Who's right?

tongueHowever tempting the wine label’s proclamation of ‘aromas of wild summer berries’ and ‘flavours of red fruits...with a refreshing finish’ my own senses found a smell reminiscent of rubbery elderberry and a smoky tart taste with a hint of chocolate – in fact the overwhelming impression of the £3.99 Sicilian Rosso was that it had been poured from the end of a very oxidised barrel. So who was right – me or the label?

It’s useful to remember that behind every label description is a set of taste buds – usually belonging to the supermarket buyer or wine maker – who have varying amounts of experience to match their varying qualifications – from Master of Wine (the highest internationally recognised wine-related qualification allowing the holders to put ‘MW’ after their names) through to, well none at all.

wine rackBecause you don’t need a wine qualification to be able to taste wine (I don’t hold one) but it does help if you’ve got knowledge – of wine and what a good one tastes like. And the Sicilian Rosso wasn’t. Well that particular bottle anyway. Because it could have been a one-off where that particular bottle had been stored incorrectly (probably at too high a temperature) or the contents of that particular batch had became oxidised as it went through the bottling machine.

Although a lot of waffle accompanies wine tasting the only thing that matters is do you actually like the wine. If the answer is no, you'll know not to buy that certain grape variety or wines from that specific region again. That’s what you tasted the wine to find out.

PG Wine Reviews

Fair Exchange South African Colombard Sauvignon Blanc 2013

£4.99 Morrisons

Tastes like tinned fruit salad. That isn’t a criticism.

Pied Tanqué Rouge Vin de France

£5.49 Majestic

A new food-friendly fruity red for Majestic. Hints of dark choc.

Longue-Dog French Red 2012

£5.75 Sainsbury’s

Attractive fruity aroma of spicy blackcurrants and choc followed by a lighter taste of creamy plum. An everyday blend.

Morrisons Chilean Carmenère 2012

£5.99 Morrisons

Plum, choc and liquorice. Good for meaty dishes.

Calima Spanish Garnacha 2013

£7.99 Majestic

A light red with raspberry and redcurrant flavours but also a hint of smokiness.

Co-op Truly Irresistible Italian Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2012

£8.99 Co-op

Damson and cherry-pie filling. Not complex but enjoyable.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk