For breakfast this past Saturday, a group of fortunate bloggers and I had wines from Brazil. While it certainly doesn’t sound like an onerous task, at times it can be if you have to taste very heavy wines. Luckily, none of the wines we tasted were too heavy although all the wineries were proponents of oak aging except for one. A few of the wines I found to be surprisingly friendly for 9:30am.
What's better than wine for breakfast? Not much, really. Except perhaps Brazilian wine for breakfast which was a new wine experience for me. Not the wine for breakfast part, the Brazilian part. I suppose I vaguely knew that wine is made in Brazil, similar to how I know wine is made in Kansas, but I’ve never seen any in the market. It appears that Brazil’s largest market is in Russia, with the US coming in 3rd, but a very distant third. Overall, Merlot is the dominant red grape with about 60% of the red wine produced being Merlot.
My recent weekend in New York City was packed full of wine tasting events that were coordinated by the good people of Snooth. With each event focusing on different wine regions throughout the world, from Rioja to Oregon, one of the tasting events I was most excited about was the Wines of Brazil. Having never tried any Brazilian wine prior to the tasting in New York; in fact, the word soccer or Carnival comes to mind first when thinking of Brazil – I was completely unfamiliar with wines from this region.
Benito's Wine Reviews
Brazil is a relative newcomer on the international wine scene. The first Portuguese settlers were in the hot and humid north, a region that was terrible for wine grapes. Proper wine production didn't begin until the turn of the last century when Italian immigrants settled the cooler, drier southern regions like Campanha on the border with Uruguay. This is still a developing wine region: we tasted wines from the past seven vintages, and while nothing was spectacular, I think that there is some great potential. I've been tasting Chilean wines since the mid-90s and find them getting better and better each year. As the winemakers dial in the proper balance of grapes, soil, and style, and find the appropriate markets, I think they'll find a way to play to their strengths. In the meantime, an amusing anecdote...
My Vine Spot
After a wonderful night of enjoying delicious food, good company, and Oregon wine at the Peking Duck House in Manhattan, we kicked off the following morning with a Brazilian Wine Master Class. My kind of breakfast! I was familiar with the region, but due to a lack of availability in my corner of the world (Virginia), I didn’t have any experience with Brazilian wine. Therefore, I was pretty excited to learn and taste through the wines with Mauricio Roloff of Ibravin and Snooth's Editor-in-Chief, Gregory Dal Piaz.