It was an exciting moment for me when the TC Wine Club launched this week. I have been working closely with Tom from The Wine Gallery (TWG) over the last few months to bring you something unlike anything else on the market. This is the first online wine club of its kind and between you and me, I think we’re going to have a bit of fun. No rules, no wine snobbery, just a whole lot of wine and some good online wine chatter. Book clubs were so last year!
So basically what I am doing with TWG, is each month I carefully pick 3 different wines to go into a monthly subscription box. I pick the wines based on a number of factors which I will outline to you in a monthly post like this one – think of it as you joining me on a fantastically awesome wine adventure. Naturally with any new venture, I’ll be trying new things such as creating a forum to discuss the wines and who knows I may even ask you to help me choose a few of the bottles. If you have a fab idea on how to make this the best ever wine club in Australia then let me know stat!
The cool thing is, you can sign up for 1 box, or ongoing boxes – there is no obligation at all. Plus TWG has kindly offered all new subscribers your first bottle free, so your first TC wine box (3 bottles) will only be $55 including shipping (in Australia) – that’s $18 a bottle which is pretty darn decent for the gems I have picked out for you!
You can find out all the details over on the dedicated The Travelling Corkscrew Wine Box page (note this page will be updated monthly with the new wines). Every time I see that page my excitement levels jump up a notch! I am just so thrilled to be sharing my wino adventures with you guys and introducing you to some new fabulous tipples that you wouldn’t normally come across. And don’t forget to hashtag any comments/pics etc with #thetcwineclub
Okay let’s get to it – so why did I choose the 3 specific wine bottles in the first TC Wine Club Box?
BK Petillant Naturel 2015 Sparkling (Adelaide Hills)
If you follow my wine drinking habits then you know I have a penchant for bubbles – there is no doubt I am a sparkling wine lover. And what I also love is something a bit different and out of the box – it really gets the wine geek in me super excited!
The reason I picked the BK Sparkling to go in this first box is because of the above but also because it’s made by a Kiwi winemaker who is now living in Australia, Adelaide Hills in fact. Being a Kiwi myself (who also currently lives in Australia), I do like to raise the national flag when and where I can, especially when it comes to NZ wine/winemakers.
Winemaker, Brendon Keys (hence the ‘BK’) made this bubbles purely from Chardonnay (my spirit grape…haha!) and bottled it while it was still fermenting – hence the colour. I am not going to go into a full-blown tasting note as that’ll come over the next few weeks as we all start receiving our orders and get to tasting. You can read more about the BK Sparkling here. My mouth is watering just at the thought of getting stuck into this bubbly!
Tasting note (tried on 21-08-2016):
This is the first bottle in the TC Wine Box this month. If you’re waiting on your order or about to order then you definitely have something to look forward to! This BK Petillant Naturel 2015 Sparkling Chardonnay is made by Brendan & Kirstyn Keys in the Adelaide Hills. BK Wines is all about good wine, music, skateboarding and pretty much just everything cool – check them out on Instagram @bkwines Petillant Naturel in French means “mildly, naturally sparkling”. ‘Pet Nat’ sparklings have a small but dedicated cult following around the world and are made in a completely different way to Champagne or Prosecco hence why they have a rather cloudy appearance. Basically for Pet Nats the fermentation process is stopped before all the natural sugar has been consumed and then put into a bottle and fitted with a crown cap closure to finish off fermentation. As a result, extra carbon dioxide is produced as the yeast eats the sugar and gets trapped in the bottle to produce the fizz. You’ll notice when you open the bottle and pour this vino it’s ultra frothy and literally erupting to get out of the bottle and into your mouth. So what’s it like?? Well it looks a little bit like ginger beer once all the froth settles down. On the nose it smells of apple sherbet and pear juice. In the mouth it has an upfront vibrancy which transcends into an ultra smooth finish. It’s like cloudy apple juice mixed with lemonade and has an adult friendly alcoholic silver lining. Mmm I could see how lobster would go well with it but between you and me, good old fish’n’chips is also a rather tasty match ? When you receive your #thetcwineclub box let me know what you think! If you haven’t ordered yet you can do so via @the_wine_gallery here -> http://bit.ly/tcwineclub
Le Fruit Defendu 2015 Rouge (Languedoc, France)
In 2011, Mr. Spittoon and I decided to pack in our jobs in Dubai and pack up our backpacks to travel around Europe for as long as we could afford. We started off in Egypt and then flew into Switzerland to start our European adventures. After Switzerland we made our way down to the south of France, which happens to be the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region (often just called ‘the Languedoc’).
I made Mr. Spittoon walk for miles to find wineries – being so green to European cellar door etiquette I didn’t realise that you have to make bookings to start with, however I wised up after a few days. You’ll find the below posts quite a laugh I am sure!
