Wine, Poetry & Patagonia Women’s Trip/Chapter 3

A Sip Here, A Nibble There: Wine + Food

February 3

We are up and out and on our way to the Colchagua Valley to begin some serious wine tasting for non-serious wine drinkers.  First stop – Casa Silva – a charming place that has been family owned and run since 1892.

Tiny, elegant and a wonderful way to introduce us to the interesting history of wine in the area.  It was here we first saw the middle of the barrels painted with wine – a purely cosmetic thing.  That way, when they open the top and take a taste the drips don’t make the barrels look messy, but instead blend right in.  Clever, these winemakers.

But no rest for us – it was off to Viu Manet for a wonderful lunch that started off with some cold tomato soup that was fantastic – and enough to have for lunch on its own.  Followed by a huge portion of pork loin and vegetables (with wine, of course) and choice of desserts (important for us!) of a duo of crème brulee (amazing chocolate & vanilla) or a trio of sorbets made with fruit and wine – red with calafate berries, another with gooseberries and late harvest white and the last with chocolate and port.  Yum.

Our visit here continued with a carriage ride through the vineyards to the wine making area to see how their wine was made – pretty much the same as others but here we were led by a charming fellow – Christian – who was Chilean by birth, raised in Venezuela and recently graduated in viticulture and enology from Fresno State!  Here was a fellow who was smart, charming, handsome and passionate about wine. At Viu Manet we had our first taste from the barrel – unaged and full of tannins . . . it was pucker city. But interesting and good to have the perspective.

Another carriage ride back to the main house for our tasting – and to listen to this educated young man wax poetic –  “Wine and food cannot be separated,” he said.  “I cannot think of a wine without thinking of what food it will go best with.” A man after my own food lovin’ heart.

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