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Chez Bolt - value buy & gadget of the month - December

Value buy of the month

I should go on record to say I am not a shareholder of Tesco (or indeed Majestic that gets a couple of mentions this month) but I am always surfing the shelves for something interesting.

I’ve been looking at cold maceration wines lately. This is where the juice stays in contact with the grape skins before fermentation starts which is supposed to help with colour and flavour extraction from said skins. Thus when I read that a wine from Tesco’s finest range called Trilogy (Malbec from Argentina) went through exactly this process I put some on the weekly shop. Out of interest it is suitable for vegetarians but not vegans as it uses eggs whites, as explained in the note above.

It’s Malbec but I found it more like a right bank Merlot. It is rich and long, dark fruits with a super mouthfeel. Enough tannin to hold your interest but soft enough to find you’ve finished your glass without realising it (Switch glass for bottle in my case). It’s made by the famous Catena family and is aged in a range of French and American Oak barrels but isn’t overly woody.

It is £12 a bottle but I bought mine when Tesco offered a 25% discount. Sadly they cap this to 36 bottles maximum which was a shame. I’ve recommended it to friends and  it’s been a universal hit. If you’re into Malbec or indeed decent Claret I think you’ll really enjoy this bargain price wine.

Gadget of the month: Savisto Aerator

When I was taught to taste wine some 30 years ago I was lucky enough to be instructed by a Burgundian wine grower called François Gay; sadly no longer with us. He preferred his wines younger rather than older and I became immersed in this style of drinking wine on the young side. That’s the beauty of wine in as much as there isn’t really a right or wrong way. Some people love the old aged clarets. All mushroom and truffle, tawny and faded. I prefer young tannic fruit. All dark red and grippy.

Thus I rarely feel the need to air a wine before getting stuck in. However, I have a number of friends who do and last weekend we trialled the Savisto Aerator, which is £12.95 from Amazon. Two of my friends really felt it made a difference. It’s certainly fun to use and I see the merit of it. I think it did change the mouthfeel slightly but not necessarily for the better.

When I have felt the need to air a wine I tend to decant it and give it air that way. I normally do this to either take a wine off the sediment that has formed in the bottle or if I find a strange (but not faulty) aroma when I taste it. Some wines can get starved of oxygen as they mature and become “reductive”. This gives an aroma of rubber or tyre. I showed a wine recently that was really reductive and one of the guests described it as “the brakes from a high speed train”. That might sound really esoteric but it hit the spot to me. Dust, rubber, slightly toxic. If I pick up this rubber aroma I then air the wine and I’m sure this little device would be excellent for just that without the drama of dusting down an old decanter.

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