Wine is always a good idea. Despite #WineWednesday #WineDownWednesday, #ThirstyThursday… I don’t tend to need a reason to enjoy #wineporn or wine tasting for that matter. I’m a big wine fan and I’ve been known to spend a lot of time at London wine tasting events including The Sampler, Theatre of Wine, Provisions, Vinoteca and many I simply can’t remember because wine. More recently, I’ve been raving about Loki Wine, 1000 Trades and now its the turn of Spit Wine and Spirit School at The Plough in Birmingham. The Plough you know and I love.
Spit Wine and Spirit School is set in the private and let me add, swish dining rooms above The Plough and provides a relaxed and down to earth space to learn about wine and spirits- not to mention, get some serious home inspo. Who knew navy walls and black/white frames could get me so excited? but it did. The best thing about Spit, apart from its brilliant name and branding is that it’s making wine totally accessible and shedding the stuffy image that is usually associated with wine. There’s nothing worse than wine tasting with people who you would never interact with in normal life and are as dull as… well, you know the rest. So it’s refreshing when wine events are a little bit cooler, a little bit more real and lot more down to earth. Spit have nailed it.
To celebrate Real Wine Month- a national promotion of organic, biodynamic and natural wines made by artisan growers and winemakers, Spit marked the occasion by welcoming Sam Olive from Wine Freedom to talk about some of his favourite ‘Real Wines’. In return we were able to sample 10 incredible handcrafted creations from winemakers that truly care for their grapes, using as little chemical intervention as possible.
We started the evening by each doing a taste test to find out what flavour profile we fit into (Luscious, Fresh, Smooth, Intense) which in theory would then correspond to the wines that we enjoyed drinking. I’ll be honest, I seem to move up and down this scale. I don’t know whether that’s a sign of my changing palette or the fact that I’m really indecisive with my answers but I’ve moved from Luscious to Smooth, in case you were wondering…
We tasted 10 wines in total and each was accompanied with a little info about the winemaker and how they make their wine which was fascinating. Sam did a great job of bringing the wines to life and it was good to put a face to the bottle as all too often I drink wine without any regard to the hard graft and love that’s been put into making it.
I had a number of favourites from the night, starting with the Limney Horsmonden White Davenport 2015 (£15), an English dry white wine that was fresh, summery and perfect for this time of year- to the point of dangerous because I was able to drink this too easily.
An exciting addition to the wine list was Orange wines, named as such because of the colour rather than the taste. These are white wines which are made using the same principles and methods as red. The skins are left on, producing tannins and leaving the wine spicier, herbier and drier than most. Ramoro Pinot Grigio Romato 2015 (£12) from northern Italy involves a short amount of contact between grape juice and skins, which gives the wine a subtle copper-pink hue. This was delicious, easy to drink and again would be perfect with summery dishes at this time of year.
In contrast, the Nelson Pinot Gris 2015-Don Wines (£21) from New Zealand was cloudy, intense and although I didn’t like it at first (no one did!), it definitely grew on me and provided lots of conversation- like Marmite.
My final favourite was “The Will to Live” Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, a Croatian red wine that was fresh, dry and delicious. What I liked most about this wine, was the ambitious story behind it in which the winemakers actively choose to make one wine, in one place, for one year only. They buy the fruit, make the wine, design the labels and sell the finished product. Whilst, I can’t even get to work on time at the moment…
I really enjoyed how informal and friendly the wine tasting was. Spit was the perfect setting for this event and I’m looking forward to more events here. Sam really knows his wine and his passion for it is contagious. He gave a great insight into ‘Real Wines’ how the wines were sourced, produced and supplied. There are loads more events coming up at Spit so check them out! Brum needs more good drinks events like this because sometimes pubs/bars just gets a bit samey and samey this is not.
The only thing I’d add is that it would have been good to be able to chat to people about the wine as there were some cool people in attendance but because of the structure of the night, we whizzed through the wine. Not a criticism at all, probably more a comment on my love to chat nonsense.
*Thanks to The Plough, I was invited to attend wine tasting. As always, my opinions are my own*