Wine Wednesday comes around every fortnight to University of Birmingham courtesy of WineSoc, embarking on a joyous quest to bring students a delicious selection of wines from around the world. The society endeavors to present an enticing choice of wines; bottles passed around the table range from classic appellations to the secret vineyards from the best European regions. Our tasting journey has taken us down under to Australia’s Hunter Valley and to some famous names such as Cloudy Bay, but also on a trail for new weird and wonderful Asian markets and unheard of exclusive sites with only a couple of hectares of land, such as Waiheke Island in the north of New Zealand.
All of this is to be enjoyed, discussed and more importantly tasted in an amicable, friendly setting.
To escape the gloomy end of January our tasting traveled to the welcoming warmth of South America, for some much needed revitalisation of our taste buds. With a superb turnout of around 40 enthusiastic faces, our intrepid tasters didn’t hesitate in getting their pallets around nine fantastic wines from the Chilean and Argentinian global wine market powers. Led by the knowledgeable Andrew and Peter, members had the chance to learn where the wines come from and how the South Americans go about their wine making business. With impressive facts and impeccable Spanish pronunciation, they gave informed guidance while we assessed our glasses.
… So what did our members think?
Judged by our membership panel’s vote, WineSoc’s South American wine recommendations are as follows:
The winning white was the Viña Tinajas Sauvignon Blanc 2012, this time coming from the Maule Valley, it gave a fresh, sprightly start to the evening, and was effortless to drink. The light, delicate nose and crisp, refreshing flavours with good acidic tones showed that the New World is producing some corking tastes; ready to rival those attractive vibrant characteristics we adore in Australian Sauvignons.
In the red corner, the Mauricio Lorca Malbec 2012 really shone out. This wine proved itself a great Argentinian ambassador for the Mendoza region and the grape variety. The wine captures delicious berry and rich fruity flavours, with a good weight and balance on the mouth.This wine championed above the rest, with ten votes. Even some of the French society members were tempted away from their Bordeaux traditional blends to compliment a top wine maker’s efforts. Both bottles are available from Naked Wines Merchant, and modestly stay within the realms of student budgeting costing just under £10.
To add a bit of healthy competition into the blend, our committee question masters put the table’s expert connoisseur skills to the test. Our dedicated group of girls came out on top winning the victorious pride of triumph and… well… a Bailey’s chocolate truffle each.
A merry troop of satisfied wine drinkers, the group retired home, having happily experienced fantastic wines on another continent of the wine tasting map. The society is very much looking forward to its next romantically themed Valentine’s tasting, for some sparkling and chocolate on the 13th February.
By Sarah Everden.
The UoB Linguist Magazine
Guild of Students,
University of Birmingham