Going The Distance
You’ve heard it said that “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing,”…When it comes to wine, a little bit of knowledge is a limiting thing.
Click on Image to watch VIDEO, Wines of Argentina.
At the recently concluded Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival that took place at the uber-spectacular and green-roofed new Vancouver Convention Center, the spotlight was especially on wines from Argentina and New Zealand.
Limiting one’s exploration of a region’s vines results in a myopic view of the country’s wines. The only one who loses in that equation is you. For the purpose, then of greater taste awareness and enjoyable adventure, we will focus on the not-s0-obvious varietals from Argentina and New Zealand, respectively.
Knowledge Equals Taste
In the next couple of paragraphs you will get a concise explanation of why there’s more to Argentina than Malbec, and more to New Zealand than Sauvignon Blanc. The intention is that you will be the richer – in taste, anyway – for it.
Argentine’s Native Vine Torrontés
You won’t go wrong reaching for a Malbec, or even a Bonarda, from Argentina. You’ll also be in good hands reaching for a Torrontés from Salta or Mendoza, a Pinot Noir from Patagonia, and with some discernment you’re on safe ground with Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc.
“Wine talks about the people, the region, the country. It brings the country alive,” recently commented Ambassador Julio Miller, Consul General of Argentina to British Columbia, Ontario and several other Canadian Provinces, while he and his Chilean wife attended the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, where Wines from Argentina enjoyed much of the spotlight.
New Zealand’s Mana Whenua
When wine geeks get together, invariably talk turns to “terroir.” New Zealand has its own terroir and they even call it by its own name, “Mana Whenua,” – Maori for that indefinable French term, terroir.
“Mana Whenua,” explained Paula Ramage of Waitiri Creek vineyards in Central Otago, N.Z., refers to “the power of the land and the people who work it,” and how that permeates the bounty and harvests from that land.
There are 643 wineries spread across 10 major winegrowing regions in New Zealand. One in every 200 bottles of wine produced in the world comes from New Zealand. 95% of N.Z. wines are under Stelvin or “screwcap” enclosures to ensure quality. N.Z. wine is known to be food-friendly wine.