Friday, 20 July 2012

Guest Post: Manchester WI - First of the Summer Wine

Jenny Cole, fellow Manchester WI member, twitterphile, blogger and all round lovely person, offered to write about the wine tasting event held this week at Sam's Chop House.
Having only lived in Manchester for a year, I had never heard of Sam’s Chop House (and almost ended up at Mr. Thomas’ instead!). I had formed lots of assumptions about it from the name,which were pretty blown out of the water when I arrived for the Manchester WI Gourmet Group’s ‘First of the Summer Wine’ on Tuesday. Sam’s Chop House is a lovely little place, tucked away underground on Chapel Walk with a cosy interior and wine list which is anything but.

We were to try 4 European white wines over the evening which interested me greatly as although I love white wine, I usually stick to New World wines, preferring a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand above all else. Our sommelier was Nick Fildes, apparently quite new to the world of wines but he must be learning fast as his knowledge of not only the regions but the grapes and the tasting process was quite staggering! Nick was really happy to answer questions (even daft ones from me!) and was not in any way unapproachable or stuck up about the experience; he held fast to the idea that all wines will taste different to different people and was very inclusive, regardless of your level of wine knowledge.

So how were the wines? Well, amazing of course! The first one was a French sauvignon which I was not expecting to like. For some unknown reason I have an unreasonable bias against French wine, but it was lovely, even for a Kiwi-Wine fan such as me. After this was a wine I was less keen on (but still didn’t turn down a top up of!) -  an Italian trebbiano with a distinctly Chardonnay-ey flavour – but this proved very popular with others. The third wine was probably my favourite. I’ve been mostly grumpy about all of the national pride caused by the Jubilee and Olympics so my patriotism had to find a home somewhere and it did – in a large glass of yummy English wine! I’ve visited the vineyard responsible for the third wine, Three Choirs, and had some fantastic wine there, so I was a bit biased. People have such a negative view of English wine and it really is worth a try. Three Choirs do some lovely wine (and the vineyard itself is worth a visit too). Finally we tried a verdejho (nope I’d never heard of it either), which was Nick’s favourite and was also extremely tasty.

It was great that Sam’s Chop House weren’t stingy with their wine – for only £20 we got to try more than enough of each one to make our minds up. There is something special for me about the sight of condensation running down the side of a glass of crisp white wine (especially as Sam’s Chop House was the temperature of a rain forest) but what really made the evening was the fabulous company. The ladies at the Manchester WI really are so lovely, and it was great to spend an evening getting to know some of them better. Can’t wait until we tackle the reds!

No comments:

Post a Comment