We are coming to the end of our Winemaker’s Night season with the final Wednesday night tasting next week. Each week we’ve had a winemaker come in from all sorts of different projects around Mendoza – from boutique family projects to bigger companies with vineyards all over the country. There have been many wines, a lot of cheese and crackers, and great moments shared.
Before we say goodbye to one of our favorite weekly events for the winter, let’s take a recap of some top moments…
Most Wines Tasted: Marcelo Pelleriti
Marcelo Pelleriti brought 5 wines with him from five different wine projects (including a $300peso Lindaflor Malbec), Kaiken also gave us five, but Renacer steals the crown as they brought us the entire range of their wines: 6 in total! There were a couple wobbly knees as people left the tasting...
Most adorable winemaker: Angel Mendoza
Who can resist this cuddly charmer? Angel may be happily married for many years, but he melted our hearts in October. The heart-melting began when he praised all the women in his family for working hardest in the winery and who he said were irreplaceable for that ‘sixth sense’ that women bring. What was his sauciest answer to the interview though?
Q: Your winery has classical music playing through the barrel room and all sorts of music in the winery, what is the music that plays in your head?
Always music for inspiration and serenity. Remember that the music calms wild animals…
Most honest answers: Laureano Gomez
While some winemakers might try to charm us during the interview, Laureano just answered straight-shooting (and sometimes odd) responses. Points in case:
Q: You've worked in larger winery projects like Salentein and Trapiche, what is special about working in a family winery with smaller production?
Q: You are making some more unusual wines, like the sparkling rose, have you ever made any experiments in the winery that have gone terribly wrong?
Yes, my first wine! My first wine in Trapiche was a Pinot Noir and it was a disaster… terrible…
Q: If you could transform into anything right now, what would it be?
Wow. Why? What is the purpose of this?
Q: For fun!
Hmmm... A yeast maybe. I would like to understand really deep how the wine works. I’d be a wild yeast though.
Best at cutting the wine-talk fluff: Renacer
Owner Patricio from Renacer raised a couple eyebrows and offered many in the audience a reassuring pat on the back when he told us that he doesn’t give a monkeys about people’s descriptions of wine – for him you can say it’s good or bad, and that’s ok. No pressure to talk about boysenberries and lychee essence here.
Q: You said that describing a wine can be very intimidating and that people can talk a lot of hyberbole. Do you have any wine descriptor that you have heard and thought very strange?
Maybe all of them! I am not sure that those descriptions are accurate. We never communicate in terms of tastes but rather if the food is good or bad... I don’t have to describe the taste of a cracker, I don’t need to! I can say it tastes bad, or great. Therefore it is intimidating to ask people to describe the wine –it is an unfair question.
Stupidest question asked (and least romantic answer): A16
We all make mistakes sometimes, and it seems I might not have been paying enough attention when I asked Juan Pablo Arenas, winemaker at A1, this gem.
Tell me about the name A16…
My boss named it A16 because it was his 16th project!
That makes sense…
Best Quote of the season: Kaiken
Easily the best piece of advice for the audience came from Kaiken in March:
Life’s too short for bad sex or bad wine!
Winemaker’s Night will start again in the new season, around October 2014. Don’t miss your last chance to enjoy a Q&A with a local winemaker this Wednesday at 7pm.
Amanda Barnes is a British journalist living in Mendoza and still insists on trying to record interviews in written (english) shorthand while interviewing winemakers in spanish after 5 or 6 glasses of wine...