Thursday, March 25, 2010

Eat In. Chilean wine [Thirsty Thursdays!].

Wine is one of tiny Chile's biggest exports, and after a little probing it's not hard to see why people are so crazy about it. It's been said that good grape that grows in Chile first grew in France, before a terrible plague in 1867 ravaged the vineyards of Western Europe and left Chile with the unique root of the carmenere.

Whatever it is, Chilean wine is fantastic. The first week my roommate and I had our apartment here and opened a cheap bottle of a white, the entire house was filled with the smell of grapefruit. I was astonished. In Chile wine is incredibly inexpensive, but here are a few bottles that shouldn't break the budget when cruising around BevMo!, although I'm not sure which of these qualifies for their 5 Cent Sale, which rolls around every once in a while.

In my short two months living here, I've found a few labels that are consistently spot on. Concha y Toro's Terrunyo cab is quite good, I've heard that their Diablo carmenere is tasty too, although I have yet to try it. Cousino-Macul has a very nice affordable cabernet sauvignon as well, pictured below. Cousino-Macul's vineyard is just outside Santiago, as are many vineyards that surround the city.
Cono Sur is also very good, devoted to sustainability this bottle can be spotted for the adorable drawing of a bicycle on the label.

As far as whites go, Undurraga has an exquisite (it's snobby, but really the only word that can describe the extraordinary flavor from this vineyard) late harvest white dessert wine. The term describes when the grapes were plucked, and one sip and you'll definitely be glad they stayed on the vine a bit longer. I'm not much of a dessert wine person myself, but this is wonderful, and not too sweet. Should you find a bottle of this excellent wine from the Maipo Valley, get it! It's dark color is a dead give away to the goodness that lies within it's bottle.

Drink up and enjoy!

-- Lauren Williams

Photo credit: The vineyard of Cousino-Marcul in Puente Alto.

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