Friday, 5 December 2014

Wine Car Boot No. 4

Some of you may remember that last year I waxed lyrical about an innovative new wine expo, where interesting, exciting, independent wine stores from London gathered to exhibit their wares out of the back of vintage cars and vans. I was extremely disappointed not to be able to attend the third Wine Car Boot sale over the summer, particularly when I heard feedback that it was an even better event and was blessed with some absolutely glorious weather, so when I saw that there was going to be a fourth Wine Car Boot sale last Friday in Spittalfields market I was determined to get myself down and be part of the action.

The Vinoteca chaps getting into the festive spirit
One of the drawbacks of the increasing popularity of this event was that it was noticeably busier than on the last occasion I went. Unlike the last few times, this event was hosted on a Friday (as opposed to Saturday). This meant that the event was cut into two sessions, an afternoon session and an evening session. I was there to attend the evening session and it was busy from my arrival at 18:30. The entry ticket to the event was a very reasonable £10, which came with vouchers for five tasting samples and a Govino tasting glass. Additional tasting vouchers were available for the princely sum of £1 each. There were 17 different exhibitors, all of them independent wine merchants, all of them offering five different wines for our delectation and delight. The exhibitors were (in alphabetical order): Bedales, Berry Brothers and Rudd, Borough Wines, D&D/New Street Wine, Handford, Ldn Cru, Lea and Sandeman, Newcomer, Passione, Roberson, The Sampler, Theatre of Wine, Uncorked, Vagabond, Vin Vixen, Vinoteca and the Winemakers' Club.

Judging  by my head the next morning, I must have sampled a fair few wines (I couldn't find a spittoon, it wasn't my fault...!) However, there were a few wines that for me really did stand out as particularly interesting or just plain delicious.

Pretty terrifying really
From Berry Brothers and Rudd I tried a rather glorious 2013 Kloof Street Chenin Blanc (Mullineux, Swartland, South Africa - £12.50/bottle). It was everything you'd want from a youthful South African Chenin; all citrus, lemon grass and vibrancy - really good value too. The best offering from Lea and Sandeman was the 2012 Vina Do Campo Blanco Ribeiro from Bodegas Docampo (£10.95/bottle). This was a blend of Torrontes and Treixadura which had a beautifully aromatic nose of peach, lemon and blossom.

The offerings from Newcomer
From Theatre of Wine I tried the 2012 Alemany i Corrio Pas Curtei (Penedes, Spain - £16 bottle) which had a lovely black fruit nose and palate, featuring blackcurrant and blackberry. The most striking label of the evening had to belong to a wine brought along by Vinoteca: the 2013 Riesling "Spectre" from the Mosel - I think I will always remember that haunting image!

I think the most memorable wine of the evening was a 2013 Gelber Muskateller from Ewald Zweytick (Südsteiermark, Austria - £15.00/bottle), which I tried from Newcomer, the Austrian wine specialists based around the corner at Boxpark Shoreditch. The wine was intensely aromatic with a rich flavour of elderflower, however on the palate it had a saline like quality coupled with the acidity of lemons and a bright, cleansing finish. This would be a really good food wine.
Obviously being responsible types, the organisers of the event had arranged for food caterers to be present at the event too. However, these weren't your burger-on-a-greasy-hot-plate style event caterers; these were top-quality, gourmet caterers! One stand was serving rock oysters to accompany your bubbles. I was particularly taken by B.O.B's Lobster, serving (you guessed it) lobster out of the back of a rather charming, converted VW camper van. I was very unlucky as the highly recommended Lobster Mac'n'Cheese ran out just as I was approaching the front of the queue. I decided to have their Lobster Roll instead and it was rather fabulous, certainly a worthy accompaniment to all the wonderful wines that were on show.  

Lobster out of the back of a VW camper van. Of course.
I must say that I feel that the organisers and the exhibitors put up an excellent show. It was a really lovely experience to go up to the exhibitors and have the opportunity to talk to them about what they were exhibiting and why they like working in wine. Everyone was exceedingly accommodating and very generous with their time and keen to engage with wine geeks like me!

Bring on Wine Car Boot 5!

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