January Wine Club
January's meeting was well attended-and just after New Year festivities, too! We had just over 40 attendees tasting, sloshing and noshing. We expect the next 2 meetings may bring record attendance, as all of those that avoided our beautiful Summer weather or have been putting in Canada-time return in full force.
We have begun to collect dues for our club ($5 per person). This will help us defray the cost of napkins, plates etc. plus gives us a cushion if our blind tasting purchase for the month happens to run over. If you missed contributing, no problem. We don't have a deadline.
Click here to see the February meeting details on our Upcoming Events page.
Now, on with the show!
The Blind Tasting
This month we explored a bit of what South America (Argentina and Chile) has to offer. For years these wines have been neglected by many wine aficionados. Because of that, there were and still are some good deals on these wines. We chose a pair of Malbecs from Argentina and two Cabernet Sauvignon wines from Chile to blind taste.
As always, our highly skilled and secretive baggers put the bottles in paper sacks so that not even they knew which was which. The tasting notes are below. The A, B, C, & D correspond to the bag designation.
Though close geographically, the vineyards in Chile and Argentina are often on opposite sides of the Andes Mountains. That is why the two countries tend to specialize in different grapes. Malbec is a varietal that has been mostly used in blends (think Bordeaux and Meritage wines). Argentina has recently become known for their Malbec wines, choosing to offer the wine for its own merits.
For the blind tasting, you were asked to choose the two Malbecs and rate the wines from best to least liked. The selections are pictured below with their letter designations:
Choosing the two Malbecs seemed to offer a bigger challenge than some of our earlier tastings (think Syrah vs Pinot Noir!). Only 9 out of 36 people who tried guessed A & B were the Malbecs. Almost as many (8) guessed B & D. In the end, more correct guesses were recorded for A & B (22 and 23 respectively) than C & D (15 and 14).
As for favorites, we seemed to be all over the place there as well. We chose a Cabernet Sauvignon as our favorite and a Malbec as second place. Final results were:
Favorite Wine…..Gran Crucero Cabernet ($30)….…..110 points
2nd Choice…….….Achaval Ferrer Malbec ($22)…...….96 points
3rd Choice……..….Porta Cabernet ($16).………………….88 points
Last Place……….…Viejo Isaias Malbec ($25)……..……….82 points
Though I think the wines were certainly drinkable, I heard quite a few comments indicating that these wines were not everyone's favorites (even though all of them got a 90 or 91 rating-three of these from Robert Parker). I think they were a bit 'earthier' than we are used to drinking. Perhaps a bit of age would mellow out the rough edges.
The Food, Folks and Festivities
Again, hats off to all that had a hand in this to make it successful. Those that stayed for clean-up duty, you made the end of the party easy! Wayne, Kathy & Diane-it couldn't happen without you. And as for the photos, I just can't imagine the newsletter without the Pat Gougelmann gallery! Enjoy!
And the winner is….
Some Folks Caught in the Act…
And Them That Poured...
And The Nosh...
And until next time….