Despite the hype behind dry January, I have started 2019 with the intention of reviewing wines that don’t surpass the student budget. Often as a student, it is hard to know what a wine is going to taste like from just looking at the label. It would be great to encourage more students to appreciate the flavours and complexities that can be found in wine, without the pretension that can often come with talking about wine. In the words of Louis Pasteur, “a bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world.”
I have always been interested in wine especially after a trip to South Africa when I was younger where we visited various vineyards in Stellenbosch. Over the last few years I have completed several wine courses and then did some work experience on an Italian vineyard in Gambellara.
My first review is a Prestige de Calvet, Côtes du Rhône Villages 2017 that I found in Tesco for £7.50. With light tannins and medium acidity, this wine makes a perfect and easy food match. With a light/medium body, this wine would be a good option for those seeking something less rich in their post-Christmas period diet. In short, this is a wine that is a pleasant and easy drink with subtle earthy flavours, a hint of tobacco and stewed plum.
To give some background on Côte du Rhone wines, the grapes blended include Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre.
The Côte du Rhône produces predominantly red (87%) yet also produces some whites (6%) and rosé (7%). For red Côte du Rhône, it is a requirement that the wine contains 40% Grenache which gives it its real fruity flavours. It’s important to note that the Côte du Rhône is the second largest appellation in France after Bordeaux and wine was even cultivated here during the Roman period.
When deliberating over what wine to choose, always go for a bottle labeled Côte du Rhône Villages rather than just Côte du Rhône. A label which states the specific village is even better. Côte de Rhône wines are best drunk young or within 2-3 years so there is no real need for aging. Côtes du Rhône wines are relatively easy to find on our shelves as the Rhône’s biggest market is the UK!
Image: stevepb via Pixabay