Waitrose Cellar launch- a very wine-y evening

Photography by Brighton and London photographer Emma Gutteridge
                                                                                                      (Photography by Emma Gutteridge)

I am ridiculously late in posting this, but as they say, better late than never right?

Well, about a month back I was invited to the launch of the Waitrose Cellar, and the invite said- with a twist. They had me at wine and I rsvp-ed immediately. I then went back and reread the mail and it said the wine tasting would take place on a canal boat in Regents Canal. Now that was really exciting and i waited patiently for the day. Laura, who was part of the PR team did a fab job reminding us of things like not to wear heels if possible, and directions to the place etc.
Photography by Brighton and London photographer Emma Gutteridge
                                                                                                         (Photography by Emma Gutteridge)

The weather Gods seemed to like the idea of the whole wine tasting thing on a canal boat and so blessed us with some fabulous sunshine and warm weather in the middle of May, when it was technically still spring. We got together at the London Canal Museum and after a bit of catching up with fellow food bloggers (of course with some bubbly in hand), our wine experts for the evening Xenia and Stephane, took us through the journey of wines and how the Waitrose Cellar came into being. We were then segregated into two groups and asked to head on over to the two canal barges that were ready for us. Once we all got cosy inside the boats, Xenia, who was our group head, went on to explain the different ways to identify the personality of different wines, while opening bottle after bottle of delicious wines for us to taste.


The canal ride was really beautiful, and with wine as companion you’d never want it to end. We tasted quite a few wines, but I must say my favourite was the Cae de Lugny Sparkling Burgundy Blan de Blancs NV which just hit the spot the moment i took a sip. Its perfect for those summery afternoon parties and at GBP 13.99 its a steal. I’m a Chardonnay lover, and so it wasn’t too difficult to please me with this anyway! I usually go for whites and Rose’s over Summer and switch to the dry reds in colder months, and i’m really really getting used to the sparkling wines this year. I am not too familiar with pairing wine and food, but I’m definitely getting the hang of it. 

PicMonkey Collage
Once the canal ride was over, we were all ushered back into the museum to do a round of ‘speed wine-ing.’ the idea being, we’d by then have learnt a skill or two about wine’s in general and a one on one session with a fellow wine enthusiast would help us pick a wine for them based on their character traits and tastes. This was indeed a fun session and we all managed to get whatever we can out of the other in that one minute span. I am yet to go through my entire case of wine that was picked out for me, but from the few opened, I’ve loved them all, with the Cantena Malbec, picked out for me by Fiona of London Unattached, being my absolute favourite. I am not a sweet wine person, but the Seriously peachy dessert wine from Waitrose, picked out for me by Katja of ifhipscouldlie, was also a pleasant surprise. I recently paired it with a chocolate and coffee panna cotta and it really, really matched well. The bitterness from the dark chocolate nicely complimented the peachy flavours of the wine. 
Urvashi (Botanical Baker) insisted I try out the Marquesa de la Crus Garnache Rose, and that’s the first bottle I opened from my case. It was indeed delicious, not too sweet, and perfect paired with spicy food. We had it with some chicken curry and stir fried vegetables. I keep tweeting and instagramming the wines as and when I open them, so follow me on there to be up to date with my wine saga.

The Waitrose Cellar website gives in-depth information on all wines and they also have how to guides that help you learn a few things; and if that’s not enough, the wine experts are available on @waitrosewine to answer all your wine queries and food matches.

Photography by Brighton and London photographer Emma Gutteridge

(Photography by Emma Gutteridge)

With thanks to Waitrose Cellar for inviting me to the event and for the case of wine. All views expressed are my own

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