We also greatly enjoyed a wine from the "outside of the box" collection I bought recently.
(I featured other wines from this selection in a recent blog.)
(Join for free membership of Wine Cellar club here to access these wines.)
At £10.66, those who tasted it guessed it at nearer £20. I won't pretend to be able to review it in any depth, after all, it did follow some serious cocktail action - but if you like Spanish wine, this is a great wine to add to your basket. It's got enough Tempranillo to be familiar to Rioja drinkers but enough other stuff going on to make it appealing to anyone who likes a hefty red that's full of body and punch, yet easy drinking and velvety.
It's a blend of 40% Tempranillo, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Syrah with 8 months in French and American oak, a bit less time in oak than a Crianza. On the other hand, as it's a 2009 there's considerable bottle age, adding complexity.
The Finca de Don Quijote appealed to me, as an avid reader, and it comes from Tierra de Castilla, located in the region of Castile La Mancha. If you've know a book lover who loves Cervantes' man from La Mancha, potentially the world's first ever novel, this could make a good gift for them.
As for those cocktails...
I took the Chocolatini to new heights with addition of Stolichnaya salted caramel vodka to Godiva chocolate liqueur, as well as absolut vanilla & a coffee liqueur. Sadly I spilled most of the shaker. Not my finest moment.
Being completely sober at the time just unpacking what I'd brought, this was especially devastating (not to mention messy).
The surviving creation was a citrus delight of absolut citron, Grand Marnier & Limoncello with fresh lemon & lime juice and topped off with Prosecco.
Definitely not one for the designated driver!
Delicious though. It somewhat eased my pain at being, once again, "the spillage idiot".
Well, amazing as it seems, I'd gathered a group of "virtual" friends across the United States and Canada, none of whom I'd ever met before for an online wine tasting! It all started off as a random idea of mine on the app Happier.
Reverse Wine Snob (one of America's most influential wine bloggers - yes he actually gets paid to do this!) recently featured a bottle of 14 Hands Hot to Trot Red Blend, which I recognised from my "outside the box" collection. He gave the Washington State wine a bulk buy rating. It seemed a good enough reason for me to propose it.
It's cheaper and more widely available in the USA than here, and some 10 or so people went out to buy a bottle so that we could share a "real" experience "virtually".
Is this the future for people who don't want to drink alone? Could be!
I suddenly felt very responsible. Would they like it?
One happier found this tasted of Christmas and it may even become the wine for the "difficult to match" Thanksgiving dinner.
Most agreed the wine benefitted from being open and poured for at least 30 minutes before drinking.
Are you a social drinker?
Fancy joining the revolution?
It was quite a task juggling a laptop, an iPhone & a Riedel tasting glass full of wine with a Twitter account, Facebook page & the Happier app, but it was worth it for an hour of connection with wine fans half way round the globe. A new and unique wine experience that didn't cost the earth.
"Tangy", he would say, "tongue tingling." But otherwise he wanted to chill.
See my June blog post for more on this food friendly Austrian grape variety.
It was classic GrüVee for me, with one slight difference. I could swear i detected a hint of banana when I ate some saltine crackers with it.
But then when you look at my Saturday, it'd be no surprise if my taste buds were playing a trick on me!