Portugal, perhaps most famous for Port and Madeira and the ever useful cork, which comes from the native cork oak tree, is actually one of the oldest, most storied wine growing countries in the world. In recent years there has been a resurgence in interest in the still wines of Portugal and a concerted effort to increase public awareness of the quality wines this country produces. One of the most prestigious growing regions in Portugal is the Tejo region. This area takes its name from the river Tagus, which flows through the Ribetejo Province and provides the region with its diversity in terroir and climate. There has been a total overhaul of the business model in this region and no longer are producers trying to make vast quantities for export; they are, instead, focusing on better farming practices, smaller yields, and less intervention in the wine making process.
I’ve been in a Riesling mood lately. This is probably due to the fact that I recently got to meet the makers of Donnhoff and Leitz Riesling, who were generous enough to host a guided, sit down tasting at the wine shop I work at. And by meet, I mean that I shook their hands, gushed like a total weirdo about how much I love their wine, and watched on from the sidelines while they made their presentation. I was entranced as I gathered dirty glasses and rang people up at the register. I can only imagine how great it was for the people sitting at the tables. What’s that saying about bridesmaids and brides, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride”? Well, I guess I’m always the servant, never the guest. This servant doesn’t give a damn, however, because I was just happy to drink all the left over wine the next day.
It’s that time again! The 2012 South Beach Wine and Food Festival is right around the corner and it is filled to the brim with amazing events that should not be missed! Every event is worth going to, but I’ve selected a handful of my favorites that are a must for wine lovers, whether you’re an amateur or an aficionado:
CRYSTAL CLEAR: DOES THE GLASS MAKE A DIFFERENCE? HOSTED BY MAXIMILIAN RIEDEL
Date: Friday, February 23, 2012
Time: 3:00-4:15 pm
What am I drinking these days? Well, a lot less than last month, that’s for certain, though a few spectacular glasses of wine have passed my lips and ended somewhere in my midsection. It comes with the territory working in a wine shop, for which my greedy palate is forever grateful.Yesterday I was taking down our holiday window display and a glass of Tarlant Brut Nature Champagne NV made its way into my hand, and let me tell you that perked me right up. I went from doggedly taking down those holiday ornaments to practically dancing in place as soon as I tasted that first crisp, ginger-lemon sip. There’s a beautiful floral nose to this wine that I couldn’t quite pinpoint. Jasmine, maybe? Smell it for yourself, and perhaps you can indentify that elusive scent. Made with equal parts Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, this champagne has a great energy to it, while at the same time it has a little funkiness on the finish that could really be complemented by food. It retails for around $75.