For almost an year I have been part of a local wine tasting club "Brandywine Tasting". The way this works is..
- Every month members of this club get together at the house of a person/s who volunteer to host. No one does not have to cook, food can be catered or purchased.
- Another member/s volunteers to research and present a wine.
- All the members contribute an amount towards the expense of purchasing the wine that is being presented and the food that goes along with the wine.
The tasting club has been a success in other ways too. The inaugural tasting was covered by the community newspaper. The president of the club has been interviewed on local radio and we will be featured in the next issue of Delaware Today magazine. Not bad eh?
In addition word of the club has helped us get an occasional free wine tasting. And thanks are due to Canio and Christy for doing most of the legwork to keep this club going!
I have been to almost 8 tastings so far, I am not sure why I never blogged about any of them.
Oh well so here goes...
The last tasting I went to was organized by Rob (Thanks man, I know you read this space, and you did a great job making it all happen!) and was hosted at Deerfield Wines in Newark, Delaware. This was a first for us to have a tasting hosted at a wine shop. And not just any wine shop, this was easily amongst the nicest looking wine shops that I have been too. I think if you see the attached slide show on this post you might agree. Dean the manager, was a gracious and wonderful host and the food was Tapas catered by Ole Tapas Lounge. And our wine tasting always have excellent food and this was no exception. The collection of cheeses, meats and other appetizers was a huge hit!
But the highlight of the evening was the wine. The wines featured were from Chile, specifically from the Tamaya winery. And there was to be a surprise guest! When we arrived we found out that the surprise guest was none other that Juan Pablo Martin the vintner for Tamaya wines!!! He was in the region and altered his schedule just so that he could come and do the wine presentation for us!
What followed was a very educative evening about the wines that Tamaya winery featured, as well as an excellent presentation of how the microclimates of the Limari valley and the highlands in Northern Chile are conducive to wine making. There were 5 wines presented but the ones that really stood out for me were..
Sauvignon Blanc 2006 - Clean and light. Very easy on the palate, extreemly refreshing with acidity that struck just the right balance.
Pink Goat (Rose De Syrah) A lovely pink in color. Probably the best Rose that I have tasted so far. Very smooth on the palate.
This was clearly the highlight of the evening. This wine turned out to be a pleasant surprise, wine had a deep red color, a wonderful aroma of spices and berries. More importantly the tannins were easy on the tastebuds and it was just a wonderful medium bodied wine that everyone loved. I am sure Carmenere's fascinating story had something to do with it, too but for me the wine itself did the trick.
The Carménère grape has known origins in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France and was also widely planted in the Graves until the vines were struck with oidium. It is almost impossible to find Carménère wines in France today, as a Phylloxera plague in 1867 nearly destroyed all the vineyards of Europe, afflicting the Carménère grapevines in particular such that for many years the grape was presumed extinct.
Far from being extinct, in recent years the Carménère grape has been discovered to be thriving in several areas outside of France. In Chile, growers almost inadvertently preserved the grape variety during the last 150 years, due largely to its similarity to Merlot.
Thanks to Chile's minimal rainfall during the growing season and the protection of the country's natural boundaries, growers produced healthier crops of Carménère and there was no spread of phylloxera.
A similar situation occurred in Italy when, in 1990, the Ca' del Bosco Winery acquired what they thought was Cabernet Franc vines from a French nursery. The growers noticed that the grapes were different from the traditional Cabernet Franc both in color and taste. They also noticed that the vines ripened earlier than Cabernet Franc would have.
In return for hosting the tasting, we were expected to buy at least a bottle of wine from the store. And it was not a surprise that pretty much everyone bought the wines that were presented that evening. Actually the Carmere sold out!! I think the store must have sold at least a 1000$ worth of wine after the presentation.
If you want to know more about Tamaya wines, here is a link.
All in all an excellent evening and time well spent I thought. There is a slide show of the evening for those of you interested, there is also a caption on each picture. Hover over the slide show to see each one and click on the little note icon on the menu at the bottom to turn on the captions for each slide, also have buttons to control the slide show.
Made with Slideshow Embed Tool
For those of you unable to view the slide show....
Juan Pablo Martin, the wine maker for Tamaya wines, Chile.
Excellent Tapas, catered by Deerfield wines from Ole' Tapas Lounge, Newark, DE. The Prosciutto and dips were yum!
Excellent Tapas, catered by Deerfield wines from Ole' Tapas Lounge, Newark, DE. -2
Some of the Tamaya wines we tasted for the evening.
Tamaya Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah - Reserve
The refreshing Sauvignon Blanc and the pleasant Rose de Syrah
Dude's having a blast!
A most excellent presentation!
Juan Pablo Martin (J P Martin) the winemaker of Tamaya wines flew down from Chile and changed his schedule so he could do a presentation for the club
Wines signed by the wine maker!
Folks completely taken by the presentation!
Wine, food, great company make for excellent conversations!
All eyes and ears!
Canio..that is a great pic man!
The food is always good at our wine tastings!
Alex Rivera, local expert in Chilean wines
Can I have some more of that please?
I would like to thank Canio for letting me use some of the pictures he took for this post. And if any of you local folks want to be a part of the Brandywine Tasting Club, send an e-mail to : brandywinetasting at live.com. Also check out our website at http://www.brandywinetasting.com/ We always welcome new members.