Wine Tasting Evening With Wine Talk @ La Bodega Lounge Bangsar

I had the opportunity to attend a wine appreciation evening out with Wine Talk’s French sommelier, David Stephan a couple of weeks back. Held at La Bodega Lounge in Bangsar Baru, it was indeed a very nice laid back evening with good food paired with great wine. Wine appreciation still seems to be a mystery for a lot of people. But with Wine Talk and with its French Sommelier, David Stephan, wine discovery becomes easier and more fun, which was exactly what we experienced that evening. 


Wine Tasting Evening With Wine Talk @ La Bodega Lounge Bangsar
Wine Tasting Evening With Wine Talk @ La Bodega Lounge Bangsar

Have you ever experienced going to an event where wines are served and you’re not really sure how to look like you’re confident with holding the wine glass? And even if you finally become confident with how you hold the wine glass, you are then faced with the challenge of drinking like a pro? Why do people swirl the glass and sniff the wine? What difference does it make? Is that a requirement or something?

Wine Talk’s French sommelier, David Stephan giving his talk and sharing on the various wines
Wine Talk’s French sommelier, David Stephan giving his talk and sharing on the various wines

It was a wonderful experience to be part of Wine Talk’s wine tasting evening exclusively for bloggers. Wine Talk’s French sommelier, David Stephan, started the evening by serving the first white wine then followed by 2 more white wines and 3 red wines. We had a total of 6 different wines from different regions and countries. All the wines we tried that night are exclusive to Wine Talk; you wouldn’t find these in supermarkets or other wine shops. 

Wine tasting like a pro
Wine tasting like a pro

Of course, any good wine tasting session must have some food to pair it with, and food we had, very nice ones at that.  Each of the five wine we had will be detailed out below, with the various dishes it was paired with. At the end of this post, I shall be sharing David Stephan's top 8 tips to appreciate and taste wine like a pro!


Wine #1: Tucumen Sauvignon Blanc from Mendoza Argentina - RM72
Wine #1: Tucumen Sauvignon Blanc from Mendoza Argentina - RM72
Pulpo a la Gallega paired with Sauvignon Blanc
Pulpo a la Gallega paired with Sauvignon Blanc

Their Sauvignon Blanc is a soft and mellow wine, with delicate floral and citrus notes; it offers a fresh and balanced acidity, with great subtle aromas of peach and lemon. This aromatic Sauvignon Blanc is excellent as an aperitif and a very good companion for seafood, fish, pastas, poultry and goat cheese.

The Sauvignon Blanc was paired with this delectable Pulpo a la Gallega dish, a plateful of Spanish octopus with potatoes, paprika and extra virgin olive oil. It did go down well with the white wine, complementing the subtle taste.

Wine #2: Monta de Paceguina 'Branco' from Alentejo, Portugal - RM90
Wine #2: Monta de Paceguina 'Branco' from Alentejo, Portugal - RM90
Gambas al Ajilo paired with Monta de Paceguina 'Branco'
Gambas al Ajilo paired with Monta de Paceguina 'Branco'

The Branco (white) cuvée is a classic blend of local varieties; it showcases a very aromatic expression of the grapes, with citrus and floral notes, combined with a great minerality and intense flavors, balanced by a great acidity.  Enjoy it with roasted prawns Al Ajillo, rich fishes or grilled white meats

We paired the wine with awesome tiger prawns sauteed in olive oil, garlic and chili. I do like this dish, as it was savoury with a very nice sweetness from the tiger prawns. Good stuff from La Bodega Lounge. 


Wine #3: Château Fontarèche Corbières ‘Tradition’ Rosé from Languedoc, France - RM70
Wine #3: Château Fontarèche Corbières ‘Tradition’ Rosé from Languedoc, France - RM70
Albondigas 'Saint Climent'
Albondigas 'Saint Climent' paired with Château Fontarèche Corbières ‘Tradition’ Rosé

This is a classic Southern France Rosé, made mostly from a very old local varietal, the Picquepoul Noir. Light grenadine pink in colour, expressive, vibrantly fresh nose with notes of wild strawberries and fruit drops. On the palate, fine balance between the fruitiness, fatness and acidity.

We had it with a bowl of Albondigas 'Saint Climent' or in layman term lamb meatballs. Succulent and tasty, I do like how the fruity flavour of the wine brought out the full taste of the meatballs. Another great pairing thought up by Wine Talk and La Bodega Lounge. 

Lion’s Lair Shiraz from Swartland, South Africa - RM
Wine #4: Lion’s Lair Shiraz from Swartland, South Africa - RM55
Arroz Negro con Calamares y Allioli paired with Lion’s Lair Shiraz
Arroz Negro con Calamares y Allioli paired with Lion’s Lair Shiraz

The Shiraz comes predominantly from vineyards with sandy-loam topsoil and well-structured subsoil, on weathered rock. This soil has good water holding capacity, providing the much-needed water during hot summers in this dry-land vineyard.  This cuvee is aged in stainless steel to keep the authenticity of the opulent, bright fruit. A beautifully elegant palate with round tannins, layered with clove spice, ripe cherries and violets. It works excellently with feast-worthy food like roasted duck, grilled meats or spicy tomato pasta.

