Italian Freemasons nobble me in Manchester

Italian wines are often accused of being over-tannic.  I guess that is a matter of opinion but I woke up with a headache this morning.

Last night I had the pleasure of attending my first Wine Society event, an informal tasting within the impressive architecture of the Freemason’s Hall on Bridge Street.  Such things clearly need a theme and this one was “Italy from top to toe”.  Given the country in question one might equally have dreamt up “heel to sole” or “thirst to last”.  But that’s enough cobblers.

The event had a £25 entry fee which could get me into Man City v Wolves on a wet Wednesday night.  Even so, possibly a bit rich given that the objective is to get me to spend my hard earned on even more wine.  My expenses budget is not of parliamentary proportions so the offer of a 10% discount for orders on the night was welcome and naturally, I took advantage.

The event was well organised chaos with a great range of Italian wine producers, importers and hangers on, and wines ranging from cheap and cheerful to the huge, hairy and half a hundred quid a bottle.

I think I tasted 25 wines in total and made a number of Italian friends but I did get quite pissed (I hate to spit).  For the record my favourites were:

Gavi La Battistina, 2008 – I normally find Gavi über-bland so was pleasantly surprised to find this fruity, zingy and refreshing and only £7.95 per bottle.

Graticciaia, 2001 – not cheap but an unbelievable and most unusual flavour.  Lots of super fresh plums (maybe slightly under-ripe) and a good stink of violets.  The grapes are apparently sun-dried before pressing and I wondered if I could taste tomatoes of that genre.  In any case a good match for rich casseroles, game, lamb and headaches.  Worth £32?  Yes, I think so.

Prosecco di Valdobbiadene – I love a Bellini but this Prosecco can live without the peach purée.  Better than Freixenet Cava for about the same price, £8.95.

2005 Calcaia Dolce Orvieto Classico Superiore – the star of the show for me although not yet available from the WS.  I understand it will be retailed at about £15 (50cl bottle) at some point in July.  Rich honey and peaches but much lighter than most sweet wines.  Perfect match for cheese I reckon.

2 Responses to “Italian Freemasons nobble me in Manchester”

  1. Simon Woods Says:

    I was getting nobbled at the same event – might get round to posting my views on it soon. Are you doing the NZ bash in Manc tomorrow?

  2. Alastair Bathgate Says:

    Drat – off to London on “real” business.

    Would be good to meet up at some point though. As a fellow northerner with decent music tastes, and old enough to remember punk!

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