Work-hard, play-hard, chill-out with Chile….

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Shiraz / Cabernet Sauvignon / Viogner 2008
There are so many great things about living in London; world class restaurants, world renowned shopping districts, a city steeped in history and bulging at the seams with diversity. The work-hard, play-hard raison d’etre creates a city of no limits and gives us access to everything at anytime, anywhere. Top of my favourite London things is the unrivalled selection of wines you can buy from any wine producing region you can think of without having to extend the zones on your travel card. Even a hop skip and a jump over the Channel to Paris, the nearest ‘have it all’ city to rival London and the selection in a wine shop, restaurant or wine bar is a very different matter. J’adore French wine but if I’m looking for value for money then I know my GBP’s will go ten times further if I opt for something from a little further afield, namely South America, and my money’s on the reds.

For some time now I’ve flown the flag for Argentina’s red wines. You can get some pretty serious Malbec to take home having parted with less than a couple of notes but I’ve become a little bit tired of the jump out of the glass and smack you on the nose style that has become the norm. Take a hop, skip and a jump over the Andes to Chile however and the wines over there are a very different matter. We’re talking stonking wines that are balanced with taste, finesse, elegance and a price tag that is more pleasure and less pain.

Famously described by a well known wine hack some time ago as the Volvo of the wine trade, Chile has been taking great strides to improve its image as well as the quality and style of wines it can produce. And what with the epic miners escape the excellent wine the country is creating is another thing the world should stand up and take notice of.

TamayaMiss Bouquet’s top tip:

Oddbins has recently reviewed their Chilean portfolio and have added two fantastic examples of the great wines Chile can be proud of. Try Caliterra Cabernet Sauvignon/ Shiraz/ Viognier 2008 from Colchagua Valley, it’s a heady mix of ink pot, mineral freshness, fruit compot and black liquorice followed by ripe blackberry fruit and a spicy leathery texture, grab a bottle for £12.99. Or experiment with Chile’s signature grape Carmenère. Once thought to be Merlot, Carmenère has helped define a USP for Chile and this is a great example of the wines the grape can produce; Tamaya Winemaker’s Selection Carmenère 2009 from Limari Valley. Brimming with Eucalyptus and sappy freshly cut wood aromas on the nose, followed by black spiced cherries and silky tannins at £13.99 this is a wine you can’t afford to go without, January detox or not!

This article has been published in the January 2011 issue of The Notebook Magazine, Kensington & Chelsea.

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