Monday, 21 July 2014

Call yourself a drink-o-phile?

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"I can't believe it I've drank everyday this-"
"Year?"

The ever charming Wilkes commenting on my evening pursuits as we sat around discussing wine. 

To be quite frank, I think this year I've drank more than I've ever drank up to that point. Well it is all for research obviously... 

The blog has taken me to some pretty awesome bars, and drank some even more awesome drinks. However do I actually know anything about the drinks world?  

I'm no professional, I only try to give a civilians point of view, however maybe, just maybe I should have a go at learning a few of the tricks of the trade. 

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First up, wine tasting.

Ami from Jamie's Wine Bar invited a few friends over to her haunt to try and teach us a thing or two about wine. 

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I'll be frank- I'm terrible at wine tasting. While everyone else is picking up "An Angular wine with flamboyant mulberries" I'm more of a "A strong taste of grapes" kind of taster. So if you are the same, here are the 5 things you need to think about:

Your senses of course:
SIGHT How deep is the colour?
SMELL What does it smell like?
TASTE What flavours do you taste?
TEXTURE What does it feel like on your tongue?

I'll guide you through taste as lets be honest, thats the most important (No one has ever said mmm that's a pretty looking wine and walked off). 

There are three stages in taste: Attack stage, Evolution stage and the Finish stage. So start with a small sip and just let it roll around your mouth. 

Attack phase is your first impressions- which are more than likely going to be the alcohol strength and the acidity vs sugar content 

Then during evolution stage, this is where you should pick out the underlying flavours of fruit and any spices. Try to think of fruits you know if you can taste them.

Finally we notice how long the flavour lasts after we have swallowed it. This is something I never think about but this is important as the aftertaste can often taste different and reveal other fruits and spices.

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However, think of it like this. It's sort of like when you are learning to play an the piano. Sure it helps to know how to read music, but really its the practice that makes you good. Hear that people practice... practice means more wine...

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This was my favourite of the evening. A white wine from Portugal. 

I thought it was very fresh, which in this heat wave was a saviour. It was quite floral like and maybe more tropical than wines previously. It was quite soft and the after taste was very long and refreshing. I think that would be described as a long finisher. Does anyone else think wine tasting could get quite saucy in its descriptions...?

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In the name of responsible drinking here is some food shots...

Remember kids, don't drink on an empty stomach. Your dignity won't thank you.

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After we'd had our fair share of wine, it was decided we needed to get more hands on.

Me and my blog seems to have become associated with cocktails, with emails coming in all the time saying would I like to try a new cocktail from somewhere. Guiltily I've never actually set foot behind a bar or lifted one of those cocktail shakers- I know! Call myself a drink-o-phile! (Drink lover).

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Jamie's bar tender showed us how to mix some standard, popular drinks first.

A bit of a flick, a shake- bish bash bosh. Simples.

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Unsurprisingly, I was given a long island ice tea. Challenge? Pft.

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How if you are a regular over here you'll remember my first GIF last week. I was pulling some delightful faces which I just had to animate. Well turns out its now become a regular occurrence. 

Seems I just have quite animated facial expressions...


Turns out those bottles are bloody heavy to lift upright! I might have spoke too soon. 

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After multiple attempts and maybe a few splashed or you know... many, I soon got into the swing of things. 

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Now I couldnt get a good shot of me shaking, but thankfully (or not depending on how you see it) Wilkes got this great video. Enjoy me being an idiot. 
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Ta da! Long Island anyone?

1 Fleet Place
Holborn Viaduct London
EC4M 7RA

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5 comments

  1. I often feel like I know lots about food but definitely not enough about wine, I usually just order a bottle of sauvignon blanc! I'll have to remember to 'attack' it properly next time ;)
    Lots of love,
    Angie
    SilverSpoon London

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  2. I always fear if I went wine tasting it would be something like the scene from Absolutely Fabulous!

    Victoria
    FlorenceandMary.com

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  3. Great post - hahah, absolutely love the video - fab!!!

    When I used to waitress at Harvey Nick's i used to looooove doing all the "training" which involved tasting wine and cocktails and being shown a few things by the bar staff!! It really does enhance your appreciation for it, sante !!

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  4. All I taste when I drink wine is... drunk! Not a wine fan! Cocktails on the other hand, are an artform I can really appreciate ;)

    Christy x
    another weekend without make-up

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  5. Wow. I'm one of those girls that walks into a shop, goes 'Blossom Hill, In the fridge, Zinfandel, done.' I literally know nothing about wine.

    I should ask my sister actually! She did a summer working in vineyards in Cornwall for Camel Valley! I'm definitely going to start doing some gifs - that one is brilliant!

    Katie <3

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