The panel each receive two bottles of wine a month and have to pen their tasting notes, writing reviews on the tipples they have tried.
Bon Coeur Fine Wines launched the concept to held debunk pretentiousness.
“There is a lot of snobbery around wine yet really what it boils down to, is it’s drinkability and enjoyment factor and would you drink it again?” says James Goodhart, founder of independent wine merchant Bon Coeur Fine Wines.
READ CHRISTOPHER’S REVIEW
Last night I was lucky enough to find myself in the company of my immediate family, being entertained for at my sister’s home in Glasgow.
With a young family and large geography between us, it’s a challenge for us to spend time together, and near an impossibility to spend time eating, drinking and relaxing in each other’s company.
So last night, after making the three-hour drive from our home in the North East, it was an exceptionally welcome surprise to be treated to beautifully prepared home-cooked dinner and an absolute pleasure to be able to provide the accompanying wines, courtesy of Bon Coeur!
By the marvels of modern insulation technology, the Villa Wolf Pinot Gris was kept at a cooled ambient temperature throughout our journey and was ready for drinking soon after our arrival (once the kids were asleep, of course).
Now, I don’t have extensive experience of German wine but thankfully the good people at Villa Wolf do and their Pinot Gris 2017 is quite a triumph. We enjoyed the wine as an aperitif and found it to display tropical flavours, excellent body and a light spritz mouth feel giving it a bright fresh character. Pears, peaches and lychee all give way to a luxurious finish. The one negative was that we only had one bottle between six. For the price point, this is a very solid four stars out of five and definitely one to revisit.
Then sounded the dinner gong, as seems to be popularised by the Rugby World Cup in Japan!
With healthy appetites from the aforementioned travel and armchair punditry earlier that day, steak and chips was just the tonic. There was no advance planning in the food pairing but the Ripasso Valpolicella Campagnola 2017 was a most suitable accompaniment to the pan-seared ribeye in garlic butter.
Ripasso wines yield fruit-forward results and, on occasion, a sweetness that can border on sickly, but not here. The wine boldly announces itself with a mouthful of plum and cherry jam but it has a smooth and lasting quality balanced by it being quite dry on the finish and a little bit bitter, almost cocoa.
It’s a very enjoyable drop and one we quaffed all it, far too quickly, we were forced to open a Sangiovese Chianti from the wine rack, which was sadly rather a disappointment in the shade of the Ripasso’s sun-drenched fruit.
Four of our party were lucky enough to have tickets to Andrea Bocelli the following night who, I’m informed, started slow but had them all in tears by the close; I can’t help but wonder now if we should have built to a similar crescendo with our Ripasso.
All in all, it was a wonderful night made all the more enjoyable by the experience of enjoying and reviewing these fine wines together.
I think next time however, if the quality is as consistent, I might aim for a slightly more ‘focussed’ tasting group to derive more insight from the two bottles.
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