Sunday, 14 September 2014

Wine Tasting with Waitrose Vegetarian Wine Cellar Selection

What are Bank Holiday weekends for if not to catch up with friends?  So gathering some chums together over the extended weekend, we decided to have a little wine tasting party following the kind receipt of Waitrose’s Vegetarian Wine Cellar selection.


Waitrose Vegetarian Wine Cellar Selection (Image: courtesy of Waitrose)
Waitrose Vegetarian Wine Cellar Selection at Home

Waitrose have introduced a new addition to their wine collection which features wines that are 100% vegetarian which is ideal for those observing a strict vegetarian diet/lifestyle.  The selection comprises of 6 wines – (3 white, 3 red) varying in type, strength and country of origin. 
As a group of 8 friends, trying them together, here are the overall comments we made about each one:
Waitrose Cederberg Chenin Blanc (2013) – White
It is sweet, clean with a slight acidic (but nice) aftertaste. A slightly fruity wine with hints of lemon, pleasantly fragrant, flavoursome, sharp and very palatable.
Cave de Turckheim Gewurztraminer 2012 - White
Very syrupy, perfumed and overly sweet, this was an acquired taste and perhaps the least liked from the selection.
Chateau Roquefort Roquefortissime 2012 - White
Very sharp, dry, crisp with a peachy bouquet, slightly fizzy yet flavoursome.  Easy to drink with fruity/elderflower tones, a smooth wine.
Araldica Corsini Barbaresco 2010/2011 - Red
Sweet yet bitter with a harsher aftertaste.  Not unpleasant but not as strong as is expected in a red wine, as was commented by those in the group that are regular red wine drinkers.
Stonier Pinot Noir 2011 - Red
Mixed commentary - possessed a light, smooth, fruity aroma for some, with the others commenting it was a little harsh.
Norton Winemaker’s Reserve Malbec Jujan de Cuyo 2011 - Red
A smooth, nice aroma with a strong, full bodied, fruity, warming, velvety taste.  Blackcurranty tones, voted the best red wine of the selection.  Would go well with a hearty meal such as a vegetarian moussaka.
The wines are also accompanied by a booklet which has been collated in conjunction with the team at the Waitrose Cookery School.  The booklet showcases each wine and alongside it, it has a suggested recipe for a vegetarian canapé or a dish that complements the components of the wine.  Although I didn’t make all the recipes, but to go alongside the obligatory wine party cheeseboard I had prepared,  I did make smaller versions (with the addition of some red peppers), of the Artichoke & Green Olive Puff Pastry Pies.  These worked really well with its nominated wine and everyone commented on it that it made for an excellent wine tasting canapé.  Also, they were very easy to make and would lend themselves well for other occasions  such as picnics. 
Other recipes include:  Sri Lankan Nut Curry, Spanakopitas, Endive Salad with Roquefort Pear & Sweet Mustard Dressing, Wild Mushroom Risotto, Spiced Aubergine Ragout with Herb Yoghurt & Panisse.   The booklet really helps to acquaint you with the wines and gives you ideas how to maximise your enjoyment of them.
Wines with the Artichoke & Green Olive Puff Pastry Pies
We agreed that the tasting gave a focal point to us meeting up and we enjoyed the recreational change.  Also, it gave us all a chance to try wines we may not have ordinarily done so and it has encouraged us all to be more open to new wines as it is so easy to  stay in one's comfort zone and favour those we are familiar with.
Cheese Board to accompany the Wines

The Waitrose Vegetarian Wine Cellar Selection is fabulous for hosting a party with as it contains something for all palettes and provides a totally vegetarian offering which is suitable for all guests.  I would like to see an option for the Wine Cellar Selection where you can select the wines yourself (one by one to create a 6 pack) once you have found ones that you wish to purchase again, with a recipe postcard for each wine, as is similar to the booklet.
The selection would make an ideal gift for a wine lover or would work well for a party scenario such as for Christmas.  Offering strict vegetarians a chance to enjoy a variety of quality wines , it emphasises Waitrose’s continued commitment to ensuring their vegetarian customers are catered for with the same zeal as is for other demographics.
Disclosure:   This post was written following kind receipt of wine samples from Waitrose.  It has been confirmed that their products are 100% vegetarian. This review was conducted honestly without bias and I was not required to produce a positive review. For further details of my PR policy, please see the Press, PR & Food Writing page of this website.  As with all alcoholic products, please drink responsibly and observe alcohol/age laws.  To view Waitrose's policy for alcohol awareness see:


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