About Matt.mmwine

Sommelier, wine writer, and overall Motor Mouth, I appear on various TV shows, host local wine events, and write about wine, food, cocktails, family & more!
Website: http://agoodtimewithwine.com
Matt.mmwine has written 194 articles so far, you can find them below.

About Matt.mmwine

Sommelier, wine writer, and overall Motor Mouth, I appear on various TV shows, host local wine events, and write about wine, food, cocktails, family & more!

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Here are my most recent posts

Santa Carolina Reserva de Familia 2007 Carmenere video wine review

Santa Carolina 2007 Reserva de Familia Carmenere from Matthew Scott on Vimeo.

As you may have read in earlier posts like the Los Vascos Reserva review, I was given the pleasure to participate a blogger event put on by the PR folks from the Wines of Chile back in May. Several bloggers participated in a video conference between eight wine makers in Chile and the PR folks, moderated by Michael Green, Wine & Spirits consultant for Gourmet magazine. In this fourth installment of my Wines of Chile video conference writeup, we talk about a great red wine made with the Carmenere grape.

While originally from the Medoc region of Bordeaux, the grape is rarely found there any longer. Instead, most Carmenere comes from Chile, and it’s their 3rd most planted red grape, behind Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. I love carmenere, a typically earthy and peppery red wine that when done right, is great alone or with food. I pair Carmenere with a nice grilled steak, but it’ll go well with a variety of roasted and grilled meats.

I’ve mentioned the value wines I see coming from Chile many times, and believe the Santa Carolina Reserva de Familia 2007 Carmenere is worth every bit of its $15 SRP. Made with 100% carmenere, the wine, considered in their “Gran Reserva” range, is aged at least 10 months in oak barrels, mostly new. Additionally, the wines age in the bottle at least 4 months, which the wine maker believes helps “ensure the evolution of the complex aromas and flavours”.  Adding some punch to this $15 wine is the 91 point rating it received from Wine Enthusiast Magazine in the May 2009 issue. The one thing I was not able to verify is that while they are “Carbon Neutral” with their delivery, I can not confirm if Santa Carolina makes organic wines or not. Unlike the Cono Sur wines, it did not list Organically Farmed on the bottle.

Now, I’ve had Santa Carolina wines before, and my first impression was they were overly oaked and not to my palate. You’ll see in the video that while I may have thought this when I originally tasted the wine, the second tasting the next night completely changed my opinion.  Watch the video, and let me know what you think. Not just of the video, but of Carmenere, wines from Chile, or Santa Carolina Wines.

Wine and Wings

It’s common knowledge that buffalo wings and beer go well together. They’re a staple in nearly every sports bar in America. What you may not know is the right wine will pair perfectly with hot wings, allowing you to enjoy your next Superbowl party with wine, instead of brews. A well structured, semi sweet wine, such as a Washington or a German Riesling, cuts the heat in spicy food nicely. And while it’s no secret that I’ve been talking about hot foods with Dr Loosen Dr L Riesling a lot recently, I haven’t shared with you my Grilled Hot Wings recipe to make that food and wine pairing awesome.

Grilling at the Lake

Grilling at the Lake

During our lake house vacation this year, we decided to fire up the grills and make some snacks for an early afternoon meal. We had to feed the 15 people with us, and had one grill with oysters on it, another with ribs, and two with my hot buffalo wings. Most everyone has had wings that are fried, and a few of you health conscious wing lovers have had them baked, but you haven’t enjoyed them until you’ve had them grilled. It takes a good hour toiling over hot coals to make this spicy snack, but they absolutely rock, and your guests will thank you for taking the time for them.

This recipe takes about 15 minutes of prep time, between mixing the ingredients below, washing and cutting the wings, and pouring a glass of wine while you get to cooking. You’ll end up cooking the wings for about 50 minutes, give or take 15, and it’s hands on the whole time. First, you’ll want to get your ingredients together

  • 3 pounds of chicken wings – you can separate at the joints or just buy drummetts
  • 1 1/2 cup hot sauce (12 oz) – Louisiana style. I used “Cristal” last time, and Louisiana before
  • 1 cup of Cola soda (8 oz)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (little less if you don’t want the heat as rockin!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

I experimented with 4 or 5 different ratios of hot sauce to cola before I was happy. You’ll find your “sweet spot” with the mixture and people will RAVE about the wings.  Additionally, I double the sauce recipe because it does reduce down, and I like to make sure the wings are submerged for their time in the sauce.

