One of the risks of going to parties is the range of competent but dull wines you may encounter. Things look up however if the party is thrown by a member of a wine club and lots of the wine club (www.andoverwinefriends.org.uk) are there . While no one would expect rare or valuable bottles, finding interesting party offerings is a good challenge. Last night showed a disappointing Chateau Musar 2002, Lebanon, a famous name but this bottle was an acidic and unappetising brew. Much better was commercial Australian Riesling.
Most discussed were the older Tempranilo-based Rioja or similar – loads of vanilla from American oak and characteristic strawberry fruit. Good to see that wine club members were seen to be experimenting with aeration of the wines, testing the difference between bottles just opened and those opened for half an hour. Or just an excuse for opening more bottles?
My choice? Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference, Primitivo, for highly drinkable, plummy fruit, around £5.50. Can stand up to chicken curry, though not exactly the best match! But, nonethess, a happy evening.
Update: an even better Primitivo is currently on special offer at Waitrose: Donna Marzia, from Conti Zecca. £5.99 and nice black bottle too.