How good am I getting at deciding how what is a good wine?
Well I think that I am getting better. I have recommended some wines at some of the tasting sessions that I have given, and people generally seem to like what I have provided, either at these sessions, or given as a present. In particular the Clos de Beauregard (a white Muscadet Sevre et Maine) and the Domain Martin Plan de Dieu Cotes du Rhone Villages.
See the comments here from my coworkers at Avenue HQ on these and my other recommended wines when I did a wine tasting session there.
I started trusting my judgement more when I was in France a few years ago, at friends there and I was asked what I would like to drink. I asked for a red wine. I tasted it and thought it very good, so asked to look at the bottle to note what is was. It was a Mouton Cadet. I had not heard of this wine, but apparently it is quite a well-known label, and more expensive than the other Bordeaux that I reviewed before. (Some of you might be thinking, how can a person who writes a wine blog not have heard of Mouton Cadet? But If you read the ‘About’ section on the website, I do say that I started this blog knowing virtually nothing about wine). And at about €10 a bottle, it is definitely a lot more expensive compared to the ones I wrote about in my recent bargain reds post.
As it is a reasonably well known wine, there is already a bit online about it.
Here is a link about Mouton Cadet from a website called socialvignerons.com. (I think this is a very good website and I might refer to it again in future). It includes some information about Baron Philippe de Rothschild, who launched this wine and whose name in on the bottle.
It is good to see a review on this wine from a real wine expert. It is generally liked, with comments such as:
‘The fruit characters are more present in your mouth than they were on the nose. Raspberry jam, perhaps some blackberry, are well present and provide a positive fresh and fruity impression.
It’s dry, somewhat austere, with a good upfront fruitiness, also hitting with a punchy sour and savory sensation from acidity and bitterness. Nothing too aggressive, but yes, savory and sour like the sensation you’d have eating fresh cranberries, or having a sip of cranberry juice.’
Interesting to see that on this site, this wine is not considered expensive. Somehow I doubt that they review red wines under €3. (But I will check anyway and get back to you if they do).
The site includes a YouTube video. And when you start viewing things on YouTube, you always find another related video. So here are links for Mouton Cadet reviews on the Social Vignerons YouTube channel, and one from ‘Liz’s Easy Living’ channel. This is an interesting channel, I may check out some of her other videos. Like me she is not a wine expert, so good to get her views too. These included the following comments: ‘very smooth, earthy smell, goes well with steak, full mouth feel‘.
So, what about my thoughts. I prefer to taste with other people, or get friends and family to comment too. So last Xmas I gave a bottle as a present to Kath and Grant. They had the bottle with family on Xmas day, and sent me the following comments:
‘Lovely’ ‘full bodied’ ‘warming’ ‘a nice taste’ ’rounded’.
Overall, they said that they really liked it.
I then reviewed it with Kara
Aroma: Too overpowering, especially at first. Better after letting it breathe in the glass for a while.Kara
Taste: Really nice, smooth, blackberries. Then tried with some cheddar cheese. Even nicer, complements the cheese well.
I really like this wine, smooth with bite, you can tell it is more expensive, but still not keen on the aroma.
Aroma: Quite strong, but a bit overpoweringMe (Paul)
Taste: Smooth, but with a nice bit. blackberry and dark red fruit flavours. Goes very well with the cheddar cheese.
Overall, we did enjoy the wine. It is a Bordeaux, and 54% Merlot. And as I have previously decided to keep away from cheap Bordeaux and Merlots it was interesting to taste a more expensive one. And I do like this one. (Maybe I will try an even more expensive one this year).
Interestingly there are sometimes special offers on these in the UK. See this deal at Morrisons. On the Morrison’s site there are an interesting mix of reviews. Some people really liked it, and some did not.
The special offer price at Morrison’s, (normally £10) is only £7.50. (Not sure how long this offer is on for, it might be over by the time you read this)
OMG this offer price is just under the normal price in France. (But during the wine fair you can sometimes buy boxes of 6 for around €40 or €50 instead of at the normal €10 a bottle.) Do you need to go all the way to Boulogne to get good deals? For most wines, the answer is still yes, but it is worth checking out prices and deals in the UK.
A good wine. With Bordeaux it is good to spend a bit more. It was liked by everyone I personally gave some to or tasted it with. It was also liked by the two reviewers who posted on YouTube. Interesting to see Liz’s expression when she describes the aroma as ‘earthy’. Like Kara, I don’t think she liked the smell too much. But as I noticed when looking at the bargain reds, a good taste does not always match the aroma.
I think that I am getting better at reviewing wines, as I described the ‘blackberry’ flavours, and then saw a lot of the other reviewers using the same word in their description.
I will be buying more of these, but might wait until I see them on special offer. Keep posted for dates of the 2020 French supermarket wine fairs. There could be some bargain deals then.