The wine was paired with a savoury dish, the Arroz Negro con Calamares y Allioli, which came in a plate of spanish rice cooked in a paella with squid ink and squids, topped with garlic mayonnaise and tiger prawns. I must say, any grilled prawns served by La Bodega always comes out tasting great!

Wine #5: Pago De Cirsus ‘Vendimia Seleccionada’ from Navarra, Spain - RM81
Wine #5: Pago De Cirsus ‘Vendimia Seleccionada’ from Navarra, Spain - RM81
A full platter of cheese to go with Pago De Cirsus ‘Vendimia Seleccionada’
A full platter of cheese to go with Pago De Cirsus ‘Vendimia Seleccionada’

This ‘Vendimia Seleccionada’ (Selected Harvest) is made from a spread of their best low-yielding parcels, fermented partly in large oak casks and aged for 12 months in oak barrels.  It showcases an abundance of red fruits like plum aromas and ripe black berries, typical of Tempranillo, blended with scents of cocoa. The wood is fully integrated. This wine is fruity and long, with rich but smooth tannins. 

It has been a while since I last had any cheese platter close to the one we had that night. There were various types of cheese, some of which did not really tickle my fancy nor taste buds, but this is the way to fully appreciate the final wine we had that night. I preferred the sweet grapes by the side of the dish.

Hey, have some wine today!
Hey, have some wine today!

David Stephan’s TOP 8 TIPS to appreciate and taste wine like a PRO:

1. Hold the wine glass by the stem, not by its bowl. In my years of serving wines, I’ve probably seen hundreds of people holding a wine glass by the bowl. It’s not that bad but doing this exposes the wine to your fingers’ temperature. Best is to hold a wine glass by its stem. It reduces exposure of wine to heat and it also makes you look like a pro. Classy and elegant.

2. Swirl the wine in your glass, be careful not to spill. Swirling allows the wine to release aromas. Just give your glass a gentle swirl. After you’ve done this a few times, you’ll get the hang of wine glass swirling.

3. Sniff the wine. It’s totally fine to put your nose inside the glass. Learning to appreciate wine aromas is learning how to appreciate the character of the wine. Don’t panic if your friend smells something else than what you smell. Wine aromas can be completely subjective. Your friend might smell flowers while you smell fruits. It’s fine. The important thing is whether you like the aromas or not.

4. Look at the color of the wine. You can hold your glass higher to get some light. The color of the wine can tell you a lot of things about what you’re drinking or tasting. Some white wines might be lighter than others; it will roughly give you an idea about the taste. Some red wines are very dark while types like pinot noir might have lighter red color than merlot and shiraz.  

5. Sip the wine. Take note: SIP not gulp. Sipping gives you more chance to appreciate the taste. If you are willing to expand your tasting skills, you can explore inhaling air through your mouth while the wine is inside. This can be tricky but perfecting this skill can give you significant difference in appreciating wines.

6. Take note of the aftertaste. This is where you’ll notice if a wine has strong or light tannins. Tannins are most commonly present in red wine. It is the textural element that makes wine taste dry. Observe your tongue when you taste red wines, it’s that ‘dry’ feeling or taste when you swallow wine. Some grapes have higher tannins while some have lower.

7. Swirl, sniff then sip again. This will allow you to rediscover the aromas and the taste for another time.

8. Be familiar with basic wine terms. Looking and sounding like a pro need a bit of research. Some people might talk to you about nose, legs, fermentation, vintage, corked wine, acidity and other terms. Take a few minutes to read about some wine terms before you attend a gathering where wine will be served. If you’re armed with some wine knowledge, you’ll relate to what people are talking about and maybe even add some comments that make you look and sound like a pro!


Do check out Wine Club by Wine Talk soon!
Do check out Wine Club by Wine Talk soon!

If you really want to learn more about wines, it is best to keep trying more. Wine Talk has a special service where wine lovers or enthusiasts can discover more wines that will be personally handpicked by David. A person just needs to join the Wine Club, which is FREE from sign-up or membership fee, and receive 6 or 12 bottles of wines every month or 2. It’s a convenient way to enjoy wines. 

Wine Club and Wine Talk’s wine delivery service are currently available across Peninsular Malaysia. For further information, log on to http://www.winetalk.com.my or call 1300 88 97 88.

Good news for my readers! Love wine? Need to send wine as a gift or need wines for an event, gathering or party? Use my special voucher code when you shop at Wine Talk to enjoy RM50 OFF on your order of RM300 worth of normal-priced wines! Simply key-in FMYBLOG50 upon checkout!


1 comment :

  1. Ooooooo....the lamb meatballs!!!! *swoon*

    ReplyDelete

Always appreciate the comments. Thanks!

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