It’s been a wine fuelled week for me (well when isn’t it?!!!) as I spent much of the week at the 36th London Wine Fair at Olympia where wine makers, buyers, distributors and experts from all over the world come together to celebrate the humble grape. With over 400 grape varieties spanning 40 countries, it’s impossible to taste everything on offer so you have to enjoy the scale of the event and see where your taste buds take you.
To find just one wine that stands out isn’t easy and there were so many real surprises and great things to look out for, which I promise to tell you about next week. One little treat that I had to share is Reserva Del Pueblo 2014 by Miguel Torres. You’ll probably be familiar with the Torres brand because, like me, you enjoy Viña Sol, one of my favourite bargain ‘holiday wines’! But this is quite different. It’s made from 100% País grapes grown in the Secano region of Chile. Pais I hear you say? No, I hadn’t heard of it either but apparently País accounts for 7,000 hectares of vineyard cultivation in Chile, mostly in arid interior and coastal regions of the Maule Valley, thriving in hot, dry climates with little water where other grapes simply would not grow!
The reason a lot of us in the northern hemisphere may not have heard of Pais is because it’s not associated with quality winemaking. It’s often grown in small vineyards owned by small producers where high yields produce thin bodied, low quality wines saleable only within the Chilean domestic market. But Torres’ work with País, in collaboration with the University of Talca and with financial assistance from the Chilean government, has brought about a revival of the Chile’s national grape with great results.
This wine is a plummy cherry scented drop of wine with a fresh and inviting flavour. The País grape variety apparently characteristically rustic tannins which allows the wine to end with a long, satisfying spicy finish. It’s soft, juicy and so moreish!
All that and it’s fairtrade too! So if you’ve got the BBQ out this weekend and the read meat is making you mouth water, open one of these and you’ll be smiling as much as I was when I tasted it!
Reserva del Pueblo 2014 is around £8.50. Stockists are Slurp.co.uk, Hoults (Yorkshire), Noel Young Wines (Cambridge), Bonafide Wines (Dorset), Penistone Wine Cellars (Yorkshire), Clos & Cru (London), Hawkeshead Wines (Oxfordshire) and Vintagemarque.co.uk
Look out for more on The London Wine Fair on one4thetable.com soon. Happy sipping!