Well, it's Christmas Day and due to nature's stormy temper, I did not make it back to the flatlands for the holidays. So to console myself, I decided to have pizza and red wine for Christmas dinner; there's nothing better that indulgance to warm the heart. Earlier this afternoon I stopped by Firefly--one of my favourite wine stores--and asked one of the helpful staff to recommend a nice Chilean wine that was similar to my usual Santa Rita stand-by. He lead me over to the shelf and pointed out a sleek bottle of 2005 Chocalan Carmenere Reserve insisting it was the best bang for the buck. Feeling adventurous I bought the Carmenere Reserve (approx $20) and a bottle of the Chocolan Syrah 2007 (approx $15).
Just before dinner I uncorked the 2005 Carmenere Reserve and poured a generous glass. Swirling it I let the ruby-red whirlpool slow before I put my nose to the rim and inhaled the aroma of blackberries and cocoa (no saddle leather here). The taste was slightly biting, spicy and rich in berry flavor. It complimented the dark Lindt chocolate with chili (my newest addiction!) that I ate for dessert. I agree that this wine is certainly a good value for the money, but I must admit that I like the Vina Casa Blanca Syrah (2006) from Chile more; I found it silkier, smoother, more robust. I'll have to do a taste test comparison if I don't get distracted by the vast array of fantastic wine out there. Happy sampling!