2015 Wine Appreciation Archive


Thank you for your responses regarding the January date. It seems that the majority of the group can make Monday 18th January at 3pm. The meeting will be at  Keith and Lindsay's house.

The scheduled meeting dates for your 2016 diaries are as follows but may need tweaking for Bank Holidays

28/3/16 (Easter Monday)
30/5/16 (BH)
29/8/16 (BH)

We have no hosts scheduled after January so if you would like to put in your bids please let me know!

Happy festive "tippling" to one and all



Dear All,

Firstly thanks to Alan for arranging our annual trip to Wadebridge Wines, and extra special thanks to Lin for driving us so smoothly!

Our next get together is scheduled to be the afternoon of Monday 25th January. Unfortunately this clashes with a long weekend away arranged by the Photography Group which means some of us will not be able to attend.

Can I therefore propose that we move to Monday 18th January at 3pm.  



Wadebridge Wines Visit

The annual evening trip to the Wadebridge Wines  Christmas Wine tasting is on November 25th. We have booked the LAMA minibus which allows us some spaces, so if members could let if they are coming and know any U3A members who might be interested, please let me know.

Alan May 01208 873411  


Meetings will be held on the last Monday of each month.

BBC Radio 4 Food Programme

There was an interesting edition of the BBC Radio 4 Food programme broadcast on 
12th July 2015 about new attitudes to wine.  Quoting from the BBC website :-

"There's a revolution happening in the world of wine. While tradition once dictated the way things were done, a new generation of wine drinkers are shaking things up - in the way it's sold, consumed and written about - with the intention of shaking off the fustiness and perceived snobbery. Not only is there a new attitude about what's deemed good but there's an openness to alternative production methods and artisanal producers. Sheila Dillon asks if the underground movement we saw towards craft beers and ciders and specialist coffees is now being witnessed in the world of wine."

You can listen, or download,  the programme  from  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b061ph08#play    You can also listen to the programme on your smartphone if you have a podcast app installed.

(If you are having trouble finding the programme  try this direct link to the audio file)


 Report of meeting on 17th August 2015 at Alan's  house.

The summer weather gods were smiling on us once more as we enjoyed an afternoon in Alan's garden with a glass or three of rose wine this month. Like many of our U3A groups this month Jean was in all our thoughts and we raised a glass to her at the start of the afternoon.

Summer wine tasting in Lostwithiel

Alan had chosen three rose wines for us to try:-

Sharphams 2011 Wholeberry Rose (UK) 10.5% abv
La Chasse Syrah Rose 2013 (France) 12.5% abv
Casilliero del Diablo Shiraz Rose 2015 (Chile) 13% abv

French, Chilian and English Rose Wine

All agreed that a chilled glass of rose on a sunny afternoon in good company is always enjoyable.  The favourite this month was unexpected by us all - 8 voted for Sharphams, 2 for Casilliero del Diablo. Nul points for France this month.

LJS - 17th August 2015


 Report of meeting on 27th July  2015 at Ronald's  house.

The Group sampled three Bordeaux wines  chosen by Ronald.

The group of 10 people present  marked each wine out of a potential score of 10 points. Overall wine #1 scored 55 points,
wine #2 scored 29 points  and wine #3 also scored 55 points.


 Report of meeting on
29th June  2015 at Helen's  house.

A lovely sunny day with almost a full complement of 12 (from of a possible 13) group members.   Helen had selected two wines, a Spanish white and an Argentinian Red which we enjoyed sitting in her garden.

Lostwithiel U3A Wine Group 29th June 2015
Photo by Ronald, using his Nexus tablet
Details of the wines as follows:-

Calima Garnacha Blanco 2013 Catalunya

Grape -     Garnacha Blanco

    Origin -     This wine is produced by the Marqués de Monistrol winery, who are based at the site of a former Cistercian monastery in Penedés. Although more famous as a white Rhône variety, Garnacha Blanco, or white Grenache originated in Spain and is closely related to red Garnacha.

  Taste  -     A light and sunny white, with a melon, pear and grapefruit profile, and a soft-textured feel on the palate. Plenty of fresh acidity makes for a mouthwatering, refreshing finish.

Available from Majestic Wine, List Price : £7.49   Current offer (30th June 2015) Mix and Match 2 bottles save 25%  reduces price to £5.61 per bottle.

Aniello 003 Malbec 2014 Bodega Aniello, Patagonia
Red wine

    Grape -     Malbec

    Origin -     The '003' in the name signifies the vineyard from which the grapes are sourced, one of two sites owned by Bodega Aniello. 003 is located in Mainque, on an area of heavy red clay soils on the hillsides overlooking the Rio Negro river.

 Taste -      An approachable and delicately fragrant Malbec, characterised by gentle lavender notes that intermingle with the ripe black cherry fruit. Medium-bodied, with soft tannins and a juicy mouth-feel.

