Dr. Stephen Reiss is a certified wine educator with more than 20 years experience in the wine industry. He teaches the nationally acclaimed Aspen Wine Program and is an expert in helping people learn how to communicate about wine in an easy, universal way. Dr. Reiss has participated in numerous international tasting competitions and was also selected to be a member of the first wine delegation to the Peoples Republic of China. He is also a trained French Chef and an enterprising entrepreneur.
Dr. Reiss visited The Vines of Mendoza Tasting Room. We had a blind tasting of tasted 22 wines from boutique wineries and we talked a lot about Argentine Wine.
Q1: When did you start to like wine?
I started to really pay attention to wines when I was apprenticing to be a chef. We would guess what the left over wines were that the waiters brought us, and one day I got it right, and everyone was amazed. I realized I had a gift. I began to study about wine, and to travel and taste wine around the world. The more I learned and saw, the more I loved wine.
Q2: What are your favorite types of wine? Varietals? Regions?
The is no question that I am a huge fan of Pinot Noir and Burgundy, but mostly I love the variety of wine. I like wine best when it expresses a sense of culture, terroir and the vision of the winemaker.
Q3: What was your first impression of Argentinean wines?
I was, and remain impressed with the variety of styles. Using essentially the same varietals every producer manages to put their own spin on the wine. This for me makes Argentina especially fascinating.
Q4: Which wine has impressed you the most?
I have had some great wines, especially the vineyard designate Malbecs from many producers, but it is the overall high quality of the sparkling wines that impresses me the most.
Q5: Do you see any general wine trend going on in Argentina?
Argentina is in the midst of a revolution of self discovery. The continued exploration of appellations and designated vineyards is helping to further improve the quality of the wines, and to help express a national identity. Almost all of the producers we have visited are dedicated to finding the best example of their terroir they can.
Thanks to all the wineries that participated in the tasting:
Merced del Estero, Gimemez Riili, Sur de los Andes, Jose Luis Mounier, Bressia, Antucura, Eme, Melipal, Monte Cinco, Renacer, Mendel Wines.