Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Watch out, Europe...Here comes Brazil?

Now I will admit right upfront that I have never tried wine produced in Brazil. And when I hear myself say that I get a little angry at myself. My late, Brazilian grandfather, Costello DaSilva, used to say that some day Brazil would someday play in the wine arena. I never listened because, well Brazil is a tropical climate, not ideal for grape growing. I have heard for years now that Brazil was considered a risky development region, but now development is exactly what's taking place. European wine produces are investing millions into a possible Brazilian expansion, and according to a recent NY Times article, it might just be paying off.

C'mon, it shouldn't be so hard to believe. Listen if China and India can gain some steam, why not Brazil? These three countries have been dubbed the "new latitude" wine regions. Look at countries like Chile and Argentina. They were once considered "development regions" too, and now they are thriving in the new world of wine production.

The new latitude winemakers are still relatively unknown compared with the traditional European powers of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal, and they lag behind even the New World producers from Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.

China and Brazil, the two biggest players among the new crop of wine-producing nations, produce just 6.7 million hectoliters, or 2.4 percent of the world’s annual output, according to figures from the International Wine and Spirit Record, a London-based research company. Still, wine is becoming more popular in countries like Brazil, China and India because of a growing middle class and publicity about its health benefits. Producers in all three countries are betting those markets will grow, and there are figures to back that up. The London research company estimates that by 2011, wine consumption will rise by 12 percent in Brazil, 39 percent in China and 82 percent in India.

Click here to check out the entire article by Andrew Downie.

Well, let me be the first to say that I will, this week in fact, try some Brazilian wine...that is if I can find it. In honor of my late grandfather Costello DaSilva, a native Brazilian, I will find a bottle. When I do, be ready for my review.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Pop the cork

Tonight's wine selection was the result of a wine tasting class my wife attended in NYC last week. She very much enjoyed it, and actually won this bottle in a raffle at the event.

The wine: Stormhoek Pinotage 2005

Country: South Africa

Region: Western Cape

Category: Pinotage

Vintage: 2005

Price: $9.99

Tasting Notes:

The color: Deep ruby red, and very thick appearance on walls of the glass.

The Nose: Very sweet fruit filled nose with nice notes of plum, cherry and spice.

The Taste: As the nose would indicate, a very rich, vibrant fruit filled wine upfront. Plums and strawberries most notably. Wonderful spice smokiness, will the density of earth and tar. Very nice smooth finish with lingering fruit flavors and moderate tannins. Quite a nice wine, that I bet would be absolutely amazing with some BBQ ribs...and you know how I like some ribs.

The Verdict: 7 corks