Thanks again to Avenue HQ for hosting another wine tasting event. They are starting regular events again now that we are emerging from all the restrictions. This was organised by Alex.
In praise of Alex
So first, thanks to Alex for organising this event. A few words to say what a great chilled out guy Alex is. He works at the bar/café (called & Company). Always friendly and gives good suggestions on wines available at the bar. I was impressed with his knowledge of wine when he hosted this event. (Knows more than I do).
Here he is at the rooftop bar. (Note in summer, and weather permitting Avenue HQ have a fantastic rooftop bar with great views of the city. Check out the Instagram page here. includes code links for street level entry).
There were about 10 people who came along to the event. I provided on bottle from France (the Cote du Rhone), but Alex chose the rest. Thanks to Avenue HQ and & Company for providing the other wines and snacks and nibbles. I tried as best I could to note comments of the other tasters. I had to do some internet searching for prices.
First up, a Pinot Noir
- Le Manoir du Baron
- Pinot Noir 2020
- Found online at Asda on offer at £3.95 (reduced from £4.70
I did not know the price at the time, but I am becoming fond of Pinot Noirs.
Both for aroma and taste, light and fresh, redcurrant notes, slight vanilla flavours.
Alex asked us to suggest a pairing. I suggested a light meat dish such as chicken or lamb. The bottle suggested duck. So I was in the right area by not suggesting a heavy meaty beef dish.
This wine was like by all who tasted it, even by someone who normally does not like reds.
Staying on the reds, next up a Malbec from South Africa
- Bruce Jack Pinotage Malbec
- Found on Sainsbury’s website for £7
Alex showed the colour comparison between the Pinot Noir and the Mablec. The Pinot Noir had more transparency. It is lighter in alcohol content and Pinot Noirs are generally a lighter wine, so interesting that one can determine this by looking at the colour in the glass.
Being a heavier wine, I did not think that I would like this as much as the Pinot Noir tasted just before. But I thought this very nice. It had a strong oaky, dark berry aroma.
Dark fruits flavours. It had more depth and was fuller bodied compared to the Pinot Noir, but still smooth and elegant. I will keep an eye out for this.
Pinot Grigio Rosé
- Canti Pinot Grigio Rosé
- Found on Asda’s website for £6.50
I have had a Pinot Grigio rosé before. And I was going to update my earlier post about only buying Cote de Provence rosés, to say that I will also buy Pinot Grigio ones. The colour is light (like the Cote de Provence) and had a nice light and fresh, citrus and lemony aroma. The taste was citrussy, light and fresh too. Everybody liked this one. (But I still prefer the Château Reillanne that is a bit cheaper in Auchan in Boulogne.)
Next up, a bottle of fizz, followed by a Chardonnay and then my red Cote du Rhone
- Casa Luis Cava Brut
- Found on Asda’s website for £5.85
I found the aroma a bit bland and non-descript. The taste was a bit better but still a bit bland and flat. OK just to celebrate. I am not sure the price but I have had better bottles of fizz from Auchan for under €3 (See Rus’s review of the Pol Remy). One person said ‘horrible‘. I would not have gone that far, but it was a bit disappointing.
Pinot Grigio Chardonnay
An odd mix? I generally prefer Pinot Grigio to Chardonnay, so I was curious about this one. Unfortunately forgot to take photos.
Aroma: subtle or delicate, or maybe a bit bland
Taste: not too sweet like some chards, mango flavours.
Pleasant and easy going. If it was £5 a bottle it would be an excellent deal, Alex seemed to think it about £7 or £8.
Cote du Rhone
- M. Chapoutier Cotes du Rhone Villages
- €8.95 at Auchan, Boulogne
This is the wine that I bought, so I was interested to get Alex’s opinions. As I mentioned earlier, he does know more than me. He looked at the colour and saw that it was deep and rich, so said that it would have a deep rich taste. And he was right, it had a strong aroma and a rich full bodied flavour. At 14.5% I was worried that it might be too strong for my personal taste. Not at all, it was very smooth.
One tip that I learnt from Alex is to swirl the wine in the glass and look for oily residue on the glass. This shows too much oily tannins. This wine was fine. Comments noted were:
“Not a fan”
So it was well liked by most, but not everyone. A nice wine but interesting to note that not better value than some of the UK purchased red wines. I think that I have bought some Cotes du Rhones for less in France that were as good.
Again, a very pleasant late afternoon event organised by Alex and Avenue HQ, thanks again to both. Most good co-working spaces will organise events for their members. As mentioned in previous posts, I do recommend them for people doing freelance work. If this applies to you, check out what is available and I recommend to choose one that does organise some social events. And I learnt some good tips from Alex about looking at colours of wines, and checking for oily residue on the glass.
Again interesting to note that one can get some good wines at reasonable prices in the UK. But for fizzy whites, I think it is still worth going over to buy the Pol Remy. Better than the Cava at less than half the price. Good for bulk buying for a wedding or other event. If four people go over, you can bring back 96 bottles.