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Brazilian Wines: A Nice Surprise!
Boscato Cabernet Sauvignon...Elegance in a Bottle
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The Beautiful Serra Gaúcha
Brazilian Wines Are Gaining Increasing Popularity.
Rio Grande do Sul is not only meat territory, it is also wine territory. The Serra Gaúcha (Sehra Gah-oo-sha) is where most of the country's commercial vineyards are located, and it's basically the Brazilian equivalent of the Italian Chianti. Many Italians settled in this region and have kept their wine making traditions intact (yipee!!!).
I was pleased to learn that so many of my favorite varieties of grapes are grown here, such as: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc- to name just a few. To my surprise, I have found some wines that I like as much as some of the Italian wines I regularly consumed in Florence.
I was recently introduced to a Boscato- Cabernet Sauvignon, Riserva, 2005 that totally impressed me with its elegance and wonderful bouquet. My husband and I were reminded of the fine French vintages; delicate fruitiness and mellow wood notes. The price? About R$30,00, which is very reasonable for a superior wine.
We are really enjoying buying different bottles and experimenting with these unknown vintages. The other day, we brought home a cheap R$12,00 bottle of Clos des Nobles- Tannat, 2008 and it was pretty good! It went great with the spaghetti con pomodoro I whipped up for dinner.
Chilling in the fridge right now is the little gift I receieved from my husband´s aunt who, like me, is a red drinker, but enjoys a nice white wine once in a while. I had tried this particular wine the last time I visited Porto Alegre and (lucky for me) she has a great memory: Aurora- Varietal Gewurztraminer, 2009. Crisp, fresh, with a heady nose and under R$25,00.
As good as some of Brazil`s reds and whites are, the country`s true talent lies in its production of espumantes (spumanti). These sparkling wines are being exported worldwide and getting quite a lot of attention. We went to a wine tasting just before Christmas and I was impressed with what I discovered. For example, my husband and I tasted a Brut Charmat, 2008 by Gran Legado that was excellent and we were informed that their Brut Champanoise won an international award in 2009. The Charmat had a wonderfully fresh pear essence with delicate perlage.To check out their website, just click the link: http://www.granlegado.com.br/
To my surprise, a Prosecco was also featured at this event- of course, it was not to be compared with the Prosecco that is produced in the Valdobbiadene region of Italy, but it was not too shabby. A good choice for those who like to drink their vintage at "kilometer zero" instead of imported brands.
The fun of wine tasting is discovering what you like (and what you like to eat it with, of course). There are a few wine shops in the city that sell wine from all over the world, so if I get a hankering for a Chianti Riserva or feel like splurging on a Brunello, I always have that option. For now, however, I am going to do what the Portuguese are historically famous for: explore the unknown. Thank you for reading!
C. De Melo
Author & Artist