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Last Friday, Laura and I went off to London to taste wine for the Co-op. When Co-op invited us we jumped at the chance. We are always on the lookout for deals and never say no to a glass or wine so this was the perfect job for us. Our aim was to find good tasting and affordable wine
After navigating our way through the underground, we found St. Paul’s House and were greeted by Co-op’s lovely team. As the afternoon started we were given a quick, but much needed, lesson on wine tasting. Being rather uneducated in the art, I found it very enlightening. Apparently there is more to wine tasting that swirling the wine in the glass and spitting it out.
Gyles, the wine expert, highlighted the importance of smell when it came to tasting. Something that we are all told in school, but I had not appreciated before. He also gave us a taste of different wines with certain foods. Again, we all know certain wines are served with different foods, however, I hadn’t realised the flavour of wine can change so much.
When the wine tasting master class was over we were set loose. Before us were 70 different wines, all ready for us to try. We knew it was going to be a good day!
With our aim in mind, our first thought was the price of the different bottles of wine. Although, yes there were expensive ones, 53 of the 70 bottles were under £10.
We started with the bubbles. We had a selection of 4 bottles, Borgo Molino Prosecco NV (£9.99), Co-op Irrisible Cava Brut NV (£6.99), Champagne Les Pionniers NV (£16.99) and Champagne Les Pionniers Vintage 2008 (£25.99). All of these we enjoyed and it was a great way to start our tasting. However, our clear favourite was the Champagne Les Pionniers for £16.99. The taste and price were both good and although we loved the more expensive bottle, I certainly wouldn’t be able to justify spending that much.
There was a larger selection of white wine. We were shown a lovely, light wine, Most Wanted Albarino. A little on the expensive side for me at £8.49 but I am certainly going to be getting a bottle of this to have with fish. When tasting this one we were given some salmon and the wine changed completely. I was really surprised at how creamy it tasted with the salmon.
Another favourite was Kleine Kapelle Pinot Grigio and at £5.99 is certainly in my budget. We only found out after we had tasted it that it was selected in the Top 50 of wines in Germany. We took this to mean that not only was the wine good but that we were beginning to develop a flavour for wine! (Possibly)
The red wine was more of a challenge for me as I am not a red drinker. We did ask for some help with this and were recommended the Bosman Adama Fairtrade Red. I was really impressed with this wine. Not only did it taste good, it is also fairtrade. It is £9.99 but I personally feel that if you are going to find room in your budget for wine, you might as well enjoy drinking it!
Co-op is the largest seller of Fairtrade wine in the UK, selling and sells 1/3 of fairtrade wine world wide. They were also the first company to sell Fairtrade wine in the UK. With such an impressive stats we had to taste some of their Fairtrade wine. In fact one of the wines that was recommended to us was Co-op Fairtrade Merlot (£5.99). We were both surprised by this wine, particularly considering it’s price.
We finished the day with a much better appreciation of wine, impressed at what the Co-op has to offer (both taste and value) and slightly merrier than when we arrived. Fortunately we were in the middle of London so loads of places to have something to eat before the journey back home.
We felt as though our goal had almost been met. We certainly had seen 70 different wines but we were unable to try all of the wines. However, we did learn a valuable lesson in the importance of spitting! Slimming the wines down to just 1 was impossible so instead we picked our top three.
Our top three for value and of course taste are:
- Kleine Kapelle Pinot Grigio
- Bosman Adama Fairtrade Red
- Borgo Molino Prosecco NV
Thank you very much Co-op for an amazing time – here’s to the next one! Cheers!
***Disclaimer: We were invited to this tasting session by Co-Op. For full information on our work with brands, please refer to our Disclosure Statement.***