Wine “drinking”

As an alternative to simply drinking a lot of wine with our friends, we decided for a change to drink a lot of wine with our friends and also comment on what it was we were drinking. I think this activity is referred to as “wine tasting”, but that sounds a little pretentious so we have been referring to it as a “wine drinking” afternoon.

To make it interesting we tried to make a battle of it – with us ratings wines produced by the same grape but in different parts of the world. This meant comparing wines made in France vs the newcomers from the Rest of the World.

There were 9 of us so we chose 5 grapes and therefore 10 tasted bottles of wine. We actually tasted a few more than 10 during the afternoon but only 10 were voted in by a show of hands after each grape variety round.

The first challenge was for everybody to actually source the wines. For example, there are many Argentinian malbecs, but trying to find a French malbec (where the grape originated) turned out to be fairly difficult in Cambridge. Doable, though.

The second difficulty was spending the right amount on the wine. We’ve had many wines under £10, but not too many over the £10 mark. Trying to source a decently priced wine (and therefore hopefully one of a decent quality) was also slightly difficult for some of the grapes.

So here’s the scoring:

Sauvignon Blanc

2010 Pouilly-Fumé, Domaine de Bel Air (0-1) Matetic Sauvignon Blanc EQ 2008


Paul Mas Estate ‘Nicole Vineyard’ Viognier 2010 Vin de Pays d’Oc (0-1) Yalumba Viognier Y Series 2010

Pinot Gris

Hunawihr Pinot Gris Réserve 2008 (1-0) Tinpot Hut Marlborough Pinot Gris 2010

Pinot Noir

Ladoix Rouge 2007 Domaine Chevalier Père et Fils (0-1) Roaring Meg Pinot Noir 2009 Mount Difficulty, Central Otago


Château de Gaudou Cuvée Renaissance 2007/2008 Cahors (1-1) Renacer ‘Punto Final’ Malbec Clasico 2010

The final score was France 2 – 4 Rest of the World.

We managed to find ourselves with four Americans and one Irish for the session and these seemed more neutral than the Brits towards the French. I for one was pleased and relieved that France lost. Perhaps next time we could look into German grapes?


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