Last night I attended a wine tasting and reception designed to highlight and promote the wines of Argentina. Consejo Federal De Inversiones, a federal trade organization from Argentina, along with NewLink Communications, hosted 12 wineries for the event held at the St. Regis Hotel in Bal Harbour. After a tough afternoon shopping at Tifffany’s (not), my wife and I walked over from the cheap public parking lot to the venue.
We were welcomed at the door by Teresa Villarreal, the Tourism VP at NewLink. She let us know what we could expect from each of the wineries at this trade show. And she was totally on spot. Many if not most were looking for Importers or Distributors to start or expand their wine presence within the US, Florida being a potential new market.
My wife and I visited each of the wine exhibitors and learned about their product lines while tasting one or two wines from each of them. We had a few favorites which I will mention below, but each winery was engaging with their story and passionate about their wines. And really, there wasn’t a wine I tasted all night that wasn’t really good.
There was plenty of light food as well to balance all the wine. Ham, prosciutto, salami, cheese, risotto, ceviche, veggies and desserts, all very nicely prepared. We stopped by at least a few times in between the tastings. There was also a live band, violinist and all, though they didn’t really play very long. They just seemed to disappear after a few songs. And I didn’t even get to dance!
Apogeo was our first stop and their 2010 Malbec remained one of our favorites throughout the evening. Lightly spicy, smooth, rich, well balanced, great start. We were given a handkerchief with the winery name embroidered on it as a souvenir, a nice touch.
Another favorite was from the Bodega Del Desierto winery, their Desierto Pampa 2009 Malbec. Very spicy, smooth, nice tannins. We were told by the representative that you can purchase these wines online at The Country Vintner.
La Riojana Co-Op had two wines that we liked, one a fair-trade Malbec called Ecologica; however, we decided that we enjoyed the Malbec Reserva a lot more. It was quite fruity with excellent cherry flavors.
The representative from Don Cristobal was very nice and had a lot of great information about their winery. We tried their Triana, a blend of Malbec, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The cherry and spicy flavors along with a touch of oak were delicious!
Other wineries represented were Valcosta Estate, Bodegas La Guarda, Gouguenheim Winery, MuÃ±oz de Toros Wines, Bodega Carelli, Rewen Estate, Mauricio Lorca, and Bodegas San Huberto. If you are in the wine business and looking to work with any of these wineries, don’t hesitate to contact them. They are eager to hear from you.
Thank you to NewLink for the invitation and my buddy Ofelia for making sure I’m on the right lists. And thanks to several of the wineries for sending me home with a parting gift to check out at a later time.
I will close this article with one question… Were the baskets of bread on all the exhibitor tables for decoration or consumption? My wife said the bread at the exhibits was a decoration after I said the piece I had just eaten was hard as a rock, but I still told her that was bullshit. Not sure who was right though. Don’t tell her I said that.