Monday, November 10, 2008

Long Winter Nights? A Chilean Red Could Be the Answer

After daylight savings ends, my thoughts turn increasingly to red wine. Once I set the clocks back, it gets dark faster than I expect. I start cooking dinner. The heat comes on. I wonder "is there a red wine in the house?"

And then there are the winter foods that start sounding just perfect right about now: beef stew, chicken chile, and soups made with late fall vegetables.

If this sounds like you right now, I've got a red that will knock your socks off and have you praising the wine gods. It's from Chile, which (like Argentina) produces some excellent value wines. This one is no exception, and it's made by Veramonte, the winery that also makes exceptionally good value Sauvignon Blancs.

The 2005 Veramonte Primus represents the best of what Chile has to offer to people seeking great value and great taste. This excellent QPR red wine drinks like a wine that's two or three times the cost. It's big, bold,a n balanced. Made from a mixture of 51% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 17% Carmenere, the first thing that will strike you if you get your own bottle is the beautiful, dark plum color. Then you will be bowled over by heady aromas of plum, blackberry, spice, and plum blossom. I loved the way that the promise of the aromas was delivered in the flavors, which echoed the smells beautifully--although the plummy notes did take center stage. The wine had rich, satiny texture that seemed more opulent than a wine with an under $20 pricetag deserved--but I'm certainly not complaining. Well-integrated tannins and a taste that reminded me of the spicy smell of my mom's cedar chest rounded out this nicely made, well-balanced wine. It's drinking very well now, but if you find some for a good price I think you might want to buy a couple of bottles and put them away for drinking between now and the end of 2009.

I received my bottle as a sample, but you should be able to find bottles of this wine all over the US for between $14 and $26. And they bottled some in 375 ml bottles, as well, which are retailing for $7-$14.

Enjoy the change in seasons. Get some red wine, snuggle with the one you love, and catch up on your movies and TV now that the election is over. Long winter nights can be a good thing, after all.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree on the switch to Reds. Hard to catch a sunset whihc is when I enjoy whites the most. Speaking of enjoy, I had their Sauvignon Blanc many times this summer. I'll have to track this one down as well...

Dr. Debs said...

I like their SB as well, Jason. I haven't seen this bottle as often in the stores, but maybe that's more due to where I'm shopping. It's worth seeking it out.

Anonymous said...

Chile produces some awesome reds at excellent prices. I appreciate the head's up on this one... I'm off to stalk it at my local wine merchant!


California Girl said...

We tried the carmenere for the first time last Winter and it was delicious. Since then, we have been seeking it out and have had a few different labels.