Last night I hosted a tasting which looked at eight wines and the accidents of history which gave us them. It was great fun to discuss, not just the wines, but also their stories.
First off was Gaia Ritinis Nobilis ('04, under cork), a modern twist on retsina, a style of wine which is at least three thousand years old. Light and aromatic - pine! of course - this would make a good aperitif, or else the clean pungency of the pine would very nicely contrast spicy or oily foods. But not many of the tasters liked it: I suppose it's too far out of the mainstream of modern taste. I rated it at 13/20, but I guess the consensus was more like 11/20.
Jumping forward almost the whole three thousand years, we had Wither Hills sauvignon blanc ('04, screwcap). Just about the purest, greenest, freshest expression of sauvignon I know, it is a canonical example of the World's newest Classic Wine Style. Imagine, less than thirty years ago there was no such thing as Marlborough Sauvignon. And now you can get this 15+/20 beaut from Oddbins for £8.99.
Yikes! Fishtank emergency! I'll finish this post later - come back and look again tomorrow.