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Wines of Chile hosts live online tasting forum

(c) for Wines of Chile

(c) for Wines of Chile

Leading U.S. bloggers tweet their reactions to eight Chilean whites - five Sauvignon Blancs and three Chardonnays - from coastal valleys around the country.

“What would you do if you got an email inviting you to try eight lovely bottles of white wine?” writes Mellissa on her blog, A Fit and Spicy Life.

Her answer: get hold of some fresh seafood, throw a party and log on to Twitter for a live tasting session.

Mellissa was one of a group of leading North American wine bloggers invited by Wines of Chile to partake in the event last week, which was hosted by New York-based Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer, and included leading winemakers from Chile.

Timed to coincide with the arrival of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, the event featured five Sauvignon Blancs and three Chardonnays from the coastal valleys of Casablanca, Colchagua, Leyda, and Limari - all but one retailing for under US$25.

The idea? To promote Chile’s leading white wine varietals and just how well they go with the country’s other gourmet specialty: seafood.

And if the resulting blogs, tweets and status updates are anything to go by, it’s a pairing that the online enologists approved of.

“Another thing that makes me happy is sitting in the sun, sipping on a glass of freshly chilled wine, and eating fresh food inspired by summer,” writes Mary Cressler on her blog, Vindulge. “Thus the perfect opportunity arose to make some ceviche and enjoy with an array of zesty wines and daydream of summer.”

The Vindulge article includes an interesting North American take on ceviche, the Chilean raw seafood delicacy, and Cressler’s pick of the wines, topped by the “light bodied and fresh,” “citrus party” of Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc 2011.

Then there was Jameson Fink, who was so fond of the combination that he wrote two articles on two separate blogs about seafood and Chilean white wine; halibut with couscous, carrots and Sauvignon Blanc on Foodista and Chardonnay with salmon burgers on Jameson Fink.

Perhaps the most effusive blogger of the night was BrainWines, impressed right from the start of the event, and ever-more enthusiastic when the wine tasting began.

“Once again, package contents, supplemental info, & food swag one of best in the biz,” he tweeted.

His favorite wines of night were the Cono Sur’s “masterpiece for the price point” Sauvignon Blanc, Visión, “chock-full of yellow fruits, citrus zest, crushed river rocks, steamed crisp hay, green apples, and touches of yeast, toast, and dry earth.”

“Her dancing acids, lime and lemon zest flavors, and deep herbals serve to trigger what I love in a white wine – namely a mouthwatering experience that causes you to reach for the glass over and over,” said BrainWines, giving the wine a mark of “A” for both the “nose” and “taste” categories.

The “round, deep, but somehow still angular and crisp, yellow tropical fruit notes” of Veramonte’s Sauvignon Blanc, Ritual, were likewise a favorite for the blogger.

The first of these picks was backed up by George Perry on The Good Wine Guru who plugged Cono Sur as his top Chilean winery, after various Wines of Chile events.

“Nearly clear in the glass with aromas of peach, flowers, and apple,” writes Perry of Visión. “In the mouth the wine had a softer acid than the previous two with apple, grapefruit, lime, and a hint of minerality.”

Meanwhile William Allen, author of the Simple Hedonisms blog and contributor to the widely-read Palate Press, concurred with the Veramonte endorsement.

“Veramonte - GORGEOUS. rich texture that combines mouthfeel & acidity. Neutral oak fermentation shows. BRAVO,” he tweeted.

And the end of the event, when the last bottle had been emptied, a score of bloggers went home wined and dined, and word about Chilean whites took one more step toward the kind of recognition it deserves.

“I wish every Thursday could be that great!”  tweeted Mellissa (@fitnspicy).

The following wines were featured on the Coastal Chile blogger tasting menu:


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