But Sauvignon Blanc it was, and all the way from Marlborough, New Zealand. This was a bit of a surprise as this pair both showed French wines last time. Again, the preferences were 10-5 in favour of the pricier version which was Saint Clair Pioneer Block 18 (2011 £19.72), with the more instantly recognisable of the two being Snapper Block (2011 £9.72). You can always rely on this pair to go above budget. I love them! And it was nice to find a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with a bit more character and distinction than the general crop, though as to whether I'd shell out close to £20, the jury is out. Both wines came from Spirited Wines.
Dear readers, drinking too much is not big and it's not clever, but occasionally it can be fun, though it plays havoc with your dancing! (Many of our dance partners on Friday night didn't quite get the dance they were expecting. Apologies to everyone I danced with!)
Our final wines were a Sainsbury's basic £4.50 Tempranillo and a Pesquera Ribera del Duero (100% Tempranillo). The Pesquera has been a favourite of mine for some 15 years and this one (purchased for €16.50 in Frankfurt airport duty free shop) didn't disappoint. The 2009 is available more readily from Tanners at £18.95. At the risk of sounding repetitive, my notes here are very sketchy, but again, I think the more expensive went down best. The Sainsbury's House is drinkable though, which at this stage in the evening wasn't just down to diminished tastebuds, but the fact that many of us like Tempranillo as a grape, whether it be in a simple youthful Rioja or a grand, aged fine wine like Vega Sicilia.
Totting up the totals, it seems the more expensive bottles won the day rather convincingly, and let's remember this was all blind tasting. That's not to say that all the cheaper bottles were undrinkable. The DiVranac was a much loved bargain compared to some of the pricier wines. And our non-wine drinker realised that paying more can be worth it, and seemed to be becoming a convert by the end of the evening.
Meanwhile, Purple Teeth will continue to seek out supermarket bargains. On my last case load there was nothing under £10 a bottle. I got my bargain by buying during a 25% off special offer period bringing those £10 wines down to a reasonable £7.50. There are ways of getting more bang for your buck, you just have to take the time to figure out what you believe is worth the investment. Go to as many tastings as you can, open your mind, try things blind, share with friends. This will help you come closer to finding your ideal wine price point, grape and style.
Meanwhile, experiment. I'd love to hear about your bargain finds and favourite fine wines.