Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wine Gala

Grab this related post Widget!
Thursday night we attended an unexpectedly awesome event. We were invited by our friend and business partner Juan Heredia and his wife to a wine gala sponsored by La Cofradia del Vino (The Brotherhood of Wine), an organization to which they belong.

The existence of such a group was surprising because Ecuador doesn’t have much of a wine drinking culture. And, as opposed to our neighbors Chile and Argentina, virtually no wine is produced here.

The event was held at a large beautiful facility smack in the middle of a neighborhood. This seemed like an odd location, but I learned in the past the whole area was a huge farm that was sold for development, and this main hacienda is all that remains of the original property.

We were warmly greeted by our hosts, given full size wine glasses for tasting, and invited to enjoy ourselves. With about 15 high end wineries lining the perimeter of the room, every table loaded with 6-8 different varieties and vintages, having a great time would not be a problem.

There was a great turnout, and we were happy to visit with friends we didn't know were members as well as make many new acquaintances. Does it get much better than a roomful of wine and lots of friendly people? Of course all that wine certainly boosts the conviviality!

So much wine—so little time. What’s a fella to do?

There was no way to taste everything and not be carried out on a stretcher, so I concocted a strategy that served me well all evening. At each table I simply said, “Pour me your best.”

This plan turned out even better than I expected. Not only did I enjoy the most excellent selections, it also turned out that the representatives brought only one bottle of their choice vintages, so many attendees never got to taste them. Contributing to their situation was my frequent request for extra pouring when I found a wine that was particularly wonderful.

By far the most outstanding discovery of the night was a wine from Canepa, generally a mid-range producer, called Magnificvm. This is an Italian style ultra premium Cabernet Sauvignon that was absolutely mindblowing. At $85 per bottle I hope Canepa is at the next event because that's the only time I get to enjoy it again!

And there will be a next time because we decided to officially join the wine club. We can now look forward to receiving a nice bottle of wine each month, attending numerous tastings, seminars, and other events during the year in addition to the annual gala, and possibly visiting beautiful vineyards with the group.

After two years here, wearing jeans every day, going to Gringo Nights and eating $2.50 almuerzos (lunches) is all well and good, but we so enjoyed getting dressed up and doing something extra special.

We wouldn’t normally buy the wines we’ll now receive through the club, but since they’re already paid for it’ll kind of be like Christmas every month when one arrives. And we can now look forward to future fun events with great wine and camaraderie.

Was this a bit of a splurge? Sure. Do we deserve it? Yes we do.

1 comment:

Tami (aka Tamster) said...

Glad you enjoyed yourself! In my job, I am on the other side of the table at these type events, pouring guests and telling them about the wines. Most (if not all) the tables have spit buckets, which are a must (for me), and I will always spit out the first taste because it is NOT accurate - that first taste depends on what you had in your mouth prior. The second taste is better and the third sip is ideal. That is, if you like the wine!

I wonder if there is a branch on the coast somewhere. Otherwise, I may have to travel to Cuenca to enjoy some tastings!

Thanks for posting your experiences, gives me hope I can continue my wine education and have others to share my geekness :D tami