Drinking Outside The Box

With Simon Woods – wine for people who have a life

Day Eighteen – the age of majority March 31, 2008 at 5:28 pm

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The whites are all finished and today it’s the final pair of pinks. That wine is governed by fashion is undeniable. The latest vintage in Bordeaux gets all the praise and prices soar in the en primeur madness, while wines from the same châteaux that are just as good and have several more years bottle age are readily available at half the price. Lower down the scale, the desire to be seen to be drinking the right stuff means that perfectly decent Riesling, Semillon and even Cabernet Sauvignon are by-passed in favour of inferior Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Merlot. Rosé wine has also proved a popular hit in recent years, although anyone with half a palate struggles to see why. Meanwhile producers fall over themselves to release wave after wave of wishy-washy wines whose only positive attribute is their pretty colour. Often the bottles advise you to serve the wines ‘well chilled’ – this is because they taste foul at room temperature. Or am I being unfair? Let’s see how these two perform…

Echo Falls White Zinfandel 2006, California
It’s not my style of wine, in fact, I’d be pushed to describe it as wine. But as a refreshing, fruit (bramble) flavoured drink, it’s not a total monster, even if I preferred the weightier Gallo version.

Kumala Zenith Rosé 2006, Western Cape Simple, plump wine, like tinned strawberry juice, there’s a lot of flavour here, but it’s a flavour I associate more with kiddy cordial than wine. That would be fine if it were cheap, but at £8.40, it’s not. Hopefully the Bruce Jack-inspired Kumala will be making better wines than this (see coda to this post).

Why aren’t both of these on 2007 vintages? I will pour myself a small glass of each this evening – I do not expect either will be finished….

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