In a blind tasting we were beaten by a camel and a koala bear and we know how discerning their palates are!

Fellow Wine Lovers,

Two headlines that caught my eye this week:

Women are better tasters than men
Parents warned: don’t reward exam success with alcohol

It would seem that little development is required on either of these headlines but I will add some flesh to the bones nonetheless.

Whilst it has long been accepted that the gatekeepers of all things tasteful are female, we had thought that owing to the wide variety of flavour experience us gents have encountered over the years – ranging from curries and hot chillis through sausage rolls and pickled onions to Guinness and flaming Sambuca’s – that our tastebuds would be akin to a trained sniper, able to pick off a flavour bomb at 1,000 yards. How wrong we were. It has now been proven that, in a blind tasting we were beaten by a camel and a koala bear and we know how discerning their palates are!

Apparently it’s all down to mothering, so we are unlikely to improve our prospects. The constant tasting and testing of food and drink before feeding their offspring has given women a significant edge, so there we have it ladies, you’re in charge!

As a small aside, one of the tests was a blind tasting of different sweetened waters. Yep, sweetened water. What did I miss? When did water need artificial sweetener added? I think I’m getting old…

Parents warned: don’t reward exam success with alcohol

The Big Brother fear is that ecstatic parents will shower their offspring with booze on completion of their exams this summer and some clever boffins somewhere have calculated that this will roughly equate to a bottle of wine per child. I’m not going to take any moral stance here but merely suggest that that nice bottle of wine you just bought from me would look much nicer in your wine glass in front of the telly than with a straw sticking out of it at a teenage house party in Putney.

So frankly yes, reward yourselves with alcohol for exam success and let the kids drink water with added aspartame. Oh, and in an open letter to Big Brother, might we enquire which is preferable a glass of wine in a home environment or a hip flask of vodka bought with fake ID from the dodgy offie….

Anyway, back on track now.

I can suggest all sorts of wines as suitable rewards but am particularly excited this week about my new wines from Galicia. We like Spain, we like the regional diversity, we like the accessibility of the wines and we love the flavours. For a long time we have been trying to find some decent red wine from the northwest and have finally struck gold. In list form our new red wines are:

Alodio Joven Ribeira Sacra 2012 £11.99
Casa de Paula Tinto Ribeiro 2012 £13.99

Our new whites are:

Bioca Godello Valdeorras 2013 £12.99
Quinta de la Erre Albarino Rias Baixas 2012 £14.99

And just for fun we picked up a new Vinho Verde from just over the border in Portugal:

Leira Seca Alvarinho e Trajadura Minho 2012/13 £10.49

I’ll be opening the Bioca Godello and the Alodio Joven today should you wish to taste them. The Godello is very appealing and more-ish with hints of orange and lemon on the nose following onto a vibrant, crisp and focused palate with hints of minerals in the background. Crying out for some fish or calamares. The red chap is made from one of our favourite lesser known varieties, Mencia. Similar in style and weight to the crunchy reds of the Loire Valley, zesty with dark fruits, fine tannins and a lick of spice – one of those wines that oft leads to the exclamation – ‘bugger, I’ve finished the bottle already!’

Come and taste them both today.

Whilst I’ve got your attention, have a quick look at your diary and see if you are free on Thursday 24th July at 8pm.
We’ll be hosting another one of our deeply educational Wine & Cheese events here in the shop. It costs £20 per person, is limited to a maximum of 12 people and will be the last one until late September. Spaces tend to go quickly so if you’d like a seat at the high table give us a call on 020 8944 5224, email us on or book a ticket whilst you’re in here tasting the Mencia!

Not seen any sport this week, did I miss anything?

Comments are closed.