What I loved about the Languedoc region was the amazing quality of wines for really good prices! Jeeze we were backpackers and we could still splurge on a bottle or 3 of wine a night! Ahhh… the life of a wine-loving backpacker! You can read all about my Languedoc adventures below (perhaps while you’re sipping on a glass of ‘The Forbidden Fruit’ aka Le Fruit Defendu):
- Backpacking Through the Languedoc Wine Country (Part I)
- Backpacking Through the Languedoc Wine Country (Part II) – Chateau de Brau
- Backpacking Through the Languedoc Wine Country (Part III) – Domaine O’Vineyards
Tasting note to come and in the meantime check out what TWG has to say about the Le Fruit Defendu 2015.
Here is my tasting note for this beaut (tasted on August 27th 2016):
This bottle is lucky #3 in the first ever #thetcwineclub box! Mr. Spittoon and I spent Saturday night in with this bottle, homemade pizza (the Mediterranean lamb pizza went superbly with this tipple) and reminisced about our days backpacking through the south of France (where this vino comes from). You can read all about our adventures on the blog. This bottle of ‘The Forbidden Fruit’ aka Le Fruit Defendu is made from the Cinsault grape. Cinsault is the 4th most widely planted grape in France and thrives in warm climates. It’s not very common to see wines purely made of Cinsault as its typically a blending grape to add perfume & softness. European wine labels can be a little trickier to understand seeing as they focus more so on where a wine is from than the grape variety. A quick run down for this Moulin Rouge-esque looking label: Domaine de Magellan = winery name Village: Magalas = village where it’s made Pays-d’hérault (Indication Geographique Protégée) = the legally defined and protected geographical area where the grapes are grown aka the appellation In the glass this Frenchie is a lovely shade of garnet. It’s super aromatic nature draws you into the glass with sweet plum and cherry notes alongside a bit of rustic earthiness and hint of spiced vanilla cream. The nose reflects the palate with an undeniably smooth mouthfeel. It was also nice to get the corkscrew out for this one, I love the sound of a cork popping! All opinions are based on my own taste buds. Wine is subjective, so make sure you drink what you enjoy! #tcweekdaywine #perthblogger #wineblog #wine #winetasting #languedoc #languedocroussillon #cinsault #lefruitdefendu #winestagram #winelover #winetime #frenchwine #redwine #wineandpizza #thewinegallery
12,000 Miles Pinot Gris (Wairarapa, New Zealand)
I picked this bottle for various reasons which I will outline below however I also love the story behind the vineyard. Christine and David Kernohan literally travelled thousands of miles to make this wine for you. They are born and bred Scots who fell in love with NZ and started up Gladstone Vineyards in the Wairarapa (bottom of the North Island, out from Wellington). 12,000 Miles is a personal project of winemaker Christine’s, who is one of a handful of Scottish women winemakers in the world – girl power!
I really wanted to try this wine because I love Pinot Gris and I think some awesome Gris’s are coming out of Kiwi land. It’s also interesting to see that Pinot Gris is rather fashionable in NZ (and it should be here too) with many of my wino and non-wino friends back home regularly grabbing for a bottle of PN over the usual Sauv Blanc or Chardy.
Full tasting note to come and make sure to check out TWG’s thoughts on this beaut Pinot Gris too!
Here is my tasting note, and do me a favour by having it with something like a tikka masala curry like I did – it was absolute food and wine matching heaven (tasted on August 22nd 2016)!
This is the second bottle in #thetcwineclub monthly box. How could I not pick a Kiwi Pinot Gris – such an awesome grape variety and NZ are making some stunners. 12,000 Miles is a personal project of Scottish winemaker Christina Kernohan. She owns Gladstone Vineyards in the Wairarapa (bottom of the North Island) with hubby David. On The Wine Gallery tasting notes that come in the monthly box, it mentions Pinot Gris matches nicely with smoked salmon, Thai fish cakes and gently spiced Indian curries like chicken tikka masala. I opted for the last option and there’s no doubt the matching was perfect – the wine and food complimented each other harmoniously. No chicken tikka will ever be complete without a glass of Pinot Gris now! On the eye this Gris (meaning grey) has a lovely yellow-rose gold sheen to it. Pinot Gris typically has a peachy-grey streak to it due to the colour of the berries. The nose is fresh with a ‘just rained’ scent to it spiked with citrus, peaches and creamy pineapple. The palate is mellow yet has the most beautiful delicate yet juicy plump peach flavours. Perfectly thirst quenching and there’s no way there’s enough in the bottle for more than one person! All opinions are based on my own taste buds. Wine is subjective, so make sure you drink what you enjoy! #tcweekdaywine #wine #winetasting #wineblog #winestagram #winelover #winetime #pinotgris #12000mileswine #gladstonevineyard #nzwine #thewinegallery #wairarapa #tcwinebox #winegeek #wineparty #wineblogger #wineandfood #spicetailor
So there you have it guys, that’s why I choose to share these 3 wines with you over the coming weeks – let me know what you think of them by posting your comment below or using the #thetcwineclub hashtag across social media. To place your order or check out what’s in the current TC Wine Box click here. Happy drinking winos!