The art of wine tasting and blending

It must be one of the most popular drinks in the world, but wine has been a staple tipple for hundreds of years.

I’ve always been partial to a drop and don’t consider myself a wine snob, following the mantra that “if it tastes good I’ll drink it“.

At the end of January I attended a small wine tasting evening hosted by the lovely people at Ginger & Co Coffee co, an independent coffee shop tucked behind the cobbled market square in Shrewsbury.

Presenting on the night was wine maker Tom Holt – owner of Paso-Primero. His mission, to educate us about the art of wine and wine tasting. To be honest I thought I was pretty well educated already, at least in the tasting department.

During the evening Tom explained the wine components which made up Paso Tinto. There was also the chance to blend our own wine, while at the same time listening to Tom’s backstory and how he got to where he is today.

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A selection of wines including; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tempranillo

At the start it was a simple test of our nose and palette as Tom challenged us to see if we could name the three wines in front of us. Clearly I was better at this than I thought, correctly guessing each sample. I allowed myself a smug grin.

The blending part was a little more tricky and according to Tom, needs a very scientific approach. Thankfully, the measuring beaker came in handy and I was able to craft what I considered to be a very nice drop.

It was great night and really opened my eyes to what actually goes into making a good bottle of wine.

Tom has travelled the world with a clear philosophy and passion for wine and wine making. In a way he has the dream job, but there so much more to it than just the tasting and blending.

The venue was the perfect setting and anyone who has not ventured to the stylishly up-cycled coffee shop should make it a stop the next time they’re in town.

Unlike the big name high street brands where you never know the quality of coffee you’ll get from one barista to the next, at Ginger & Co Coffee you can enjoy speciality coffee; loose leaf tea; a fresh menu and home-baked cakes.

You can find out more about Tom and his wine making exploits here.

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