Last Friday, I decided I'd pick up a bottle for my first "tasting". I had no clue where to start - which country, which grape, which what? So I went to Port of Wines on my lunch break. I was the only customer in there, and the sales man asked if he could help me find something. I told him about my resolution (new country every month, must be over $20). The conversation went something like this:
Him: What country would you like to start in?
Me: It's January, so I'm open to any country.
Him: Ok...... Australia?
Me: Maybe another country.
Me: Maybe, really, I'm open to anything.
You could tell he was looking for a little more direction. He showed me a couple of different bottles, and then we came to a display of a Chilean cab sauv. He said that it sells out really quick and they just got it in again. So, I said "ok".
I got the 2008 Intriga Cabernet Sauvignon for about $23. http://www.intriga.cl/_file/in_cs08-ing.pdf
Maybe when I learn more, my descriptions will be better. I opened it and definitely tasted the oaky flavor right away. My first thought was "yum". It tasted a little thick, which I now understand was the tannins and just that it had a long finish.
It was from the Maipo Valley, which I now know is the Napa Valley of Chile.
I'd also picked up a Chilean Syrah over Christmas, and I opened it this past weekend as a recipe I was making called for red wine. It was Carmen Syrah, about $13. According to the label, it has "intense aromas and flavours of ripe black cherries, blueberries and cassis, accompanied by touches of spice and leather notes." My first thought was "sharp". It had quite a strong flavor where I found the cab sauv was more mellow. Initially, I didn't really like it. After a few sips, I did enjoy it, but definitely not as much as the cab sauv. I'm curious if it's just that I prefer cab sauv over syrah.
I'm hoping to do a bit more research about Chilean wines this month, and hope to actually do some reading before I pick out next month's.