Talking Wine – June 2013

I meet a few friends once a month in the Oxford Wine Café and we set a theme and taste a whole load of wines blind. This is the only way to seriously assess wines and judge them without a glance at the label. The event always throws up some surprises but one Mr Pitts is a devil and always brings something weird or obscure. So for the Bordeaux style tasting (in which I am reluctant to admit he out performed us all!) his ‘blind’ wine was a 2008 Merlot from Japan. Called Izutsu from the Nagano Appellation it was hardly a classic but it was the first time I had tasted a wine from this country. As the back label was in Japanese there is little more I can tell you!!!

I was one of the speakers at the recent Emerging Wine Regions tasting in London. It was fascinating tasting wines from Turkey, Greece, Slovenia, Luxemberg, Macedonia and so on but every time I found something of interest it was, as yet, unavailable in the UK and I was asked to order a pallet (600 bottles). As I pointed out in my talk most UK wine merchants would rather start with 60 bottles and see how they went down – testing the market etc. What better way than to try something unusual at the Wine Cafe in Summertown where discerning wine drinkers would be the first to give an honest opinion! We await an agent brave enough to get in early, influence the wine making style and stock the better wines so they can drip feed the independents.