Blind Tasting Iconic Wines of a Nation
Wine Tasting ChallengeOctober’s Blind Wine Tasting Challenge was all about the most iconic grapes of a nation. We served six mystery red and white wines and provided a description of the aromas, flavors and structural characters the Dubai Wine Club members could search for in each glass. As a group they guessed the white wines with relative ease, but found the red wines a little trickier. We don’t blame them; the challenge was a tough one as all the reds were quite full-bodied, with luscious, ripe fruit characters.
So what were the national wine icons?1. Gentil Hugel, Alsace, France – 165 AED Alsace is a region in France that boarders Germany. It specializes in delicate white wines with distinct floral and spice aromas. The region makes a lot of single varietal wines from Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. The Gentil Hugel is a multi-grape blend that brings together the best qualities of several aromatic white grapes. 2. Fish Hoek Chenin Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa – AED 60 South African Chenin Blanc has achieved national icon status for historic reasons. The French grape variety is believed to have arrived in South Africa in the 1600’s. Today it’s not only the most widely planted grape in the country, South Africa produces more Chenin Blanc than anywhere else. 3. Angel Cove Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand – AED 91 Most wine nations can make a perfectly pleasing Sauvignon Blanc. Alas, no other country can quite match the distinctly pungent, intense and tangy tropical notes that New Zealand – Marlborough in particular – can muster. 4. Santa Carolina Estrellas Carménère, Rapel Valley, Chile – AED 59 For roughly 150 years it was believed that the French grape variety Carménère was killed off by a vine-hungry little bug called Phylloxera. Low and behold, in 1994 is was discovered alive and well in Chile where everyone thought it was Merlot. To top it off, the wines were really good. 5. Luigo Bosco La Linda Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina – AED 69 Malbec is another French grape that has packed its bags and headed to South America to find itself. When planted at high altitude in the Andes Mountain foothills it’s skins of the grape grow thick. A black grape’s skin is where all of a wines colour and much of its flavour is derived from. The resulting Malbec’s of Mendoza are powerful, intense, distinctly inky in colour, but are still easy drinking. What’s not to love? 6. Rawson’s Retreat Shiraz Cabernet, South Australia – AED 82 When the delicate French Syrah grape was planted in South Australia, the wines were so intensely jammy and peppery that they had to give the style a new name; Shiraz was born! Aussie also does a pretty mean Cabernet Sauvignon, and over the year’s the nation has pioneered blending these two grapes together. The Shiraz brings fruit-richness and spice to the wine, while the Cabernet imparts refreshing acid and grippy steak-loving tannins.
Where can I buy these wines in Dubai?All the wines we tasted are available from African+Eastern for the listed prices.
More Wine and Beer Tasting Events Around Dubai
Want to have some more fun with wine and beer? Looking for wine or beer tasting ideas? We’ve got a busy month of activity ahead of us in November.
- Winemaker Dinner with Neil McGuigan – Thursday, November 10th at 7:30 PM – AED 340 – The Observatory, The Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites
- Take Me To The Mediterranean Sea Blind Tasting Challenge – Thursday November 24th – AED 200 – BiCE Restorante, Hilton JBR