Mr Redding and I recently spent a highly enjoyable day at The Princess of Shoreditch partaking of a Wine Discovery Day courtesy of Eszencia. The philosophy at Eszencia is simple. We don’t apologise for our taste in music, we don’t apologise because we don’t like olives, but many of us feel we need to apologise for our ’uneducated’ taste in wine. Dan and Alice from Eszencia want to help people to feel comfortable talking about wine, and to recognise the basics of flavour, aroma and body but don’t weigh you down with lots of information about chateaux, vintages and cru.
The day kicked off with a pear bellini cocktail, just to get the ice broken. We then swooshed and swallowed our way through 16 wines over the course of four hours, accompanied by canapés, chicken and tarragon pie and cheese.
Before we got down to the wine we sniffed a variety of aromatic oils to try and identify them and discover which grapes and wines were most closely associated with them. We sampled tannin in a glass, which was pretty horrible. And we held our noses and rolled sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami flavours round our mouths to see where we felt the sensation each produced. We also explored body and texture….
And then we moved on to the real stuff. We tasted the wine in pairs, contrasting different styles of wine, those from hot countries and cool countries, oaked and unoaked, wines that smell sweet and fruity but taste dry. The stand out wine for me was a Sicilian white, Cometa from Planeta made with the Fiano grape, which blew the sock off the Sancerre it was paired with. A great example of the contrast in colour, body and flavour between a ‘warm’ wine from Sicily and a ‘cool’ wine from France.
Eszencia offer a variety of wine tasting experiences, and also offer corporate events, so check out their websites. For an unpretentious but extremely informative wine tasting experience I thoroughly recommend them.