By Bob Lipinski
Chile has been making value-centric wines for decades and they are available in many restaurants and wine shops. Like California, Chile labels its wine by the name of the grape and this makes choosing one for dinner or just casual drinking a snap.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and many other grapes flourish in Chile’s climate. The country is 2,650 miles long and about 150 miles wide, although most of it is a mere 100 miles in width. Red grapes account for 70% of the total acreage in Chile.
The country’s grape-growing season is six months earlier than the Northern Hemisphere’s. The vintage listed on a Chilean wine is the year in which the grapes were harvested, not the year in which the growing season began.
The below seven wines would be a welcome addition to any holiday celebration.
2019 Secreto de Viu Manent “Malbec,” Colchagua Valley. Enticing bouquet and flavor of cranberries, chocolate, black licorice, spicy cherry, and spices with a long aftertaste. Serve with grilled portabella mushrooms.
2019 Koyle Gran Reserva “Carmenère,” Alto Colchagua. Organically grown grapes. (Blend of Carmenère, Tempranillo, and Petit Verdot grapes). A bouquet and flavor of blueberry, green bell pepper, pomegranate, and tart-berries. Serve with roast duck brushed with a glazed orange or plum sauce.
2019 Concha y Toro “Gran Reserva Serie Riberas” Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua Valley. Dark colored with flavors of black currants, chocolate, blackberries, plums, licorice, and herbs. Very long aftertaste. A wonderful wine for roasted or grilled lamb chops.
2018 Viña Tarapacá Gran Reserva, Maipo Valley. (Blend of Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Carmenère, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes). Aged 12 months in American and French oak barrels. Flavors of blackberry, cherries, herbs, chamomile, and plums. Serve with hot and spicy sausage in a tomato sauce.
2018 Viña Maquis Cabernet Franc “Gran Reserva” Colchagua Valley. Ruby-colored with a medium bouquet of cherries, blueberries, spices, mint, green olive, and plums. A hearty beef and barley stew would be my choice.
2018 Viña Emiliana “Coyam” Colchagua Valley. (Blend of Syrah, Carmenère, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Malbec, Carignan, Tempranillo, and Mourvèdre grapes). Cherry-colored with a full bouquet of spicy cherries, raspberries, black pepper, herbs, and plums. Pair with a sausage and mushroom pizza.
2018 Marques de Casa Concha “Cabernet Sauvignon,” Maipo Valley. Dark-colored with full-flavors of black currants, black raspberry, spices, plums, dill, rhubarb, and roasted coffee, with a long finish and lingering aftertaste. Overall, a stunning wine! This wine begs for a porterhouse steak cooked medium-rare and a baked potato.
Bob Lipinski is the author of 10 books, including “101: Everything You Need To Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on Amazon.com). He consults and conducts training seminars on Wine, Spirits, and Food and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at www.boblipinski.com OR [email protected]