Tuesday, 28 May 2013

£6.99 Anatolian smackdown

Taking as my inspiration the now defunct MTV Celebrity Deathmatch concept but transposing it to relate to the lower end of the available wine market in SE London (i.e. what I’m prepared to purchase with my own coin). I bring you the £6.99 Eastern Anatolian smackdown. Two wines, evenly matched on price, boasting the same blend..

Öküzgözü and Bogazkere: The Eastern Anatolian brothers - The ‘Bulls eye’ and The ‘Burns the throat’ (exactly what the wrestling move that ends up burning the opponents throat is I have no wish to imagine) (actually on second thoughts; it could be like a Chinese burn, but more strangly)

Serious now, Öküzgözü is the softer, juicier and less tannic of the two; Bogazkere bringing the structure, both light in colour with and very often blended. Both varieties are native to Eastern Anatolia and both have a selection of equally difficult to spell siblings and parentage. 

Yakut 2011 - Eastern Anatolia
Kavaklkidere winery
Lightish weight, initially presenting simple bright cherry flavours, light tannins, then a cherry red fruit, dried cherry liquorice finish. Think old school beaujolais.

Buzbag Klasic 2010 - Elazig - Diyarbakir
Kayra winery
Fuller bodied, slight grip to the tannins, dark cherry and some dark fruit, lots of liquorice, like a fuller riper version of the above. Slightly more evolved and complex, though obviously fuller bodied to start with.

The bell: The Yakut makes a pleasant out of the fridge summer wine, but isn't going to be anything else, the Buzbag, by dint of it's fuller body is probably a bit more versatile though it's hardly the subtlest. Having said that, for £6.99 they're both pretty good value.

Both wines available from TFC supermarkets (shops that I highly recommend, excellent veg at good prices and all the Turkish goodies you could wish for)

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

London International Wine Fair

It's been a couple of years now since I last attended the London International Wine Fair and I'm in two minds. Yesterday was RAWfair, bustling even on the quiet trade Monday, filled with interesting and (without wanting to resort to cliche) unusual wines.

Not really sure what I'm going to find this afternoon at Exel, but I'm hoping it'll not be quite as moribund as people are suggesting.

Wine of the day - Wetzer Spern Steiner 11 - Scintillating Kekfrankos, alive with buzzing acidity and a glorious fresh bitter cherry fruit character.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

what should we do with a rubbish cider? (to the tune of the drunker sailer sea shanty)

My girlfriend Helen (@foodstories) gets sent all sorts of stuff on account of her being a much, much better blogger (chef and all round person) than me.
Sometime we don't quite know what to do with said products.
I give you Brothers Cider, all the way from somewhere in Somerset, from a family with cider making traditions dating back to the 1600s (some ancestors possibly spinning in their graves over the crazy fruit flavours) and a nice friendly PR who kindly sent Helen a couple of bottles of their strawberry and wild fruit flavours ciders.
So, we were faced with a dilemma; one not at all disimilar to the one I faced whilst buying a bottle of Appleton's Estate rum from the corner shop at 8.15am (it was for a work function that night I promise) when the proprietor proudly grabbed a large bottle of pink Bacardi Breezer from under the counter and presented it to me whilst informing me that I could have it free with my purchase. How to politely get across the message that it wasn't really the sort of thing we drink?
Then, the idea came like a special sort of heavenly manna lightning cross. What if we made ice lollies from them!?!

Take one bottle of sweet red fruit flavoured cider.
Pour into four disposable plastic wine glasses.
Freeze with a teaspoon inserted at a jaunty angle.
Remove and enjoy!

Needless to say the act of freezing the sweet sickly cider goes a very long way to making it palatable (remind me to write a post about FroRosé some time soon).

On supermarkets and sweet vinotypes

I've been reading the new text by Tim Hanni 'Why we like the wines we like' and while I find the style a little abrasive (it's very chatty and American) there's no doubt in my mind that it's the most interesting and thought provoking wine book I've read in a good while.

The central tenet of his take on wine is that there are essentially four different palette profiles extant in the general populace, of which only two, sensitive and tolerant are really paid much attention in the wider wine world. He spends a lot of time discussing, sweet and hypersensitive palette profiles and how they often find delicate wines such as Pinot Grigios and softer sweeter wines like White Zin more appealing.

I'd been chewing (swilling round my mouth) over what I'd read I found myself looking for something drinkable in my local Morrisons (I'm in Camberwell and sometimes I forget to pre purchase the evenings drinking) it dawned on me that the bulk of the whites would cater very well for the sweet and hypersensitive drinkers. I stopped, mused on some statistics that I'd remembered.

image nicked from Yapp wine's blog, a really good wine merchant http://www.yapp.co.uk/

Sweet vinotypes: 21%:7% Female to male. That's a 3 to 1 ratio of female to male.
Hypersensitive: 36%:38% pretty much even.
Tolerant (the palette type that appreciates big gutsy reds etc, your Parker wines if you will) is 2:1 male:female.

I also remembered that I'd read somewhere that supermarket wine purchasing is some 80% controlled by women.

So ensuring that the wine selection will appeal to the palette preferences most likely to present in the consumers most likely to be spending money in the shop. All of a sudden the predominance of wine styles that were likely to be appreciated by the dominant spenders in the shop didn't seem all that unusual.

I guess the supermarket wine buyers do know what they're doing...

Jamie Goode on the same topic..