Tuscan wine tasting at Harrod’s

I don’t think Harrod’s needs an introduction, and I am a big fan of their food halls, and of course the Laduree cafée. But this time we were there for a Tuscan wine tasting in their wine store in the basement.

I guess 100-150 attended this sold out event and we mingled around with our glasses trying 50 Tuscan wines. Most were red, but there were also a few whites and some vin santo.

But first, as a treat, we got to try four types of Bollinger champagne. It was two non-vintage; Special Cuvée NV and Bollinger rosé as well as La Grande Année 2002 and La Grande Année Rosé 2002. A few weeks back I got to try a Dom Perignon 2000 which was lovely, and actually a bit nicer than this Bollinger vintage. Don’t get me wrong, the Bollinger was nice too, and a lot cheaper if you want a vintage champagne, so I still recommend it.

Most wines at this tasting were, as I mentioned earlier, reds. Chianti and Brunello are the most common wines, and the most gommon grape is Sangiovese. Most reds had the main grape as Sangiovese but also had other grapes blended in.

We also got to try a wonderful rosé, that tasted Provence and a white vermentino that was absolutely fabulous. But the best memory from this evening was when we tried a beautiful vin santo. I have had several vin santo before, and other dessert wines, but this was something extraordinary. It was amazing and just blew us away. It was of course sweet, but had a deeper undertone that was just phenomenal. It is called Vin Santo di Carmignano Riserva 2005.

There were also canapées (much needed when trying that many wines!) and they were really good. They had arancini (being true to the theme), crisp salmon fishcakes, mini mini quiches with melt-in-the-mouth pastry and rare roast beef in a shortcrust crustade with horseradish, and a sweet lemon cheesecake to finish.

This was just a fabulous evening, and I learned so much about wine in general and Tuscan wines in particular from talking to all the vendors, but we also met lovely people mingling just like us, and I have a sneaky feeling we will see some of them at the next event.

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