Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We have enjoyed the past year with all of you at The Voluptuous Table at every event and are looking forward to 2018 to continue bringing good wine, good food and unique opportunities to all of you. The Voluptuous Table is all about experiencing and connecting with others and we offer a unique venue where experiences and connections happen all the time. Your first opportunity of 2018 is Saturday, January 6th at 3 p.m. Won't you join us for the first La Joie du Vin of the year when we will be tasting a variety of different Malbec wines from various regions and terriors?
Malbec is a black-skinned grape variety with a dark, inky color and robust tannins. This variety is one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux. It was originally planted in France and known as Auxerroix, Cots Noir orPressac, depending on the region. Malbec is now primarily planted in Southwest France in the Cahors region, as well as being a very popular variety in other parts of the world. You might already recognize that Malbec is the dominant grape and wine product of Argentina.
We'll open the tasting with an amuse bouche of garlic toasts with a ratatouille and cured black olive tapenade--and a taste of rosé of Malbec from Georges Vigouroux, a producer that will appear again later on the tasting menu. Pigmentum Rosé of Malbec 2014 (Cahors, France) is a magenta-hued wine that brings rich raspberry and black cherry notes to the palate, accompanied by a creamy texture. This is, to me, a delicious and lip-smacking wine that I have enjoyed for years and I think of this rosé as showing the playful side of the Malbec grape.
Let's gather at the table for our first pour, Kiwi Cuvee Bin 18 Malbec 2016 (Loire Valley, France). This is an elegant pour that will appear a deep ruby red in the glass. Notes of black currant and red plum are evident and this wine is well-structured and easy to drink. It has a very expressive bouquet and is medium-bodied. I'm pairing this pour with Roasted Red Peppers Stuffed with Fennel and Tomatoes dusted with a coriander/pink peppercorn/fennel seed spice mixture and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Note how the floral qualities of the spices are a good match for the wine.
Our next pour is Pampas del Sur Reserve "Tenacious" 2016 (Mendoza, Argentina). Argentina is the largest wine producer in South America. Argentine wines are considered New World wines, but actually have a rich history dating back more than 400 years, as Spanish missionaries planted vines to ensure a supply of sacramental wines. Though the growing conditions around the Andes Mountains are high and dry, settlers used and improved upon the natives' agricultural practice, which gathered melting snow and ice from the Andean peaks to irrigate the vineyards. The pour you'll experience is a 50/50 blend of Cabernet and Malbec. It's a juicy wine on first taste, but like many Malbecs, it does not have a terribly long finish. You'll note candied berry aromas and mild spice that finish with classic red bell pepper and black pepper notes. There is some vanilla from the oak used to finish this wine and one wine reviewer stated, "Aromas of flowers and berries follow through to a medium to full body, with a silky and chewy finish." There are also complex layers of raspberries and violets. Our food pairing is Grace Parisi's Chicken Drumsticks with Asian Barbecue Sauce, which provide a lovely counterpoint to the spice and fruit in the wine. The spike of chile and ginger and the complexity of hoisin sauce meld beautifully with the wine.
Georges Vigouroux Atrium Malbec de Cahors 2015 (Cahors, France) is our next pour, an intense, medium-bodied wine with cherry, black currant and plum predominant on the palate. While there are plenty of tannins, there is a also a soft and lush mouthfeel and a hint of tobacco and spice on the finish. Malbec originated in the village of Cahors, in the geographic area roughly between Bordeaux and the Spanish border. You'll notice the spare, lean style of a French Malbec in this wine. And we'll enjoy a Hazelnut-Crusted Duck Breast with a rich Dried Cherry Sauce with this pour.
Chile also produces some fabulous wines from this famous French blending grape. Chilean Malbec is a deep purple, full-bodied wine, known for its big fruit, earthy tones and silky mouthfeel. From the Montes label, enjoy our final pour for the tasting, Clos d'Angel La Finca Malbec 2014 (D.O. Colchagua Valley, Chile). With its aromas of dark fruit, vanilla and mocha, jammy tastes of blackberries and cherries, floral overtones and toffee finish, this wine improves after it's been breathing for a couple hours or more. This Chilean charmer gets paired with Nigella Lawson's Pastel de Choclo, a Chilean recipe for individual sweetcorn cakes filled with ground meat, raisins, olives, onion and hard-boiled egg.
We'll end the afternoon with something sweet--I'm thinking a boozy, gooey chocolate trifle of some sort and plenty of Community Coffee to send you on your way. Everything described above is yours for a suggested donation of $45 per person. Please RSVP by Thursday, January 4th to this email, or by calling 512- 55 EAT 44. We do look forward to your joining us around The Voluptuous Table for another intimate winetasting experience.