Saturday, October 22, 2011

Nosey(s) about boutique wine

I won't profess to know anything about wine, really. I'll know if I like a wine or not, and perhaps even why. I have ever-changing favourite varietals, but there's always a standout one or two in lesser liked categories too.

It's all quite complex and at times technical, especially the vocabulary and jargon, so a helping hand never goes astray. A new online initiative designed to make buying boutique wines easier, Noseys is based on a categorisation system of wine characteristics rather than varietals.

Bas Hegge at the launch of Noseys at Sol Lounge Bar, Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
So instead of your semillion, chardonnay, rose, merlot and shiraz categories, with Noseys you're looking at Bubbly, Fresh, Mellow, Rich, Rosy, Blush, Smooth, Deep and Sweet - think of it as the nine wine dwarves, if you will. Noseys identify their wines according to these labels and even top the bottles with stickers for your ease of categorisation at home.

Named for the importace of the nose and smell in tasting wine as well as a the fun of a well-maintained curiosity for wines, Noseys stock strictly boutiques wines; those from wineries producing less than 5,000 cases a year. And some of the varietals are ones you're not going to find on the shelves of your local liquor barn: think chenin blanc, petit manseng, zinfandel among others.

Krinklewood Francesca Rose 2010 - in the Rosy category
To launch the website, Noseys had organised a wine degustation taking guests through all nine categories with matching canapes and the opportunity to share wine experiences.

While I probably really needed one of those nifty flavour wheels that proffer some pretty obscure flavours like tobacco and apricot jam, I jotted down my own considered thoughts which I share below. Forgive me for the blank ones or repetitive descriptors, which probably occurs later down the list as I imbibed more and more wine - cheers.

Krinklewood Francesca Rose 2010 (Rosy category): Biodynamic; blend of mourvedre, tempranillo and shiraz; light berries and dry finish.

Oysters natural with fresh lemon (catering by Simmone Logue)
We started on Bubbly actually, paired with the most gorgeously fresh natural oysters with nothing but a squeeze of lemon or lime. It was difficult for the prosecco to outshine such divine oysters.

Le Colture Prosecco(Bubbly category): Peachy frangrance; not as light as a normal prosecco; heavy fruitiness. Reminds me of lemon sorbet after the oysters.

Tartlet of curried crab, mayonnaise and mango salsa
The crab tartlets were to die for - seriously the best thing I think I've ever had in a tart casing. Heavy with lemongrass and other Asian spices, the sweet mango salsa had an unexpected chilli kick - all these big flavours were going to be a challenge for the wine match, I thought.

Geoff Weaver Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (Fresh category): Fruity and crisp; reduces the spice hit really well. Pineapple?

Roulade of smoked salmon with creme fraiche & salmon pearls
The canape flavour sensations kept coming. A classic combination of smoked salmon, dill and creme fraiche, topped with uber fresh salmon roe, was worht chasing down the waiter a few times.

Man O'War Pinot Gris 2010 (Mellow Category): Top notes are very, very fruity. Honeyed flavour that's almost appropriate for dessert. One for the sweet tooths.

Vietnamese roll - chicken, cashew nut, coriander & soy dipping sauce
I must have missed the dipping sauce for the rice paper rolls, as I found them a little bland and in desperate need of a sauce. I loved the nutty texture throughout them though; a nice divergence from the traditional.

Patina Chardonnay 2007 (Rich category): Dry but not oaked. Subdued like the rice paper rolls. A light chardy.

Peking duck crepe with cucumber, spring onion & hoi sin
The above mentioned rose and reds were poured with the heavier canape of Peking duck crepes, which I simply adore in most instances. I love that this Chinese delicacy is a fairly standard canape item now, with lots of hoi sin sauce my preference.

Derwent Estate Pinot Noir 2008 (Blush category): Mellow. Dark cherry flavours. Bas' favourite of the lot.

Narkoojee The Athlestan Merlot 2005 (Smooth category)
Narkoojee The Athlestan Merlot 2005 (Smooth category): +++. Absolute favourite of the night. Surprising considering merlot can be very reserved.

Bean burrito with mint, creme fraiche and sun dried tomato
By the time the bean burritos were making the rounds, I was approaching a pretty full state on both the food and drink fronts, but carried on to make sure I got to try every of the nine dwarves.

Patina Mudgee Shiraz 2005 (Deep category): Full bodied and heavy.

Chocolate ganache tart
Dessert was a welcome sight for most, especially with a pretty special dessert wine pairing. The tarts were blissful with gooey chocolate ganache - they would need something pretty sweet to bypass that sugar hit.

919 Classic Muscat (Sweet category): Very fortified. Raisins and Christmas pudding.

There were a few standing at the end of the night and we may have polished off another glass or two of our favourites. We were even gifted with a bottle from the Bubbly category, as if we needed more booze that evening.

Next time I'm stuck for wine and need it home delivered (it happens), I might just head to the Noseys website and have a trawl through the Smooth category - he's my favourite dwarf.

Food, booze and shoes attended the Noseys launch party courtesy of Bas Hegge of Noseys with thanks to Polkadot PR.


betty said...

the smoked salmon roulade and the chocolate tarts omg yum!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

The chocolate tarts look great! And I also struggle to come up with wine descriptions-food not so much but wine yes!

Tina said...

Hi Betty - Mmm, both very yum but the crab tartlet was to die for!

Hi Lorraine - Yup, nice and not nice seem to work well enough... :D

Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said...

I'm with you, I only ever know whether I like the flavour of a wine or not and fail to describe it much further. But all the more reason to keep trying, right? =p


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