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Barrel to Bottles » September 2007

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On a recent trip to a Brazilian restaurant in Astoria, we browsed the wine menu, and, with bold confidence, asked for the “most expensive wine on the menu.” It was a Chilean cabernet sauvignon that was peppery, spicy, and, as one would hope of the most expensive bottle at a restaurant, wonderful to drink. Chile is known for its great cabernet sauvignon wines – wines that aren’t too fruity but soft and smoky. Chile is also known for exporting quality wines at very low prices – which is how we summoned the courage to ask for that “most expensive” bottle. It was $22 and can be bought online for under $7. The waiter commended us on making a fine choice.

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Cousiño-Macul 2003

comes from one of Chile’s oldest estates in the Maipo Valley, a region known for its prolific cabernet sauvignon.

The Cousiño-Macul is an earthy wine with spicy, leathery and subtly minty hints that go very well with a big steak or a leg of lamb.
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Price: $15.00

Buy it at:
Park Avenue Liquor Shop
292 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017
www.parkaveliquor.com
Map | Directions

Santa Rita Medalla Real 2002

is another wine that hails from Maipo Valley and is the first of two Santa Rita cabernets we have this month.

The Medalla Real will give you an interesting combination of black currants, mint, and even a bit of chocolate. Give it a try with a spicy pork belly dish from Koreatown or a local Szechuan joint.

Price: $19.99

Buy it at:
Manor House Cellar
61 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010
www.manorhousecellar.com
Map | Directions

Santa Rita Reserva 2005

is a younger vintage than the Medalla Real and almost half the price, but a solid wine nonetheless.

Aromatic with plums and black currant, the Reserva also has hints of vanilla and cloves. Works well with red meats like the others, and also makes a great pairing with a pasta dish like puttanesca or penne.
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Price: $10.99

Buy it at:
Gotham Wine & Liquors
2517 Broadway
New York, NY 10025
www.gothamwines.com
Map | Directions

San Nicolas Sophia Gran Reserva 2003

hails from Curicó Valley, a region south of the Maipo Valley, from a boutique estate that uses very old grape vines to craft its wines.

The Sophia is fruitier than most Maipo Valley cabernets, with hints of strawberry and raspberry. There’s a bit of mint and coffee there, too. Enjoy with roast duck or ham.

Price: $13.99

Buy it at:
Acker Merrall & Condit Co.
160 W. 72nd. Street
New York, NY 10023
www.ackerwine.com

Map | Directions




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