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May 27, 2014 / mintcustard

Waitrose wine cellar – finding new wines and new friends.


What's in the box?

What’s in the box?

Occasionally, as a result of writing at Mintcustard, I am invited to an event. As a food blogger they are usually to launch a new ingredient or food gadget.

Imagine my joy then to be invited to a wine event. Whilst I cannot pretend to be an expert in the art of wine tasting I am an enthusiastic consumer! Waitrose has launched a new online wine service at With over 1200 interesting and exclusive wines available online, and a website that aims to be interactive and  a wine lovers community as it is a place to share ideas and tips. I and my fellow bloggers were given a helping hand to taste and understand many different wines available though the website during the course of the evening, guided expertly by either Xenia Irwin or Stephane Sanchez.

Rosie and Jim!

Rosie and Jim!


Having found our way to the London Canal Museum in Kings Cross we chatted and caught up with each other. Divided into two groups we set off along the Regents Canal in two beautiful narrow boats.

A lovely view and a lovely evening.

A lovely view and a lovely evening.

Xenia’s team were very restrained and tried only a few of the wines on their hour long cruise We, under the expert tutelage of Stephane managed 12 different wines AND a sherry. Delicious they were too. So many new flavours and wines to get to know in just an hour, but we tried!  Who ever thought that combining women, wine and a canal on a hot evening was a good idea…… Getting off the narrow boat was fun to watch though.

Just a few of the bottles that we opened.

Just a few of the bottles that we opened.


After finding our feet again we put our new found knowledge to the test as we quizzed each other during a session of speed wining (asking questions about wine and food preferences – not a whinge fest!!!) Armed with the answers to our questions we set about choosing a wine for each member of the team, as well as putting a plea in fora bottle of the wine we preferred most. How well did we do? Did we match the wines to the personalities of our fellow bloggers?

Prosecco time.

Prosecco time.

Hopefully we did. From the look of the bottles that arrived at Mintcustard Mansions after the event, I think so. Mostly white wine, a  bully of a red wine and a wine that is completely new to me. Since I mentioned the Albarino on Twitter I have had so many positive tweets about it. Saving that bottle for a sunny day in the summer holidays so I can savour it properly.

In the box was ...

In the box was …

In the box was …..

Waitrose Prosecco, ideal paired with smoked salmon blinis, canapés and sushi

Catena Malbec, ideal paired with steak, spiced aubergine and sweet potato ragout

St Michael-Eppan Pinot Grigio ideal paired with a glass and sunshine!

Cave de Lugny sparking burgundy, ideal paired with fish and chips, lobster and seafood.

Palacio de Fefinanes Albarino, ideal paired with (not sure I’ll let you know!)

Le Grand Ballon Sauvignon Blanc, ideal paired with moules marinere and seafood.


Keep your eyes open for a few more posts in the future as I try the wines, don’t worry, I’ll take one for the team! I’ll be cooking and baking and matching the recipes to the foods as I go. Occasionally I will just open the bottle and have a glass.

I’d like to thank Waitrose Cellar for a fabulous evening fuelled by wine and laughter in equal measure. I was not paid for this post and these opinions are entirely my own. I was sent a six bottle case of wines chosen by my fellow bloggers to taste and try at home.



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