Wetherspoons Wine Festival

Wetherspoons wine festival is once more amongst us and Friday gave me my first opportunity to indulge. The format is slightly different this time around, with six new wines all created by award-winning winemaker, Matt Thomson. With those and the seasonal guest wines all available for £7.69, choice was no problem.

This being Bury JDW, and despite the staff all wearing festival t-shirts, there weren’t any tasting notes-they hadn’t arrived was the official excuse. Never fear, the first bottle was soon being poured. Merlot has taken something of a battering since the (very funny) Sideways, but the Hawkes Bay Merlot 2007 was surprisingly mellow and had, not an unpleasant, plum nose.

The festival Rose would have been nice, but as this was Bury JDW, of course they didn’t have any. They did, however, have Blossom Hill White Zinfandel on offer at £2 below house price. This was nicely chilled and very refreshing with a good infusion of summer fruits.

The next bottle was always going to be a challenge and so it proved. Barbera D’asti 2003 threatened an experience of tobacco and leather notes. Luckily they weren’t too prevalent, but it was still chewy and heavy going. With the alcohol kicking in, there was just time for one more bottle. Pinot Grigio is all the rage now, with all the Bridget Jones Chardonnay set converting over. Grave Del Friuli 2008 was a superb example, even better than the Bolla I had last week. Both are Italian but the Friuli won it with a long dry, very satisfying finish.

Bring on round two.


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