Grilled Hot Wings

Grilled Hot Wings

Preheat your grill to a medium heat. I always cook these wings over direct heat, but you may want to set it up indirect.

Using a large dutch oven or sauce pot, mix the ingredients, adding the chicken last. Place the pot to the back corner of the grill and allow the sauce to simmer.

Add wings and let them sit in the simmering sauce for approximately 8-10 minutes. Then using tongs like in the picture, take them out and grill them for 5-8 minutes. turning mid way to avoid burning.  Return the wings to the simmering sauce, which will be reducing and thickening, and allow them to simmer again for 8-10 minutes. Repeat this process 4-6 times until the wings are done. Approximately 50 minutes in all. I usually finish the last 5 minutes in the sauce, to leave them “sloppy”. However, you can finish them on the grill for dry wings. (edit note, my family now prefers them dry, and the past two times I finished them on the grill and they were awesome!)

A few edit notes – it’s an active recipe, so you really want to watch them cook.  The first time on the grill, you will likely get a char on the wings. Just be sure not to burn them. Most people, even my 10 yr old son, prefer the chared ones, they have a nice flavor.  Also you CAN do the wings in the oven, if you cant grill. Just heat the oven to 350, and simmer the sauce on the stove top, going from oven to pot the same as you would the grill. You wont get the charred and grilled flavors, but they still rock!

You should test a wing before you take them off, making sure it’s cooked through, pulls off the bone easily, and if you use a meat thermometer, the temp should be about 170 degrees. Additionally, the USDA says the thighs and wings of poultry should be cooked “until the juices run clear.”  I did make these in the oven once, using two cookie sheets in a 350 degree oven while i had the sauce on the burner. It works just as well as the grill, though the taste is a little different, and your stove may get messy!

Grilled Hot Wings

Grilled Hot Wings

Now, I know this is a wine blog, so why the recipe? Well, as you read before, I’m all about Rieslings with spicy food. When @DolceDebbie and I did the Cabot cheese event, she created these KILLER Habanero Shortbreads using Cabot Hot Habanero Cheese, which I paired with the Dr L Riesling. The sweetness, or the Residual Sugar (RS), helps offset the heat from the food, and really brings out nice, ripe fruit. When we served this at the lake house, we opted for Chateau Ste Michelle 2008 Columbia Valley Riesling which is a nice, value driven wine for this dish. Both Dr Loosen and Chateau Ste Michelle have Riesling in the $10-12 range, which go perfectly with this recipe.  Dr Loosen and Chateau Ste Michelle have a joint venture, Eroica Riesling, which, while a little bit more expensive at around $20, worked just as nicely. The Eroica was rated 91 points by by Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate, and is a great option for a “Grocery Store Wine” if you prefer sweeter, fruit driven whites.

Let me know what you think of the wings. And of course, give the wines I mentioned a try, and let me know what you think of them alone, as well as paired with this dish. I’m confident you’ll enjoy as much as we did!

An introduction to Finger Lake, NY Riesling

I’ve been drinking wine a long time. I’m from New York. Given those two statements, you’d think I’d be a well versed champion of Finger Lakes wines like  Lenn Thompson. I’m going to say right now, up until this week, I had never tasted a wine from the NY state. I hereby apologize for that, and am quite grateful for the opportunity to try some very interesting wines from my home state.  I was selected as one of a few wine bloggers to receive samples of 12 wines from the Finger Lakes area of New York. Lenn decided to select all Finger Lakes Rieslings, given the heat of summer and his desire to cool us off. With the help of Morgen McLaughlin from Finger Lakes Wine Country, our samples arrived and we were off to the tastings.

