Chile is considered part of the “new wine” world; however, viticulture in Chile dates back to the 16th century. What started as sacramental wine became a full-fledged industry by the 19th century. Recognition is slow in the wine industry and it has taken global wine consumers much longer to realize that Chile is a source of high quality wines, often at value prices. Today, Chilean wine sales continue to climb as wine lovers around the globe seek out wines from Chile.
Today I want to share with you two high quality wines from Chile I know you will love. One is expected, one possibly a surprise.
Chile is known for its red wines. Carmenere is the countries signature grape, with Cabernet Sauvignon following closely behind. Chile is a source of high quality premium Cabs that are phenomenal. Thankfully, robbing a bank is not required to drink good Chilean cabs. A young winery, Viña Ventisquero began in 1998. However, in almost 20 years they have made a name for themselves by going a step beyond in the wine making process. Their philosophy is producing modern, high quality wines while taking care of the environment every step along the way. They are certified sustainable in their vineyards, winery, and corporate social practices.
2015 Viña Ventisquero Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Chile ($15): 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah; medium+ ruby; medium+ aromas of candied violets, cherries, plums, raspberries, dried currants, fresh tobacco, smoke, minerality, sweet baking spices, chocolate, vanilla; juicy on the palate with medium acidity, young and approachable, medium tannins, easy to drink and enjoy, will pair well with food with a bit of spice; click here to locate this wine.
Summer is the perfect time for grilling. Pair this wine with grilled hanger steak with chimichurri sauce and Mediterranean cauliflower for a great summer meal.
Valdivieso is quite old by comparison. Alberto Valdivieso founded his winery in 1879, as the first in Chile and South America to craft sparkling wine. Valdivieso crafts sparkling wines in the charmat style for immediately approachability. Over the years they expanded their portfolio to include still wines but today is about bubbles. Have you had bubbles from Chile? This is actually the third time I have enjoyed Chilean bubbles and I have yet to be disappointed.
NV Valdivieso Brut Rose Central Valley Chile ($13): 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay; medium electric fuchsia; medium aromas of strawberries, candied cherries and violets, dreamsicle, watermelon, lime juice; enters palate with a kiss of sweetness followed by effervescent fresh red summer fruit, refreshing and lively on the palate with fine and persistent perlage, medium acidity, tart citrus finish; click here to locate this wine.
This is the perfect summer sipper by the pool, lake, or beach. It also makes a wonderful aperitif to serve with cheese, fruit, crackers, or charcuterie.
You cannot go wrong this summer by adding these two Chilean wines to your enjoyment.