STORY: Constanza sighs. “My grandmother knew him,” she says.
We are reading Neruda… the poetry of Pablo Neruda… Chilean poet, Nobel prize winner in 1971, diplomat, politician…
“She says he had a true passion for life, for living. That he was a poet of the people.”
“She took me to visit his home, Isla Negra, on the Chilean coast.
The look in her eyes, it was like she was a young woman again.”
Constanza takes a sip of her wine, and flips through the well-worn book, in search of a poem.
“She told me about the legendary lunches that often lasted into dinner. ‘In this room,’ she said, as we looked out over the sea, ‘you experience two of his many passions – the sea and being a host – good friends, good food, good wine.’ As if to prove it, she showed me this poem.”
Constanza hands me the book, and I read:
"I love / the talk around a table
in the light of a bottle / of intelligent wine"
We clink our glasses in agreement.
“He drank Chilean wine, local vintages. I remember the collection of bottles throughout the house my grandmother showed me – white wines from the Casablanca Valley, red wines from the Central Valley…. And a quote of Neruda’s I read somewhere: “My critics say: ‘Look, look how he lives. He has a house facing the sea. He drinks good wine.’ What nonsense. To begin with, it’s hard to drink bad wine in Chile because almost all the wine in Chile is good. “
I confess I have to agree with that, as I take another sip from my glass.
“In fact,” she says, “he wrote an ode to wine… “
She opens another book of Neruda poems, and begins reading…
“Day-colored wine, / night-colored wine,
wine with purple feet / or wine with topaz blood,
wine, / starry child / of earth,
wine, smooth / as a golden sword,
soft / as lascivious velvet,
wine, spiral-seashelled / and full of wonder,
never has one goblet contained you, / one song, one man,
you are choral, gregarious, / at the least, you must be shared.”
“Let the simple man remember / to think of the soil and of his duty, to propagate the canticle of the wine.”
I say I think that this Trile Cabernet Sauvignon would have found a place on Neruda’s table.
Constanza smiles and agrees.
DESCRIPTION: Chile’s star grape, the king of all reds, Cabernet Sauvignon, made its way from France in the mid-19th century. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chile are “made for each other.” The Cabernet Sauvignon grape flourishes throughout the country, especially in the Central Valley, where the climate is humid Mediterranean - moderately rainy winters, warm and dry summers and cool nights. These conditions ensure a production of healthy grapes, delicately textured and with prominent aroma. And so Cabernet Sauvignon “settled in” and began enticing local—and later international—consumers, among them Pablo Neruda, with its flexible attributes that range from easy-going charmer to debonair courtier.
Trile Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic Central Valley Cab, bottled especially for WinePassionate. It has a beautiful ruby red color, good balance and nice body. We’d classify it as the “easy-going charmer” style, meant to drink now. It’s unoaked, which allows the flavors of the grape to shine, and is a simple, easy-to-drink red that is perfect for informal picnics, casual get-togethers, or Wednesday lunches that stretch into dinner.
We recommend serving slightly cool – 60 to 64 degrees F.
TASTE: Trile Cabernet Sauvignon pours a very pretty deep red, paling ever so slightly towards the rim of the glass.
Swirl. And sniff. This wine is unoaked, unadorned and fresh. Besides some red fruit, blackberry, and black currant aromas, typical of Cabernets, you will undoubtedly notice some bell pepper and a hint of eucalyptus and mint. There is also a faint intriguing smokiness, reminiscent of the best sweet pipe tobacco.
This is a nice smooth wine on the palate, easy to drink, with good balance and good body. The flavor echoes the nose, with berries and currants, and freshness from the green pepper, mint, and eucalyptus. There are also earthy notes, with a just hint of chocolate.
FOOD MATCHING: This is an ideal wine for informal, casual get-togethers.
This Trile Cabernet Sauvignon can start off a meal, pairing with an appetizer tray composed of cheeses like gouda, parmesan, gorgonzola or blue cheese, along with grapes, peaches or other non-citrus fruit, and some nuts and smoked meats. Come to think of it, that and a loaf of crusty bread would be a great lunch tray as well!
Informal dining pairings that work well include pizza, lasagna, pasta with tomato or vodka sauces, and risottos, or that old stand-by, macaroni and cheese!
Of course this will pair well with most red meats and game – we like this Trile Cabernet Sauvignon with burgers, especially cheeseburgers, and wieners, or barbequed short ribs in the backyard with all our friends and family.
On a fall or winter evening, try it with a good beef soup or beef stew. Chileans have their own version, of course, known as Beef Cazuela – fragrant and satisfying with tender beef, potatoes, carrots, leek and onion, rice, corn, pumpkin, and green beans.
For something a little fancier, pair this Trile Cabernet Sauvignon with lamb roasted with rosemary, basil and thyme, and a hint of mint sauce; add some oven roasted brussel sprouts and potatoes for an easy yet elegant dinner. We also like this with duck, with a slightly fruity blackberry or huckleberry sauce.
For you vegetarians, try this with linguine with mushrooms, caramelized onions, with a touch of fresh thyme, and perhaps some roasted garlic slathered on crusty bread.