A well-known friend from Chile

The Wine List: the retirement project to sample a wine made from each of the main grape varieties listed in Hugh Johnson’s Pocket wine book.


IMGP5924 (1)Fairtrade Carmenere, Valle Central, Chile. Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference range

Alc Vol: 13.5%

HJ says: “”An old Bordeaux variety that is now a star, rich and deep, in Chile.”

What it says on the label: “This powerful ripe Carmenere is deep purple in colour with complex flavours of berry fruits and vanilla with a peppery spice.”

Food combination: “The bold flavours make this wine a great companion to pasta, spicy food, beef and lamb dishes.”

Retired Bloke Verdict: This didn’t fall into the interesting discoveries section of The Wine List project. Carmenere – and especially the Chilean product – has been a firm favourite in our wine rack for several years. You can find very good and well-priced examples in all decent wine shops, as well as the major supermarkets. As the label suggests, it is very versatile for such a powerful wine; we drank half the bottle with The Current Mrs Feeney’s renowned (at least in our house) spaghetti bolognese, and the remainder with roast beef for Sunday lunch the next day. It did not disappoint.

One for the wine rack? Obviously, yes.

It’s not about the wine: Part of the central valley in Chile is called O’Higgins Region, in honour of the splendidly-named Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme. One of Chile’s founding fathers, you will not be surprised to learn that he was of Spanish and Irish ancestry.

PS: apologies for the poor quality of the photo. My camera needs attention.


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