I invited a few friends over to taste and discuss the wines we were about to receive, the salesman with the wine distributor that Zsazsa and Company, Inc uses in South Florida, along with his girlfriend, as well as three of the four @Swirlgirls, the wine bloggers for the Palm Beach Post.  We had very little education about the Finger Lakes wine region, and all of us had preconceived notions of what to expect.  The Swirl Girls had just done a German and Alsace wine tasting, and were expecting wines similar to those.  I too was expecting different tasting wines, perhaps a mix of New World Rieslings mashed up with German Kabinett and Spatlese Riesling. I won’t lament that I didn’t do my homework before tasting the wines, but I’ve learned that preconceived notions really don’t do any good. After really not enjoying the wines as much as I had hoped, and speaking with some Finger Lakes wine lovers, I tasted all 12 wines a second time the next night. With my new paradigm, I wanted to try them again to make sure I gave myself an opportunity to experience them without expecting Dr Loosen Dr L in each glass. Robin and I made a few appetizers, and our guests brought various dishes as well. We lined up the wines, and started our event.  First up, Ravines Wine Cellars 2006 Riesling.

Ravines Wine Cellars Dry Riesling 2006

Ravines Wine Cellars Dry Riesling 2006

European Winemaker and Oenologist Morten Hallgren and his wife Lisa purchased the 17 acre parcel of land for Ravines in 2000, after working for Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars for 6 years. The tasting room was opened in spring 2003, and they promptly won Best Dry Riesling in the 2003 World Riesling Cup and the Eastern International Wine Competition for their 2002 Dry Riesling. None of us read the bottle or description on their web page, and just tasted away.

In the glass, the Ravines Riesling 2006 ($16 retail 12.5% ABV)  had a light pale yellow color with a nose of lemon zest. There was a little minerals and sharp notes in the bouquet as well. Upon taking the first sip, there was a bit of light citrus, and then a  really big burst of it on the mid palate. This wine, and really most of the Rieslings we had this evening, had a tremendous amount of acidity. So much so, the reaction of most of the tasters was that it was a bit unbalanced.  The finish is really long, and the citrus turns a bit grassy. Most of the tasters really didn’t prefer this wine, and I likened it to a Sancerre, with a lot of grapefruit, but not as balanced and polished.

Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Homestead Reserve Riesling 2008

Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Homestead Reserve Riesling 2008

Next up we tasted the Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Homestead Reserve Riesling 2008 ($18 retail 12% ABV). Founded by the late Jerry Hazlitt and his wife Elaine in 1984, the Hazlitt family has been involved in Viticulture for 151 years. Hazlitt wines have won multiple awards, and the Homestead Reserve Riesling has been awarded Silver in the LA International, Bronze in the San Francisco International, and a few gold and double gold awards.

On the first night of tasting, my notes were very brief. I noticed the bouquet had a bit of pear, there was a lot of lemon with  grassy notes on the palate, and the finish just left you with a gripping acidity that overwhelmed your mouth.  When I revisited the wine on the second night, I smelled a lemon poppy muffin in the glass, but the acidity was actually showing up and burning my nose. There was a light floral thing going on up front on the sip, sort of white flowers, that transitioned into nice stone fruit.  Stone fruit, if you aren’t sure, resembles peaches, nectarines, etc. The finish still is so acidic that it leaves a harsh citrus flavor that wipes away the stone fruit. I do not want to give the impression this is a bad wine, however. You just need to strap yourself in for the acidity on it, and most of the others. This wine, along with one I’ll discuss later, was a favorite of Robin’s 25 year old assistant, who was happy to sample some of the remaining wines on the 3rd day.

After the first two wines, we all started trying some of the food we had prepared. We hoped the food would cut the acidity and perhaps soften the flavors up a bit. Remember, we didn’t understand that the terroir of Finger Lakes would bring flavors that Evan Dawson likens to “wrapping a river rock with a lime peel and taking a bite. Which, to me, is freaking wonderful.” All of the dishes went very nicely with all of the wines, from the Shrimp with Orzo made by Swirl Girl Sweet (Libby) to the shrimp satay sort of thing Joelle created, to mock Shortbread cookies with Cabot Hot Habanero cheese that we emulated. However, they didn’t change the experiences we had with the wines. And that isn’t a bad thing. We pressed on.

Anthony Road Finger Lakes Riesling

Anthony Road Finger Lakes Riesling

The next wine made most of the guests cringe when they sampled the bouquet on the first night. I implored them to let it open a bit, swirl, and see if the odor blew off. I felt it did, showing some fresh made margarita on the nose. It was off dry with medium acidity and body, showing ripe peaches. The finish was called “unsettling” on the first night, but not unpleasant. The Anthony Road Wine Company Semi-Dry Riesling comes in at about $15 retail and 12.6 ABV, and was not a crowd favorite. When I sampled it the second day, I noted it was a tad syrupy, but not overly so. The peaches and nectarines were dominant, but the acidity compared to the others was underwhelming. It was as if I would have liked to cut the acidity from the first two wines, and put them into this one.

