Two tastings to tell you about, both good for our tasting skills in different ways.
A rare opportunity for us to try Russian Wines, for those of us curious about wines that we do not usually encounter. These wines – not even available to buy in the UK – were made for Russian tastes. Some were from local grapes, others from grapes more familiar to us, such as Chardonnay. We compared nine whites and seven reds, and a delicious, albeit very sweet, 1945 Massandra muscat rosé – seventeen interesting wines. On the whole we found the reds were preferable to the whites, and opinion was divided as to which was the best.
We were impelled to concentrate on what we genuinely thought about the wines themselves, with no idea of a price for assessing value! The information on the bottles gave nothing away, since none of us was familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet. Where else could we have tasted such wines?
We had another agreeable tasting exercise three weeks later, when we directly compared English Sparkling Wines and Champagne. The wines were served blind in pairs, each pair consisting of one English wine and one Champagne of a similar style, closely matched for price. with members voting after each pair for which they preferred, and guessing which wine was which. How instructive was this (and fun, too)!