Behind every label description is a set of taste buds

Behind every label description is a set of taste buds

Paula Goddard’s Wines of the Week starting 29th April 2019

However tempting the wine label’s proclamation of ‘aromas of wild summer berries’ and ‘flavours of red fruits…with a refreshing finish’ my own senses found a smell reminiscent of rubbery elderberry and a smoky tart taste with a hint of chocolate – in fact the overwhelming impression of the £3.99 Sicilian Rosso was that it had been poured from the end of a very oxidised barrel. So who was right – me or the label?

It’s useful to remember that behind every label description is a set of taste buds – usually belonging to the supermarket buyer or wine maker – who have varying amounts of experience to match their varying qualifications – from Master of Wine (the highest internationally recognised wine-related qualification allowing the holders to put ‘MW’ after their names) through to, well none at all.

Because you don’t need a wine qualification to be able to taste wine (I don’t hold one) but it does help if you’ve got knowledge – of wine and what a good one tastes like. And the Sicilian Rosso wasn’t. Well that particular bottle anyway. Because it could have been a one-off where that particular bottle had been stored incorrectly (probably at too high a temperature) or the contents of that particular batch had became oxidised as it went through the bottling machine.

Although a lot of waffle accompanies wine tasting the only thing that matters is do you actually like the wine. If the answer is no, you’ll know not to buy that certain grape variety or wines from that specific region again. That’s what you tasted the wine to find out.

PG Wine Reviews

Morrisons South African White Wine
£4.25 Morrisons
A blend of Colombard and Sauvignon Blanc that tastes like tinned fruit salad. That isn’t a criticism.

Tuna Club Spanish Verdejo Sauvignon Blanc 2018
£6 (down from £8 until May 14) Co-op
Expect flavours of pear with a slight tingle. Not your usual Sauvignon Blanc.

Tesco Finest German Riesling 2017
£7 Tesco
Baked apple sweetness with a pebble-sucking edge.

Beefsteak Club Spanish Old Vines Tempranillo 2018
£7 (down from £8 until May 14) Co-op
The label tells me the whole idea of this wine is that it is oomphy and goes with beef really well. So the subtle, creamy flavours of strawberries and damsons came as rather a surprise. This wine tastes more like a fruity Merlot than your traditional hearty Tempranillo. Which makes the price a bit steep even with a pound off as you can get many wines that taste like this for a fiver.

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© Paula Goddard 2019