On a recent short weekend break to Calais France I managed to pick up the odd bottle or two which ended up causing me no end of problems with the boot of my car, this was mainly due to the fact that I couldn’t shut it.
Now this was my first so called ‘booze run’ and we went with four other wine lovers but instead of returning the same day we decided to make a short holiday of it and stayed in the Ibis Calais Tunnel Sous La Manche hotel which was central to most of the discount wine and hypermarket stores. Before checking into the hotel we decided to stop by a few shops to pick up some essentials, Piduo, Majestic Wine and Calais wines were duly visited and we did manage to pick up a sandwich and a packet of crisps for lunch.
Settled in we visited the local Shopping mall Cite Europe which had a very nice selection of bars and restaurants and decided on the 3 Brasseurs for our evening dinner, which boasted a Micro Brewery for the beer lovers in our party. I stuck to the house red which was surprisingly good but the others opted for beer and promptly chose a 3 litre beer dispenser which was placed in the centre of the table and a ‘Pallet de degustation’ which is four small taster samples of their four main beers. Food was good, drinks were excellent, everybody was happy !
The next day we had a day out visiting the medieval town of Montreuil Sur Mer the setting for Les Miserables and which just happened to be the location for the French Wine Society shop. Armed with my list I scoured the shelves but out of 12 bottles I had listed they only had one in stock, which was a real shame, still ended up with more than one bottle though, so left pretty happy.
When we got back to Calais we made straight for the big Supermarket Auchan for yet more wine and managed to fit in a little food shopping as well.
It was a lovely weekend made all the better by good company and a car full of cheap wine, all of it pretty good and far to many to mention, so here’s a couple to start with………………
Big fan of this Spanish white, a delicious blend of Moscatel 85% and Gerwurztraminer 15%.
Unusual blend and an unusual taste, not for everyone but I really enjoy it. Bright straw like colour, heady perfumed aromas of tropical fruits including peaches and honeydew melon, very floral with honeysuckle and jasmine. Bright acidity on the palate, fresh and slightly sweet although not cloying. Again flavours of peaches, lime zest and roses.
This is lovely chilled, great with lightly spiced food or equally as good on it’s own. Only 11% so very easy to drink, perhaps a little too easy and I only paid £4 a bottle !
Otra Vida Viognier 2013 12.5% (Calais price £2 a bottle)
Another bargain and would you believe at £2 a bottle (offer in Calais wine was 3 bottles for £6) and part of the CyT Trivento group.
This is a very pleasant everyday white that was recommended to me by one of our group and what a surprise it was. This was on the tasting station at the store but wasn’t chilled and despite the fact that it was warm it had something about it which prompted me to pay the extortionate price of £6 for three bottles. Nicely chilled at home this was a lovely clear pale golden colour with aromas of Peaches, apricots and creamy vanilla. refreshingly dry and crisp on first sip with an incredibly long creamy finish. This was brilliant value at £2 and I now wish I had bought more.
Torres Esmeralda – My Rating 7.5/10 Corks
Otra Vida – My Rating 8/10 Corks (for brilliant value at £2 a bottle)