Mon | Apr 24, 2017

Wine club night

Published:Thursday | October 16, 2014 | 10:00 AM
Jason Clarke - Contributor
Big Ass Zin-Contributed Photo
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Jason Clarke, Contributor

Once a month, I get together with a group of friends to sample and experiment with wines under a particular theme. Getting together like this is a great way to share the cost of trying new things and invariably enjoying a few laughs in the process. At this wine club, we looked at wines that paired with curry.

Curry is one of those must-do, must-eat sort of things that just about every household will indulge in at some point in a given month. In principle, reislings are the ideal match for our Jamaican curry, but not the only match.

Ideally, for a tasting experience like this, you want to start with the lighter wines first and gradually move to the more full-bodied, referred to as a flight, to avoid losing any of the flavours, aromas or nuances of the wine. The first in the flight was the Indaba Chenin Blanc from South Africa. Chenin Blanc is a light-bodied white wine, very similar to a Pinot Grigio or a Sauvignon Blanc, which you might be more familiar with, and should be served cold.

I think of it more as a summer wine because of its crisp, clean and refreshing profile. We paired it with kiwis, peaches, grapes and pears, which naturally complemented the wine's overall profile and was a great first wine to get things going. Funnily enough, Indaba in Zulu means 'the meeting of great minds', so this really was a great wine to start such a gathering.

The next wine was a Sutter Home Chardonnay, which was a perfect balance of flavours on your tongue that worked really well with both the fruit and then the curry. Chardonnays like this are also great with very creamy buttery kinds of foods like pastas, and have a striking profile.

PERFECT HARMONY

Lastly, we did a reisling, which was a perfect harmony in our mouths, particularly as we ate curry chicken and topped off this round of wines with a Sutter home Pink Moscato.

Making a transition to reds, we enjoyed them as is, just for what they were. Georges Dubeuf Beaujolais was a nice transition from whites to red. Beaujolais are made from a Gamay grape and are light and very similar to a Pinor Noir in body. This paved the way for the real crowd pleaser for the night, which was the Big Ass Zinfandel. If I were to use one word to describe this wine, it would be 'INTENSE'. This wine is a full-bodied wine that melts in your mouth with beautiful flavours of chocolate, raspberries and spice. The Big Ass is certainly one of those that you can enjoy just by itself with a few friends, or by yourself.

As budding wine drinkers, get a group of friends together and start your own little wine club and sample and enjoy a wider spectrum of wines whether you decide by food pairings, varietals or regions. Make it fun and enjoy!

I am not an expert, merely a wine enthusiast sharing my thoughts and experiences. Feel free to share your own experiences at wineenthusiastja@gmail.com.