I know I’m not the only who has said that “Wine tastes like vinegar.” But that all changed when I went to Wanderlust Wine Over Water Festival, a wine tasting on the River Thames.
With over 25 different varieties of wine on a swaying boat, this tasting isn’t for the faint-hearted.
You could say I learnt a thing or two from wine experts. So sit back, relax, and follow this step-by-step guide to how to go from “Ew this is vinegar” to “Oh sweet, sweet nectar”.
Step one: Start off low
A brilliant low-alcohol (11.5%) beginner is this Colombard. Priced at £9.40, it is definitely student-friendly, for those nights when you and your roommates want a cosy night in.
Colombard is not a widely known grape but it is making a comeback, kind of like the Chardonnay. The Colombard grape is the child of Chenin blanc and Gouais blanc, it is one of the oldest grapes usually grown in the Charentes region of France. Colombard grapes create a dry, vibrant, full-bodied wine with hints of citrus and a beautiful floral aroma.
When I was told about this wine by Richard from Wanderlust Wine I thought, what is full bodied? Does that mean the grape is voluptuous? Confused.com! for those who are just as baffled as I was, full-bodied means the wine is very smooth and there is a subtle creaminess to it, simple as that.
Step two: Get a little fruity
Next up is the Chardonnay, made at the same South African vineyard as the last. This easy to drink Chardonnay is vegan-friendly, which means your nights in, come guilt free! This fruity wine, priced at £10, is a total bargain and perfect for when you’re in need of a fruity kick. Chardonnay, as well as the Colombard, is full-bodied, and as mentioned before known for its fruitiness with a ripe Chardonnay holding tropical flavours like mangoes, pineapple and guava and less ripe Chardonnay will hold more acidic flavours like apples and lemons.
Did you know that Chardonnay is the most planted and diverse white grape in the world? Not only can it create a beautiful white wine but it can also be used to make a zesty Champagne.
Step three: Let’s dry it up
Make way for the famous Sauvignon Blanc. This grape makes for a lovely dry white wine, but finding one that doesn’t give you the face like you’ve just put a Toxic Waste sweet in your mouth is difficult.
Rejoice! The Caythorpe family-run estate has done just that.
At 12.5% alcohol, it is definitely a stronger wine but it remains easy to drink and goes well with creamy pasta or simply on its own. This Sauvignon Blanc is full of citrus flavours like gooseberries, and fresh herbs with a lovely creaminess. It is the priciest on the list so far at £13.25. But if you wish to buy it online through Wanderlust, they can deliver a case of six for only £69.99, dropping the price to £11.60 a bottle. So worth it.
Step four: You’re ready to get bubbly
As you slowly begin to get out of your “wine is vinegar funk”, it’s time to enjoy the sweet symphony of a bubbly brut. This brut is made from Chardonnay grapes, making it cheaper than your average champagne. But it’s just as fancy at only £16.75 a bottle. Champagne bubbles are usually quite harsh and not recommended for students with a tendency to chug, so this wine is perfect as the bubbles are a lot more mellow and easy to drink. Warning – Chugging wine is not recommended!
The amazing thing about all of these wines is they can be purchased online through Wanderlust’s website, and some can even qualify for one hour delivery straight to your home.
We took to Twitter to get the public opinion on whether ordering wine online could become a student go to rather than walking to your local shop:
Images thanks to and courtesy of Wanderlust Wine.
Words: Victoria Locke | Subbing: Ruby Naldrett