Bubble Brothers held its much-anticipated Big Wine Event in the Clarion Hotel in Cork last night. Unsurprisingly, as Cork’s best and friendliest wine people, they did a great job. There were 93 wines available for tasting along with one beer, for some odd reason.
They might have done a great job but, as an attendee, I could definitely have done better.
How not to get the most out of a wine-tasting
1. Drive to it, knowing that you have to drop your husband to the airport at the crack of dawn so you can’t leave the car in town and get a cab home.
2. Go on your own. What sort of oddball goes to wine-tastings on their own? Me, that’s what sort. The thought flitted across my mind more than once in the past week to invite someone to come with me. Of course, I forgot all about it and ended up being the only solitary attendee in a room full of people chatting.
3. Forget to practice elegant spitting beforehand. The last time I attended a wine-tasting was on a work night out at least five years ago. Spitting any of it out never even crossed my mind. But with the car parked around the corner last night and not wanting to look like I was a friendless alcoholic, I didn’t want to swig everything down.
Went to spit the first time and was beaten to the bin by a man in his forties, who spat an elegant arc of wine into the bin from a good 18 inches away. I swallowed hard and emptied the dregs from my glass into the bin instead.
4. Be the sort of person who gets horribly tongue-tied when they feel inadequate, thereby not asking any questions for fear of looking stupid, thereby not really learning very much.
For all that, I did try some lovely wines and made an effort to taste a few that I would not normally buy. My tasting notes follow below. Read ’em and weep, Tom Doorley.
PIERRE CHAINIER, 2004 Sauvignon Sélection PC, Touraine AOC, €11.90
NOTE: Dry, more than worth price
That was all I managed to jot down at the time. I should add that it was a classic Sauvignon, clean and very easy to drink.
AGRO DE BAZAN, 2005 Albariño Contrapunto, DO Rias Baixas, €15.90
NOTE: Sweeter, fruitier, could take stronger-tasting food (than the Sauvignon)
Chap wielding the Albariño said Bubble Brothers had a Spanish staff member who complained of being underworked. He was given the job of getting a sample bottle of every Albariño possible. After tasting them all, they selected this one to stock. Not one for a Friday night in front of the telly but great to match with some feisty food if you’ve people round for dinner.
DOMAINE RIMBERT, 2003 Le Mas au Schiste, St Chinian AOC, €18.50
NOTE: Tannic. Maybe not. (As in maybe I shouldn’t buy any).
This actually gets some pretty good reviews online. I didn’t like it but someone more into their reds could find lots to like about it.
CHATEAU JOUCLARY, 2003 ‘Elevé en Fut’, Cabardes AOC, €13.90
NOTE: Full-bodied. Sharp at back of throat.
CHATEAU DE FLORE, 2001 Cahors AOC, €12.90
NOTE: Smells (illegible). Icecream? Difficult.
I wonder is that the point at which I should have gone home…
ERIK BANTI, 2004 I PIANETTI Morellino di Scansano DOC, €13.50
NOTE: V. enjoyable. Easy drinking. Smooth.
LITTLE YERING, 2005 Shiraz-Viognier, Yarra Valley, €11.90
NOTE: (No note, oops)
I did like this one, actually. I’m a big fan of Viognier but hadn’t tried it blended with a red.
So that was me done. I deposited my wine glass on a bar at the side of the room and slipped out, going just slowly enough to see the big sign on the crate by the door: ‘Glasses. Please return clean.’
Some men in suits were playing giant Jenga in the lobby. Next time, I will definitely bring a friend. All the wine you want to taste for a tenner AND giant Jenga. A girl couldn’t ask for much more.
And fingers crossed there will be a next time. Well done Bubble Brothers.