Every once in a while, the PR gods smile upon me and invite me to a wine event even though I’m mainly a food blogger. I suppose they do go hand in hand, but I’m always surprised, mainly because since moving to London, my palette has gone to pot.
Back in my Michigan days, when I was working at Pacific Rim and even after, I got to try – on a regular basis – some of the best wines in the world. I found it easier and easier to identify flavours and smells and textures – even identifying dominant grapes and likely regions. Then, I moved to London, where I couldn’t really afford to drink anything decent at all. Within three years, all that wine knowledge I’d built up was poof(!) gone.
Things are a bit better, but I’m not really inclined to spend three times mark-up on wine in restaurants, and when I have a bottle at home, something in the £10 and under range works just fine for me. Any help I can get in the right direction is usually appreciated, which is why I decided to go to wine events for Naked Wines and the launch of a new rosé – Mirabeau Rosé. I attended the Mirabeau event with a few fantastic bloggers at The Powder Room in Soho where I received a little pampering in the form of a girly manicure. A perfect estrogen-filled evening.
But on to the important part: the wine itself. Mirabeau Wine is a refreshing rosé from Provence, which just went on sale at Waitrose this past Friday (£8.99). It’s light and fruity on the nose. I got a lot of strawberry with a bit of an apple/pear accent. It’s fairly acidic (a good thing in my book), and makes a perfect summer wine. I’d love to take it on my next park picnic – it’d be the perfect addition.
Also in the ‘competitively priced’ bracket is the online wine retailer Naked Wines*, where I attended an event launching their new iPhone app, WineScout. The event, at the Hoxton Grill (who, I might add, had absolutely fantastic nibbles. Seriously, wow) was a mix of food, wine and tech bloggers, and I got to see a few familiar faces including Luiz of The London Foodie, Uyen of Fernandez and Luluu supper club, Gail from 1million Gold Stars and Jeanne from Cook Sister.
Naked Wines is a completely different way to buy wine online. Basically, they invest in independent winemakers, in exchange for preferential prices. It’s a great concept, and a great way to discover something new, tasty and inexpensive.
I was given the chance to try out their new iPhone app, WineScout, in Beta. WineScout searches for you the best independent wines available at nearby restaurants and retailers based on your location. It acts as a social network for wines, allowing you to input your favourites, rate them and find the best food pairings. When it launches, it could be a valuable little search engine, but I imagine in the beginning it’s going to be in need of content. If you’re passionate about the wine around you though, give it a shot.
*Full disclosure: Naked Wines is the client of my company’s sister PR agency. However, I attended the Naked Wines event solely as a food blogger and not as a PR person. The connection did not influence my post positively or negatively.