Talented Bournemouth – Jolly Vintner Too

Bournemouth is filled with talented entrepreneurs, artists and musicians, honestly, there’s loads of them! Once a month Lotus Photography dedicates a blog to highlight one of these amazing people.

Who likes wine?

I’m a red wine person, but I must admit, my knowledge of red wines goes as far as to say “delicious” and “no thanks”. I had no idea about grapes, colours, wine regions, the history or even the variety of wines available.

Bournemouth has a hidden gem that can help with that. The Jolly Vinter Too is not only a fantastic wine shop, but the owner, Jim, is an expert when it comes to wines and hosts regular wine tasting evenings.

Having been in the wine trade for nearly 40 years, Jim knows his stuff. He won a scholarship through the Wine and Spirit Education Trust exam system to spend three weeks in the vineyards and wineries of Germany in 1980. He then gained his Diploma in Wines and Spirits in 1982 and even owned a restaurant for three and a half years in the mid-1990s in London. In May 2006, he opened The Jolly Vinter Too Wine Shop in Bournemouth.

Joined by Mr Lotus’ mother, we ventured off for an evening of sampling wines from the Mediterranean Islands.

When you enter the shop, you can clearly see it’s not an exaggeration when he says he stocks around 500 different wines. The shop is filled to the ceiling with wines for every occasion, as well as a selection of spirits including some very appealing whiskeys.

Excitedly we took our places as Jim introduced himself and explained that we would be blind sampling 5 red wines and 5 white wines. We were given pens and paper to make notes and an aroma wheel to help us work out what we were smelling from each wine.

The wine was poured and we had the chance to enjoy the subtle, or in some cases not so subtle, aromas before trying to work out whether we thought the wine was more citrus than floral, had woody tones, or even could be described as ‘buttery’.

After a few minutes, Jim would explain the history of the wine and how we could smell the different aromas and how to admire the colour of the wine. I finally learned what “legs” meant for wines! “Legs” is the residue that trickles down the side of any wineglass after you swirl it and are an indication of how much alcohol there is (the more “legs” the higher the alcohol).  Then it was on to the next blind wine test.

Previously I had imagined wine tastings to be a stuffy affair, something very formal with strict rules, this was the opposite. Relaxed, informal, chatty, it felt like a small party guided by Jim’s enthusiasm and knowledge (as well as a wicked sense of humour).

So, what did we try?

Castazu Vermentino 2016 (my favourite of the wine wines), Fuedo Maccari Olli Grillo 2017, Parpinello Alla Blanca 2017, Macia Batle Blanc 2015, Gaia Thalassitis Assyrtiko 2017, Macia Batle Anada 2016, San Constantino Cannonau  2016, Dom Fiumicicoli Rouge 2015, Vulka Etna Rosso 2015 and my favourite of the evening the delicious Il Passo Nerello Marscalese 2016.

I was so in love with this wine, I asked my mother-in-law to quickly buy a bottle for me whilst I took some photos. When I got back to the table she smiled innocently, she had bought the last 3 bottles of it for herself! Oh well, it’s an excuse to go back and see what new and delicious wines Jim has in stock.

Fancy attending a wine tasting? Visit The Jolly Vintners Too website for details of upcoming events, including a Champagne tasting, an evening of Malt Whiskeys, or even an evening of Gin.

You can also follow the latest events on their Facebook page.

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