Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chile-d in a candy shop!

I have always preferred the new world styled wines more because they are fruit driven and suit my (read “Indian”) palate very well. Chile is my preferred choice because of the quality it offers for the price. On the 17th November 2011, I knew I was gonna be spoilt for choice with an exclusive Chilean wine tasting organised  by ProChile an arm of the Chilean Embassy at Tote on the Turf, Race course.

To begin with,Chile is known as a “Vintner’s Paradise” because of the geographical conditions it enjoys making it easy for wineries to produce quality fruit. They have the Atacama desert flanks the North, Pacific and Antartica to the west and south have their cooling effect and the snow capped Andes to the east ensures that there is enough water for irrigation. Another most important factor is that Chile is Phylloxera –free ( Phylloxera is a louse responsible for devastating vines on a grand scale in Europe and overseas) and  only few pockets in the world are such. Chile also has a very long ripening season as they have warm mornings and cool nights ensuring fruit which is rich in sugar and phenolic ripeness. Grape varietals viz: Sauvignon Blanc ,Chardonnay,Pinot Noir ,Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chile’s very own Carmenere thrive well.
Ameya my colleague (a mixologist dabbling in wines) and me reached the venue wine thirsty! It turned out as expected,  was a pleasant evening  with a very slight nip in the air soft music, wine thirsty people and good wines to taste.  The participating importers viz: Aspri spirits, Sula, Mohan brothers,Dhall foods and Sonarys had their stall set-up with their wine selections, bread ,Schott Zwiesel glasses  and thank god for the spittoons. We started going around savoring and spiting ( a wise thing to do when you are a tasting, allows you to taste all the wines!) wines from different stables,no pun intended. Rounds of Goat’s cheese balls, succulent Galouti kababs, piquant sundried tomato bruschettas, smoky ham ones really helped to keep our “spirits” down . We were really having a good time!

Had made my choices as below before they got better off me!
Cono Sur (House of Concha Y Toro ): A company  believes in organic farming and also awarded the “Green company of the year 201” by Drinks Business.

Bicycle collection Chardonnay: An unoaked styles,fresh with fair acidity. 
Bicyle collection Pinot noir: A best bet ,fruity,complex with a great finish. Also the first Pinot to be exported from Chile.
Las Vascos{From the house of Domaines Barons de Rothschild (lafite)}

Sauvignon Blanc
:  Fruity with refreshing acidity with underlying vegetal notes.

Louise Felipe Edwards
Pupilla ,Carmenere:  Fruity, medium bodied with round tannins and a hint of spice.

Montes Alpha:
Cabernet Sauvignon: A year in French oak, full, meaty with a dark fruit and nut chocolate nuance.

Time just passed as we acquainted ourselves with fellow oenophiles. We realized it was time to go as the kebabs made way for cheese cakes. I indulged J  Before I could leave I had made one thing wait for me, a luscious pink sparkling wine. It was a strawberry infused chardonnay/sauvignon blanc  wine in  a demi-sec style called Fresita. It was sublime and brilliant!  My evening had some more excitement left, I realized that I should not have suggested it to “oenophiles” the pure breed: P as it was shot down instantly. “You are suggesting us a cold drink!!! “ they said. I managed not to bother as everybody can have their own opinions but sadly most opinions are influenced by stereotypes and prices.

My answer to that

“If you like a wine,you like a wine,be it worth a diamond  or be it worth a dime”.
- Ajit Balgi



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