Wednesday, March 05, 2008

WBW #43: Comfort Wine

Wed 05 Mar 2008

I've spent a lot of today thinking about wine (for various reasons) but when Interwined's contribution to WBW came through my feed reader I was shocked. Too much time over at the Open Wine Consortium, too many wines tasted on Monday at my WSET class, and (clearly) not enough time spent on drinking wine. So - Joel (at Wine Life Today, and of OWC fame) has chosen comfort wine.

The instructions are surprisingly tricky: "choose a wine, any wine, that you love to unwind to and tell us about not only the wine but what makes the experience special and relaxing for you". Assuming I unwound in the first place, would I have a favourite wine to do that to? I don't think so - I like trying new stuff too much!

But Joel - being good, I chose RED WINE. For some reason, I think red wine is more relaxing than white - it's a warm, cosy, food thing. Now, the other week, Interwined (again) mentioned a Bordeaux available at Oddbins for just £6.79 that ticked a lot of boxes. In unwound fashion (that would be 'on a mission'), I headed to Oddbins to buy this wine! Of course, Oddbins Headingley could not oblige and I ended up coming home with a Bordeaux that cost £9.79, but still a 2005: Château de Goëlane Bordeaux Supérieur.

In unwound fashion, I dug out my sample tasting assessment, and had a practice. This is pretty much a text book wine: black fruit, hints of cedar, tobacco, leather and spice on the nose and yes, it tastes like that too. It's not an overwhelming long palate, but the wine is complex enough to make you think a little and give you time to enjoy it. I'm a little sceptical about the advice on the bottle suggesting you can lay it down for 4-5 years. I'd been opening bottles at frequent intervals to see what is going on. The tannins are already very soft and I suspect once the fruit starts to fade it could all go downhill very quickly. Also - at £10 a bottle, few people will be storing this one up as a special occasion wine.

I did some more unwinding by cooking dinner to go with it: lamb neck fillet (one of my favourite cuts of meat), wrapped in prosciutto, briefly roasted over rosemary, served with tortellini and a
sauce made from garlic, bacon, passata and a splash of cream, topped with basil. Simple, quick and delicious. And a reasonably sound match with the wine (the cream proving a bit tricky, but we had some in the fridge that would only go to waste otherwise!).

To finish the unwinding, I think I'll do some WSET revision and look at my ironing. Truly rock and roll!

The wine: Ch. de Goëlane 2005 Bordeaux Supérieur, £9.79, Oddbins, 75% merlot, 22% cab sav, 3% malbec.

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Blogger Orion Slayer said...

Nice post. Interesting to read the different takes on "comfort wine." I found your blog through the OpenWine Consortium. I'll have to check back again!

10:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Alex,

Thanks for the mention and shame about Oddbins. Glad to see that you found something suitable though. Love the lamb neck.

9:33 am  
Blogger Alex said...

Oddbins do seem to have a few 2005 Bordeaux under the £10. Of the two I've now tried, the extra pennies on the Ch de Goelane was well and truly worth it. It would be an interesting exercise to do a comparison ...

12:44 pm  

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