Whilst watching Saturday Kitchen last weekend, a friend of mine's 8yo son asked what the person on the telly talking about wine was doing. "They're what's called a wine expert", said my friend. "That's not a real job, is it?" said the 8yo. And I have to say, he has a point. Today, for example, I've spent the day tasting wines blind (as in the bottles are covered, rather than my eyes) with a panel of wine experts at the International Wine Challenge. Highlights included Syrahs from New Zealand, hearty reds from Minervois, some gorgeous Pinot Noirs and peachy Gruner Veltliners from Austria. Each wine brought its own mix of aromas and flavours to the glass, and the best of them left me smiling happily. Like I said, the 8yo has a point.
Current white in the fridge: Limoux Chardonnay 2012, £6.99, Aldi
Limoux is in the Languedoc region, in southern France and is a gem. The grape is Chardonnay and it has been aged in oak barrels. If ever there is a good time to enjoy a chunky pineapple-scented Chardonnay with a sprinkle of vanilla it is now, when it's bloomin' freezing. It's rich, full-bodied and will absolutely make you feel warm and sunny inside. It falls under the 'Exquisite Collection' range, Aldi's own label finest/taste the difference equivalent. Tastes much more expensive than it actually is. Exquisite value, in fact.
Current red in the rack: La Folle Noire d'Ambat 2011, £10, Oddbins
Staying in France for the red this week: Fronton is a wine region near Toulouse, down south. The grape is Negrette and its thick skin gives the resulting wine much colour. Black as ink, in fact. Put your nose in the glass and you get a face-full of blackberry and black cherry fruits. Take a sip, and the big, bold flavours will leave you needing a little sit down. It really is a beast. Definitely needs food, preferably a big plate of stew and mash, unless you have a masochistic streak.
Peace out, winos x