An Honest Grapes Panel Tasting

As with many wine companies, we strive for a fluid, ever changing list, not only to keep it interesting and to give varied options, but also to keep pace with changes in the wine growing regions around the world. A poor harvest here, and exceptional vintage there… and of course we keep discovering new producers we love!

[caption id="attachment_3564" align="alignleft" width="150"]Tom and Nathan taste all the wines on the shortlist prior to member’s arriving Tom and Nathan taste all the wines prior to members arriving.[/caption]

As such, we end up with a few boxes of samples in coming into the office each month to tempt us on a Friday afternoon (we resist, obviously), and, whilst trusting Tom and Nathan’s palates, it’s always good to have a 2nd opinion on these wines before we add them to the list. And so the Panel Tasting was born… Every other month we invite our Premier Crew Club members to join us at Nathan’s flat in Soho for an informal evening of tasting.

On the 19th of January, for all those sensibly avoiding any mention of ‘Dry January’, 30 eager members of Premier Crew came to give us their thoughts on the 19 wines we had lined up to try, across categories of Champagnes, the Antipodes, Italy and Regional France (and one lonely Madeira). 

[caption id="attachment_3567" align="alignleft" width="150"] Members try all the wines over the course of the evening...[/caption]

Armed with a glass, a pen and a sheet of coloured stars, they made their way through the wines and gave us their opinions on each wine – ratings out of 20, comments and of course the stars on the wines that most deserved it.
Most fascinating is chatting to people throughout the evening and hearing how diverse everyone’s tastes are – it makes for lots of lively debates!
Of the 19 wines we sampled on the evening 10 are going to be listed on the website, there are a couple of ‘maybes’ and the remainder we won’t be listing.
[caption id="attachment_3568" align="alignleft" width="150"]5 ...and give us their valuable opinion.[/caption]
Some of these will be additions to various ‘gaps’ in the list, and some are being added at the expense of currently listed wines which don’t stand up in comparison. We are also 1 step closer to the elusive £20 house Champagne – the Pierson Whitaker Premier Cru Brut was one of the clear winners of the evening along with their Rosé.

Do look out for these wines on the website marked with a ‘New’ tag, and if you would like to join us at a Panel Tasting to be involved do contact me on sophie@honestgrapes.co.uk about becoming a member of the Premier Crew – it’s a lot of fun!

Sophie

[caption id="attachment_3569" align="alignleft" width="150"]6 An ‘at a glance view’ of winners and losers.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_3571" align="alignleft" width="150"]8 ...from towards the end of the evening.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_3570" align="alignleft" width="150"]7 This Champagne from Pierson Whitaker was a clear winner in the Champagne category[/caption]