Dressed in chic Latin attire, “Heard it through the Grapevine” guests arrived at Terry and Mike Gilberti’s festively decorated la casa.
Cool drinks were offered while conversing and enjoying traditional Tex-Mex appetizers of chips dipped in spicy guacamole, queso, salsa and taco sauce.
Wine linked with Spanish/Mexican Heritage was judged, and zesty Tex-Mex cuisine was enjoyed. A tasty Taco Bar with all the trimmings, Southwest chopped salad with cilantro dressing, Mexican rice and decadent sopapillas were served.
When we began our search for Mexican wines we asked, “Where can you buy Mexican wine?” The answer was Mexico. We were told to contact an individual winery or a wine club in Mexico. Another option was to contact Volubilis Imports, an exclusive dealer, for distributors.
Since no one in the group was traveling to Mexico this month nor had the inclination to locate exclusive distributers, we decided to purchase wines linked to Spanish/Mexican Heritage. When pairing spicy dishes of Mexico with wine, ‘keep your cool.’ The flavors that survive heat are sweet and sour. That’s why both crisp and slightly sweet wines can cool the palate after a fiery onslaught.
Capturing first place in the wine competition was Viv and Al Wright’s Villa San Juliette Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles from American Idol producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick. This is a superb QPR and a very good wine. The nose is filled with red fruits, which carry over to the fruity flavor of this wine. The mouth feel is good but not as full as a higher priced wine. Tannins are controlled. It is an excellent wine for the price, scoring 87 points.
In second place was Catherine and Ken Bass’ Hazana Tradicion Rioja Vendimia. This wine displays a fantastic deep color, superb berry fruit and controlled toast and vanilla character. The palate delivers sweet fruit and excellent structure and has a rating of 90.
Nancy and Pete Toppan’s Eppa SupraFruta Organic Red Sangria placed third. Eppa is the only rated bottled sangria, earning 90 points from The Tasting Panel Magazine. It introduces itself with crisp citrus notes that meld into pomegranate and berry overtones. Its natural, subtle sweetness is a result of its blend of real fruit juices, which bring a brightness of flavor.
Terry always has a fun game in store for us. While sipping a few glasses of wine after dinner we played a quizzical question and answer game drawing from our life experiences involving wine. Lots of stimulating stories were told.