Chile Style! Hey Gwendolyn Alley!

“Congratulations! You’re a Finalist!” said the email. 

All I have to do now is convince YOU to choose me,  Gwendolyn Alley, the Wine Predator, as the one lucky writer to go on a Guided Culinary Tour of Chile!

Please choose me as the winning blogger who takes tours and participates in tastings at vineyards, olive groves, and fruit plantations. Who better than a wine blogger to wax eloquently about wine and food?8465982902_0ea11ce421_m

Please choose me to meet with local Chilean exporters and producers, and to eat specially prepared meals at the restaurants of local Chilean chefs. I love all kinds of seafood and shellfish, I love game, beef, fowl, pork, vegetables and fruits! My Wine Predator and Art Predator blogs and my twitter and facebook feeds are full of photos of fine food and wine that I share with my followers and friends.

Please choose me to visit the Mercado Central in Santiago, one of the world’s

top food markets, to see cultural heritage sites in Santiago, and to attend the Nam Santiago Food Festival where I will taste of the culinary innovations of Chile.

I, Gwendolyn Alley, Wine Predator, am the right blogger to write about the food AND the wine of Chile!”

So that’s the script I chose to produce for the video above instead of this one with seven reasons why Foods from Chile should choose me. And sometime in the next 24 hours I will find out whether my video submission and this blog post convinced the powers that be to send me to  Chile as the one lucky writer who will go on a Guided Culinary Tour of Chile with members of top media publications from April 7th to April 13th 2013 –flight, transportation, and accommodations all included!

chile styleYes, as you can imagine every few minutes I am obsessively checking my email just in case they decide to pick me and let me know early!

Regardless of whether I win the contest and get to go to Chile in April or not, we had a great time shooting the video–as you can see from the video I submitted as well as the out-takes video below!

Jolly Oyster Chile StylesmLater that day, we took some tasting notes on the two bottles of Chilean wine from Lapostolle we opened for the video–a syrah and a chardonnay. As you can see from both videos, they were both quite tasty and photogenic! The founder of the winery is Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle, of Gran Marnier fame; the Cuvee Alexandre is dedicated to her great-grandfather who inspired her. Lapostolle vineyards are fully organic and certified by Ceres; they also operate by biodynamic principles and the grapes are harvested by hand. When we tasted the wines, we could tell right away they were unfined and unfiltered. While this may make them more cloudy in the glass, these techniques offer more complexity and richness in my opinion. While their tagline is “French in essence, Chilean by birth” we found them to be very much representative of new world wines in terms of accessibility to the typical American palate. They also certify a carbon neutral delivery!

Lapostolle – Cuvee Alexandre – Las Kuras Vineyard, Requinoa, Cachapoal Valley – Syrah – 2007–14.1% alc--around $20
The fruit for this wine comes from the northern part of the Rapel Valley south of Santiago; the river influences the climate there, keeping it cool enough to successfully grow grapes. This deep purple wine has lots of herbs and minerals in the nose; definitely a new world flavor, a lot of acid to keep all that blue fruit from being flabby like some syrahs. The oak in the wine is nice, not overpowering, even though it is ever present; the wine was aged in French oak winechileinspirebarrels for 21 months. Plenty of spice, licorice, and menthol. It pairs well a mushroom brie–the wine brings out the pepperiness in the cheese, but it didn’t pair so well with briny olives. I tried it with a stuffed chicken breast and a stuffed pork chop and it was mild enough to go with both. This wine works well for after work or with a meal. If you saw it on a list at a wine bar, it would be truly satisfying.  During the winter holidays, I brought a bottle of this to share with friends and paired it with brie baked in a crust with fruit and then with duck with a cherry sauce. Delightful. This wine would also be excellent with lamb.
Lapostolle–Cuvee Alexandre – Atalayas Vineyard, Casablanca Valley–Chardonnay–2008–14.1% –around $20
The Casablanca wine region is about 60 miles away from Santiago and only 20 miles from the coast which brings cool air and fog to the grapes allowing them ample time to develop complexity. I prefer this golden yellow wine at cellar temperature, not cold. When it’s too cold, the complex, rich, honeyed flavors don’t show themselves. This wine loves food: I’ve enjoyed it with fresh manila clams, (from the Jolly Oyster of course!), mushrooms, and linguini; with fresh shrimp, mushrooms, and pasta; and with the aforementioned stuffed chicken and pork. I also really enjoyed drinking this wine with oysters during the videotaping which surprised me because I usually prefer sauvignon blanc; this wine has plenty of acidity and apple crispness to go with the oysters. I also found white stone fruit like peach, apricot and nectarine. This is a versatile chardonnay for the ABCer to try (ABC is Anything But Chardonnay). If I saw this on a list at a restaurant or at a bar, I would go for it.

It’s Chile Style! Hey Gwendolyn Alley!

Thanks again to my fourth grade singers and dancers, to Annie Domonoske for kid wrangling, to my neighbor Shannon Connor for doing my hair and make-up, to the Jolly Oyster for the oysters and the location, and especially to Shawn Burgert aka Wandering Wino who shot the video and edited it in less than five hours!

10 thoughts on “Chile Style! Hey Gwendolyn Alley!

  1. Pingback: 20 Minutes in Santiago’s Mercado Central | piran café

  2. Pingback: “Blurred Vines” –new video parody from Jordan Winery | wine predator

  3. Pingback: 20 Minutes in Santiago's Mercado Central - PIRAN CAFÉ

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