06.06.13 – Grab a glass and join me as I walk you through my very first wine tasting - hosted at The Bazaar by Jose Andres restaurant at the SLS Hotel. The Castilla-La Mancha 2013 US Tour made a stop in Los Angeles, and being the white-wine fanatic that I am, I had to be there.
The wine tasting was set-up with various tables where visitors could freely move from one maker’s exposition to another’s. I was advised by the pros to taste all the white wines first and save the reds for later so that I could get the “best flavor”. Though the options seemed endless, I managed to try chardonnays, sauvignon blancs, rieslings, moscatos, and mixes from every single maker. Aside from my normal white wines I was able to try several “verdejo”, wines, which are made from a Spanish white grape. One verdejo wine that really stood out to me was an all-organic make by Bodegas Olcaviana; their white wines were especially aromatic and I loved knowing that my drink had no synthetic add-ins.
Though I enjoyed every single glass of white wine at the tasting there definitely was a ‘winner’ for me. My favorite wine of all was the Airén de Pie Franco made by Bodegas Verum winery. This airén was so different from all others of its kind that I tasted because it had the most perfect balance of sweetness. This wine had only a slight, if any, tartness that was balanced by a very light fruity flavor. Overall, the Airén de Pie Franco was the most refreshing wine I had at the tasting and was so memorable because of its significantly clean taste. While many chardonnays may be too tart or rich and moscatos may be too sweet, this airén was as perfectly balanced as water. This wine was perfect due to its simplicity; I felt like I could drink it with almost any meal at any time of the day. Though airéns may not be the most popular white wine on the market, I would absolutely recommend this particular bottle to anyone looking for a new go-to summer beverage. Even though I’m not a wine expert I can vouch that simplicity goes a long way with wines and that less really is more.
Aside from the extravagant selection of wines, the event featured many dishes prepared by The Bazaar restaurant, which complemented the wines perfectly. There was steak that just melted in my mouth, shrimp sautéed in the most phenomenal sauce, and the richest chocolate cupcakes I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. Of course, I can’t forget the beautiful venue itself- a restaurant with a classy and comfortable ambiance. I will, without a doubt, be going back. My first wine tasting was a complete success- yup, I’ll drink to that.