A corner for wines and spirits

Month: January 2018

Ozzie Wine Tasting at the Mercat Bar & Grill

Away from sunny Australia a day after their national day I hosted an introduction to Australia and its wines. Mercat Bar & Grill in Musselburgh was the chosen venue for the event which saw thirty people gathering together for the occasion.
The night began with a wee intro to the Climate and Weather in Australia, their vineyard management and wine making techniques as well as the main wine regions and their grapes.
The opening wine was the Rag & Bone from Magpie Estate. A very fresh and citrusy Riesling from Eden Valley. Big minerality with a clean and crisp finish characterised this wine.
Starters arrived as the second wine of the night made its appearance. Sixty Clicks a Sauvignon Semillon blend from Victoria. The tropical fruit and high acidity of the Sauvignon was mellowed down by the sweetness of the Semillon; making an excellent pair with the prawns being served.
Just after two glasses of wine, the room started getting louder which made the presentation of the third white of the night a bit difficult. It was time for Listening Station from Western Australia to strike. Un-oaked and without malolactic fermentation this Chardonnay was full of citrus and white peach flavours combined with a zesty, fresh acidity and a mineral finish.
After giving the audience a few minutes to finish what was left in the glasses, the reds started to flow. What best wine to start than with a 2015 Cabernet from McLaren Vale. Twist of Fate wants to accentuate the fruit notes and to create a very aromatic and vibrant wine, for these reasons oak contact has been restricted.
Generous platters of BBQ meats were served just in time to start sipping The Black Craft, 2015 Shiraz from Barossa. A touch of Petite Sirah adds structure and spiciness to a wine marked by intense savoury flavours of blackberries; with soft tannins, balanced acidity and a long finish.
To conclude the evening we had a Shiraz and Cabernet blend from South Australia. Stone the Crows is a rich and full bodied wine with notes of ripe red fruit and soft tannins.
Glasses were getting emptied and guests started to leave the Mercat, all of them praising the quality of the wines tasted and what a lovely evening they had.


Corporate Whisky Tasting

For this Whisky Tasting I had a corporate group that had been in a meeting room for the whole day. For this reason I tried a different approach, more visual aids than lecturing them. I started the session by explaining how Whisky is made, followed by the different types of whisky and how Whisky tastes different depending the region in Scotland you are at.

I started the tasting with Auchentoshan 12yo, a very mild easy to drink whisky from near Glasgow in the Lowlands. With a bit more of flavour and character I moved towards the Highlands and gave them a taste of Glenmorangie Original.

The trip around Scotland took us next to the Spey Side, where a MacAllan 12y0 filled the sweeter palates.

After three nips the body was ready to face the more fiercesome Higland Park 12y0 from the Orkney Islands.

Laphroaig was kept for the grand finale and was met by some with a stern face and a burning sensation in their throat.

Resources used:

Whisky Making by Tomatin

The Man Who Walked the World by Johnny Walker