When it comes to wine, I consider myself a Napa girl. I love their character, boldness, and explosive finish. However, a few weeks ago I allowed myself to be seduced by several Latin wines. Their names were exotic and hard to pronounce, but their flavors softly caressed my palate and lingered on my tongue.
Leon Sierra of Mid-State Wine distributors was the master of ceremonies for the evening. Leon, along with The Singing Chef Adrian Rodrigues and gracious hosts Brad and Effie Stees of Envy Wine Room, provided a night of education, gastronomy, and entertainment.
Upon arrival at the charming wine shop in Old Town Spring, I was handed a glass of La Crusset Cava from Spain. Served with a few raspberries at the bottom of the glass, this oaked bubbly consists of four grapes: Chardonnay, Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada. It is a great drink for sipping or celebrating and it pairs nicely with spicy foods.
Our white wines began with a Tempranillo Blanco from Spain called La Bella Fernanda. A unique varietal aged in stainless steel and then in oak for two months. It was served with a garlic soup and was light and refreshing. Next came the Tarapaca Chardonnay from Chile. Aged in French Oak for ten months, this wine was buttery with hints of pear and vanilla. It was perfect! Easy to drink and paired well with the spicy tuna cake.
The reds started with a Tierra Brisa Malbec from Argentina. This value priced everyday drinking wine boasts flavors of blackberry, vanilla, and a soft hint of oak. It paired well with the tomato and basil bruschetta, but could also be enjoyed out on the deck with some grilled meat or Texas BBQ.
Next came Sierra de Miros Tempranillo from Spain. This new world style wine is fruit forward and ready to drink. Made from 85% Tempranillo, 10% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet, its light bodied taste pairs well with white meats and grilled fish. It was excellent with the salt cod puree on toast.
Bolder reds are my favorite so I really enjoyed the Alvaro Castro Red from Portugal. Alvaro Castro is one of Portugal's top winemakers from the Dao Region. This wine is a blend of three grapes: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, and Alfrocheiro. This elegant wine paired well with the beef empanada and would make a great companion to any meat dish.
The night finished with a bang as we were presented with Valduero, Reserva Tempranillo from Spain. Made from 100% Tempranillo, this wine rivals some of the best Napa Valley Cabs. Aged for 30 months, this wine is soft and silky on the palate. It is a complex, yet elegant wine and the terroir adds a nice intensity to the finish. The skewered beef was a perfect compliment to the wine. For me, this was wine was the star of the night.
Thank you Leon Sierra for showing me your part of the wine world. I now have more choices to add to my current rotation and my Latina side is very happy.
About the Author
I like eating, traveling, and enjoying liquid libations. I'm all about great wines, signature cocktails, and local brews.