I did not even know where exactly we were going to when I met the guys at the train station; in an awfully early hour in the morning :S  All I knew is that I was offered to go with them for a wine tasting in London. Hahh, I would never say no to an offer like that!

Arriving to London, tube etc. When we got to the actual place of the tasting, my jaw just dropped…

Huge building, hundreds of people, all dressed smart – thanks, Kat, you convinced me to go for the red blazer and not the black granny-style cardigan :)

We all had to check in, were given an event book and a name badge with our full names on it, saying where we were from, ahh, we all looked like proper VIPs in an extremely important event, some government delegates on a world financial conference in the White House.

Let me emphasise again, I did not know anything about the event.

And then we entered the First Room of Joy.

According to the guide book, it was Room Nr4: Champagne, France, England, Germany, Austria & Hungary.

And then the wow-moment came: F*K ME, wine-heaven!!! Open bottles all over the place, tasting glasses shiny polished, ready for us to take them for an all day trip.

You know the feeling when you did not really have expectations and you got something freeeaking good and it blows your mind away and you don’t even know where to start, what to do and how to enjoy the most, because it’s just too good and too much to take at once! We were just standing there, staring at the selection and just… hit the road as it was! Like kids when jumping into the pool. Randomly tasted everything our eyes picked up or the guide book said it was “poshly priced”. By lunchtime we only finished that one room, and there was another, what, six room to visit. Lunch was served in funny bags, meat and veg option, coffee, sweets, everything to please us.

Then after lunch, in cig break I had a little chat with myself. Hey, girl, this just makes no sense. You already tasted at least twenty different champagnes and wines from all over Europe and what new did you learn about them? Nothing! You did not make any sort of discovery whatsoever. If you carry on in the same way, you will waste the whole day here! And then I said to myself, this is just too much. I cannot try all the million different wines of the planet. I don’t really want to mix and match red and white, sparkling and dessert. If I knew where we were coming at all, in advance, I could have had a plan ready how to use the opportunity, but like this…? Emergency plan needed, please.

Riesling, that is my favourite.
Riesling, that is my favourite.
Riesling, that is my favourite.

Go for it then!

And in the rest of the day I went through all the riesling wines from all over the world: Germany (quite obvious…) and the New World, topped up with some gewürztaminer from different countries from Europe and you know what? I did make my own little discoveries and it made me so f.ng proud, god! :D

First of all, I could draw the difference between german rieslings and the ones from other countries, like Australia and New Zealand. They don’t have much in common with the german ones, I could never tell that they are made of the same grape. American ones were allright, though, but still not as good as german rieslings.

Without having even a basic vocabulary for describing wines, these german ‘alfa-rieslings’ are heavy and masculine, reminding me of smoke and petrol in taste (no, I have never tried petrol…), still sweet (sometimes super-mega-sweet!) like honey, mmm… From the menu I tried some very light lunchtime editions from as little as 7.5% alcohol content  (this one was surprisingly full of sweet flavours, Wehlener Riesling Kabinett 2010, Dr Loosen) to heavier, bitter ones. French rieslings, for me at least, are quite similar to german ones, so I decided to love them, too. :))

The new world riesling are, in opposite to the lovely european ones, light, sour like hell, bleohh… and taste just like any other white grape, nothing distinctive, nothing special… :(( Again, to me. And my taste is quite f.ked up, let’s be honest.

On the other hand, gewürztaminer remindes me of riesling, both german and italian ones, I put this grape on my fav-list too.

So I made my own little tour in the afternoon, loosing the others completely. Beside rieslings, I gave a go to hungarian ones, too (quite obviously, hahh) – at least to the few that were available in the exhibition. Only two vineyard were present, Royal Tokaji and Neszmély, which surprised me a lot. Sad, I have to say, very sad.

Not a single Bull’s Blood, not a drop of red at all! o.O Where is Eger?! Where is Badacsony?!?!

Royal Tokaji made it up a little bit though, presenting some lovely Furmints (which is a unique hungarian grape, one of the three blends in dessert wines), Late Harvest and Tokaji Aszú’s in different vintages.

So, yes, it was the annual tasting of one of the biggest independent wine merchants in the UK, Bibendum. (I did not take my camera with me. I never take it to anywhere where alcohol or drinking is greatly involved in the story, this is a basic principle. Of course there are exceptions, like when we went to that Raventos vineyard visit and cava tasting – there I took some nice pics :proud: – and sometimes I feel really sorry afterwards for the loss, like now. If I had the cam with me, this post would be mouthwatering!)

Open up your mouth…!

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