Thursday, 8 January 2015

Bargain debasement

It's early January and what with being skint and disregarding any sort of stupid dryathalon behaviour one is somewhat on the short side for decent Wednesday evening drinking (I'm justifying all this on the grounds that the en-primeur Burgundy tastings all start in a day or so). Hence Morrisson's finest (actually cheapest) ropey Italian wines being purchased to accompany dinner (steamed sea bream marinated in a ginger/garlic/oaxaca pasilla chilli paste/lime juice, herby brown rice, broccoli and spinach).
I'll level here, I've always been a bit fascinated with the more mass produced side of wine making. Yes I accept that it doesn't have the romance of single sites and uniqueness of terroir, but there's something quite honest about the intentionality of mass produced wines that I appreciate. They're there to be drunk, not savoured, at best they're going to provide a bass line of acid/minor fruit character to accompany whatever it is that you're eating, at worst they're potable liquid which engenders drunkenness (equally something I've never objected to). I think the lack of falseness is quite appealing, all too often there's a whiff of hypocrisy around fine wine where people pretend that the wine is so exquisite and unique that it's somehow divorced from its actual nature. It's not something to drink, it's something to worship, to extoll and to tweet/blog/crow the fuck about to everyone you happen to know who's got the slightest interest in wine. Yeah, trophy wife wines.
Well tonight, I'm not doing trophy wife wine. I'm going to risk the brick bats of the more righteous side of the internet by doing the opposite (not actually going to continue this metaphor).
Morisson's Italian White Wine. Yep, that's what it's called, 12% alcohol, it's made by C.V.S.C in Ortona, Central-East Italian coast) and that's about all I can tell you about it.
As for taste, it's pretty much a symphony in blandness, on first being opened there's a little CO2 spritz that keeps it a bit sharper than it probably is, the fruit is clean, there's a little bit of residual sugar. Beyond that there's pretty much nothing to say about the wine, hence my score of 9/10*
Following the not-as-ropey-as-I'd-expected-it-to-be white we come to the Morisson's Chianti. Now this is a bit of an extravagance at £4.49**. Oddly I'm finding this a bit of a personal marmite wine, on the one hand I'm quite impressed at how un-bland it actually is, there are some tarry notes, some slightly dried dark cherry notes, a little bit of raisininess, it's got some sharpness. Honestly it's drinkable and actually tastes of something, however it doesn't quite have the same beige accessibility that the white manages to rock. Also, there's something about the extra character that rather invites extra criticism, the alcohol doesn't really sit right on the palate, there's something a little bit fake about the whole thing. Also the wine apparently goes great with 'tomatoey pasta'***
It's odd, the wine is better, and yet if you're going to force me to debase myself with the bargain wines, it's the cheaper £3.99 Italian White that I'll be going back to (chilled to buggery mind).

* Score amended for suitability for Wednesday evenings in January when you're skint on account of its £3.99 price.
** Before you all complain, I'm well aware of the amount of wine that actually goes into bottles that cost £3.99/£4.49 on account of duty/tax etc.
*** See label. Be offended.****
**** I accept that there is a slight lack of consistency with my complaining about wine labels using non-words such as 'tomatoey' whilst happily seeding my own text with such atrocities as 'raisininess'. Well, I genuinely don't care at present so few people read this that I'm regarding any small measure of irateness that I may engender in a reader as being akin to a personalised birthday gift.

(ftr I decided to draw the labels as they were so shit, also it amused me)

1 comment:

Ron Combo said...

You want some seriously bland whites? Come and have a butcher's at some of the "Gotto d'Oro" Lazio whites on offer in 1.5l flagons on most self-respecting Italian supermarket shelves. Cheap as chips obvs. When you want quantity over quantity...ticks all the boxes.