Concha y Toro

Ania Smolec 20/01/2017

Central zone

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The Maipo Valley is the true heart of the country, since it surrounds the Metropolitan Region and its capital Santiago. Its fame has spread throughout the world, especially for its elegant Cabernet Sauvignon. The history of Maipo begins in the second half of the 19th century, when French wines lovers of like Concha y Toro’s founder, Don Melchor, decided to import and plant this strain that today is a symbol of the quality and prestige of Chilean wines.

The food in this part of Chile is definitely more oriented towards red meat. Barbecue reigns at the tables, or rather in the patios and gardens. And next to the heat of the grill, there’s nothing better than a rich red wine like Trio Cabernet Sauvignon form Maipo.

Another classic of the central zone is the plateada dish (cut of beef cooked for hours in wine and spices, usually served with a rustic mashed potato). This dish asks for a firm and elegant wine as Casillero del Diablo Reserva Privada Cabernet Sauvignon.

Towards the south of Santiago we enter the Rapel Valley. This region of Chile is well known for the Carmenere strain (I invite you to remember its amusing story on this link). If Cabernet is like a noble and distinguished gentleman, Carmenere is a cheerful and romantic girl. The wine of this variety has a medium body, with a bouquet of red fruit and sweet spices.

Pastel de jaiba
Crab Cake

In the central valleys, while preparing a party, often a hot pichanga is served. It is a countryside dish, consisting of meats and sausages cut into cubes, olives, pickles, melted cheese, tomato and avocado. The idea is to “peck” while waiting for the main dish, but I have eaten it a few times and I have been lying under the table. Do not hesitate and uncork Casillero del Diablo Carmenere. This wine is gentle and soft on the palate. It will not only refresh this preparation, but also contribute with its spicy character to make it even more interesting and complex.

But do not forget that the central area also has its beautiful beaches. Its waves are highly appreciated by the best surfers in the world. In Pichilemu or Iloca you can enjoy an exquisite crab cake. This dish seduces with its tremendous creaminess, as the soft flesh of the crab is carefully crumbled and prepared with bread soaked in milk and onion.

I recommend this recipe with a white wine with a great personality and depth in the mouth. Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay is a simply perfect match. Some of its grapes come from vineyards of the Rapel Valley, which deliver notes of tropical fruits, but also a lot of creaminess and texture.