Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Gandolfi Wine Club

Once a month Cafe Gandolfi's 'wine club' meets up to taste a supplier's selection and vote for the next 'wines of the month'. Anyone can join and membership's free. It takes place on a Monday in Gandolfi Fish and when we arrived at 6.30 last night the place was packed. No mean feat.

A guy called Guy from Chilean wine giant Concha y Toro stood up to tell us about his career so far and that he was visiting Chateau Mouton Rothschild next week. As the wines began to arrive Guy started talking us through them, with more than a smattering of company shpeel. I'll summarise:
Conco y Toro are enormous. 53% of the entire Chilean wine industry. But that's okay because it's run by a man called Adolpho who employs geese in the vineyards, loves the planet and is just simply, brilliantly, amazing.

The wines came in decent sized servings so it didn't take long for the place to start buzzing. And you get nibbly bits too.

I can now reveal the winners *drum roll*...

White of the month is the Gerwurtraminer. It reeked of lychees and was as refreshing as a mountain stream. Red of the month is the Explorer Pinot Noir. Nothing like Burgundy but good. The other Pinot Noir, Los Gansos, despite the help of geese, was rubbish.

It's also worth mentioning the Camenere, which to Guy's surprise didn't make the grade. It tasted okay initially but came alive after a bite of the miniature Pheasant Empanada. The best food and wine match of the night.

At the end of the tasting there was a true or false competition to win two bottles of wine. Three people were left in for the decider, Guy asked, "The first Chilean wines were made in 1565, this means that wine was being made in Chile before it was being made in the Medoc, true or false?". According to Guy... this was true.
Having watched that 'can you recognise them now' round on a repeat of Never Mind the Buzzcocks last week, I spotted the winner was Manda Rin, once lead singer with a band called Bis.

If generous friends aren't treating you, tickets cost £15. For two hours of sociable imbibing on a Monday evening, that's an absolute steal. It looked like a sell out too, so be sure to book.

And here's what happened when Bis headed home after drinking their prize...


  1. Why does he 'employ' geese in the vineyards?

  2. Part of their pest control regime apparently. The only pic I can find online shows about 12 of them. Given the staggering scale of the company they must have voracious appetites.