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Wines of Chile

It's Getting Chile in Here

Grab your hats because we're going South to the beautiful wine making region of Chile this month. Chile is considered a New World wine making region but oddly enough, or not surprising depending on how you look at it, the wine making here was perfected by the French. I'm not going to give a history lesson here but it's important to understand that the wine of Chile was started by wealthy Chilean land owners who then imported French wine makers to create the wines. Chile is the 3rd largest importer of wines into the United States and their wines can be an incredible value. This is probably because they don't have to pay for their water since it comes down directly as the snow melt from the Andes Mountains (that's a joke, really).

Chile does make some nice crisp white wines, primarily Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. While Chardonnay is produced in mass to import to the United States (as our white of choice for the moment), Sauvignon Blanc has gained ground in their production levels and is now more widely grown than their Chardonnay. Their blush wine is getting also some recognition - labeled Rosa, which might just be the wine of choice for those lovely Spring days we're anticipating any time soon.

Beautiful reds come out of Chile as well: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère. Cabernet has been the grape of choice for decades and reigns supreme. The best region for their Cabernet is the Maipo Valley in the North-Central portion of this skinny country. Quick warning: their Merlot is not always what you expect. Chilean Merlot is often blended and sometimes not even Merlot. It can be Carmenère. There is no way of telling and often even the wine maker isn't quite sure. Chile is also producing some great Syrahs which have won awards in the past over their coveted Cabernets.

So the rules of winemaking are relaxed here but their labeling is even more so. We've got all the basics like who, what, when and where. However, the only way to tell a high quality wine from a table wine might be the price. Don't turn your nose up to a great $10 bottle of wine from Chile however. Your guess can be a great one.

Happy tasting and we'll see you at!

Darcy & Stacy

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