Events professionals meet for an exclusive wine tasting challenge at IWM London
Events professionals gathered at IWM London for an informal and interactive wine tasting experience focusing on the best wine to select for an event, dinner party or soiree.
To start the evening, guests took part in a sparkling wine tasting challenge to test their palates. Four wines were served, vintage Champagne, NV, an English sparkler and Prosecco. After the well-trained tasters had rated and guessed the true identity of the disguised bottles, there was an education in the specific flavour profiles of each wine and the origins of their individual quirks.
Prosecco is identified from its pale colour and light texture and fruity flavours. This sparkling wine endures its second fermentation in a barrel rather than the bottle, and therefore is a lot less yeast-heavy. This light wine is ideal to have as a welcome drink before any food is served or if you are just holding a drinks reception.
NV Champagne is still light but is very effervescent as the fermented yeast is present in the bottle unlike the Prosecco. This is a good all-rounder and popular sparkling wine as it is still light and ideal to pair with canapés.
Vintage Champagne has a much richer flavour, with notes of honey and brioche. The Champagne has been left to sleep on the lees after it is bottled for the second fermentation. This allows the yeast to complete its cycle, eventually resulting in a wine with fewer bubbles. Vintage Champagne is the best choice for pairing with a dinner as its stronger flavours can stand up to complement the food.
English wine does not use vintage grapes as the larger Champagne houses do, so its characteristics are more variable, even if it is from the same producer. With each year is a different flavour profile dependent on conditions, which makes drinking this wine a special experience.
The wine tasting challenge was held in the stunning atrium of the IWM London, with the jaw dropping exhibits floating overhead proving an excellent conversation starter.
The next session was a white wine pairing with canapés. Moscato was served as an unusual aperitif, its peachy flavours are most commonly associated with the end of a meal but it was a refreshing treat, accompanied with burrata and fontodi olive oil. Sauvignon Blanc followed with a whipped goats curd and sherry marinated beetroot. A Pinot Gris was complemented by smooth chicken liver parfait and caramelised apple jelly crostini and the final white, the Picpoul came with a real highlight - fresh and herb infused scallop ceviche.
For the next session, guests were ushered into the Tea Room, a peaceful space which boasts references to the buildings original architecture -the windows were a glimpse into the rich history of this iconic building and a lovely juxtaposition to the dramatic new atrium. Red wine was served with a carefully planned menu of tasters, Pinot Noir with smoked duck, Malbec with bresaola, rocket and parmesan rolls and the stunning St Emillino with perfectly cooked herb crusted fillet of beef.