Wine Virgin, No More!

11 Oct

It will come as no surprise to readers that I love wine. From a box, from a bottle, in the park, in a bar and once, even while perched on a crumbling castle wall overlooking the Dalmatian Sea…

But, up until the weekend I was still a wine festival virgin – I’d never been to a whole day dedicated to the gorgeous grape.

A Virgin Wines employee pours out a measure

This, I am happy to say, is no longer the truth after the boy and I ventured all the way down to the Royal Horticultural Halls in Westminter to take in some vinos with 1,500 others this past Saturday for the Virgin Wines Festival – an apt name, I thought, for myself the newbie.

Upon entering, I was astounded – never had I seen more open wine bottles…250 shiny, glass bottles being artfully poured into the awaiting glasses…sigh…

The boy and I could only look at each other, smile and grab our free tasting glasses to get going. No words, just pure and utter bliss.

Over four hours of wandering from table to table, having generous portions glugged into my glass (no special measured pours here) I managed to fit in 37 wines…yes, 37. From France, from Chile, Argentina and Spain, I drank my way through many a country in a happy cloud of tannins and bursting fruit.

In order to remember which we liked, the boy and I devised a scoring system to use in the handy books they provided us, which listed each wine available to taste: 3 ticks = brilliant; 2 = good; 1 = palatable; and an x = no, go.

Looking over that book now, with a much clearer head, I can report a few fantastic bottles, namely:

Still standing!

1) Fromm La Strada Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

2) Zinio Vendimia Seleccionada Rioja 2010

3) Morandina Valpolicella Superiore Pra 2008

4) Shiraz Plays Shiraz Barossa Valley 2009

5) De Martino Single Vineyard Las Cruces 2008

The boy enjoys some wines

The boy had his list too but we believe it may have been left behind at a pub – being British, of course, we went to a pub AFTER a wine event!

The festival also had wine makers there which you could speak with about their vineyards (I do believe this led me to speak Spanish to one grower at one point!) and Virgin Wines MD Jay Wright was on hand to dish out some of his top picks of the year.

All in all, I’d put the festival down as a success – and not only because I left feeling happily wobbly and more educated on what wines I really like, but because it wasn’t a stuffy, cardigan-wearing affair, but a young, vibrant exciting tasting. Perfect for Gwiltypleasures’s first…

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2 Responses to “Wine Virgin, No More!”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Virgin Wines London Tasting – A Winemaker and Newcomers View | Virgin Wines Blog - October 14, 2011

    […] attended our London tasting which was her first ever experience of a wine tasting event. Here is her account of the […]

  2. On the hunt for standout wines: Virgin Wine Fest 2012 « gwiltypleasures - October 26, 2012

    […] Last year, the boy and I headed there with zealous joy – a whole day of wine tasting at the Royal Horticultural Halls seemed too good to miss. And at £15 a ticket, a few hundred other people seemed to wholeheartedly agree. […]

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