Spring wines for summer picnics

Last week I was invited, along with fellow food bloggers, to the Co-op’s Spring Wine Tasting workshop in London. We were greeted by the Co-op’s social media team and handed a booklet that listed all of the wines chosen by their wine team, which we were going to get to try – all 69 of them!

Co-op wine tasting event

Before the tasting began, we were given a wine pairing masterclass by Gyles, Senior Wine Buyer for Co-op. There were a number of different wines for us to try, including a white, red, rose and two sweet wines. We were told what to look for when tasting wine – first is the appearance (colour, clarity, the legs and sediments). Next is the aroma – what notes can you smell and what category (floral, fruit, oak etc) does it fit into? Lastly, how does it taste on your palette? Take a sip, purse your lips and swirl the wine around your mouth then either spit it out into a spittoon or swallow the wine. True wine tasting requires that you spit it out!

Take the test

It’s amazing how different wine tastes when you pair it with food. Try it yourself with a simple taste test. We were given a bit of┬áThe Most Wanted Albarino, a Spanish white wine, to try. When tasted on its own it had a lot of citrus notes and was quite acidic. We were then given a bit of smoked salmon to try and then take a sip of the wine straight after. It was amazing the difference the salmon made to the taste of the wine – it was less acidic, easier and more palatable to drink and left a creamy aftertaste.

Wine pairing

Which will you choose?

Co-op has carefully selected a range of wine to showcase how you can make the most of the summer months – whether you’re having a BBQ or a picnic. We were invited to try 69 different wines from around the world- including sparkling, white, rose and red.

Wine from around the world

I have to admit, I couldn’t get through them all but I did try at least 25 or so and also asked Gyles for his recommendations on what I should try. I also asked him what his favourite was and was delighted when he chose the Bosman Adama from my home country, South Africa.

Gyles and the bottle of Bosman red

My favourites

Although I’m always happy to go with wine pairing when I’m having a tasting menu at a restaurant, I’m usually mainly a prosecco drinker! I did ensure that I tried a variety and these were my favourites:

  • Vinho Verde, Portugal – a lovely refreshing, effervescent and crisp white
  • Champagne Les Pionniers NV – France
  • Pic Saint Loup Rose – a French rose with lots of berry notes
  • Vanita Grillo – a white wine from Sicily which goes perfectly with fish
  • Don David Blend of Terroirs – a Malbec from Malbec (not Mendoza) which is perfect with steak

My ultimate favourite was the Vinho Verde. I can’t believe we were in Lisbon over Easter and didn’t try it while we were there! We’ll just have to go back…

Vinho Verde wine from Portugal

If you want to find out more about the wines or where to buy them, visit the co-op website.

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Spring wine tasting with the Co-op