Anthony Road Wine Company owners Ann and John Martini moved to the 100 acre parcel of land overlooking Seneca Lake in 1973. They opened the winery doors in 1990 with the 1989 vintage, and they produce a wide range of Finger Lakes wines. The 2007 Dry Riesling & 2008 Semi-Sweet Riesling won Gold at the Riverside International Wine Competition.  I definitely think the wine opened up on the second day, and perhaps just needed to sit for a while on the first night.  It was actually the 4th ranked wine by the wine distributor rep who was with us.

Dr Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars

Dr Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars

The next wine invoked a good bit of conversation, as Dr Konstantin Frank is credited for not just revolutionizing wine production in New York State and the East Coast, but also producing world class wines. As Lenn Thompson said, “How could you not include Dr Frank in a Finger Lakes Tasting.” The wine distributor was more than excited to discuss how Dr Frank revitalized the New York wine industry after his idea to graft European grape vines on local NY root stock allowed the more delicate grapes to grow in the harsher NY weather, to expand the options available to winemakers.

Of the four wines we had tasted so far during the evening, we all agreed Dr Frank 2007 Dry Riesling at $17 retail was the most enjoyable; the  fruit,  acidity, and minerality are all restrained, balanced, and elegant. While the finish was disappointing compared to the other elements of the wine, it was not bad, just not up to snuff. It was the second favorite wine of the entire night for our wine distributor guest.  Tasting this wine the second night, the bouquet was tight, mostly yeasty scents coming through. The palate is medium weight, and some what elegant. There’s a decent bit of tree fruit here, with an underpinning of yeast, though it’s a bit light on the finish. You get a mixture of citrus and grass with tree fruit and yeast.

If you’ve made it this far, give yourself a hand; this has been a long post. I’ll write up another four of the 12 wines in the coming days. I’ll leave you with this though: Have an open mind and a wandering palate and try some Finger Lakes NY Rieslings when you can. They’re different than what you’d expect, but something you may thoroughly enjoy. Until next time, have a good time with wine!

Dolce Debbie-Cabot Cheese-Great Wine-You

Cabot Cheese

Cabot Cheese

What do you get when you mix one part culinary expertise with one part fine wine, and sprinkle with Cabot Cheese? You get the recipe for the perfect night in.  Join us Saturday, July 18th at 7pm EST as we bring you one of the most exciting social media events involving food and wine ever! Cabot Cheese Coop has asked  Chef Dolce Debbie, Executive Chef of Savory Adventures, LLC, and me, to bring their products to you in  exciting new ways.

Chef Dolce Debbie

Chef Dolce Debbie

Chef Dolce Debbie will be preparing a three course meal, all involving fantastic Cabot products in various forms. I’ll be pairing those culinary delights with fine wines, and discussing them with you via a live uStream video event.  There will be a chat room attached to the video stream, where you can speak not only with other viewers, but with Cabot representatives, as well as the hosts of the show, Debbie and I. To make the experience even more interactive and enjoyable, we’ve provided the menu, complete with the wine pairings, so you can join us on our taste adventure.

We’ll start the evening off with appetizers at 7pm EST.  Debbie has brought some amazing flavors to the table in  the first appetizer, Shortbread with Cabot Hot Habanero Cheese! (for recipe, click here)! Debbie will also be serving Radish with Tzatziki Sauce (recipe here) for an interesting appetizer using fresh Cabot products. Both of these dishes will be paired with Dr Loosen Dr L 2007 Riesling.  The sweet fruit from the wine will balance the heat in the two appetizers perfectly. You’ll be pleased with how well the flavors mesh!

Our next course will be Chicken Saltimbocca  (recipe here) which will be served with a Three Potato Salad (for recipe, click here) along with sauteed spinach.  We will pair this all with a fantastic Pinot Noir from Elizabeth Spencer, which offers just the right mixture of fruit and earthy notes to pair beautifully with the chicken dish. If the Elizabeth Spencer Pinot Noir isn’t available, there are two alternatives that will be discussed during the event.  The first is Bailyana FirePeaks Grand Cuvee Pinot Noir, which is quite similar to the Elizbath Spencer in terms of flavor profile.  The second alternative is Mackenzie Russian River Valley 2007 Pinot Noir, which will pair nicely with the main course.

