Monday, 4 July 2016

Propping Up the Bar #4 Girls Afternoon at The Grape Escape

Back in February, I suggested a girls’ day out. After looking through our diaries for a Saturday the three of us could do, we finally found a date in June. We knew our afternoon would involve a spot of wine tasting and lunch at The Grape Escape, we just had to wait for quarter of the year to pass first.  

Now, let me tell you a little bit about me and wine…
I like it. I only drink white wine. Hate red. Not a fan of rosé but will drink it if I must. I know nothing about regions or grapes. I love dessert wine. If I find a wine I like, I remember what type it is and stay loyal to it for ever more. So far, this has included Chablis, viognier and Riesling. This is as far as my wine knowledge goes. Oh, and I also know I tend to have expensive taste.

Whether your wine knowledge is rather lacking like mine or you’re a complete wine buff, The Grape Escape is a fantastic experience. It has a really relaxed environment, and it’s all about having fun. You won’t find stuffy staff or customers for that matter, and there’s no baffling wine terminology banded about. They offer a few different tasting options, or you can simply buy wine by the glass/bottle. We opted to try their wine flights. This enables you to try - blindly if you like - either five red wines or five whites.

Mum had a flight of red wine, Charlotte and I white. Ant, who owns the place, suggested smelling and tasting all of the wines first-off without trying to match them to the wine descriptions on the menu. This gave us all an idea of the ones we liked the best – or not at all. Then on the second round of tasting, we started to try and pick out the flavours and guessing which ones were which.

Charlotte and I thought we might be able to agree on a favourite to make sharing a bottle easier in the future, but we had no such luck. But it was fun to compare tasting notes with each other and have a bit of sisterly competition to see who could get the most right. Whilst we were scribbling down our guesses, Mum was getting all frustrated and just wanted to know what she was drinking. What a party pooper! So Ant came to the rescue and Mum – now in the know - supped away happily.

I am sad to say that I lost the tasting competition, only getting half a point, but Charlotte got three out of five! I was shocked to find out that the wine I disliked was actually the most expensive (not like me at all), and this time, my favourite was the Domaine Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris 2014, Alsace, France – so there’s another name I’ll have to remember.

Along with the flights, we also ordered a few items from their grazing menu: Goat’s Cheese with Strawberry Conserve, Cheese Trio with Nuts and Dried Fruit, Selection of Italian Meats with Pickles and Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Farmhouse Deli Traditional Pork Pie with Pickle. It was all fabulous – especially the pork pie and the blue cheese which was so mild and creamy. I noticed on the menu they have a Retro snack of the week, which happened to be Salt & Vinegar Squares – how cool!

I have a feeling my wine knowledge will be increasing thanks to The Grape Escape, plus they switch up their wines by the glass every week, which is a great excuse to visit often!  

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