Here's a rule of thumb

Here's a rule of thumb

Duncan Kerr, investment director at Midven Ltd is not convinced - even by wines costing more than he usually spends.

I was a little apprehensive about this tasting review, being a self-confessed wine plebeian.
I do, of course, enjoy more than a few glasses of red wine, however my willingness or capacity to spend large amounts on acquiring it is rather restrained. I typically budget around £6 and am an avid bargain hunter, keenly watching out for those 25% discounts on six bottles or more.  

But the experts at Connolly’s were incredibly hospitable and knowledgeable, and had selected lighter wines on account of the hot July day of my visit. The red was Mr P Pinot Noir 2014 from Iona in the Cape, and the white a Chardonnay-Viognier from Domaine de Tholomies.

We started with the white. It had a flowery nose, but a sour acidy taste with no sweetness. It tasted fruity – it always seems odd describing something made of fruit as fruity! – but try as I might I couldn’t detect the peaches my host did. It had the usual disappointment of white wine for me – smells like a nice, refreshing fruit juice and ends up sour and thin.

The red showed more promise. I don’t find the nose of Pinot Noir attractive, smelling sulphurous to me. My host was very polite, but I can imagine he was probably internally horrified by some of my comments.

There was no tannin or oak. It had a bit of the tang of red currant, and perhaps a hint of strawberry, but again the lingering sulphurous taste. The wine overall was more like a dark Rosé. Better than most Pinot Noir’s I’ve had, but I’m not converted. A tip from the host: an indicator but not a certainty that a wine is better is if it’s bottled at the estate it’s produced at.

A tip I got from someone else: the further your thumb fits up the concavity in the base of the bottle, the better the wine because the bottle’s more expensive, and you wouldn’t put nasty wine in expensive bottles!