After the bucketsful of rain of the last few weeks the weather miraculously held and the ambling around Glynde Place with its beautiful rural, posh-life charm was unexpectedly magical.
I am not sure if the wine tasting glasses that we received when we arrived were a gift for us to take home with us – in any case little Dolly broke one of them – but the one remaining is a nice memento.
John Torode said good morning. Not sure if it’s because he reads the blog (!) or because he’s broken the mould as a nice polite Antipodean. There was a Masterchef winner there (apparently) doing tasty pork bites. A Dosa wrap van that had me going back for a naughty wallop of seconds, but there was also a goodly turnout from local producers in the wine marquee.
I had thought that I might go and listen to Stephen Skelton wax lyrical in one of the tutored tastings, but as we had come en famille that felt a bit rude, so Kirsty and I took one for the team and went to do a comprehensive tour of the tent – to check out what was on show, whilst the other halves were keeping the children occupied. [I paid for it, mind. I waited hours in the queue for the bloody face-painting afterwards.]
So we started talking to a nice Northern chap who was fronting the Bluebell Vineyard stall. His Seyval Blanc sparkling has apparently done superbly well at the recent UK Vineyard Association awards. It was fresh, but the mousse was quite explosive and too much would I think have given me wind.
Next came the well-met Breaky Bottom. It was great to chat to Peter Hall, the winemaker, who was extremely complimentary about my aftershave (and made me realise what an amateur taster I still am – true professionals would have eschewed any parfum that morning in order to keep the aromas in the glass as pure as possible).
Peter was showing a Chardonnay from 2008 which smelt for all the world of oysters and seaweed; a Seyval Blanc (which he reckoned to be in the same league as the 2006 Breaky which I bigged up in the previous post, and which Kirsty adored) and a Chardonnay-Seyal Blanc blend which was much gentler in respect of bubbles, but forgettable.
I was so taken with the bottled smell of the sea that I bought a couple of the Chardonnay.
In fact Peter’s were the only purchases of the day. The wines from Upperton vineyard were nice – the sparkling white on offer was minerally and fresh with a nose of pencil shavings. And their sparkling pink had dairy notes, but just didn’t sway me sufficiently from BB’s C.
And then, as soon as it was begun it was over. And we were back in the car – all brownied-up and story-told-out with smeared face paint and rosy cheeks.
A fun day, worth putting in the diary for foodies everywhere!