Fortunately, I got myself hooked up with a group of fellow students who were just as keen as I to meet regularly to taste different wines and discuss the course. Even better, we still get together every couple of months or so to exercise our skills and keep our palates sharp. At our last meeting, Éva, Jackie and I ventured into the freezing cold night to gather at Jane's for our final tasting of 2012.
We started off with a glass of Laborie Brut 2009 ($14.70), a South African sparkler, as we caught up with each other since we last met. These bubbles are just my thing, all biscuit, yeast and mushroom aromas at the outset, which gradually gave way to subtler orange, citrus and mineral notes.
Next we sipped Gray Monk's Unoaked Chardonnay 2011 ($19.95) from British Columbia...the usual tropical fruit characteristics were there, accompanied by less typical floral, mineral and petrol notes. This is a lovely Chardonnay, we all enjoyed it.
Switching to red, Kacaba's Cabernet Franc 2009 ($18.95) from Niagara was juicy with cherry, blueberry and herbaceous notes on the palate, balanced by a grippy - but not unpleasantly so - tannin. This wine would pair so well with barbequed meat. We also nipped Quinta dos Roques Vinho Tinto 2009 ($15.95) from Portugal, which boasted aromas of dark berries, dried fruit, and eucalyptus.
We ended the evening with Jane's sticky date pudding paired with Williams and Humbert Walnut Brown Rare Old Brown Oloroso ($13.95). I don't usually go in for sherry, but the Walnut Brown was tasty, perfectly sweet with lovely dried fruit flavours, a splendid ending to our low-key gathering.
I am so glad I braved the crappy winter weather to sip wine with these lovely ladies...it was nice to catch up and slow down at such a busy and rushed time of year. Looking forward to keeping up the practice in the new year!