Concha y Toro

Ania Smolec 25/12/2014

Celebrating the end of the year with Concha y Toro’s Sparkling wines

Their acidity and structure allow us to match them with some classic ingredients, but also with many international and fusion recipes.

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Sparkling wines are versatile and in varied styles. Their acidity and structure allow us to match them with some classic ingredients like oysters, but also a glass of sparkling wine can be a great companion for many international and fusion recipes, such as Japanese and Chinese cuisines.

The history of sparkling wines begins in France, in the region Champagne, thus the sparkling wine from there is called champagne. Formerly in Champagne were produced red wines.  However, the local producers noted a curious pattern. During cold winters (the region is located in northeastern France) the fermentation process is stopped and reactivated with the arrival of spring. This provoked that in wine appeared delicate bubbles. Finally, they found a way to improve and control the secondary fermentation. This wonderful accident was the beginning of well known traditional method, also today used for the preparation of the finest sparkling wines.

servicio espumante

Traditionally, the sparkling wines are made from three grape varieties:  Pinot Noir, which incorporates the personality, sharpness and clarity; Pinot Meunier, which enriches wine with a soft, sophisticated bouquet and roundness; and Chardonnay, which gives the creaminess, structure and characteristic bouquet of white fruits and flowers. Sometimes they are all  blended together, sometimes each variety separately, depending on the style. The Champagne method is exported to other wine regions.

The success and uniqueness of sparkling wine, usually is based on the combination of carefully selected grapes, the production method and the unique conditions of the region. Winemaker Marcelo Papa selected the Limari Valley and its grapes for Concha y Toro sparkling wines.  Limari, a valley located in northern Chile, offers particular climatic (nearness of the Pacific Ocean) and geological conditions (the soil rich in calcareous components). It is an ideal place for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which have become the basis of his sparkling wines. These strains offer fresh, elegant notes of fruit and a mineral accent that seduces and makes the difference.

The Comité Champagne divides sparkling wine into four categories (sparkling for the body, for the mind, for the souls and for the heart), due to the style and age of the wine. This classification can also be applied to sparkling wines from Chile.  Sparkling wines for the body are strong, in ultra dry brut style like: extra brut, brut, brut nature.

If you go for more oriental dishes such as sashimi, nigiri and sushi, even with fried preparations as a delicate tempura, we recommend you Casillero del Diablo Devil’s Brut with its refreshing notes of limes, green apples and some hints of minerality. Prosciutto ham, caviar, anchovies, smoked salmon will harmonize with the acidity of this style. And the salty character of the ingredients will be absolutely compatible with the lack of sugar in the wine.

espumante devil’s brut

Sparkling wines for the mind are young, fresh, vibrant, light and with notes of citrus fruits, such as Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine. Always welcome as an aperitif, usually served with fish and seafood. Sparkling wines for the heart (this category includes the styles such as demi sec, sweet and Rose) are complex and friendly. Dominated by aromas of butter cookies, biscuits, yeast rolls, honey, linden flower and sometimes cinnamon, they are a good option for desserts like fruit tarts.

The sparkling wine for the soul should be ripe, complex, and rich, with a sophisticated bouquet, which consists of flavors like spices, notes of honey and sweet fruit. In this category are cuvée sparkling wines and millésimé wines. Subercaseaux Grande Cuvee, a fine blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, provides an elegant and classic bouquet. You can find notes of biscuit, butter, walnuts, together with aromas of citrus fruits. You can really feel the sea brise notes of Limari. This wine with its finesse can be served by its own, but also creates an oportunity to shine with some sophisitcated parings. Make your guest sigh with delight with a glass of Subercaseaux Grande Cuvee served with oysters from the cold waters of the southern Chile.

Sparkling wines should be served chilled (good to have a special ice bucket). The first stage of the tasting is of course a visual stage, where the color, clarity, size of the chain of bubbles and their durability are judged. In olfactory stage you can identificate a large family of aromas. Depends on the style of the wine and its strains. And the mouth of sparkling wine can be categorized from the light bodied and fresh, to the well strucutered, rich, creamy and even buttery.

The versatility of sparkling wines gives us the unique opportunity to match it with a large spectrum of food, from appetizers to the end of a meal. It is the perfect wine to enhance with its bubbles those big occasions such as New Year or anniversaries, but also to celebrate those small everyday moments.