My first ever wine tasting experience was when I was about 19, when my boss sent me along to a local art gallery on my own to ‘network’ (a word which filled teenage-me with dread) with upmarket business types. Overcome with nerves, I chose to swallow every gulp of wine I took – there was certainly no spitting involved on this evening – until I got so tipsy, I was able to approach literally anyone in the room. Believe me, it wasn’t a pretty sight. I haven’t gone to a wine tasting evening since.
However, my experience of wine tasting changed for the better recently when ‘slow holidays’ company, Inntravel sent me a wine tasting set to enjoy in the comfort of my own home with a few friends. Inntravel are currently promoting their range of holidays to Catalonia, Spain and, in collaboration with the Catalan tourist board, they wanted to give me a taste of Catalonia through a selection of four different wines.
The kit contained a bottle of Cava, one red, one white and one rosé wine from the Penedès region of Catalonia (just under an hour from Barcelona), which is synonymous with Cava.
If my wine tasting experience leaves you feeling thirsty for a taste of Catalonia , Inntravel’s ‘Homage to Catalonia’ self-guided holiday could be right up your street, taking you on an authentic wine tasting journey across Penedès. You can find further inspiration on other destinations for wine vacations here.
Codorniu Cava Cuvée Barcelona Brut
The first bottle of cava was created in 1872, when Josep Raventos applied the ‘traditional method’ of sparkling wine production used in Champagne, to the traditional Penedès varieties of Macabeo, Parellada and Xarelto.
The first thing that attracted me to this Cava Cuvée Barcelona was the bottle, which was inspired by the typical stained glass windows of Modernist Barcelona. The cava that lay inside was a golden amber in colour and it had a gentle fizz to it. It was slightly bitter to taste, with hints of crisp, green apple and grapefruit.
Gran Viña Sol Chardonnay
Gran Viña Sol was one of the first vineyars in Spain to produce cask-fermented Chardonnay; traditionally known as the ‘winemaker’s wine’ because of the techniques used to produce it, such as the use of oak.
The first sip was intensely bitter, but this wine had a pleasant peachy after taste and after a few sips, we soon got used to the initial sharpness and this turned out to be my favourite of the four wines that Inntravel sent me to taste. Find out how you can win a bottle of Gran Viña Sol Chardonnay for yourself at the bottom of this blog post.
Jane Ventura Rosat Seleccio
Inspired by Catalonian landscape and traditions, this young rose wine is made from grapes found in the Mas Vilella and Els Camps estates owned by Jane Ventura wineries, amongst other wine growers’ vineyards in the Baix Penedès region.
I particularly liked the label on this bottle of wine, which was an illustration typical of the horizon of most towns in Penedès: roofs, hills and a church. A deep salmon pink in colour, this wine had aromas of piquant red fruits like pomegranate and raspberry.
Albet i Noya Curio’s Tempranillo
Tempranillo is the grape variety that’s used to make some of the best red wines available in both Spain and Portugal. A dark wine with moderate tannins, Tempranillo has a wide range of aromas and tasting notes, including strawberries, blackcurrants and cherries (found in coolr climates) and prunes, chocolate and tobacco (developed with intense vineyard heat and age).
This had a somewhat sour taste, with fragrant floral notes and a subtle hint of vanilla.
Here’s your chance to win a bottle of TORRES Gran Viňa Sol (750ml):
1. This prize draw starts on Wednesday 15th March 2017 at 00:00am (GMT).
2. This prize draw ends on Wednesday 29th March 2017 at 00:00am (GMT).
3. Open to UK residents aged 18 or over, except for families of the sponsor and the promoter and anyone else professionally connected with this promotion.
4. Entrants must log in to Rafflecopter and can enter by completing any of the optional tasks – there are NO mandatory tasks. Entrants will receive one entry for each task they complete.
5. Any invalid entries will be disqualified.
6. One winner will receive a 750ml bottle of TORRES Gran Viňa Sol.
7. The winners will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter.
8. The winner will be notified by email and announced on my blog (www.therarewelshbit.com) and social media channels within 24 hours of the prize draw ending.
9. If the winner does not claim their prize within 7 days, a new winner will be chosen at random, notified by email and announced on my blog and social media channels.
10. The prize will be sent to the winner by Zeal Media Limited and I will need to share the winner’s address with them for this purpose. The Rare Welsh Bit is not responsible if the item is lost in the post, delivery is delayed or the item is delivered damaged (although I can contact the brand responsible for sending the item on your behalf in these cases, if you wish for me to do so).
11. This prize draw is in no way endorsed by, sponsored by or affiliated with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
This post was written in collaboration with Inntravel.