Perhaps the highlight of the night, in terms of wine, were the two reds we finished with. The first was an absolutely lovely little gem from the Co-op called Zalze. It's a new world red meaning that it has all the punchy flavours you expect from a South African wine. However, the really interesting thing about this wine is that it's basically a Rhone blend (Shiraz and Mouvedre) but instead of Grenache or Cinsault finishing it off it has Viognier, a white grape, lending it lightness, smoothness and a really interesting flavour. We'd just sampled a Viognier on it's own at this point in the evening so it was interesting to compare how little it could be tasted in this big, juicy red. The wine was smooth but really fruity with plum, blackcurrant and a hint of red fruit too. There was a hint of oak adding a grown-up feel to the wine. Generally it was extremely well recieved and since it's usually in the region of £8 from your local Co-op it's well worth a taste.
We then finished the evening off with a gorgeous wine by Christian Patat called Appassimento. Unfortunately this is only available from Naked Wines, if you like wine thougth it's definitely worth checking them out. A fantastic company with a brilliant ethos which makes me smile every time I order from them...and their wine is fabulous too! Appassimento is a style of winemaking in which the winemakers use semi-dry grapes (this is used in the making of Amarone too). This gives the wine a rich, jammy, raisiny feel in the mouth and tricks your palate into thinking that there is sweetness there - almost like Port. This wine didn't disappoint, smoky and full of cherry, plum, fig and raisin flavours it was a gorgeous end to a relaxed and fun night.
If you would like to treat one (or more) of your friends to a wine tasting, or even a voucher, please do get in touch if you are in the London area. We'd love to help!