On top of enjoying the fabulous weather at the annual HK Food and Wine Festival couple weeks ago, us vino-session-ers had an assignment. Like the previous year, we were to taste as many wines as possible during the festival, and select a decent bottle under $150 for yet another blind tasting battle.
So what can $150 offer? Some decent wines we say, and not just any supermarket bottles! With booths representing from all over the world (well at least the wine producing parts), we brought back a mixed lot of treasures, and so last week, we had the chance to taste wines from Spain, Bordeaux, Hungary, and yes, even Hong Kong!
5 bottles were on offer, all reds, now some brief notes about the wines so I won’t forget:
Vino 1 Les Brulieres de Beychevelle Haut Medoc 2004 (by Kelvin)
Herbaceous nose with a brief whiff of cake/ cherry. Everything dissipated pretty quickly. Metallic palette and a bit too sweet for my taste.
Vino 2 Conde Galiana Rioja 2000 (by Bill)
Polite, gentle scent of hawthorne. On the palette a bit peppery and meaty, apparent acidity. Lack in fruit and length.
Vino 3 8th Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Hong Kong 2007 (by Euge)
Green and fresh, very sweet on the palette. Easy to drink but lack in depth. Kind of reminds me of a beer, I wonder why…
Vino 4 Monte Real Rioja 2004 (by German)
Smoky nose, a warm first impression, yet with a cool, elegant aftertaste. The nose reminds Karne of toast.
Vino 5 Weninger Kekfrankos Hungary 2007 (by Bill again~)
Very powerful minerality, balanced on the palette, a bit weak in length. Reminds some of us or pot pourri, is that good or bad? Bad if the pot pourri resides in an elderly home.
Once again we picked our favourite wines, and like last year, a Rioja got the most votes! Vino 4 worked its mysterious Spanish magic and turned out as the most popular out of the 5 bottles. And kudos to Vino 5 from Hungary, which came a close second. Allow me to rave on a bit about the wine made from Kekfrancos (aka Blaufrankisch, meaning “blue frankish”, wait that does not mean anything to me…). With a generous level of acidity, we find the wine well balanced in alcohol, and the tinge of residual spice at the aftertaste was just enough to tease you back for seconds.
To sidetrack a bit. Our colleague peeped in during our session. After offering him a glass and explaining to him that we were tasting wines under $150, he gave a little twitched then politely declined. He told us that it is not possible for him to appreciate cheap wines since all he had been drinking recently was Domaine Romanee Conti, and now he cannot go back. The immediate reaction for us was of course to hold back our “#x&*“‘s. Then we all exchanged glances and kicked each other under the table. Now when I think about it, that cannot be something pleasant. If having the most expensive bottle of the wine everyday means that you can never have the chance to try anything new, I’d rather have different bottles of $150 for the rest of my life. But of course, if someone offers me even a drop of DRC, I’d gladly accept with no regrets! What a hypocrite.