We started off with a home town favourite, a Rioja, specifically a 2004 Marques de Riscal Reserva, which I really like and never disappoints, with lots of vanilla and oak.
Next up was one of mine. I had brung along a couple of bottles of the Malbec at left from Oddbins, Herself had bought one for a girly night and liked it so I got a couple to go with the beef I was told we were having. As with a lot of recent wines I initially thought this was a "two pronger". I envision two prongs of flavour and a gap in between. The two prongs being fruit and tannins, but no harmony or balance to the wine. I expect this was not unrelated to the wine not having a decent chance to breathe and it did improve over time. Although that time was short as each wine was swiftly dispatched by the thirsty mob.
Next up was BigNose's contribution to the evening, a Tour Des Gendres Bergerac 2007. He wasn't impressed with it but I though it was a fine if a little dry, but perfect with food. Off to Italy with us next for a Villa Antinori 2005, as supplied by BigHead although he denied brining it, for some reason. This could be described as an affordable Supertuscan, with some red berries, soft tannins, a well balanced and delicious wine all round. They also make the Santa Christina Sangoivese which I see everywhere and this appears to be the next wine up from that.
Next up was June's wine and I think, the star of the evening for me. There were a number of d'Arenburg wines knocking about on the night ( I gave June a bottle of 2005 The Sticks and Stones), and she in turn brought along a 2001 Bonsai Vine, a Grenache (70%) Shiraz (25%) Mourvedre (5%). This was quite jammy and sweet with a very New World style, light years from its Rhone cousin. I have previously opined that a wine that jammy can only work if the sweetness is balanced by some depth and structure, and this was. Not only that, this wine felt very well made, if that makes sense. As usual d'Arenburg doesn't disappoint.
I think that was it on the wine front, there was also Baileys liqueur and some Quilmes beer from Argentina that was nice but bloody expensive from Oddbins. You think I'd have learned after the Krombacher mentioned in the last post.
Our Sunday night wine, an own-brand 2007 Minervois, was brought to us by Marks and Spencer, the number 7 and the letter Q.