|What, no whisky?|
At the end of an unseasonal week of warm February weather, we had an unusual line-up of drinks on arriving for the latest Manchester Whisky Club tasting. In fact, there wasn't any whisky in our glasses at all, at least not until half-time.
|The wines went down well.|
We tried all the wines blind allowing Nick to do a bit of a dual reveal once we were knocking into the whiskies. But we tasted the whiskies in a different order from the wines (that is, whisky number one didn't match the opening wine, and so on). So for the purposes of this blog I'll write about each pair of drinks in whisky order.
Nick's chosen closely matching wine was in fact the third one we tried earlier in the evening. It was a bit plummy, very dry on the palate, with an intense acidity about it, almost like Vimto. It was £13 and is a Syrah from Chile's Tabali vineyard.
The wine was an Argentinian Cabernet Sauvignon that we'd tried fourth. It was a bit more challenging than the earlier wines we'd had, with a certain spiciness and a lot more oak. A heavy and full-bodied drink, it's from the Felino company in the wine-making province of Mendoza.
The wine was a bit of a curveball as it was not exactly the same, Sassicaia being a bit on the pricey side to say the very least. Instead, we had a Beyra Vinhos de Altitude wine from Portugal, featuring two or three different grapes. This was the freshest of the three reds we had and, Nick assured us, was a decent impersonation of Sassicaia at a much more affordable price.
|The Glen Moray.|
The matching wine was number one, a Chardonnay from the Felino vineyard in Argentina's famous wine region of Mendoza province. It had a certain citrussy sweetness - think pineapples and limes - with some more acidic notes and a bit of oak.
By the tenth drink of the night, which was what we had reached by this stage, the only tasting note I managed to note down was: "Are we still going? This is almost certainly incredible". Photographic evidence indicates it was a Kilchoman with a Sauternes cask finish, and it had plenty of peat about it, naturally enough.
The Sauternes we'd had earlier in the evening, wine number five, absolutely split opinion. A dessert wine, some loved it and some didn't. It certainly had plenty of honey about it, a sort of buttery sweetness. It was a 2010 Chateau Jany.
After certainly the most international tasting we've ever run, all of the whiskies got at least some votes in the dram of the night contest. But it was the fill-your-own cask strength monster from Glen Moray, number four, which came out on top. And the winning wine was the Sauternes! But then I suppose that's what happens when you operate a first past the post voting policy.
All our thanks go to Nick for laying on a fabulous tasting, to all club members for putting in another excellent turnout and to everyone at the Britons for hosting us once again.
|The full line-up.|