Morrisons Cellars Wine Tasting and Taste Test

‘Morrisons Cellar reveals the UK gambles £4.7 billion on wine annually

Revolutionary new tool is hottest tip for taste confidence’

 

So, to Morrison’s Cellar last week for a tasting of their revamped range, and new online offer, as well as what they describe as their ‘revolutionary’ taste test.

Revolutionary it ain’t. A welcome bit of fun in the middle of the longest winter ever, it was. What you do is answer three questions on your food and drink preferences (I won’t say what they are, in case you want to do it yourself), which rate your palate with a number from 0 to 12. I imagine that most people with any competitive spirit in them would want to score high in this test, but Morrison’s divide the range into four flavour categories: sweet (0-3), fresh (4-6), smooth (7-9), intense (10-12). I scored 9 (I like my coffee white in the morning, you see), which puts me at the intense end of smooth. That seemed to fit with my own assessment of my character, or maybe its just wishful thinking. You can have a go at it yourself if you want at: http://apps2.finervision.com/morrisons/taste-test. The carrot is you get put into a draw to wine a case of wine, so give it a try if you are feeling lucky!

Anyway, I tasted some wine. The wines are divided into the same categories according to their character. Broadly, they seemed well characterized, although I am not sure that I would put Graham’s 20 Year Tawny Port in the fresh category. Here are my highlights from the different categories:

Sweet:

Yealands Black Label Pinot Gris, New Zealand, RRP £12.99

Yealands EstatePinot GrisForget Pinot Grigio, this is Pinot Gris, the same grape, but the proper version, in the Alsace style, which the Italians (among others) usurped. A lovely oily and rich ripe style, with sweet yellow peach flavours, refreshed by cool climate acidity, and medium-dry.

Première Vouvray, Loire, France, RRP £6.49

Premiere VouvrayWhich just goes to show you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a decent French wine. That classic combination of honeyed Chenin Blanc fruit sweeness, with Loire fresh acidity. Another medium one.

Fresh:

Pongrasz Brut, South Africa, RRP £13.99

Pongrasz BrutIn their words, a ‘getting ready for the big night out bottle’, made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Fresh, dry, with fruity hints. Well-named, really.

Baron de Badassière Picpoul de Pinet, France, RRP £7.99

Baron de BadassiereA great example of good value from the Languedoc. Someone at Morrison’s buying team writes like they used to work for Oddbins, but I can do no better than their note: ‘Old Baron de Badass may have been last in the queue for surnames, but he sure knew how to make a gorgeously refreshing zingy white wine.’

Smooth:

Irony Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, California, USA, RRP £19.99

Irony Russian River`This is the Russian River in California, not a river in Russia! An old-fashioned European style of Pinot, with spicy red fruit, rich and ripe, and hints of leather.

Grifone Primitivo di Puglia, Italy, RRP £6.99

Grifone PrimitivoThe Italian version of the Californian Zinfandel (and cheaper), with ripe, sweet red and black fruit, and melted tannins. Maybe it’s a bit more intense than smooth, but let’s not quibble.

Intense:

Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills, Australia, RRP £16.99

Wirra WirraMaybe the price is a little intense too; the wine, though, is ‘a ripper’ as Morrison’s put it. Full of tropical Australian fruit, integrated with French oak.

Piccini Sasso Al Poggio, Tuscany, Italy, RRP £12.99

PicciniA ‘Supertuscan’, with Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Loads of black cherries and fruit, firm tannin, and definitely intense.

At last, I would say that you can buy wine at Morrison unashamedly, according to a taste test rather than just because it’s cheap. Plus you get to find the answer to that nagging question of whether you are sweet, fresh, smooth, or intense. A useful life lesson in a bottle, if you like!