Whisky before and Mackmyra Bruks won lots of friends with its wonderfully soft character.  Seale’s 10 year old rum is wonderfully pure and Edmond Briottet’s Liqueur de Rose added a Turkish Delight note to a glass of Prosecco – it’s a bit of a room-splitter though, a “love-or-hate” experience!  Finally there was the Umeshu (plum-infused Sake) which is just about as good an accompaniment to mince pies as you can find.  If the PX Malaga was too rich a flavour for you then the gentle fruitiness and warmth of the Umeshu will have you curling up in front of a roaring winter fire in no time!

Helen Wainwright with her table of "funnies".
Swedish Whisky, wonderfully pure rum from Barbados,
Liqueur de Rose and Umeshu - a plum-infused Sake.
 Finally, a huge “Thank You” to our wonderful food stalls for also supporting our tasting again.  If you are looking for some festive spoilers then you won’t go far wrong with the locally produced selections from The Artisan Smokehouse, Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses, The Suffolk Pate Company and Stephens Beekeepers.  We have stocks of both the Spring and Summer variants of their honey in the shop now.
 
Tim Matthews of The Artisan Smokehouse
 
Jason Salisbury of Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses
 

Marie-Louise Miller of The Suffolk Pate Company

Chris & Marian Stephens of Stephens Beekeepers

If you missed this tasting we run a similar event in late spring/early summer and will publish the date for this in the New Year.  Once again, many thanks to all who supported us and enjoyed such a great evening!

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Ipswich,
Suffolk IP1 2HS

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