Currently a wine consultant and the founder of RT Wine Solutions, Nick Room spent close to 30 years at Waitrose, helping the supermarket expand its range of wines from all across the globe. During that time, Room specialised in wines from Spain and Portugal – and in particular, sweet and fortified wines from both countries. This is where his expertise came into play at the most recent Northern Hemisphere wine judging for the IWSC.
Room tasted his way through a range of Sherries and Port wines, and was hugely impressed with what was on show. Now that the IWSC has announced its medal-winning wines, Room has been able to learn exactly which ones he scored most highly – and was unsurprised to see one Port in particular making it into his top 12 list. ‘The Kopke 1957 has a special place in my heart (something to do with my birthday), but emotion apart, it’s a fabulous wine and one I have enjoyed with friends in the recent past,’ said Room.
Looking at the Ports he tasted in more detail, Room said: ‘Sogevinus came out well across the board, but it’s good to see smaller businesses thriving, like Quinta dos Muros from Quinta do Portal.’ According to tasting notes, the wine showed delicious blue fruits and violets on the nose, cherry, sweet liquorice and cigar box on the palate, with great potential for ageing.
Finally, if you’re looking for a celebration wine, Room offered this suggestion: ‘Toast with Alegria [Williams & Humbert, Alegria Manzanilla Superior NV] – a perennial favourite that’s so easy to drink it’s almost dangerous.’
Read on to see Nick Room’s favourite fortified wines from the IWSC’s 2021 Northern Hemisphere tasting.