Monday, 25 May 2015

Grape Expectations - World travel through wine?

A friend recently told me that London has a bigger collection of billionaires than any other city in the world and that a whole industry has been created to cater for the culinary tastes of the super-rich, from ultra-exclusive wine to early testing for a new frogspawn infused caviar.

The thought of paying for frogspawn infused caviar made me laugh out loud. But as I headed home, I got to thinking, what about those of us whose bank balance is a fraction of this size. Is it possible to eat and drink well whilst living in this ridiculously expensive city we call home when you are on a tight budget?

I honestly believe the answer is yes and have had so much fun discovering incredible places across the city which I can't wait to share with you in future blog posts. But I have had less luck finding those lovely, quirky but affordable places to drink (perhaps it's because I am just far too used to paying Irish prices).

As a result I was genuinely intrigued when my good friend and fellow blogger Marie managed to wrangle me an invite to the launch of Asda's new Wine Atlas range. Firstly, because as summer approaches I know that we will soon hit bbq season and I never know what wine to get (usually I spend ages looking through the options before just grabbing the same old bottle/whatever is on offer). Secondly because the event combined two of my favourite things, wine and travel, and involved the chance to hear from the editor of Wanderlust magazine (Wanderlust being one of my favourite travel publications - I basically cornered the poor lady and pumelled her for travel ideas). And last but not least, did I mention there was also a chance to sample over 150 other wines! (well it would have been rude not to at least try at least a glass or ten right??)

The focus of the event was of course the new Wine Atlas range, which in a nutshell is all about breaking out of your routine and experimenting with wines from obscure locations or grapes that most people won't have tried. Those clever little marketing people have added to the appeal by creating gorgeous labels based on old 1920's style travel posters rather than attaching considerably less alluring own-brand labels to the bottles.

I loved trying Hungarian and Romanian wines (who knew Eastern Europe was the place to go for wine) but for me the real test, given that I don't have an Asda store nearby, was whether there was a wine that I would go out of my way to buy.

Using this as my criteria there were two obvious stars of the show for me -

Wine Atlas Marsanne 2014, (£5,47)
From the south coast of France (but great value as its not from a famous region), there was general consensus that this little number is just gorgeous. Its a lovely mix of peach, apricot, lemon and spice. Super easy to drink but enough character to ensure that you won't get bored. This one is bound to fly off the shelves once people catch on, and rightly so.

Wine Atlas Saint Chinian 2013 (£5,47)
Again another French one this time from lesser know Languedoc region. This one is more of an aquired taste but I personally thought it was great. From the deep ruby colour I was sure it would be quite heavy but I found it quite the opposite, making it a perfect summer drink.

I headed home later that evening, incredibly merry, not just by all the wine I had consumed but also at the fact that the night had proved that it is possible to drink well on a budget. 

And if that isn't a reason to break open the frogspawn infused caviar and celebrate, I don't know what is? :)

For more information on the Wine Atlas Range click here.


1 comment

  1. Loving this post ! well written ;)


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