It was back to our old hood the South side for me last week to the hidden gem that is WoodWinters, recommended to me by a friend who, over the years, has poured me some of the nicest wines I have ever tasted. I just love this place. The selection is spot on, Rob the Manager is passionate about wine and knows a great bottle when he sees one and whiskey, craft beers and artisan gin for that matter. I have a feeling and I suspect this is a sign I am approaching my mid 30’s that life is too short for bad wine.
I get a bit overwhelmed at the supermarkets. It is a gamble. There are so many offers but what is the quality of the wine like? The signs that tell me when I have wasted my money on rubbish wine:
- I have nightmares
- I wake in the night and can’t get back to sleep (too many chemicals including caffeine)
- I feel rotten the following day
- I am not hooked by the first glass
My shocker of a baby brain means that all those hints and tips when it comes to choosing my boozy treats, that I gathered pre kids, are well and truly forgotten. I have now vowed to avoid buying wine on a whim and to get it from people I trust. I opened two bottles that Rob recommended at a party last weekend. They were gone in a flash and our guests were begging for more. I don’t get to drink that often as I have two young kids and I am training for my first marathon in May. When I do it has to be nice and a hangover must be avoided at all costs. My kiddie free nights enjoying wine with friends and family are way too precious. I am delighted I now have people like Rob and his team to keep me in check. That doesn’t necessarily mean spending a fortune either. Their prices are comparable to many of the supermarkets. They also have some pretty mind blowing bottles for those special occasions.
WoodWinters do a range of tasting events from fizz and sushi nights to wine and chocolate and White Burgundy and cheese. On this occasion we were off on an adventure to The Wines of Marjan Simčič. Heard of them? I certainly hadn’t but I knew that if Rob was impressed enough to dedicate an evening to tasting them that we would be in for a treat.
The Simčič family believe in grape cultivation with the most natural methods. They strive to respect the vine’s natural capacity of producing grapes. Following down the generations, the family are proud to be the successors of the rich Brda winemaking culture.
Along with some lovely bread, olive oil, meats and cheeses we tasted 8 wines. Three of the wines were made from Ribolla which is an Italian wine grape grown most prominently in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeast Italy. The grape is also found in Slovenia where The Simčič family are based. Slovenian wine – I had no idea it could be so tasty.
We also worked our way through some seriously good Chardonnay – one of the girls at the event who normally hates the stuff said she was suprised she enjoyed it. Personally, a really special treat was the Simcic Teodor Belo Selekcija – bursting with tropical fruit and fresh grassy notes I was carried away to the rainforest. I had such an emotive experience tasting this wine (yes I am a total geek but I like to embrace my passions ha). I can picture it on the tasting menu at the Fat Duck Heston Blumentha, the course where you listen to the sound of a running waterfall on headphones as you eat.
WoodWinters supply several restaurants with wine from the Simčič family vineyards such as Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond to The Canny Mans, Cail Bruich and The Newport.
It’s a no-brainer why they have won so many awards and I am looking forward to learning a lot more about wine all over again. I am loving the fact that family and friends are more than happy to share my passion with me, after all it would be rude not to. I also think that decent wine gives you brilliant dance moves. Cheers!