Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Streets of Spain Festival with Campo Viejo

I was invited to attend the Streets of Spain Festival running at the South Bank in London in conjunction with Campo Viejo wines over the Bank Holiday weekend.  The festival had stalls from La Boqueria food market in Barcelona. There were several different Masterclasses available to book into and as I was bringing Mr R with me we discussed which Masterclass we wanted. We chose the Wine Blending Masterclass.

It was already a break from the norm to have Mr R attend an event with me. We both like drinking Rioja wines and will usually chose Campo Viejo which made the prospect of attending a Masterclass with them even more exciting.

The idea of the Wine Blending Masterclass was to gain an appreciation of the process the winemaker goes through in creating a consistent bottle of wine. Most of the times the consumer isn't aware of the process that goes into the wine, they just pour into their glass and pour down their throat! I know I never thought of wine blending being such an important process.

To start our masterclass we sat down to a row in front of us of four bottles of wine from single grapes. The samples were Garnacha, Graciano, Tempranillo and French Oak Tempranillo.

Also in front of us were two rows of four wine glasses. In the first row of glasses we tried each of the bottles of wine in front of us. Each bottle was introduced to us by one of the Campo Viejo winemakers. The properties of each was outlined and then we began the process of smelling, slupring in and swallowing each grape variety.

We then were guided through three of Campo Viejo's popular blends, making them up and sampling them.

Finally we were told to experiment with blending using the four bottles in front if us and when we were happy with our blend it would be bottled for us to take home.

My first blend was ok but a bit too oakey for me (I am not a fan of very oakey wines) but you need a bit of the French Oak Tempranillo for balance.

For my second blend I took the oakiness down a fraction and increased the fruitiness up a fraction. Taste and oh how lovely! My perfect glass of red Rioja wine!! Mr R tasted mine but didn't love it just as his blend was ok but a bit too oakey for me!

The winemakers sniffed and tasted my blend and said it was lovely and well blended!

Also on at the South Bank was the Real Food Festival so there was lots going on in the area giving the whole event a wonderful community feel. The Real Food Festival is at the South Bank Centre (behind the Royal Festival Hall) every weekend Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

This was a great way to spend an afternoon and look forward to attending again next year if they have it!

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