If you couldn’t make it last Saturday, we’re heading back to Uncorked Wine Shop in Hermosa Beach for another great wine tasting. Tonight Uncorked will feature the wines of South America. With more than 600 wines from all over the world, Uncorked is a retail shop which features award-winning wines as well as hard-to-find boutique selections. For our hops and barley fans, Uncorked offers kraft beers, both domestic and imported!
Wine South America - South America wine and winemaking has a longer history than anywhere else in the New World. In the mid 1500’s, Jesuit missionaries brought viticulture to South America. This introduction began in Chile and spread to Argentina. The wine producing nations of South America are working to improve the quality of their wines. While Chilean wines are better known on the foreign market, Argentina wine is increasing the quality and is making a global impact. As well as these two countries, there is also wine produced in Brazil, Peru and small quantities in Uruguay.
The wines being poured this evening will be
1. Torrontes from Argentina - The Torrontes grape produces the characteristic white wine of Argentina. The Torrontes grape is cultivated in the Argentine provinces of Catamarca, La Rioja, Mendoza, Salta, San Juan and Rio Negro. The Torrontes wine made from this white grape is considered the best of its kind in the entire world. The wines made from the Torrontes grape have been, for many years, the visiting-card of the Argentine Wine Producers and have received many international awards. Torrontes is the most distinctive of all Argentine wines, including both white and red, because Argentina is the only country to produce it. It is considered a wholly Argentine variety. Fruity, floral and yet still quite dry, this wine has to be tasted to be believed. This white wine varietal is best enjoyed by itself, or as a wonderful partner with smoked meats, mild to medium-strong cheeses, and seafood. Great partner for spicy food and Thai as well.
2. Sauvignon Blanc from Uruguay - Sauvignon Blanc is one of the finest varieties in Uruguay and not many wineries grow this grape nowadays. This is a French grape producing dry white wines with very appetizing smoked touches and perfumed aroma. It has a noble yellow body with green and emerald trimmings. In Uruguay, it is used with other blends to make fine wines of excellent quality, even the so-called dessert wines.
3. Bonarda from Argentina - Argentina’s second most planted grape variety is a bit of a mystery. Bonarda, which may be the same as a Californian grape called Charbono, is believed to have slipped into the country during the 19th century, brought here by immigrants from northern Italy. In Piedmont, home of Barolo and Barbaresco, there are three different grapes of this name and no-one really knows which one travelled to the Argentine. The most likely contenders are either Bonarda Piemontese or Bonarda Novarese, known as Uva Rara, or “the rare grape”, which is appropriate since Bonarda has pretty well disappeared in Italy. Today there are 46,000 acres of Bonarda in Argentina, of which 38,000 are in Mendoza with most of the rest in San Juan. A generation ago it was the country’s number one grape, not that people knew, since its name was rarely if ever mentioned on the label.
4. Malbec from Argentina - Originally grown in the Southeast of France, this grape has turned into the premier wine from Argentina, where it has found the most propitious ecological features for its development. Argentinian malbec has become worldwide known and has been awarded well-deserved medals in enological contests. It acquires different features according to the weather and soil conditions where it is grown. In the area of Maipú, Mendoza, it reaches its highest development, surpassing other regions in the country. It produces wines of pleasant taste, medium body with certain earthy notes and an intense purple color. Of vigorous texture and taste, it has a touch of rusticity in the palate.
5. Tannat from Uruguay - Tannat is a red wine grape, historically grown in South West France in the Madiran AOC and is now one of the most prominent grapes in Uruguay, where it is considered the "national grape". The Tannat vine was introduced to Uruguay by Basque settlers, especially Pascual Harriague, in the 19th century. Along with the Manseng vine it quickly started to flourish in its new home. Today it is often blended with Pinot noir and Merlot and is made in a variety of styles including those reminiscent of Port and Beaujolais. The Tannat wines produced here are characterized by more elegant and softer tannins and blackberry fruit notes. Vineyards in Uruguay have begun to distinguish between the "old vines" that are descendants from the original cuttings brought over from Europe and the new clones being produced today. The newer vines tend to produce more powerful wines with higher alcohol levels but less acidity and complex fruit characteristics.
Yummy empanadas will accompany the wines. Artisan cheeses, breads & charcuterie are also available for purchase between $5 - $15.
The cost for the wine tasting and empanadas is $15. You can pay at Uncorked (cash or credit card). If you purchase or order 3 or more bottles of the wines being poured this evening, the wine tasting is free. The wine tasting ends at about 9 p.m. It is recommended that you arrive earlier in order to have an opportunity to enjoy the wines for this tasting and the empanadas before they run out.
There is metered parking. You can also look for street parking. Please read the signs for any restrictions. It should be a great evening. Look forward to seeing you there!