Spent a great day at this event which was a celebration of Spanish wine, food and music. Hosted by Rioja it was held at Southwark on the banks of the river Thames overlooked by Tower Bridge, it really was a lovely setting. There was a lot of wine to taste along with freshly cooked authentic Spanish food, music by live bands and a host of celebrity wine experts and chefs.
We got there around midday and on entry received a wine glass with 4 tasting tokens. Stalls were already cooking and the smell was superb. Straight away we made our way to the Muga stall where we all sampled the Reserva Selección Especial which was full of red berries, cloves, pepper and a hint of vanilla, a very good start !
As we had a long afternoon of tasting we decided to eat early, food was discussed and we all had a plate of freshly cooked Fish and Meat Paella.
Food consumed we carried on with the tastings Marques De Murrieta Gran Reserva I really liked brooding, creamy sweet vanilla, tobacco but expensive.
Another wine I really enjoyed was the Medievo Reserva 2006 situated in Aldeanueva de Ebro in Rioja Baja in the southeast region, a winery that was only established in 2001.A blend of Tempranillo 80%, Garnacha 10%, 5% Mazuelo and Graciano. Really enjoyed this Rich mature fruit but with that traditional Vanilla and leathery taste, for me as good as some of the more expensive bottles on show.
The traditional favourite Campo Viejo was there with a big stand and a lot of bottles to try. Lots of Family run small bodegas there also with some interesting wines.
Crowds started to increase as we ate more food and tasted more wines another big favourite with our party especially me was the El Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva 2001 which was an exceptional year for Rioja. This was a gem, toasty, spicy cinnamon, vanilla, mocha, dusty and mature.
Mid afternoon we went what was called a ‘Wine Walk’ Hosted by the excellent TV wine expert Susy Atkins. This consisted of following a list of wines chosen by Susy from light Chardonnays, Roses, Crianza and then finishing with Reserva and Gran Reserva. This was enjoyable and very informative with Susy and winemakers giving us a overview of their wines
I must admit I did enjoy the Chardonnay and Rose. The Chardonnay was a Finca Manazanos 2011 and is made primarily from the Viura Grape 75% leaving only 25% Chardonnay and the Beronia Rosado made from 100% Tempranillo both were very refreshing and light with a slight preference for the Rosado. This is where i tasted the Coto de Imaz mentioned earlier.
As well as wine there was lots of traditional food stalls as well as a couple of cooking demonstrations by Spanish Chef Jose Pizzaro
The venue was right on the banks of the Thames in the shadow of Tower Bridge the setting couldn’t have been better.