Ok, finally, we can talk about the main event; the wine tasting. Helena, Joe, Bryony, and I were all facted out, hungry, and extremely thirsty. The boys and girls at Hambledon had promised us a BBQ and wine tasting day, and we’d been on our vineyard and winery tours with the smell of the marinading meat lingering excruciatingly in the air. Well the time for talk was over, the glasses were polished, the corks were popped, and the Zimbabwean head of sales, Steve Lowrie, took the pride of place for any African, right next to the BBQ!
We tried Hambledon’s 3 sparkling wines. They make two white bubbles and a rosé bubbles. The two whites are available right now, the rosé will be released by the end of this year if I understood it correctly. The classic cuvee and the première cuvee were both lovely, but on the day it was the classic cuvee than won out for me. It’s slightly lighter in flavour and in the mouth than the première, which you’d expect. Given this was the hottest day of the year in the UK so far, it was this that quenched the thirst that bit better for me.
It was Braai time that the rosé came into its own. Made from a mix of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it had a really subtle, but lingering fruitness. A really elegant and fresh style of wine. Perfect for the warm summer’s day and also perfect for the chargrilled lamb, chicken, and pork that flew off Steve’s whirling BBQ tongues. Add it with a bit of spicy tomato relish and you’re in business.
I was sat there that afternoon with a few glasses of bubbles, a feast to make the eyes water, and a great set of boys and girls from the Hambledon crew. Easily one of my best days in the wine industry. Thanks so much to everyone who helped put it together for us. We felt very lucky to be there!