Twenty wine lovers have been indulging in their passion, after being selected to be part of a unique tasting panel.
Bon Coeur Fine Wines invited enthusiasts to apply to be part of its Taste Like A Wine Pro panel, and after scores of applications, 20 people were chosen.
Made up of wine lovers from across the country, with a wide variety of backgrounds from farmers to bloggers and even a butler, the taste testers have been hard at work sampling a variety of reds and whites.
“We’re trying to debunk the myth that wine is for snobs. We had some amazing people apply and we are very happy with our final panel, which is a great mix of ages and interests,” says James.
Every month, the wine panel will be supplying Bon Coeur with their reviews at the Top Taster will win £100 to spend on wine.
*Prices correct at the time of publishing. Prices may vary.
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 a 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 Giuseppe Campagnola Valpolicella Ripasso 2017 was a most suitable accompaniment to the pan-seared rib-eye 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 once 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.