Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Best Pairing for BBQ: A Trio of Calcu Wines

We are in the middle of a fantastic summer, and most of you are for sure enjoying the nice weather outdoors, and firing up your BBQ!  And of course, drinking plenty of beer. But wine can also be a wonderful match to all of these delicious grilled veggies and meats you normally prepare and serve to your family and friends.
Something like this wonderful trio of Calcu wines from Colchagua, Chile. A line up handcrafted by winemaker Rodrigo Romero,  who aims to create wines that are elegant, fruit forward and for everyday drinking. Many thanks to Global Vineyards for sending this fine set of samples.

Calcu Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc/ Semillon 2021, $12.99
This refreshing light bodied white is made from a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc with 30% Semillon, reminiscent of Bordeaux whites. It was completely fermented in stainless steel to preserve fruit purity. On the nose, typical Sauvignon Blanc notes: pink grapefruit, green pepper, citrus and a touch of mango. Nice, crisp acidity gives away to a very focused finish.
Serve this with veggie kebabs, corn on the cob, grilled eggplant, zucchini or sweet vidalia onions. It will be great with your veggie burger too! But also with light seafood fare such as grilled scallops, shrimp or  lemon-herb mahi mahi and an ideal match to all your summer salads.

Calcu Gran Reserva Rosé Malbec 2021, $12.99
A delicious blend of 75% Malbec and 25% Petit Verdot, completely fermented in stainless steel,  this is not a sissy rosé, but a rosé with substance and personality. On the nose, plenty of raspberry and strawberry notes, complemented by spicy ginger. It’s also medium- bodied, with lively acidity and a refined and flavorful finish. Serve this with mesquite chicken breasts, hickory smoked drumsticks, pineapple and cilantro grilled tuna or savory portobello mushrooms.

Calcu Gran Reserva Carménère 2019, $13.99
This full-bodied red is made from 100% Carménère grapes, picked by hand. It was completely fermented in stainless steel, with malolactic fermentation, followed by aging for 12 months in French oak. This intense and chewy red features black cherry and black plum notes, mixed with herbal garrigue aromas such as rosemary and thyme. Firm tannins give structure and build up the earthy and textured finish. This savory red screams for beef, like juicy skirt steak with chimichurri sauce, southern style brisket, hamburgers but also another of my favorites: lamb koftas, don’t forget to add plenty of tahini sauce on top.

So, what are you waiting for? Life and Summer are short so go enjoy them! Cheers, Silvina.

#thoughtsoflawina #bbqwines #calcuwine #drinkchile #WineWednesday #drinkupamerica

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Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Ideal for Summer: Wine in a Can!

What to drink when you are at the beach or at a picnic?  Wine in a Can.
Please, don’t roll your eyes at me! Just because the wine is sold in a can, doesn’t mean it is not good, especially the ones I’m recommending in this post, some of which are also sold in bottles all year around.  
When I asked Bartholomew Broadbent about his decision to sell his Vinho Verde wines in a can, he replied “Yes, I am a traditionalist. I like quality, I’ve grown up drinking the finest wines in the world, yet cans can deliver quality as well as any other container.  I am all about wine being a drink first and the most important thing is to increase accessibility to wine, creating new markets, attracting new consumers. Wine can be fun. You can have great wine in any container.” He also revealed that he found two obstacles on his path to make this possible, the first one was that there weren’t any facilities to can wine in Portugal, and the second one was that the Vinho Verde DOC didn’t include can as a container in their original regulations, probably created before cans were even invented!  This why he chose to labeled them as Spritzy.

Of course, not every single wine can be sold in a can, I doubt any producer would bottle a Grand Cru Burgundy or a Barolo in a can, or any wine designed to be cellared for a long time, but cans can be used when dealing with most wines, mostly because 90% of all wine sold these days, is designed to be consumed right away, the minute you walk out of your favorite store. I’m talking about your refreshing whites, sparkling bubblies, juicy rosés and fruity reds.  Cans are also very convenient, a can is not only lighter and more portable than your regular 750 ml bottle, it chills probably faster too, plus it also allows you to have individual/ smaller servings, good when you don’t want to drink a full bottle on your own. 
Personally, I agree with Bartholomew, that canned wines can be a great first step for those new to wine, allowing them to test drive a few, without breaking the bank, a very creative way to attract millennials to wine. Plus, wine in a can is ideal for summer and for the many outdoor activities you enjoy like sailing on a boat, watching a live baseball or soccer game, barbecues with family and friends, camping adventures and so much more, the possibilities are endless.
My Recommendations: Many thanks to Broadbent Selections, Le Petite Verre and Kobrand Wines and Spirits for supplying this bounty of samples to me.
*Le Petit Verre Bubbly Rosé, $13 for a 4 pack (each can contains 250 ml of wine)
This bubbly is completely made from organic grown fruit from the Tupungato Valley, a high altitude subzone of the well known Uco Valley in Mendoza. Though the can doesn't have a vintage date on its label, this wine was made with fruit from the 2021 harvest and is a blend of 50% Pinot Noir, 30% Syrah, 10% Pinot Gris and 10% Viognier.  This is a delicious and uncomplicated sparkler, it features strawberry and ripe peach combined with blood orange notes. The winery also offers a Malbec still wine sold in a can too.

*Broadbent Spritzy White and Rosé, $15.99 for a pack of 4 (each can contains 250 ml of wine).
Easy to identify by the red flower logo that Bartholomew’s niece drew when she was only 4 years old, the white spritzy is a blend of 50% Loureiro, 40% Trajadura and 10% Pederna grapes sourced from the commune of Barcelos in the very heart of the Vinho Verde appellation. It features refreshing citrus: lemon-lime and grapefruit notes. The Rosé, on the other hand, features a blend of different grapes, including 40% Borracal, 30% Espadeiro, 20% Amaral and 10% Vinhaoa and it delivers aromas of ripe raspberry, white cherry and tangerine zest. No malolactic fermentation was allowed, preserving both the freshness and tartness of these two wines, he added the right amount of CO2 to give them their typical spritz.
*Badenhorst Curator White and Rosé from Swartland, South Africa. $15.99 for a pack of 4 (each can contains 250 ml of wine). 
All Curator wines are made with fruit from Adi Badenhorst’s biologically, dry- farmed vineyards. The White is a blend of 56% Chenin Blanc, 22% Chardonnay, 19 % Viognier, 2% Colombard and 1% Roussanne. It shows refreshing and juicy pineapple, candied lemon with honey notes. The Rosé is made from 100% Cinsault, almost emulating a Provence Rosé and it features wild strawberry and sweet watermelon notes. This producer also offers an easy to drink red blend in a can, too.
*Finally and ending on a sweet note, Tutto Mio Rosso Dolce, from Emilia Romagna, Italy. $16.99 for a pack of 4 (each can contains 250 ml of wine). 
This sparkling red is similar in texture like a Brachetto d'Acqui, or sweet Lambrusco.  It’s fruity and  sweet, oozing black cherry and candied strawberry with zippy acidity. It is also light in body with only 7.5% alcohol. Drink it chilled on its own or use it to make sangria or other summer cocktails.
My advice to all of you, now that summer is in full swing, leave the beer cans aside for 5 minutes and explore some of these, you will be pleasantly surprised! Until next one, drink up wine America!, Cheers! Silvina.

#thoughtsoflawina #wineinacan #canwines #WineWednesday #drinkupamerica