It was love at first sight, d'Arenberg wines and me a rainy autumn evening 3 years ago in London. Meeting up with a friend at an All Bar One I had no expectations of finding wines other than ordinary. Well, I was wrong...
When ordering my friend, who's from Oz ,suggested what we should go with the wine with the funny name – The Hermit Crab. A bit more expensive than the other ones, but I would not get disappointed. He was right.
The nose exploded with fruity flavours such as pear and apricot and then there was even some honeysuckle. I love full body wines and The Hermit Crab was just perfect. Yet again with fruit flavours but more of melon and mango. The finish being quite long with hints of spices and nuts. To compliment this great wine we had grilled swordfish salad and it was a perfect match.
My friend who had visited d'Arenberg for a testing told me a lot of about their different wines and even showed me where McLaren Vale was on the map using a mobile phone. I was hooked.
Back home in Sweden I asked at Systembolaget (Swedish alcohol monopoly) if they had any wines form d'Arenburg. Unfortunately not, but the the man I spoke to had tried them at some event and yes he thought their wines very quite spectacular.
To all my friends I talked a lot about this amazing wine called The Hermit Crab which unfortunately couldn't be found in Sweden. Back in London I tried it again and it was still very nice. At that visit in London I also tried The Laughing Magpie and dear God, another magnificent wine. An intense aroma of cherries, plums, eucalyptus and even some herbs. A palate full of blackberries, plums and oak and rather smooth finish for being a Shiraz (90%)
Again back home it could not be found at Systembolaget, but then last summer finally The Hermit Crab labelled as new arrival. I immediately bought 4 bottles and had my friends taste and they all liked it very much.
Then at work one day I was looking at a list of what we offer in our bars and restaurants onboard and they were offering The Hermit Crab, The Laughing Magpie and The Stump Jump. Yeah! Turned out they just changed the F&B Manger onboard, but nevertheless I had found a way to get hold of the the wines, to visit our ferries.
So for the last two years or so every time I visit our ferries and the restaurants and bars I speak widely about wines from d'Arenberg and tell colleagues to try them. And of course I try to buy as many bottles as possible in the onboard shop. Both The Hermit Crab and The Laughing Magpie are now possible to buy at Systembolaget as well. But The Stump Jumps both (red and white), The Galvo Garage have to be ordered. I can't undestand why. What is there not to like?
On my last visit onboard I also found The Noble Prankster which I haven't tried yet, but looking forward to very much. I'm sure it will be the perfect ending a to meal.
There are a lot of good wineries out there which offers a great range of wines, but it's rare that I get so fascinated and amazed by a winery. Everything that comes out of d'Arenberg is an excellent labour of love and so different. d’Arenberg is just what they say they are – good at the art of being different.