I was invited to a very interesting event recently, a wine tasting organised by the fantastic host and wine blogger Rob, who was aided superbly by fellow wine blogger Andrew, from Spittoon. This was no normal wine tasting, it was multinational, and we would share our thoughts on the wines via twitter. The wines were supplied by Bin Ends, all from the Alsace region, and we would be tasting them with fellow twitterers in the US, Spain, South America, and one in China!
If you don’t know twitter it’s a microblogging application, where you send your thoughts out into the world in 140 characters or less. It’s community focussed, so those twitterers that are connected to you see those updates, and you can send replies and direct personal messages that only the people involved see. So, it’s like online shared texting, or status updates on facebook. If you’re on there, I am eatlikeagirl, come join me. I really enjoy it and use it as a means of communication with friends and other food bloggers e.g. Helen of World Foodie Guide, Su Lin of Tamarind & Thyme and Helen of Food Stories.
There’s the background, now: back to the tasting.
Now that’s a number of different locations, and clearly timing was going to be an issue, so we started early and planned to twitter with everyone else from midnight. Rob and Andrew prepared a wonderful 5 course meal and matched the food to the wines.
I am guessing you are a little curious about the wines and the food. Now, I don’t blog about wine, and it’s not because I don’t like it, it’s my tipple of choice, I just don’t have anything approaching the level of expertise that wine bloggers have and it’s, well, intimidating. I do want to know more, and I see a wine tasting course looming on my horizon, but for now, I surf the part of the wine list that I know and I try to learn more by breaking out of this occasionally. I’ll get there. This evening all 5 wines were white wines from Alsace, which would prove to be interesting as I am generally more of a fan of red.
So, we started with a delicous starter of scallops accompanied by Hugel Tradition Gentil (aka Les Fleurs d’Alsace) 2006. The scallops pan fried with white wine, ginger, garlic and chilli, the spices added to compliment the spice in the wine. The scallops were fantastic, large, juicy and perfectly cooked and the wine was a very pleasant accompaniment, light with gentle spicy flavours.
Next up was red onion or asparagus tarts with baby leaf salad accompanied by Hugel Tradition Pinot Blanc 2006. The tarts were great, light and quite eggy, the wine cut through this quite well. I wasn’t a huge fan of this wine, on first taste I was underwhelmed, putting it mildly, but the food was a good match and it improved. It was quite rich and acidic, heavier than the first.
At this point, we were all starting to feel really spoiled, with our two wine blogging friends slaving in the kitchen, and us chattering, sampling and generally having a very good night. It was time for the next course and our most decadent yet, with fois gras mi cuit with toast and fig chutney matched with Hugel Tradition Gewürztraminer 2006. The foie gras and fig chutney were well matched even before the wine got involved, but the wine was a wonderful match and brought the best out in everything. It was rich and golden with hints of honeysuckle and quite an oily texture, which amplified the flavours in the meal. Delicious.
Next up was pork medallions with mustard mash, apples and cider reduction accompanied by Hugel Riesling Jubilee 2004. The dish as all previous was perfectly executed and the wine, for me, was sharp, acidic and spicy with background syrupy sweetness. It was a good match for the food.
.Our last wine was awaiting us, unfortunately so was the last train, so we had to rush. We had coconut macaroons with Hugel Gewürztraminer Vendage Tardive 2001. Now this wine was delicious, and was great with the coconut. It had a honey fragrance, intense sweet syrupy honey flavours, rich and gorgeous.
It was truly a wonderful evening, I learned alot, and am determined to expand my wine tasting experiences. The company was great and it was a very fun evening. Thanks to uber host Rob and Andrew, for organising and serving up such a wonderful meal,Bin Ends Wine and Hugel & Fils for the wines and setting up the event and Annie Mole, Lea, Kai, Sandrine, Jeremy, Lolly & James.
There’s lots of photos, you can take a look on the flickr group – Twitter Taste Live.