Available from Majestic Wine, List price List Price : £12.99   Current offer (30th June 2015) Mix and Match 2 bottles save 25%  reduces price to £9.74 per bottle.

 Report of meeting on 23rd February  2015 at Linden's  house.

Tasting Sauvignon Blanc
Three Wines from three Continents

Linden decanted three wines for blind tasting to see if members of the group could identify the wines based on the tasting notes.

The descriptions of the wines were as follows:

Wine number 1

Dry Sauvignon Blanc with fresh aromas of gooseberries
and grapefruit, a refreshing palate of lemon and limes,
crisp and citrus acidity and a good length. Enjoy it on
its own, with seafood, creamy pasta dishes or grilled

Wine number 2
Fresh and fruity. A beautiful pale yellow robe with
green highlights. An intense citrus, boxwood and white
peach nose with mineral notes. Long, round, aromatic
and lively at the same time with a fresh finale.
A wine to be served as an aperitif or with seafoods,
salads or grilled fishes.

Wine number 3

This Sauvignon Blanc captures the vibrant herbaceous
grapefruit and gooseberry characters of the region.
Superb weight and elegance combine to complete a
wine of remarkable fruit intensity and style.
Our focused, hands on approach to winegrowing allows
us to make a range of wines that reflect our passion for
the ‘place where we stand’.

And the answers were as follows:-

Wine number 1

From Valle Central, Chile.
Vintage 2014. 12.0% vol.
Sold in a 2.25 litre box.
Cost £12.99, equivalent to £4.33 per bottle.

Wine number 2

By Calvet, Bordeaux, France.
Vintage 2013. 11.5% vol.
Screw top bottle.
Cost £7.49 per bottle.

Wine number 3

Wither Hills, Marlborough, New Zealand.
Vintage 2014. 13.0% vol.
Screw top bottle.
Cost was £11.25, reduced to £7.49 per bottle

 Report of meeting on 26th January 2015 at Keith and Lindsay's house at 3pm.

Gewurztraminer is a pink-skinned grape variety that produces some of the most distinctively aromatic wines in the world, in an intense style that polarizes people. Ardent fans of Gewurztraminer adore its highly perfumed scents and slightly spicy flavors, while its detractors lament its lack of acid and obvious fruit tones. Few, however, would deny Gewurztraminer’s presence on the olfactory radar.

Literally translated, Gewurztraminer means "spiced Traminer" (Traminer Aromatico in Italian), in reference to the grape's heritage as a mutation of the Traminer family of grapes. Up until 1870 Gewurztraminer was simply known as Traminer in Alsace, and even until the 1970s both Traminer and Gewurztraminer were used to describe the same grapes.

Wine Region
Alsace, in the far north-eastern corner of France, stands out from other French wine regions thanks to its strong Franco-Germanic influences. These are the result of the region having switched back and forth between German and French sovereignty in recent centuries – and are evident not only in Alsatian architecture and culture, but also in the wines.

The Alsace region lies between the Vosges mountains and the French border with Germany, marked by the Rhine river. A long, thin region, it measures 115 miles (185km) north to south and just 25 miles (40km) from east to west. The key viticultural areas here are all located on the lower hillsides of the Vosges, on slopes with east and south-easterly aspects.

First wine Tasted  - Baron de Hoen Alsace Gewürztraminer 2013 £9.99  (Marks and Spencer)

Winery: Cave de Beblenheim

Winemaker: Patrick Le Bastard

Viticulture & Vinification: The grapes for this wine were sourced from vines grown on the 300 hectare Cave de Beblenheim Estate. The vines grow in a semi-continental climate on well-drained marl, clay and chalk soils.

The grapes were mostly machine harvested in October, before being destemmed and crushed in a discontinuous press. A one to six week fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, and the wine then remained on lees for two months. The wine was further aged in stainless steel tanks for six to 12 months at 14°C, before being bentonite and casein fined, and bottled.

Beautifully floral nose. Typical palate.  The alcohol rather leads, but it is what you expect.

Abv: 13.0%

Residual Sugar: 12.0g/l

Second Wine Tasted - 2014 ADOBE GEWURZTRAMINER, Emiliana. Rapel Valley, Chile

Alcohol Percentage: 13.5%
Area: Rapel is in the heart of the key Chilean wine growing area, sandwiched between the ocean and the Andes. The key to Chilean viticulture is dry, warm summers but cooled by the ocean
Producer: Emiliana is one of the world’s largest producers of Organic and Biodynamic wines (250 hectares organic, 250 more being converted currently). Consultant is the renowned organic expert Alvaro Espinosa
Food Match: As ever with Gewurz, spicy food comes to mind. Would be great with a good old Thai chicken curry.

The Alsace Gewurtztraminer edged the vote at today's wine tasting ahead of the Chilean offering. Nobody refused seconds!!