Today we are at sea, but it is not going to be a relaxing day, not as much relaxing as usual. To start with we have the wine and cheese tasting I won in the Crew Welfare Fund Auction followed by a progressive dinner, more on that later.
At about 11am we were met by Gerry, the Cellar Master, and her husband Anatoly, one of the senior F&B Managers on-board, at reception and then off to the bakery.
As the tasting was for 6, I had to find some willing participants, that was not hard! For those who are worried about travelling alone, Regent goes out of its way to make sure that you are not alone.
On this trip I did not attend any of the Solo Traveller events, as a couple I had met on my first cruise, Kathi and Don were on the same cruise, and we became fast friends, within the first day or so, with Jane, James and Shaun.
Gerry and her team did a great job of setting up the bakery for the tasting, including fresh bread and cheese to accompany the wine. which were personally selected by Gerry.
We were even welcomed by the head baker as he was preparing for lunch, he had everything organised, so we did not impact the supply of bread for lunch, otherwise we would have been the most hated onboard because the rest of the passengers would have had no bread sticks to have with lunch 🙂
First wine up was a 2007 La Moynerie Pouilly Fume, which is made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes. I am not a big fan of Sauvignon Blanc, but this was a nice wine to start with and is a wine that would be good to enjoy on a warm afternoon.
Liked the bright colours of the whites we tasted.
The second wine, we have had a few times and, whilst I am not a big fan of chardonnay, I do like the Pouily Fusse from Laboure Roi, another quaffing wine for a warm day
Gerry provided us with an education on Pouilly Fume and Pouilly Fusse, the former being made from Sauvignon Blanc and the later being made from chardonnay. She also taught us about AOC, Appellation d’origine contrôlée, which is responsible for the enforcement of a French law on viticultural designations of origin. This is the same mob who were responsible for the lobbying to prevent other regions / countries from using terms like Champagne and Hermitage to label wines. France is not the only country who have this sort of organisation to manage the labeling of wine and other locally grown / produced products.
After the whites it was time for the reds!!!
First up was a bottle of 2001 Chateau Coudert, Saint Emilon Grand Cru. Gerry explained how St Emilion wine quality is classified, Grand Cru is the second tier, Premier Grand Cru being the highest quality. We all enjoyed the wine and we discussed the need to include food as a part of the tasting of wine, and the types of food and wine that compliment each other.
Next up was an Italian wine, a 2006 Badia a Passignano, Chianti Classico DOCG.
Whilst we were tasting the wine, Gerry informed us about DOCG, Denominazione di origine controllata, the Italian body responsible for quality assurance of wine and cheese, similar to the French AOC. DOCG ensures the origin of the wine. One major difference between the French and Italian bodies is that the Italian body tests the wine, before it is bottled, to confirm the origin of the wine.
I liked the Chianti, will be keeping my eye out for it.
The final wine of the tasting was my favourite, a 2007 Banfi SummuS.
Gerry had this decanted, allowing it to breathe. When tasted with the cheese all of the various flavours were evident, wanted to have more of this wine, probably with a steak, but unfortunately it was not for sale on-board.
We really enjoyed the tasting, Gerry really put a lot of effort into arranging this and it showed. What a great way to enjoy a day at sea, or anywhere 🙂
As we were finishing up, Arthur, the Sommelier from Prime 7 , decided to check in on us. He always goes out of his way to make sure dinner in Prime 7 is always an event, more than a meal.
This event is another reason why the Regent experience is unlike any other and worth it!
Time to relax and get ready for the next event of the day, after lunch of course, a cigar and drink followed by the progressive dinner.