Wine and Cheese Tasting Challenge 

By Lindsay Trivers January, 22 2017

Last night was the Meet-Up Wine Club’s Monthly Wine Tasting Challenge. Every month, attendees face a new challenge and wine topic, we wrap the bottles to keep the wines a mystery, finishing with a show of hands for favourites wine varieties at the big reveal. This month’s challenge was to identify which of two white wines, two rosé wines and two red wines were from the Old Wine World (Europe and the Middle East) or the New Wine World (Everywhere else – basically Australasia, the Americas and South Africa). What made it extra special was the wine and cheese pairings we had on the night.

While there are sweeping generalizations about the wine worlds, the key differences we encouraged tasters to look for were:

New World:

  • Higher alcohol
  • Bold, ripe fruity characters
  • More obvious oak (where applicable)
  • Soft, round mouthfeel with fuller body weight
  • More intense colour and aroma

Old World:

  • Lower alcohol
  • Earthy, herbal and floral flavours are as strong as the fruit characters
  • Less obvious, well-integrated oak (where applicable)
  • Higher acid levels with lighter body weight
  • Less intense colour and aroma

Most wine tasters thought the challenge was in the bag with each wine a 50% chance of old or new. It wasn’t as easy as they thought, however, but we’re proud as punch to announce that they totally dominated, guessing all the wine correctly as a collective group.

What Wines Did We Taste?

First up we had two Sauvignon Blancs allowing guests to try a straight comparison:

  1. Sauvion Touraine Sauvignon Les Eglantines, Loire, France – Approx. AED 75 ex. tax
  2. Angel Cove Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand – Approx. AED 75 ex. taxNext, we had a wine from France’s most iconic rosé specialization region against a hot pink rosé from South Africa.
  3. Morgenhof Estate Fantail Pinotage Rose, Stellenbosch, South Africa – AED 50 ex. tax 50
  4. Maison Fabre Cotes de Provence Serpolet Rose, Provence, France – AED 62 ex. taxFor the red wines we kept in the same grape (Cabernet and Merlot) and wine style family
  5. Chateau L’Eglise Saget, Bordeaux, France – Approx. AED 63 ex. tax
  6. Montes Classic Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua Valley, Chile – AED 53 ex. tax

Favourite wine of the night

The Montes Classic Series Cabernet Sauvignon, in true Chilean Wine style, didn’t disappoint. It offered oodles of ripe berry and toasty oak characters, over delivering on its very user friendly price point.

Most surprising wine of the night

The Sauvion Touraine Sauvignon Les Egleantines which was so bold for a French Sauvignon Blanc that it had all the Sauvvy lovers second guessing which of the whites was the notoriously intense New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

A special than you to African + Eastern who supported us with wine for the evening’s tasting and also The Warwick Hotel who let us take over Zephyr Lounge, the highest roof top bar in Dubai, and for putting on a humungous spread of cheeses, to pair with the wine, and terrines for us to enjoy throughout the night. More on wine and cheese pairings and wine and cheese nights in Dubai in upcoming posts.

The Wines we tasted

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