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Sunday, 16 January 2011

A Busman's Holiday if ever there was one.

What do New Zealand, California, Australia, France, Portugal, Italy, Spain, South Africa and basically most of South America have in common? They all do make a damned fine wine from time to time. I may have mentioned this a few times, but I am what is known as an Arch Angel for Nakedwines.com an online wine company like no other. I promised myself to not use this little blog for the endorsement of any product, however these guys and gals are an exception.
These New Zealand wine guys don't half have big odd shaped balls?
I was sent a few invites prior to Xmas about up coming tastings for Arch Angels to attend and then went and forgot all about them. I then got a wee reminder from Head Office, took a days holiday from the bump and grind that is Au Insurance Services and headed off to the home of English cricket, Lords, for the London Annual Trade Tasting of New Zealand wine.

It was not until I was on the train there that I suddenly thought, I could really do with one of my fellow bloggers here to help with a numerous number of points. Like the lingo, the geography oh and the small matter of some 1000 different wines to taste! Adrian I am sure would have risen to the challenge, just the small matter of being half the world away prevented me from having an able assistant. No more about New Zealand really needs to be said, I will leave that up to Adrian and suggest you read his blog at kiwiscots.blogspot.com He gives a far better flavour to the country than I could even begin to attempt.
Far better than watching cricket, Lord's once again gets put to a better use.
 Now I have been to a few of these events in the past, the Portuguese and Argentinian tastings were at the very same venue. I have learned that basically, you have to spit and not swallow if you fancy keeping your legs and getting home in one piece. However I make an exception to this rule and that is, when you come across a gem, have a good old drink whilst you can, it is for free after all!!!

After around 40 odd sips and spits, some nice chat and some rather dull and boring chat, it happened.

You see I had been informed by the really helpful Sam at Nakedwines.com Head Office, that I was supposed to find wines that do not have a UK distribution, good price thus making good value for money and obviously taste better than average. The minute I tried this Trinity Hill Homage Syrah Hawke's Bay 2007 I thought, boy if this makes the site I am going to have to ask the wife to increase our monthly subscription. It was heaven in a glass. It was on a self tasting table so I could not believe that the whole room was not standing beside and trying this wee number. It must be keenly priced. I checked the brochure. Not one to use modern text speak but, OMG! It's RRP, £70.00 a bottle!!!

A couple or three glasses of it later, I got back into the swing of tasting some of the more reasonably priced numbers and for those of you out there that like a glass or two, my top three were

Red - apart from the above mentioned there was also Te Awa Pinotage Hawke's Bay 2007 £12.00
White - Stoneleigh Chardonnay Marlborough 2009 £7.99
Rose - Framingham F - Series Montepulciano Roasato Marlborough 2010 £11.49

I have details of suppliers here in the UK, but I am sure if you Google the name, you can find someone who is selling them in a good wine retailer near you!

All in all, another great day out, experiencing wines that I would not have given a second glance at before and despite the rumblings of a bit of a wine head the next day, a worthwhile experience for sure.

I am going to type up full notes on all 43 wines tried and tested last week and send over to Sam at Nakedwines.com  Please let me know if you want a full copy of the tasting notes, name of winery, guide price and distributor details.

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