Chile Independence Day 2020: Wine & Food Pairing Guide
In Chile, it’s said that drinking wine goes best with a good meal. Coming from a place that’s one of the top wine exporters in the world, that’s probably true. In fact, some of the most celebrated bottles now come from the South American country. While the country produces several varieties of white wine, Chile is slightly more recognized for its selection of reds. In terms of volume, Cabernet has long served as the country’s bestseller, but Chile is also known for producing great Carmenere.
When you’ve gotten hold of some good Chilean wine, you might wonder how best to pair them with food. So, without further ado, open a bottle and enjoy this guide to Chilean wine and food pairing!
Chile’s Chardonnay, especially those from the Maipo Valley, tend to exhibit a lean, medium body with meringue and minerality topped off with balanced acidity. The Cousino Macul Antiguas Reserva Chardonnay 2017 (Special Price: $41), for one example, is a very appealing and well-structured Chardonnay with generous aromas of toast, honey and ripe tropical fruits. A buttery, rich wine with gently oaky flavours on the palate, it matches well with fish, salads and white meat dishes. The relatively delicate flavours also make Chile Chardonnay suitable for charred and grilled vegetables – try it with grilled corn in the Chilean style, you will be happy.
Chilean whites, such as a fresh and light bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, work very well with salads, cheeses and almost any type of shellfish. The slight oakiness of the Tabali Pedregoso Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (Special Price: $33) helps to bring out the taste in salmon and other oily fish dishes, while its medium-high acidity leaves a rich and fruity sensation that can cut through more spicy dishes, like spiced and curried chicken. The Cousino Macul Varietals Sauvignon Blanc 2019 ($31) from the far north Limari Valley has a ripe fruit-driven style reminiscent of Napa Valley, with a nose intense with passion fruit and citrus and a full and crisp acidity that gives freshness to herby dishes and white meats with a good sprinkling of salt.
If reds are more up your alley, you’ll find Chilean Cabernet to be very versatile. In fact, Chile is the world’s second-largest producer of Cabernet Sauvignon after France. They are also relatively diverse, ranging from intense bold and toasty to more elegant and vibrant styles. The Cousino Macul Varietals Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (Special Price: $32), which is fermented in stainless steel tanks, has lots of fruit, no wood and is extremely balanced, perfect to accompany main dishes. Go for tender roast lamb, or even pizza and burgers. You might also be interested in the Tabali Pedregoso Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (Special Price: $34), which features silky red fruit notes like plum, strawberry and a touch of vanilla. On the palate it is full-bodied with nice tannins and great structure. With this, a hearty steak sounds about right.
For a true taste of Chilean wine, pick up a bottle of the country’s signature Carmenere, which are rich in cherry and raspberry notes tempered down with a bit of spice. The Cousino Macul Varietals Carmenere 2019 (Special Price: $32) offers fruity aromas of plums and strawberry, accompanied by nice spicy notes. In the mouth it has a soft texture, ripe tannins and nice acidity. Try this with red meat or corn dishes, Spanish paella, or even your favourite chocolate.