What is wine to you?
A daily companion, a special treat or something to enjoy once in a blue moon? Whatever it is, wine brings back precious memories of good times, celebrations, family, friends and acquaintances. Wine has been around for quite some time, with the earliest evidence dating back to 7000 BC in China… who knew?!
After spending many years teaching wine courses, hosting tastings and visiting wonderful vineyards in Europe, I learned that wine is very subjective. If you like it, then great! And if you enjoy a glass every now and then, nobody can tell you otherwise.
If you and I go to an art gallery, we would both like different paintings and neither of us would be wrong, simply different. Well, wine is like art. Wine is not good because it is expensive. Some of the best wines I have tasted are sometimes referred to as Table Wines.
I had a Bulgarian Country Wine that cost me around £2… it was stunning. A Greek wine called Amethystos Red that cost £4.99… again, it was superb. My point is, leave all your preconceived ideas of what is a good wine, a good wine-producing country or a good brand behind and instead experiment a little!
We are bombarded with advertising and brands with certain wine producers becoming household names, such as Hardy’s, Yellow Tail, Jacobs Creek, Gallo and many more. There is nothing wrong with them but do not confine yourself to what you may consider the “Safe Choice” because believe me, you are missing out on a world of tasting pleasure and exploration.
My earliest memories of wine were from a young age. I would spend each summer staying with friends in a village in France called Nuisement-sur Coole near Chalons. Every evening all generations of the family sat around and ate together, no TVs, no radio, no phones, no computer games. Just food, laughter, conversation and wine.
The wine was harvested in the village by the villagers and served in jugs. Even the children were included, being allowed to enjoy no more than one glass each. I remember feeling very grown-up, incredibly happy and a bit French! I started collecting wine labels, they intrigued me and was my first introduction to how complicated the French wine laws are… the labels tell a lot but that is for another time.
Over the next few months, we will explore wines, winemaking and all things Riesling, Malbec and Syrah. I will highlight some of our wines at the hotel and hopefully help you release your inner vino.
Ross Evans – Operational Manager