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Thursday Night Club - 25th March - The Naked Chef

A rather racy theme for this week’s wine club I must admit, perhaps in future the theme should be decided at the start of the evening, not at the end?! Nonetheless, the majority of people wisely interpreted it as low or no intervention wines. In hindsight that would have been a more obvious choice.

I went with the more literal translation. Were I forced to cook naked, what would I cook and therefore what wine would I pair with it? Clearly I needed to avoid anything that boiled, bubbled or spat, so I went with sushi, and to pair with it I selected an utterly delectable, and rare bone dry white Chinon from the Loire Valley (just for clarification this was a theoretical exercise, I remained fully clothed at all times). The Domaine de la Noblaie ‘Chante le Vent’ 2019 Chinon Blanc, has an incredibly intense palate of baked apples, acacia blossom, sweet brown spice and a hint of savoury lanolin. It is textured and concentrated yet the pure, vibrant acidity really drives through the long finish making it mouth-watering and utterly moreish. This really is a delicious and exciting example of dry Chenin Blanc, and incredible value for money, I will definitely be buying more. The Wine Society £12.95

Next up was the aptly named ‘Belle Naturelle’ Gruner Veltliner 2018, Kamptal, Austria. The wine is ‘unadorned’, unfined and unfiltered and spent two weeks on the skins giving intensity of flavour and texture. The wine is fresh and delicate with stone fruit, citrus and honey blossom as well as a hint of Sharon fruit (after much discussion it was agreed this is the same as a persimmon). Forest Wines £25

Next we combined the two, naked oysters (no lemon or vinegar) and a vegan, unfiltered, natural Vinho Verde, the Niepoort Nat Cool Branco 2018, Portugal. Usually trying to sneak two wines into TNC this time they compromised and presented only one bottle but it is a litre bottle. This should keep them happy! A deliciously refreshing 11.5% abv, it is showing citrus, apple and lime with some effervescent. It has more body than they expected. There is a hint of cider to it, suggesting they should have drunk it 9 months ago when they bought it, though it is tasting nonetheless. The new vintage in indeed for sale. Philglas & Swiggot £21.95

Next up we have the stunning Bruno Clair Marsannay Blanc 2015, Burgundy. This he declared to be the best wine he has had since TNC started, which considering we have been going for a year now, and he has sampled a few fairly special bottles, we all sat up and took notice. Intense fruit with apples and manuka honey, long, fresh, concentrated with just a hint of maturity. Our Glass £27

Having been indulging in a fortified Banyuls last week, the theme for this week had not stayed in the memory bank! Tonight he is drinking the Blind Sport Carignan 2020, Langhorne Creek, Australia. Showing black cherry and raspberry yogurt, a deep purple colour and light tannins, it is an utterly smashable wine. He had it with pork spare ribs and it hit the spot, he would certainly have it again. The Wine Society £9.95

A good interpretation of the theme came next, with a wine sourced from Naked Wines, which, as members makes them Naked Angels. This is the Lacaze Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Central Valley, Chile and it is delicious; leathery and rich with chocolate, figs and every berry you might care to mention. It has a lovely long finish, and they are more than happy drinking it on its own, but it would be a good match with food too. (clothed) BBQ season is nearly upon us after all. Naked Wines £17.99, discounted to £10.99 if you are an Angel.

This one particularly tickled me; granny used to cook in just a bra and an apron, nothing to do with the wine, and a cooking trait that hasn’t been passed down through the generations, but a highly entertaining memory nonetheless. They are drinking the Erich Meier Pinot Noir Classic 2020, Zurich. It shows bright cherry and strawberry with a good acidity and a light, crisp, mineral driven palate. It is a really fresh, pretty style of wine. 22 swiss francs.

Perplexed by the theme having only received it today, she decided to go with the low intervention interpretation! The Kiss St Laurent, ‘Trift’ 2012, Burgenland, Austria is usually a grape you see in a blend. It is a inky, deep purple, and having expected it to be lighter in style was surprised by the richness. Rich crunchy berry fruit with a savoury hint on the nose, it has a nice structure while still being fresh and easy to drink. Like a Pinot Noir on steroids, it is heavier and fruiter but maintains its freshness and crunchiness – a lovely surprise. The Salusbury Wine Store £20

This wine is as naked as they come, it hasn’t yet been released and has no name and no label. It is a Piquette style of wine which is a low alcohol wine made from the second pressing of the grape skins, water is added and it is bottled under crown cap before the fermentation has finished giving it a touch of fizz. It has 6% abv and is more in the style of a wine spritzer. In some countries this cannot be called wine at all. This example is made by a UK producer and is made from Pinot Noir skins where water is added to soak, then it is pressed again into barrel before going into bottle prior to fermentation finishing. It is bone dry, with some tannin grip and a grapey flavour. The jury is out!

He was going to try and come up with a clever naked link, but in truth has just been at a masterclass with Champagne Deutz so decided to share the Deutz Classic Brut NV with us. It is a delicious champagne, well made with a fresh, elegant and pure fruit profile. It is based on the 2017 vintage and only has a small amount of reserve wines and no oak influence helping prioritise the fruit purity on the palate. The Wine Society £44

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