Bodegas Twitter Event

A week ago today (Saturday March 26), I was lucky enough to have a ticket to attend a huge winetasting event here in Mendoza called Bodegas Twitter.  The event was a fundraiser for Fundación CONIN, which is a charity that works with underprivileged children.

So why was it called Bodegas Twitter? The entire event was supposedly organized using solely Twitter.  And, if you tweeted from the event using the hashtag #bodegastw , your tweet would be broadcast to the entire party via a giant screen behind the stage.

Bodegas Twitter

Held at the Auditorio Angel Bustelo in downtown Mendoza, the event brought together bodegas all around the Mendoza region (and Patagonia), including some Continue reading

Winetasting on a Saturday

Last Saturday, a few friends invited me to come along on a bodega-hopping adventure. Bodega, just in case you weren’t sure, is the fancy word for winery/vineyard here.  We had a rental car (a zippy little Ford Fiesta) and a full day to go taste wines in the Mendoza region.

My friend is a sommelier in training, so she knows her stuff. We started on our trip heading to San Carlos (a fairly far-away land from the ciudad) to O’Fournier. The trip was WELL worth it. The bodega itself is breathtaking; it’s super modern but also really uniquely designed to take advantage of the use of gravity during the winemaking process. Plus, it looks like something you’d see an evil villain living in a James Bond movie, or perhaps Dr. Evil’s summer home.

Mr. Bigglesworth loves the view.

It is also home to the largest wine cellar in all of North and South America combined. Pretty freaking cool. The bodega uses its cellar also as an art gallery, so it makes it a bit more interesting than staring at barrels of wine.

Best place to take shelter in an earthquake?

 Lunch at O’Fournier was good, but we had heard it was great, so it was a bit disappointing. This was mostly due to the portion sizes (a shot-glass of two different appetizers were called “two courses”, for example). Still, it was tasty and well done. And the view was spectacular.

After O’Fournier, we made our way to La Azul, but we were 20 minutes late. Turns out, they’re not so much on Argentine time when they’re waiting for you. They were gone, and not a soul was in sight. We knocked on a door of a neighboring house to see if they knew if anyone was there, and they couldn’t help us. Ah well.

Hello? Is it me you’re looking for?

Backup plan: We went to Jean Bousquet, who were very kind and received us as well as they could receive a surprise visitor. We wine-tasted with the staff and had a great day.

Our drive back to the city was interesting, as we missed a main road entrance and ended up on a dirt desert road going up and down hills and having to get out and push the car across a few points. It was really, really fun though. It may or may not have had anything to do with the alcohol. But it was a great day, with a beautiful sunset, and a great time with new friends.

Megadegustacion 2011

Ok, so during the Vendimia time they have a wine-tasting festival. It lasts for 3 consecutive days and features bodegas from all around Mendoza and Argentina in general where you can taste it all in one place. It’s called Megadegustación and it. is. awesome.

This year, I hear, was more tame than the years before because we were limited to a certain number of glasses of wine by buying our entrance tickets. Tickets for premium tasting were 60 pesos (divide that by 4 and you have your price in dollars), while the regular tasting was 30 pesos (I think). With that, you got coupons for 5 glasses of wine. Or maybe 4. I don’t remember. It was a good time.  The city shuts down Sarmiento (a major street) for 4 blocks between the Plaza Independencia and Belgrano for this epic shindig.  There’s the wine and they also sell food if you’re hungry (empanadas, etc).

My personal favorite for the evening was the wines from bodega Azul. It was a cab-malbec reserva blend, I think. Soooo good. I also tried reservas from Altos las Hormigas (someone check me on that spelling/name), aand…yeah I’m gonna have to check and see which wines I tasted.

My favorite part of the evening was when my BEAUROCRAT BOYFRIEND approached me and said “Hey, remember me?!”… I said “Yes, of course I do” and he laughed and said “Hey, I’m sorry about today. Cheers!” and toasted me, and walked off.

The city of Mendoza is just a really big town.

Weinert Bodega in Lujan (Mendoza)

This past weekend I paid a visit to the Weinert bodega (vineyard + premises) in Lujan, an area south of the center of the city.

The winery is family-owned, and we were treated to an amazing Brazilian meal consisting of feijoala (sp?) and bobó do pesce (another spellcheck, please) courtesy of our chef friends and son of the winery owner. This was in preparation for next week’s Brazilian Carnival expat luncheon to be held on the premises on Saturday.

We drank the 2005 Malbec (one of my favorites so far of the Malbecs I’ve had), the Merlot (didn’t catch the year), the Cabernet Sauvignon, and then came my unlikely favorite (with dessert in the form of traditional Brazilian ‘brigaderos’):

The Cosecha de Otoño Sauvignon Blanc

Okay, this wine is fantastic. And no, I have nothing to gain financially from giving it a gold star. It’s sweet, but not too sweet; it still tastes like wine. It’s not overpowering, but it goes well with chocolate and cream. It’s the kind of wine you wish you could finish your dinner with when you aren’t in the mood for a super-sweet port, or a bitter digestif like Fernet.  Not syrupy at all, it has a light texture and is (maybe too) easy to drink.  It’s just perfect. I want more!  It’s slightly more expensive than other bottles Weinert produces given the fact that it’s harvested so late, it’s basically made from raisins. But it’s worth the money. Trust me.

My new friend informed me that they sell in the US, and particularly in Texas, so keep an eye out.