We’ll top off the evening with home made Apple Pie with Vanilla Bean and Greek Yogurt Sauce, which is served with Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar! (for recipe, click here) We will pair this finale with Cru D’Arche-Pugneau Sauternes, though a more widely available wine such as Apex 2007 Late Harvest Semillion will pair just as nicely.

And if that menu wasn’t enough to excite you, you can win a Cabot apron! Follow @Cabotcoop on twitter, and tell the cow which course sounds best to you, and why. The winner will be randomly selected after the event.

So, pencil us in for Saturday July 18th, and be ready for a good time with wine, and cheese, and Dolce Debbie’s fabulous creations from the kitchen!

A video review of great red wine from Chile – Los Vascos 2006 Reserve

Los Vascos Reserve Chilean red wine from Matthew Scott on Vimeo.

I love it when people drink the same wine across the world to compare notes, and the Wines of Chile blogger event in May 2009 was amazing for that opportunity.  You’ve probably seen my posts on some of the wines we enjoyed that night, the Cono Sur Chilean Pinot Noir for example. Additionally, you probably know I’m a big fan of wine from Chile; I feel Chile offers some great wines at quite reasonable prices. This event, hosted by the PR folks at  Wines of Chile, and moderated by  Michael Green, Wine & Spirits consultant for Gourmet magazine, allowed 8 wine makers to answer  questions for the bloggers, so we could learn a bit about them, and their wines.

As you’ll see in the short video wine review above, I’ve discussed what my tasting notes were during the event, then revisited each wine the next day to see how they stood up. This wine, the Los Vascos Reserve (blend) was actually more enjoyable the next day, benefiting from some time opening. The Los Vascos vineyard has been part of  Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) since 1988, which is a wonderful pedigree to have associated with your wines. Los Vascos website does not seem to have information specifically on the blend we had the opportunity to taste with the bloggers event, but there is some great information on the site for your Chilean wine education.

Los Vascos reserve Chilean red wine

Los Vascos reserve Chilean red wine

During the tasting, the Los Vascos Reserve red had a bouquet of red berries and cherries, with some brambles. The palate was black cherry fruits with very earthy notes.  The wine had a rustic mouth feel, and the finish had some herbs and a dry, chalky component.  The finish was quite long, and I enjoyed it very much.

On the second night, the nose was quite similar to the first night, however it seemed to become a tad more dark and rich. Additionally, there was a chocolate component that showed up on day two that wasn’t present on the first day.  The brambles were still noticeable, but they seemed a bit more integrated and not as prominent as the previous night. The palate of the Los Vascos Reserve became much more fine and silky, and the chalky finish was no where near as noticeable.  The wine opened up nicely, with dark cherry from the Cabernet Sauvignon integrating nicely with the spicey, zesty, earthy Carmenere and the fruit and pepper from the Syrah.

Josh Reynolds from the International Wine Cellars rated this an 89, with the following notes

“Bright ruby. Highly aromatic nose offers a sexy bouquet of ripe cherry, blackcurrant, fresh rose, tobacco and cedar. Suave, supple and sweet, with smooth red and dark berry flavors, gentle tannins and refreshing mineral bite on the close. Very sexy and drinkable now.”

I could continue to write about the flavors this wine, but you can get more from watching the video above. At $20, I will let you know that not only do I find this wine to be one to add to the shopping list, Lenn Thompson agrees with me and thinks the Los Vascos Reserve Chilean Red Wine is a “buy again” kind of wine.

Drinking Dr Loosen Wines DR L 2008 Riesling

Matt with Dr Loosen Dr L Riesling

Matt with Dr Loosen Dr L Riesling

If you follow me on twitter, you know I’ve been talking up Dr Loosen Wines Dr L 2008 Riesling this week.  It’s not because they promised to feature me on their blog, and it’s not because I owe them anything. I’ve paid for the 3 bottles of this sweeter white wine that I drank this week with various groups of people.  It’s because for the retail price of about $13, I think it’s a great value! It’s a well made wine, and something that will appeal to those who like well structured wines as well as those new to wines and are perhaps a bit timid to try different things.

