Hold it and people will come. That seems to be the motto for wine tastings. And it was certainly true of last night’s New Zealand Wine Fair at the Bridgewater Hall. So many wines (200) and so little time. Of course, I was only there to soak up the cultural ambience but I did manage the odd glass or two-well it would have been rude to refuse.
Now not everyone is as high-minded as me, so I wasn’t surprised to see some familiar drunks staggering round. Jack & Jill were getting tanked up straight from work, whilst Pythagoras was on the Rosé hunt. Meanwhile Archimedes was overheard bemoaning the fact that they weren’t serving red wine by the pint.
Taste wise, it was mainly good, with only a few bum notes. I wasn’t impressed with the Kim Crawford range. Their Spitfire Sauvignon Blanc is supposedly a “premium” wine-it retails for £13.49 a bottle but I was left underwhelmed by the lack of crispness. And their Dry Riesling Marlborough 2007 was far too acidic. Luckily there were far better examples knocking about-Hunters Riesling Marlborough 2008 being a good example.
What was the best? A lot of people seemed to like the Felton Road Cornish Point Pinot Noir but although it weighs in at around £25 a bottle, it didn’t do anything for me. Some of the unoaked Chardonnay was reasonable but the standout was the Pernod Ricard stable of wines. All of their range was good with the best being Deutz Marlborough Cuvee Sparkling. This was a delight, sending a fizzy taste sensation across the tongue. More than a match for most of its French counterparts.
Having been robbed in the wine tasting competition, we decamped to the nearby Pevril for some tasty Golden Pippin. The survivors finally made it back to Bury just in time to see Automatic close. Luckily there were pints of (very hoppy) Outstanding SOS waiting to be drunk at the Robert Peel. Strangely, it was at this point that I began to realise why everyone else had booked the day after off...