So as I was reviewing SPAR wine (SPARValpolicella Ripasso, sent to us, retails at £10, on sale at £8 apparently) on Friday night, I remember thinking to myself “that’s a nice drop, very full taste”. Just a glass of it, obviously.
And then, to try and look just a little bit like I know what I’m doing, I tried to describe it. And failed. There was something about it that I wanted to capture but couldn’t, which is a bit pants really. If I can’t really tell you what it’s like, all you’ll be left with “I like it” or “I don’t” which is really helpful if you’re me, but pretty useless if you’re not.
I had another glass to try and describe it better. The things I do for you….
So I had to resort to looking at the tasting notes, helpfully provided by SPAR. And there it was – a hint of chocolate.
Now, this wine doesn’t taste of chocolate, it’s not sweet, it’s dark but red, not brown (or white, come to think of it).
What they’re saying, I think, is that the taste you get at the back of your throat when you have high cocoa content chocolate, there’s something of that in this wine.
And that’s quite a nice taste, it’s somehow heavy and dark, but it’s almost more of a feeling than a clear ‘taste’, which you tend to get on the front and sides of your tongue.
If you like full reds, and it fits with your wine price range, then you could do a lot worse than give this one a go.
Previous Valpolicellas I’ve drunk have been a bit on the light side, but the method used for this (ripasso = re-done or similar) means that the wine gets more body from stewing (technical term) on the skins and seeds and has a lot of oomph.
Watch this space for more slightly disjointed ‘reviews’ of wine – I think this is, as I say, a nice drop and will make me look at SPAR for wines.
As Helen McGinn reminded us at the Camp Bestival wine tasting (I’m proud to say I was one of her wine bitches that day) the big retailers can get good wines from top quality producers that is too good to be blended/or sent to the local cooperative, and sell it as own-brand. The reasons for this include that the producers get their wine out there as they want it to be drunk, and they manage the supply (and therefore the price) of their labelled product.
I always thought SPAR was just our corner shop, but they are the UK’s leading convenience store group and have operations in 34 countries – over 12,000 stores – so they probably have the buying power to talk to the biggest winemakers. We also tried out a really lovely Rose and a great white so its not just reds that they do well.
I’m quite looking forward to doing some more of this “reviewing SPAR wine” lark ;-).
Me, drinking? No, I’m ‘reviewing’…