You may know that I offer wine consulting services to Zsazsa and Company, a small Virtual Wine Store serving Florida with a select group of great wines at great prices. Several of their clients were looking for sweeter Rieslings that were well priced.  After tasting 10 different wines, we settled on two for the time being, this one and the Villa Wolf, which I’ll review later on.

Dr Loosen Dr L Riesling 2008

Dr Loosen Dr L Riesling 2008

The Dr Loosen Dr L 2008 Riesling comes from the Mosel River area of Germany, just down stream from the village of Bernkastel. While the estate has been in the family for over 200 years, this wine is not made from estate fruit. However, the quality is excellent, especially for the price.  The Loosen Brothers, Ernst and Thomas, work closely with local growers, establishing long term contracts, to ensure the fruit is up to their high standards.

The wine’s bouquet is quite inviting, and reminds me of  summer!  Envision bees buzzing around the garden, gathering pollen, kids picking fresh peaches from a tree in the yard, and the summer warmth filling the room. Then, add a mixture of baking spices for making the most amazing dessert with those peaches, setting on a counter with honey suckle scents wafting in from your spring garden. And while the bouquet speaks volumes for this wine, it’s palate is quite interesting, starting off as it smells, but finishing a bit different.

When you first sip on the wine, it’s an explosion of stone fruits, nectarines and apricots, laced with honey. Then, just as you start to think the wine is TOO sweet, or cloying, it transitions to a phenominally crisp, clean finish laced with the spice from the bouquet that refreshes wonderfuly. The finish is of a nice length, leaving a fresh summer peach flavor in your mouth that beckons you to sip again. The Dr L Riesling has a good mixture of sweet fruit and back end acidity and spice that makes it enjoyable.

Some Cabot Cheese to pair with great wines

Some Cabot Cheese to pair with great wines

Of course, this wine is a nice summer sipper by itself. However, the Dr L Riesling would also pair quite nicely with spicy foods. For a Riesling, typical food and wine pairings including spicy Thai, Chinese, or Indian foods. I am going to be trying the Cabot Cheese Hot Habanero cheese pictured here and pairing with the Dr L Riesling to see how they mesh. I would also be curious how a dish flavored with some of Michele Northrup‘s All Natural Hot Sauces would pair, and will be giving those a shot as well!

If you live in Florida, you can order the Dr Loosen Dr L Riesling from Zsazsa and Company, Inc. Just remember heat is wine’s enemy, and be sure to elect over night early morning shipping! It’s worth the extra cost. Why not leave a comment below and let me know what Rieslings you’re drinking now, and what you’re pairing them with!  And as  always, have a good time with wine!

Lets drink some Chilean organic wine – Pinot Noir from Cono Sur

Cono Sur Pinot Noir from Matthew Scott on Vimeo.

Pinot Noir from Chile? You’ve got to be kidding, right? Everyone knows Pinot Noir comes from … well, a lot of places. Which is why it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise that Chile is putting Pinot on the table. While not it’s primary red wine, ranking 5th in hectars planted behind Cabernet Sauvignon (41k hectars), Merlot (13k hectars), Carmenere (7k hectars), and Syrah (3.5k hectars), I assure you that Chile is managing to put out some very enjoyable Pinot Noir, and at very reasonable prices.

I’ve already made the point that Chilean wines are offering great value. They are certainly producing good wines that, at their price point, rival wines from most every other country. I was fortunate enough to participate in an event with other wine bloggers, which allowed us to sit in on a video conference between the New York PR folks from Wines of Chile, and 8 Chilean wine makers in Chile.  Michael Green, Wine & Spirits consultant for Gourmet magazine moderated the panel, asking questions on behalf of the bloggers, so we could learn a bit about the wine makers, and their wines. There was definitely some skepticism on behalf of the bloggers when it came time to try the Pinot Noir.

As you can see from my video, while I found it enjoyable, I mention another Chilean Pinot that I haven’t had the time to write up yet. I find the Morande Reserva offers just a bit more organic, earthy flavors and smoke, allowing the terrior show through. However, there are Pinots of all shapes and sizes, and a Pinot with nice round fruit is not unappreciated.

