Few weeks ago we attended a wine tasting at Wine Discount Center on Elston (in Chicago). I wanted to write about it right away, but I didn't get a chance. It's called "First Look Tasting" and it has place every first Wednesday of the month, and it's sort of like a preview of wines that will be sold during that month. What they do is, they buy bunch of cases of the wines they like, have tasting, sell those during that month, and next month they have a new selection... so if you like something, you have to stock up, as it will not be there next month...
The tasting costs $10.00 per person, and you need to make a reservation ahead, the space is limited. There are 30 different wines, from all over the world to taste. I think that's a good number of wines to taste at one evening. And the wines are in pretty affordable price bracket - I would say between $4.99 and $27.99 being the highest priced bottle of the tasting. So you don't have to spend a fortune on wine if you like what you tasted...
I had quite a lot of favorites but we only purchased 4 bottles. Here is what I got:
Maipe Bonarda 2008 (Argentina, Mendoza) - this wine is packed with complex aromas and flavors of blueberry, earth, smoke and roasted herbs. Round and ripe on the palate, it has surprising depth and length for its price - $7.99. Rich and robust, there is both a rustic quality and a freshness. Build for hearty fare.
Albino Rocca "Rosso di Rocca" Piedmont 2005 (Italy) - this wine comes from one of the top producers of Barbaresco. This blend of 80% Nebbiolo, 10% Barbera nad 10% Cabernet s jam-packed with vibrant fruit and aromas. Beautiflly balanced and pleasurable to drink now or over the next few years. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2010. Very affordable priced - $10.99
Celler Can Blau Montsant 2007 (Spain) - "a blend of carinena, syrah and garnacha. Dark purple, with sexy aromas of blackberry, blueberry and black cherry. Asian spicesn, and smoked meat. Velvety texture and good mineral bite. Has a good finishing clarity and cut, leaves strong blue fruit notes behind and repeats the spicy quality." Price $13.99 per bottle at WDC.
El Chaparral De Vega Sindoa Grenache Navarra 2007 (Spain) - I have not tasted that wine at the tasting, as it was not available to taste. I read the tasting notes and based on that I bought that bottle. Spain is the third wine producing nation in the world, you can't go wrong with their wines,and those are very affordable. I'm sure it will be a great taste. 100% grenache grapes, ruby color, clean finish with light cherry flavors. Priced at $11.99 - seems like a good choice to me.