Enjoying New Wines Internationally

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On Saturday October 4th, my sister and I jetted off to Aruba.  We try to get together every year for a week or 10 days, and some of our excursions have included Hawaii, Florida and Turks and Caicos.  A great chance for two sisters who don’t live in the same city or the same province,  to catch up.   We had the best vacation ever.   Aruba is clean, and gorgeous with friendly people, great food and good wine.

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To start our vacation we paid the extra money and upgraded to first class.  Ahh, first class on a plane is so civilized.  First of all there’s a menu.  And yes, the wine comes in glass.  My international wine tasting began on the plane.  The wine I am enjoying with my pasta, is the Paso a Paso Tempranillo from Spain.

Paso a Paso

I really enjoyed this wine, and its gorgeous flavors of blackberries and plums.  There is some oak, but the French oak barrels are 2 to 3 years old and the oak is not overpowering.  It was dry with a really good tannic structure.  I had more than one glass.

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Aruba was breathtakingly beautiful and clean and we felt very safe.  It was one of my all time favorite destinations and my sister found it to be one of her best vacations as well.  We stayed at the Occidental Grand and it was pretty.

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The picture on the left was the view from our room, and the picture on the right is the pool area at the resort we stayed at.  The resort was an all inclusive and I have to say I really enjoyed the house wines.  One of the house Reds was Vina Maipo Merlot from Chile.

Vina Maipo

I enjoyed this red with many of my evening meals.  I really enjoyed the wine.  I do like a Merlot and who knew Chile was producing such tasty ones.  I love many Chilean wines and this one just got added to the list.  I honestly have no idea what a bottle of this wine would cost.  Here’s what Natalie Maclean had to say about this wine when she did the review.

“Aromatic Merlot with tons of red fruit, spice box and blackberry aromas. Dry with lots of fruit and oak but in perfect balance as both elements are strong enough to completely complement each other. Medium-bodied with a substantial fruit/oak finish. My note: Loaded with blackberry goodness, blackcurrant and peppered plums. Absolutely terrific!”

Vina Chardonnay  Vina Sauvignon Blanc

Vina Maipo also provided the house white wines.  While I was there I enjoyed the Vina Maipo Chardonnay as well as the Vina Maipo Sauvignon Blanc.  I enjoyed the Chardonnay with a Honey Mustard Chicken Salad and it was delicious.

Honey Mustard chicken salad

The tropical fruits of the wine with its pineapple and toasted oak flavors complimented the slightly spicy honey mustard dressing that they poured over the salad and chicken breast slices.  A smooth buttery texture with crisp acidity has me recommending this Chardonnay.  The Sauvignon Blanc has the gooseberry and citrus notes that complimented my appetizer salad one evening, in which I had an olive oil and balsamic dressing.  I love Sauvignon Blanc with salad.

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We ate off the resort as well, and the wine I am holding in my hand is the Blackstone Merlot from California.  One of my favorite things to do while travelling is try different wines that I can’t buy here in Nova Scotia.  The Blackstone winery calls this ‘America’s Favorite Merlot’ and it was very good.  Merlot, as I have said in the past, took a bit of a s*!t-kicking after the movie ‘Sideways’ came out.. (even though I still love Paul Giamatti).  Merlot is making a comeback.  This luscious fruity goes-with-so much wine deserves a place on the dinner table.  This one was rich, with gorgeous plum flavors and notes of toasted vanilla.  Yum.

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Well that’s it for this week.  Not sure where my sister and I are escaping to next year, but guaranteed it will be fun.  If you see her and she starts to tell you a story where I fell in the pool, or my chair went flying ass backwards with me in it….. don’t believe it!

Till next week Cheers



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