For someone who isn’t averse to a glass of wine after a day in the office, it seemed like the perfect fit when I got asked to do this review as part of my role at Investec Bank.
Unsurprisingly, I also had some willing helpers in the form of two friends, who were more than happy to put their Saturday night to good use as we set about enjoying the wine that had been chosen for us by Connolly’s Wine Merchants.
For a white wine I typically go for a Sauvignon Blanc, but this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try something different, and I got exactly that with the Domaine la Serre Picpoul de Pinet I was given to try.
Known as the ‘Chablis of the South’, Picpoul is a unique white grape from the costal region in Languedoc of southern France, bordered by the famous oyster producing town of Sete. The appellation is protected from the north-western winds by a range of hills, whilst the coastal winds from the Mediterranean temper the summer heat that hits the Domaine La Serre vineyards on the hillsides around the village of Montagnac.
The wine was light and refreshing, with a smooth citrusy hint to it, making it a fantastic dry white wine alternative and one that I’d happily enjoy again. It’s perfect for a summer evening and a wine that is said to complement seafood dishes very well.
I was particularly intrigued by the red that I was given, hailing from Turkey; it isn’t a country that would normally spring to mind when choosing a wine. It was a bottle of Ancyra Okuzgozu, produced by Kavaklidere, Turkey’s largest privately owned wine maker. With a rather difficult pronunciation, Okuzgozu derives its name from the large grapes said to resemble bull’s eye, complementing the hint of cherries that also comes through upon tasting.
Interestingly, the Kavaklidere vineyards, established in 1929 and present in several of Turkey’s wine producing areas, are led by an all-female team. Vineyards in Turkey face rather unique challenges, with recent regulations in the country now restricting the advertising and promotion of any alcoholic beverages.
This was a delicious wine, smooth with a relatively fruity after-taste, which is where the cherries and cranberries come through. It wasn’t a heavy wine either, something I’m always quite aware of when choosing a red wine, and it actually had quite a refreshing taste to it.
Both bottles of wine were a welcome change and having had this opportunity to broaden my horizons, it’ll definitely encourage me to be a little more adventurous when ordering my next glass of wine after a long day at work!
Kavaklidere Ancyra Okuzgozu, £10 a bottle, £8.99 in a case of 12 Domaine la Serre Picpoul de Pinet, £8.45 a bottle, £7.60 in a case of 12
Wines provided by Connolly’s Wine Merchants Ltd, 0121 236 3837, www.connollyswine.co.uk