It has to be said that being invited to sample ASDA’s ‘Extra Special’ wine collection – expertly selected for the festive season - really kick-started those ‘warm and fuzzies’; y’know, the ones so commonly affiliated with this time of year and the selflessness of giving! Thus, rounding up my nearest and dearest, I did what any aspiring wine buff would do and conducted a strategic series of high-brow tastings whereby the four red and two white wines I had been given were proficiently analysed …Not really; my friends, family and I had a great deal of fun; sipping, slurping and swishing our way through all six bottles, mopping up the alcohol content with a grotesque amount of cheese but most importantly, identifying several favourites that would no doubt see us through to the New Year...
White wine Tasting Panel: The Girls
‘Extra Special’ Fiano 2012 (Italian wine, 13%)
of 'a woodland walk on a crisp day', this was described as rustic and
flavoursome; channelling notes of passion fruit, lemon and ripe apple.
It's fresh finish heightened its appeal; making for an easily-drinkable
wine. Delicious. 4/5
‘Extra Special’ Pinot Grigio 2012 (Italian wine, 12.5%)
an undeniably acidic quality and tart apple aroma, this was quite a
contrast to the oh-so-smooth Fiano. Yet, we agreed that whereas the
delicate nature of the Fiano would be lost somewhat alongside a hearty
dinner, the Pinot would cut through it, slapping you in the face with
its almost abrasive twang Not a favourite. 1/5
Red wine Tasting Panel: The Parentals
Extra Special’ Nero d’Avola 2011 (Sicilian wine, 13%)
pleasant red with rich, fruity aromas and ripened cherry notes.
Establishing a rather dry after-taste which suitably contrasted the
initial cheekiness which could have been mistaken for a shallow
disposition which simply wasn’t the case – lovely! 4/5
‘Extra Special’ Cotes Du Rhone 2012 (French wine, 13%)
‘mellow’ another word for bland? Perhaps so given that this particular
tipple wasn’t especially well-received; it’s palatable peppery
undertones proving its only redeeming feature. A ‘typical French plonk’
mused Dad with Mum adding, rather diplomatically, that it simply did not
live up to its ‘Extra Special’ label. A shame… 2/5
‘Extra Special’ Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (13.5%)
got a real thing for Chilean reds and this certainly didn't disappoint
with admirable depth to its berry hues and an almost chocolaty
after-taste, (trust me on this one)...Curious. 4.5/5
‘Extra Special’ Old Vines Garnacha, Syrah 2011 (Spanish wine, 14%)
we saved the best for last…unusually unanimous in our decision that
this was by far, our favourite! Full-bodied with a decadently, fruity
bouquet, this was a fantastically balanced wine which we considered a
suitable accompaniment to all nature of cuisine yet palatable enough to
drink on its own – the latter proving all too tempting for Dad who
finished off the bottle! Wine with the wow-factor! 5/5
you stop asking yourself whether I'm actually an alcoholic (I'm not, I
was just very thirsty), you'll no doubt check out ASDA's 'Extra Special'
wine range for yourself. Currently priced from just £5 a bottle, there
are some absolute corkers which are perfect for the upcoming
festivities. Furthermore, as 'Extra Special' denotes the partnership
that ASDA have with Leith's School of Food and Wine, you know that
you're in good hands – go on, get the party started...cheers!
February 2017 marks the sixth anniversary of my eating adventures and, as ever, I'm excited about what the coming months will bring for us foodies! In case this is your first visit (if not, welcome back), I'm a 30-something female with a very healthy appetite!...I promise to share with you my experience of each restaurant, café or bar in which I set foot...so, let's go out!