Spitting Image

I know that tasting and writing about wine for a living is a ridiculously lovely job. But given that wine is usually enjoyed in the company of friends and with food on the table, attending a wine trade tasting is somewhat different. Take a room and fill it with wines, winemakers, press and buyers. Add bright lights and a lot of noise. Here's a video taken by a friend of mine at yesterday's Australian Wine Trade Tasting in London, to give you a flavour of what goes on. As I said, a ridiculously lovely job. Even if I do have to spit in public.

A video posted by Arthur Campbell (@arthurcampbell) on

Current white in the fridge: The Shy Pig Crisp White, £3.49, Morrisons
I figure that if a producer does a great job with their cheapest wine, then it's likely to get better as you go up the price scale. So at a big trade tasting I usually start with the cheapest on each table. This one stopped me in my tracks yesterday: it was the cheapest in the room. Turns out this isn't strictly wine, rather it's a wine-based drink. Using wizard winemaking technology, the producer behind it then strips out some of the alcohol (it's just 10.5%) but leaves enough flavour for it to still taste pretty wine-y. I'm rather hoping they'll add a rose to the range in time for summer and call it Shy Pink Pig. 

Current red in the rack: Plan B Shiraz Tempranillo 2011, £11.50, The Wine Society
From Western Australia, which is generally much cooler than most of the other wine-producing regions in this vast place and makes some of Australia's smartest wines. You get lots of Shiraz here (known as Syrah in France) but not so much Tempranillo, the grape that's the driving force in Spain's Rioja region. By adding a dollop of Tempranillo to Shiraz, it lightens and brightens the wine up. Juicy and ripe, this one's a black cherry beauty. I plan to buy another bottle. 

Chin chin x

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