Appearance isn’t everything….

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

98Well I would say that wouldn’t I especially to my colleagues when I arrive at the office in my cycling lycra! But that’s not the only time I’d say it. I’ve noticed it becoming more and more relevant to wine. For example last night I opened a bottle of rosé that I bought from Majestic for my birthday party. It was a rich pink colour, bright and glossy with a clean and simple looking label. Lovely. I chose it for two reasons. 1. it reminded me of the colour I had painted my toe nails and 2. it was a ridiculously low price and I needed some plonk to go into the punch.

To my delight (well kind of..) I noticed that after the party I still had a bottle of the pink stuff left over, it cost me £3.89 and I’d been interested to know what it tasted like. Now I don’t want to sound like a wine snob, but when you bear in mind the following points you may understand my hesitation to ever buy wines under £4.00.

* Duty per 75cl bottle is £1.61
* 15% VAT
* 35% average margin for the wine shop or supermarket
* the cost of the glass bottle, the label, the screw-cap or cork
* the cost of getting the bottle from the winery to the UK
* a skinny margin for the winery
* an anorexic margin for the UK importer

Goodness that has to be the most boring list I’ve ever written but it’s an important one…. Add it all together and you can expect the liquid you actually put in your body to be worth about 30p! Crazy. That’s cheaper than a double decker!

I’d like to make one thing clear, when I was wandering around my local Majestic faced with their walls of wine it was undoubtedly the colour that lured me to pick it up in the first place, the price was a close second. So stunning was the colour of this wine that I can’t think of the right words to describe it so I’ll refer to my nail polish – Sephora’s finest – vivid fuchsia. You have to hand it to the beauty industry they have a way with words, if only the wine trade could be as imaginative! Anyway, back to the wine. So we’ve established it was a fantastic colour but what a shame that the wines other palat(t)e didn’t stand up to it. The nose was lacking any kind of aroma except that of alcohol, and it tasted like strawberry flavoured varnish. So moved was I by the taste of this wine that today I decided to write a little note on the Majestic website to help ensure others weren’t lead astray. You may not be surprised to hear that my comments have yet to be added to the page!

In fairness it’s not like I’ve been robbed, I got what I paid for. Will I buy the wine again? No. Did it make a good addition to the punch? Yes. In fact this little episode has taught me a few things. Cycling lycra or no cycling lycra appearance isn’t everything, wine can be a great colour and taste bad, and we can (oh yes) match our nail polish to our wines.

So what colour next? Since Cheryl Cole has dyed her hair a shade of plum this week I predict this will be the next ‘gotta-have-it’ colour. This weekend I’ll have a look around and see if I can find a wine that reflects this new trend, after all not everyone can carry off such a bold colour on their head, but I reckon a good few of you would be sitting pretty with it in your hand!

PS: the offending wine = La Serrana Rosé 2008, Campo de Borja, Spain

13th August, 2009

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