Grape Expectations

Grape Expectations

By Robert Kleffel and Noemí Paz

Gewürztraminer -Bonarda-Tannat




Gewürztraminer is a great wine to enjoy on its own as an aperitif wine. For many Gewürztraminer is an acquired taste. There is no other wine quite like it. Gewürztraminer is unmistakable from other white wines in its personality and flavor. It ranges from dry to sweet, depending on its style; however, it tends to have a lot of tree fruit flavors, like apple, peach and pear, and a sweet spice taste. Its full bodied nature makes it much more difficult to pair than most white wines. Gewürztraminer goes great with creamy cheeses like Cottage and Fromage, and also a bit harder ones like Mozzarella and Jarlsberg.

It’s a good choice for accompanying dishes like fried calamari, onion quiche, bacon and pineapple pizza, and dishes prepared with curry and coconut milk. Mineral and soft gardenia aromas abound on the nose of this wine. It’s a really pleasant bouquet. The palate is crisp from near-perfect acidity. Apple, peach and citrus flavors make it quite tasty. The finish is elegant and interesting with perfume notes on the back of your palate.

Because of its spicy nature, people tend to think that this wine would complement other spicy foods. This is not a good idea. Gewurztraminers are often high in alcohol, and have an oily texture. Thus, mixing a high alcohol beverage with spicy hot food will only set your mouth further on fire. Instead, pair a Dry Gewurztraminer with foods like rich fowl dishes, such as turkey, duck, foiegras, or goose. You’ll also find that Gewurztraminer goes well with German dishes like pork chops, roasted ham, non-spicy sausages and veal. If the spice is not hot, like cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, and ginger, you’ll find that Gewurztraminer is an excellent tablemate. Finally, dry Gewurztraminers are excellent with egg dishes.

Cono Sur – Gewurztraminer- Chile- $9.50 Dollars

Bonarda Wines-Bonarda, an Italian grape, was brought to Argentina by Piedmont immigrants in the first part of the 20th century. In most vineyards Bonarda used to be planted in a mix together with Barbera, many old vineyards are now 100% Bonarda.

Argentina makes a fantastic Bonarda grape, and it is the second most widely produced red grape, whereas it is rare to find a Bonarda in Italy now. There are some parallels between Bonarda and Merlot. Thirty years ago Merlot was used for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon. In the past, in Argentina, it was mainly used as a blending grape, to mass produce cheap table wines. Now Argentine winemakers are working to further develop the Bonarda and there are fantastic 100% varietals being produced. Wine experts have even considered the Bonarda to be “the future of Argentina.” Most Bonardas tend to have low to moderate acidity. Cherry, plum, and raisin are all common descriptors for this wine.

Santa Ana Homage- Bonarda-Argentina-$9.80 Dollars

Colonia Las Liebre- Bonarda- Argentina-$13.50 Dollars

Tannat Wines

When it is summer time, it’s time to grill up some steak and there is no better wine to pair with steak than a full bodied Tannat. The Tannat vine was introduced in Uruguay by Basque settlers in the 1870’s. Although considered Uruguay’s national grape, Tannat is also grown in Argentina, Brazil and in Italy’s Puglia region where it is used as a blending grape. Tannat makes a red wine of intense purple red color with violet tones; they have the aroma of red fruits and spices. In the Las MorasTannat, the aromas are definitely okay with tobacco smoke and leather, the appearance is great, and it tastes like dried fruit with a hint of vanilla and pronounced tannins. The tannins are certainly the best part that lingers on your palette for several seconds.

Las Moras- Tannat- Argentina- $11.00 Dollars

Isla de Lobos-Tannat- Argentina-$10.50 Dollars

Noemí Paz

Robert Kleffel







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