After the tasting, I corked/capped up the wines, and let them sit out at about 70 degrees until the next evening. Then, one by one I tasted each wine, comparing the 2nd day to the first. In some cases, the wines evolved in a beautiful way. In others, they held the same, or perhaps were better the first time. My video recaps my tasting notes from the first night, when I tweeted them with the #winesofchile hashtag. It also recaps the tasting notes I made from the 2nd night.

Cono Sur Vision Pinot Noir 2008

Cono Sur Vision Pinot Noir 2008

A few things I’d like to note about Cono Sur Vision Pinot Noir before I recap some of the discussion had amongst the bloggers about this wine. First of all, Cono Sur, like Emiliana’s Natura Sauvignon Blanc, has a commitment to the environment. Their wine is certified organic by BCS Oeko Garantie GMBH Germany. They achieved Carbon Neutral status in terms of their delivery, their sustainable farming practices offsetting carbon emissions due to delivering their product.  More and more companies in agricultural arenas are doing this, and it’s likely going to be achieved by more and more wineries as concern for our environment increases.

The Cono Sur Vision Pinot Noir hails from the Colchagua Valley in Chile.  It’s a cooler part of the valley, which offers ideal Pinot Noir growing conditions.  These grapes come from “68 Old Vines” section of the vineyard.  The name hails from the fact the vine were planted in 1968, and thus being over 40 years old gives them the Old Vines designation. The wine is aged 10 months in barrels, 1 month in stainless steel tanks. It has 13.7% ABV (Alcohol by Volume).

There were some detractors, who found the wine flat and a bit pedestrian. However, many of us found it to be quite enjoyable. Some of the bloggers thought that this was a very nice wine. Katie from Gonzogastronomy felt it was a “pleasure to drink a Pinot that wasn’t loaded with overripe fruit.” Robert Dwyer of Wellesley Wine Press said “the Cono Sur Pinot Noir was more varietally correct than almost any US made in the same price range.”  And Jeff from Good Grape said that “the Cono Sur Pinot is nice, too. $15 bucks, CA Pinot cant touch that at price point.”

After viewing this video, let me know what you think.  Are you going to give a Pinot Noir from Chile a shot?  Or are you going to stick with a French or US Pinot Noir? And if you aren’t going to venture out to Chile, why not? Take a moment to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear what you think of Chilean Pinot Noir, the Wines of Chile in general, or anything else you’d like to offer.

Natura Sauvignon Blanc from Chile – an organically grown wine

Natura Sauvignon Blanc from Matthew Scott on Vimeo.

There’s no doubt that I’ve been drinking a lot of wine from Chile lately. Well, on Wednesday May 20th, I was given the opportunity to not only drink some more, but virtually drink with with a gaggle of wine bloggers, and the wine makers themselves. The PR folks at Wines of Chile put together a great event where the winemakers met in Chile, and via video conference, were asked questions by Michael Green, Wine & Spirits consultant for Gourmet magazine. During the event, the bloggers were tasting along with the winemakers and Michael, tweeting about it using the #winesofchile hashtag, and enjoying a good time with wine.

Natura Sauvignon Blanc

Natura Sauvignon Blanc

The first wine of the evening was the Natura Sauvignon Blanc 2008 from Emiliana. This wine is from the Casablanca Valley of Chile, where it’s proximity to the ocean gives it great growing conditions to produce a very nice white wine.  Winemaker Antonio Bravo, who’s been with Emiliana since 2006, gave the bloggers a bit of background on the wines, and the wine making process. Of note was that this wine is made with Organically grown grapes, and that Emiliana has a commitment to being environmentally responsible and organic.  The wine label does indeed say it’s certified organic by IMO Switzerland, which I misspoke about during the video. Although Emiliana has a great website, I cant seem to find information on the NATURA line, which is under the Organico label from what I’ve been told. (Update 6/12, You can get information on the Natura line of organic wines online!)

The bouquet on this white wine is a mixture of orange and orange blossoms, showing citrus and subtle floral together. The citrus fruit was round and full, with some nice back end acidity.  There was definitely more acidity the first night I tasted this wine, but the second night still had nice balance. This Sauvignon Blanc doesn’t have the minerality and herbaceous notes that French and some New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs do, but that’s not a bad thing. Quite honestly, for an $11 wine, I would more than certainly give this wine a shot. I’d love to pair this white wine with some grilled chicken, a salad, or grilled fish.

Let me know what you think after you check out the video, and leave a comment below. I’m always interested in hearing your thoughts!