From 25 to 1: the Beauty of the Mad DashTasting

Skeptical, I entered the SF Wine Trading Company to witness a mad rush of people with glasses feverishly trying to taste 25 wines/20 different varietals. That’s a lot for a Friday night, especially since most folks were drinking, not tasting, if you know what I mean.

Still, good fun – sport even, trying to find a find from Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Spain,  or Portugal. Done it before – had a lovely reserve wine from the Bibich Winery last year that is made from the Babich grape.

After hearing Donna Summer’s “Last Dance,” I knew it was time to pair up and I found my one true love that night out of 25 suitors- an inexpensive (less than $15), expressive and surprisingly complex wine from Portugal, the 2009 Tapada do Barão Tinto imported by Vino Unico.

Made from a blend of Alicante Bouschet, a grape native to the South of France with a checkered history because of its tendency to produce flabby wines when flying solo but now more common and actively cultivated in Portugal than France. The blend  produced a wine with bright fruit, spices and herbs. Its wild strawberry nature and solid acidity paired perfectly with my cuban roast pork with mojo sauce. A beautiful pairing.

Perhaps a wine warranting more than a one-night stand? It’s now on the “to-do” list to buy more.

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