Friday, 8 March 2013

If you are still drinking wine in Lent read on!

Bishop Kieran sharing his knowledge of good wine
If you want to enjoy a bottle of red wine which tastes as if it costs £10 a bottle, but is only half that price, try Chateau Mont Milan 2010, a gold medal winner at the Decanter World Wine Awards. Who knows about this bargain - our Bishop Kieran! He hosted a wine tasting evening at the Holy Family, Reigate, to help swell the funds needed to complete new parish centres at Reigate and at St. Joseph's Redhill. Other great value wines included Codorniu Brut NV Spanish Cava and the slightly sparkling French white, Saint Michel Blanc Perle Gaillac.

Obviously seminary studies in Rome have an added incentive; it was there that Bishop Kieran's interest took root. He revealed he was fascinated by the many different varieties of Italian wine. He recommended trying something different from the usual popular wines, and has a dislike for "awful Pinot Grigios" by which he means the cheap ones. If you must drink it buy a decent one, but you have to pay for the quality. Other tips included opening Cabernet Sauvignon a day in advance, and not drinking wine with chocolate because of its overpowering taste.

He does not stick rigidly to the convention of red with meat and white with fish, but the tradition has sense in that red wine will obliterate the taste of the fish.

Testing their skills, participants took part in a 'blind wine tasting' which was great fun; they were challenged to identify the area of origin, e.g. north or south hemisphere etc. Gradually people were eliminated until there was a winner. He was unable to identify the wine, but decided it was reasonably local. It was indeed very local. It was revealed as Joevignon Blanc 2011 made from the grapes grown at St. Joseph's Redhill. The vines are being nursed this year by various parishioners this year, but will be returned when the new parish centre is completed.

To maintain a modicum of sobriety, and of course to aid the tasting, there was excellent bread and delicious cheese donated by Chalk Hills Bakery, owned by parishioners Rosie and Chris Robinson. Raffle prizes included a case of wine donated by PLB Group, a firm of wine importers also owned by parishioners. The proceeds from the lively event were about £400.

text Ann Lardeur. photo John Barrett

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