Food & Wine – May 2018

Wine Grape Varieties

An unusually low turnout of members attended our May meeting, which started with the usual review of media stories relating to food and wine followed by a couple of short presentations on wine grape varieties.

Phil Gander spoke first outlining the Pinot Noir grape, which has its spiritual home in the Burgundy region, home of the Domain Posnot Grand Crus , which can cost around £6500 for a case of 12 bottles. The grape does not perform well in hot climates, but can be grown in various countries including Germany, Argentina, Chile and New Zealand.

Geoff Heyes then spoke about Chardonnay, also grown in Burgundy, but more versatile than Pinot Noir, partly because its own fairly neutral taste allows it to take on different characteristics depending on local conditions and whether or not oak barrels are used in its ageing.

We then moved on to a tasting session, where members were able to compare an unoaked Chardonnay from Burgundy with an oaked variety from New Zealand, followed by an “entry-level” Pinot Noir from Burgundy with a version from Chile. Although opinions differed, the unoaked Chardonnay and the Chilean Pinot Noir proved to be more popular in the group.

Next month we will be meeting at Jenny and David Brown’s house, where David has kindly offered to show us his vegetable garden.