The topic of last night’s #WineChat on Twitter was Chilean wine. And they had me at Chile…
I traveled to Chile in 1999 with my then-fiancee and again in 2000, after we were married, and absolutely loved everything about the country. The people were welcoming, the landscape was incredible and the food everywhere was delicious.
On the first trip, we flew into Santiago and made our very first winery visit ever, right there in the Maipo Valley. After a few days we traveled south the Puerto Natales and also Punta Arenas, exploring glaciers and also the mountains of Torres Del Paine. We then went back closer to Santiago, and stayed in Vina Del Mar and explored Valparaiso. Everything was breathtaking. Our second Chile trip was quicker, and we stayed closer to Santiago, as it piggy-backed a trip to Buenas Aires.
Ahhhh, what wonderful vacations!! And every single time I open a bottle of Chilean wine, I am taken back to the smiling faces of the people I met in Chile. I am reminded of the crashing waves beneath my hotel room in Vina Del Mar, the fresh seafood, the gorgeous mountains, the kind translator at the winery and the trip that made me know for sure that being married to the guy who is now my husband was going to be a blast.
So, I’m sure you can tell that when the nice people at Lush Life Productions offered to send me two bottles of Chilean wine to try and consider tweeting about, I did not hesitate for a second.
Here’s what I was sent:
Matetic’s EQ Sauvignon Blanc, which retails at about $17
And Santa Rita’s Medella Real Gran Reserva 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, which retails at about $18
I wanted to enjoy the wines with food, so I asked Haley of Lush Life Productions what she would recommend. This is what she said:
“The wines vary in acidity and pick up salt nicely! Personally, with these wines, I would serve some fruit–berries, green grapes, some lighter cheeses, possibly a bleu cheese, and some dessert, think a salted caramel and dark chocolate, but those are just my suggestions.”
So I took Haley’s advice and this is the spread I came up with:
Although the Twitter chat started at 9 EST, my friend Donna and I got a head start and began pouring at 8 EST. My husband was kind enough to tuck the kids into bed and he joined us as we tasted.
First, we tried the EQ Sauvignon Blanc, which was from the San Antonio Valley of Chile.
Donna and I both thought it had a lot of citrus and honeydew flavors and also a touch of pear. It was a perfect wine for waking up our tastebuds, as we agreed it made our mouths water.
It was incredible to me how my tastebuds reacted with each different bite of food and sip of wine.
Here are a couple of my tweets on the Matetic’s EQ Sauvignon Blanc: (Remember I had to keep them at 140 characters or less)
- Okay WOAH!!! Just had a big bite of strawberry & sip of the Matetic SB… WOW! It brings a whole new flav from the wine!
- Totally food friendly! green grapes, bl chz, raspberries, seasalt caramel choc… RT@wild4wawine: Matetic EQ Sauv Blanc refreshing #WineChat
- Oh! I just had a bite of goat cheese with the Matetic Sauv Blanc… perfect combo
- I invited a friend to join me… she is now in LOVE with this Matetic EQ 2010Sauv Blanc.. and she told me she didn’t like SB…
Sipping the Matetic EQ Sauvignon Blanc with goat cheese brought a smoother flavor, but the blue cheese’s tanginess brought out a hint of tangy flavor.
When we had it with a big bite of strawberry, the wine’s flavor pepped way up and became sweeter. The green grapes brought out something else and the milk chocolate with caramel, well that just tasted decadent (as it should!)
I would definitely buy this wine and serve it. It was refreshing, and set the pace for a great evening.
We moved on to the Medella Real Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, which is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc from the Maipo Valley. We decanted it for about an hour before we poured. And even as we drank it, it still grew smoother.
Again, it was a lot of fun to drink the wine, taste the different foods and see how they played off of each other.
Here are some of my tweets on the Santa Rita Medella Real Gran Reserva 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon:
- First sniff of 2008 Santa Rita Cab is delicious!! #WineChat
- Seriously… I can’t decide if the dark chocolate almond or the raspberries or the bl chz better w/ the Santa Rita Cab!!! #WineChat -
- Medalla Real Santa Rita Cab… Not too fruity, not to earthy- lush!! Loving it w/ dark choc almonds, bl cz, raspberries #WineChat
- I totally agree RT @mariepayton: Think the 2008 Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 is a great value #WineChat
I would also buy and serve this wine again. I really enjoyed the berry flavors and how they were tempered with the spice to not become too sweet. The finish was nice, too… a great extension of the flavor.
But like I said, I am totally biased when it comes to anything Chile. I love that country and every bottle takes me back there. But isn’t that the way it is supposed to be with wine?