September 24, 2012

Wines and People at the 5th ARSE Wine Tasting

By In Tasting Reports
Andrew’s Really Secret Event

The First Rule of ARSE – do not talk about ARSE

The Second Rule of ARSE – do not attend with a hangover

The Third Rule of ARSE – invitation only, if you ask you wont be invited

A playful bit of silliness, a wine tasting under the acronym of ARSE. Oh the fun that is had in double entendres and blatant rudeness. But also a way to dismiss any stuffiness and pretension that so often invades a wine tasting. The aim is simply to bring together like minded wine lovers, whether they blog, or tweet or are just damn nice people I have met in the course of tastings, events and so on. So ARSE5 brought together people I chat to on twitter that happen also to be Naked Wines customers, long standing friends met at tastings and on the European Wine Bloggers Conference and included people that probably haven’t met each other in person before. Tasting ability and knowledge is of course variable – some just enjoy a tipple, others are studying for their WSET exams, but bringing wine lovers together for a fun social event is the key.

Each ARSE is different, previous editions have included a meet the winemaker speed tasting for example, but each follows the same premise – the participants are invited but do not know the venue or who else is coming or what will be available to taste. For this the 5th ARSE wine tasting a meeting in Trafalgar Square was followed by a BYO tasting and a three course meal at the Angel and Crown pub in St. Martins Lane, London.

A Bring Your Own tasting brought together an eclectic and fascinating array of bottles. Some retail for £30 plus while others can be grabbed from a shelf for under a tenner.

The Wines

  • Champagne Dauby Flore Grand Cru , France – this was a delight, sourced direct from the vineyard. Lovely yeasty notes
  • Camel Valley Atlantic Dry 2010, England
  • Camel Valley Damibole Bacchus, 2011, England – loved the elderflower and lime aromas and fresh, light palate here. Single vineyard wine.
  • Maetierra White Guerrilla, Albarino, 2011, Valles de Sadacia, Spain – fun label and a decent, rounded, style of Albarino.
  • Bird on the Wire Marsanne, 2010, Australia – my fave white of the tasting. A little subdued on its own but stunning with food (chicken livers on toast on this occassion). Have just ordered a couple of bottles; only 2 as it is about £30…
  • Chateau de Meursault Premier Cru, 2002, Burgundy, France – was not showing that well, a disappointment.
  • Murrieta Capellania Reserva Bianco, 2006, Rioja, Spain – not to my taste, lean, mean and fino sherry like. Others loved it.
  • Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir, 2009, Central Otago, New Zealand
  • Alma de Tinto Mencia, 2010, Monterrei, Spain – I’m a great fan; this is afterall one of my wines from the Oddbins Bloggers Case
  • Cortes de Cima, 2009, Alentejo, Portugal – a great find from Portugal. Great flavours and excellent value.
  • Eugenio Rosi 7 Otto Nove, NV, Cabernet Franc, Vallagarina, Trentino, Italy – a superb blend of three different vintages, giving a depth of colour and flavour seldom seen in a Cab. Franc.
  • Janare Lucchero Aglianico Guardia Sanframondi, 2009, Campania, Italy
  • Torre del Falasco Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso, 2009, Veneto, Italy – loves me a bit of Valpol Ripasso and this has the depth, sweetness and rasiny qualities that make the style so attractive.
  • Chateau Guiraud, Sauternes, 1999, Bordeaux, France

All the wines for the 5th ARSE wine Tasting are listed on Adegga Andrews Really Secret Event

The People

One thing about these ARSE tastings, they always seem to degenerate into blatant silliness – such as the totally unnecessary hijaking of the organisers tablet and sending tweets in his absence. I ask you… this might require a fourth rule…


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1 Comment
  1. Thanks for inviting me Andrew, it was a really enjoyable event, and original concept too!

    A suggestion – a blind ARSE tasting would be fun sometime. A good way to remove the potential bias that comes from wanting to like what you brought (Not that I have a problem with that, but it is interesting nonetheless).

    Just one comment on the wines – I found the Valpolicella Ripasso to be slightly corked, and was therefore unable to decide if I liked it or not.


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