We visit Gourmet Magazine’s private dining room and test kitchen—where leading culinary talent research the tastiest trends—and ...
investigate the Chilean vino buzz with renowned wine and spirits consultant Michael Green. Chilean wines are appearing on wine lists everywhere, find out just what makes their grapes so special!
Tags:Learn about Chilean Wines,About Chile wine,Behind the Burner,CHILEAN WINES,Important facts about Chilean wine,Michael Green,Wines of Chile
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Divya: Hi I'm Divya Gugnani, welcome to Gourmet Magazines private dining room and test kitchen. Here the leading culinary talent, researches the tastiest trends. Chilean wines have been appearing on wine list everywhere. So let’s go behind the burner, meet the expert and find out why.
I'm here with Gourmet magazines wine expert consultant Michael Green. Let’s talk about Chile the country and the climate first.
Michael Green: Sure! We’ll first off, it's 3000 miles long and 100 miles wide. And if we would take the country and transpose it, it will go as far north as Alaska and as far South as Mexico.
Michael Green: So that gives you an idea of how diverse its topography is. Most of the wineries are located within two or three hours North or South of Santiago. From a topography perspective it’s very interesting how Chile is boarded in the North by the Atacama dessert, the South by the gateway to Antarctica, the West Pacific Ocean and to the East Andes Mountains. So you have this box that is created natural barriers that results in wine that are some of the most natural on earth.
But one thing that you’re going to have with these warm days and cool nights with the humbled current coming off the Pacific and the cooling breezes from behind these mountains are stylus of wine that have the fruit forwardness if you might see in a region like California or Australia but that really taut acidity that you might find in a region like France or Italy. So their really food friendly, offer tremendous value and a really diverse in style.
Divya: So one of the great tips that we want to know in general for wine making is that you do want those warm bright sunny days and cool nights to keep the grape.
Michael Green: Absolutely!
Divya: So Michael what types of grape vitals do you find in Chile?
Michael Green: We’ll the first thing to know about Chile is that most the wine are labeled by grape which is really great for consumers because we know wine when its labeled by grapes.
Divya: Exactly! Instead of by region what they do in France.
Michael Green: Exact like France or Europe and while there is a whole host of grapes that are cultivated in Chile. The three styles of wine that I think you need to know are Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carmenere.
Divya: So when you think of Carmanere, do you think of plants or do you think of Chile.
Michael Green: Chile because it really is the differentiating varietals of the country but it’s an interesting story that’s worthy of a CSI episode until 1994. This grape we thought it was Merlotand then through an analysis, DNA analysis. We realized it is Carmenere. This ancient grape from Burdo that is now found its home in Chile and some of these versions are absolutely delicious.
Divya: So are you going to talk about it or you going to let me taste?
Michael Green: I'm going to let you taste, I'm going to let you taste. My God you’re killing me. So this is a Sauvignon Blanc and a nice thing about Chile and Sauvignon Blanc is that it rarely sees any over.
Divya: Some for you too you know.
Michael Green: Okay and I was going to say; I want you to pour a lot more wine from it. What it this small little tastier, okay. So most of these wines have not seen any oak and they're really fresh, and they're really crisp. And here’s a tip for your viewers, if a wine looks light, it's going taste light.
Divya: What’s a typical quantity that I should expect for a wine tasting and then what’s typical quantity for a regular glass?
Michael Green: For your friends or my friends? For wine tasting I like to figure 15 to 18 taste on a bottle. So a small amount of wine and for a glass of wine, I like about three to four ounces. So I have enough room to swirl the wine, about 1/3 fill to the top.
Divya: It's kind of floral bouquet?
Michael Green: It's got a floral bouquet, I'm sort of getting citrus, I'm getting lemon zest. I know we are so teasing you, we’re tasting the wine and you’re just watching and your salivating. I think the grape is one of the most food friendly, dry and prolific grapes on the planet. And most Chilean versions are well under 15 dollars.
Divya: Which makes it a great price point but what types of food do you like to pair the Chileans Sauvignon Blanc’s with?
Michael Green: I would like lighter fair, like shell fish, like salads. If you want a contrast to cut through the creaminess of a cream bay sauce, I think this could work really well. So Chileans Sauvignon Blanc, delicious, get the most recent vintage.
Divya: Oh really? Okay!
Michael Green: Absolutely, these wines--
Divya: It’s a good tip to know.
Michael Green: Yeah! These wines, I don’t think getting asleep better with age, so I think they're bright, I like their freshness. I think that the best Cabernet Sauvignon in world is found in Napa Valley, in the left bank of Burdo and in Chile.
Divya: And I love Carbernet Sauvignon when I'm having a good steak.
Michael Green: You know what you’re getting a little bit of green pepper and a little bit of eucalyptus which would often be the scriptures you find in a Cabernet Sauvignon wines.
Divya: A little bit herbal on the nose.
Michael Green: Exactly! 15 minute rule put your red wines in the fridge, 15 minutes before you're serving and take your white wines out of the fridge.
Divya: 15 minutes before serving.
Michael Green: Yeah, and you know what’s interesting with the Sauvignon Blanc and the Cabernet Sauvignon, I love the terms done devils. So if you like Loire Valley, Sauvignon Blanc, look for Chile. It’s a flash in a price.
Michael Green: Do you know what this claim is, these two wines are well under 20 dollars a bottle and I think their really stellar. Okay, feel this bottle.
Divya: This is quite heavy.
Michael Green: Its very heavy and generally a heavier bottle wine means that it's more expensive. But this wine is really, really tasty. I think this is one of the best wines that Chile produces. It’s called Purple Angel and it’s primarily Carmenere.
Divya: So Michael give us some tips for pouring wine.
Michael Green: Sure! Enjoy the ritual pouring wine. Hold the bottle from the back. Don’t fill the glass more than a 3rd fill and never touch the bottle to the glass. I called Carmenere, Cabernet Sauvignon in silk pajamas.
Divya: Like high-class. It actually a little bit lighter.
Michael Green: Acid to what well the full body fish dish like blue fish or salmon or swordfish or tuna would be really quite nice. This is an expensive bottle of wine. It sells for about 55 dollars but this is considered one of the best wines of Chile. So if we were looking one of the best and most cold dish wines from Napa Valley or Burdo. It could sell up to a thousand dollars a bottle.
Divya: Exactly! This is a great value. Chilean wines are amazing for their style, their grapes, their texture, the climate and also the price of wines. Cheers! Thanks for having us.
Michael Green: Cheers! Thank you.
Divya: For Q&A with Michael Green and more details about him and his events at the gourmet institute of fruit focus weekend presented by Gourmet magazine from October 23rd to 25th, visit www.behindtheburner.com. Stay tune to behind the burner while we give you the tips, tricks and techniques that are lightning the culinary world on fire.