I'm not sure what happened with our last Cork Poppers gig -- usually we are so organized. Wine from France or Northern Italy or a specific type. This year we'd planned to go with Aussie-New Zealand wines. But then Chile and Argentina were added to the mix, so we enjoyed the wines of the Southern Hemisphere!
Of course, my first stop is always the cheese tray. The array of cheeses, combined with Rick's baguette's (barely out of the oven!) is always the best way to start the day!
As always, everyone brought a favorite to present. And as always, most were red! But we started with the white that Dick and Cheryl brought and for me (and I think many of us) it was a taste revelation!
It was Nautilus 2013 Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, new Zealand.If you want to talk about a fabulous aroma, this is it! "I could wear this as perfume," I said, while others called it "Yummy," "Clean and fresh" and lots of "I love it!" Cheryl found it to have a wonderful finish.Dick's notes mentioned a review where it stated that "This is a wine that holds little back and grabs a hold -- kind of like the naughty girl in high school you know you shouldn't like but you couldn't stop thinking about her."
The only downside is that at $17, it probably isn't going to be your everyday bottle of wine. (It has a relatively short cellaring potential, too -- if you are lucky enough to find a bottle of the 2013, note that it should be enjoyed before mid-2015.)
The Bodega Norton Reserva Malbec 2011 brought by Barb and Mike was a 100 percent Malbec from Mendoza at the base of the Andes. This, too, was popular. with our red-loving Poppers who agreed it would be delicious any time! Aged for 12 months in old barrels, it smelled delicious and at $14 was reasonably priced.
Rick and I brought a Malbec, too -- Ruta 22 Malbec, 2012, from Patagonia, Argentina. When I picked this up, the wine guy I spoke with was very enthused about Patagonia, both as a travel destination and as a wine region. Our tasters agreed on the wine -- "Smooth, like a baby's butt," one noted.
Here's a detail I learned about Malbec. It was originally a French grape, always used as a blend in Bordeaux wines. When immigrants brought it to Argentina, the adopted it and found that in the fertile Mendoza region it thrived and became the signature grape of the region. The climate of Patagonia is very dry and has great climate swings, so grapes grown there must be sturdy and consequently produce very concentrated juice. The 2012 was considered a terrific vintage year (cellar through mid-2015 or possibly beyond.) It was $10.49.
My notes get a little sloppy here (we did this the first week in November and only the three above had typed up notes.) Clayton and Anne offered Root:1, a 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Colchaugua Valley in Chile. We all agreed that it was very tasty and one commenter noted, "I'd buy that again.
The retail on this wine is $16 but they bought it on sale for $12 -- and that's a point worth noting. Most stores have regular wine sales and it's an especially good time to buy a wine that might cost a little more than you would usually buy -- and maybe more than one bottle.
Next was a Castillero del Diablo 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile, offered by Pat. It had wonderful cherry and red-fruit overtones. (Or is it undertones?). It would be excellent with red meat, chocolate or a hearty stew. Retail: $11.99 (purchased for (9.99 on sale).
Pat also brought a Trapiche Pinot Noir 2013 from Argentina. I'm not big on Pinots but thought this was quite nice. It comes from the fifth largest distributor of wine in the world. Again, a sale wine -- again, $9.99 for an $11.99 retail.
With a November 1 date, the decorations were still decidedly fall -- like Pat's "Phantom of the Opera" pumpkin! She also had some trick-or-treating games.
And then there was dinner! I think the Cork Poppers like the dinner as much (or maybe even more) than the wine! A beautiful table setting is a wonderful way to start a feast!
And then there is the food itself -- ham, scallopped potatoes, a delicious salad and carrot cupcakes.
Yes, we were happy!
Our next Cork Poppers is at the end of January and I won't wait so long to write the notes! Look for more on both red and white Bordeaux wines soon!
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