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26 May 2017


sometimes it's hard for new people to host, lead, or serve me and my friends when we get together as a group. we're loud, we cackle, and we have so many in-jokes going on that it's totally hard to keep up with each other, let alone be an outside looking in on that chaos. we are a force to be reckoned with, and sometimes the struggle on the faces of those around us is very real. take silvia, the sweet, italian owner of divino in vino, a boutique wine service based in london, whose difficult job it was a few weeks back, to take us through a tasting workshop on indigenous wines.

i mean, bless her for trying, because i'm sure that we were trying her patience within moments. with the delicious spanish titiana brut popped and the catching up with each other in full swing, poor silvia struggled to catch our attention, let alone keep it long enough to educated us on what we were drinking. this is highlighted by the fact my tasting notes read "smells like mushrooms" about the 2015 eschenhof holzer "haide" roter veltriner from austria, when the course notes suggested spicy, smoky floral notes, and full-bodied tropical fruit undertones. so, again: bless her for trying.

each time silvia topped us up with yet another wine and we started to "taste", the cackling started up again. we'd be yelling out the smells on our noses, the tastes on our palates and our conclusions of the wines before she'd even started explaining their origins. we really were very badly behaved, and she was so sweet to put up with us, and eventually she suggested cheese, and we exploded into cheers. the plate of cheeses went down a treat with the 2015 pasaeli yapincak from turkey, about which i've written "yucky", and also "tastes better with cheese", so.. if that's not highlighting the benefits of cheese with your wine, i don't know what will. officially, the pale golden wine is supposed to give off an intense citrus aroma, but.. none of that made it to my nose.

after the cheeses there were a variety of reds that i was sure i would hate. for one - a 2016 marsilea bobal tinto joven from spain, i simply wrote "no", which sounds about right for me. but then something magical happened - according to my notes, i found one "i don't hate", and another that i "would drink again", which is basically unheard of for me; i notoriously don't like red wine, but the spicy angoris schioppettino from italy was the real winner for me; with notes of blackberry, black cherry and raspberries, with a hint of peppercorns and liquorish. odd combo, probably, but to me it tasted a bit like bitter black coffee, which is a fave of mine so this wine got gold stars all round.

eventually, silvia gave in and joined us, i think realising how futile it would be to carry on trying to teach us when we were clearly more interested in drawing our own conclusions, slash, drinking the wines. although, seeing as her wine service business is very new, probably dealing with us was great practise for future wine tasting workshops with people worse than us. not only does she host tasting workshops and events for small groups, but she also holds very adult wine and spirit education classes too - all at a really reasonable price. perfect for the mid-week catch up with friends, so long as you and your friends aren't loud pricks like us...

*we were guests of silvia's, but all tasting notes are accurate as i remember them...

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