If you know me, you know I love a wine tasting - even more than wine drinking. Tasting is just such an experience on its own and getting to taste many different natural wines from different countries, made in different ways and from different grape varieties is just the best. So thank you to Pandemonium Wines for inviting me to their recent wine tasting that took place in Shoreditch at The Grocery Wine Vault, with their collection of Czech and Slovak wines, plus guest wines from Spain (IberianDrinks) and Portugal (Portuguese Story). Here are my highlights.
Czech and Slovak Wines
Some really cool stuff - like, really cool. Different forms of juice. And it's great because it just makes you think that there are so many great producers out there that you may not even know about! And this is another reason why I love a wine tasting - there is always something to learn, be it a new producer, new blend, literally anything. I have three favourites from this section.
Kosmonaut 2018 - 100% Laurot (really hip crossbreed grape variety from other grape varieties crossed together, two of which are Merlot and Blaufränkisch), from Czech Republic. Basically cherry candy with high acidity. This juice is just so delicious and really impressive, dark coloured rosé that doesn't even need chilling - you can drink as it is.
Saint Orange - Blend of Gewürztraminer, Gruner Veltliner and Rhine Riesling, from Slovakia. Another crunchy, vibrant, juice-coloured wine from this incredible part of the world. You just can't take your eyes (and glass) off it. As orange and skin contact-y as it gets.
Milerka 2018 - Adding a link as I don't actually have a photo of this one - which is a shame because it has a really pretty label! 100% Müller-Thurgau from Czech Republic transformed into a white wine with some skin contact, overall very floral and green, delicate fruitiness, refreshing acidity.
My absolute favourite from this section was the Exsum Ancestral 2015, 100% Xarel-lo Vermell, bottle fermented sparking wine made in small batches, with crunchy bubbles and a vibrant minerality. Seriously dreamy.
Cherry on top to this great wine tasting were a series of natural wines from Portugal. I just couldn't take my eyes off Herdade do Cebolal Xisto 2014, a blend of Touriga Nacional, Petit Verdot and Alicante Bouchet from the same producer of the famous "Imerso" (bottles submerged in the ocean for maturation, which I had the absolute honour to taste at the Real Wine Fair in 2019). An elegant yet playful red with a purple colour, some tannin and balancing acidity.
Until next wine!