Archive | March, 2013

Official Brazil World Cup 2014 Wine Announced



The news is out… Brazilian winery Lidio Carraro has been chosen out of a tough competition from larger Brazilian wine rivals to be the official wines supplier for the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The 5th generation-owned winery, based in the Serra Gaúcha region of southern Brazil, said that under the deal it will have to double production and significantly expand distribution. Lidio Carraro makes a range of still and sparkling wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Tannat, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Lidio Carraro will launch a new range under the name Faces, which will have exclusive rights to the official FIFA seal worldwide, and will be served at FIFA-organised events up to and including the World Cup. ‘We feel this is a huge responsibility,’ Patricia Carraro, marketing and export manager, told Decanter Magazine. ‘We hope to translate through these wines the diversity and the unique personality that Brazilian wines have.’ She described the 2014 World Cup as an ‘unmissable opportunity’ for Brazilian wine on the international stage.

Wines of Brazil are on a big campaign in the United States and worldwide to put their country’s wines on a pedestal. I remember when living in Brazil, buying local wines meant buying a cheap, sweet wine called Canção. What most people don’t imagine is that when European settlers arrived in Southern Brazil in the 1870’s some brought with them cuttings of vitis vinifera from the old world. So winemaking in Brazil is actually not that new to the country…

Plantings are found mainly in the Serra Gaúcha part of Rio Grande do Sul where the altitude and mountainous terrain are essential for viniculture in this region. With a latitude of thirty degrees south, if it weren’t for the cool night air from the altitude and mountains, it would be way too hot and muggy to properly grow Vitis Vinifera.

It seems as though Brazil’s famous cachaça caipirinha will have tough competition as well with all of this wine and wine drinking going on. We’ll just have to wait and see what people will choose to drink…

Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet 2011 vintage



California’s Climate is known to fluctuate greatly depending on the region. One particular well known region is called the Central Coast and covers the location between Monterey Bay and Point Conception. Here exists a type of micro climate with small seasonal and daily temperature ranges. Examples of this micro climate are coastal fog throughout the summer months, cool and dry coastal areas, hot and dry interior valleys, and areas of more rainfall than others. This is an area of an ancient volcano with a varying terroir of lava, silt, sand and soil.

In this specific wine growing region, there are more than a handful of top class wineries. One very well known name is Robert Mondavi who had a personal philosophy of ‘whatever you do, put yourself into it.’ This personal philosophy has been instilled in the wine makers at the winery and it shows in the quality of Mondavi wines.

One particular wine in the Robert Mondavi portfolio which is amazing and very price friendly is the Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet 2011 vintage. With only 13.5% alcohol by volume, it is a very easy drinking wine. The color is a beautiful deep purple with a ruby rim.

This young cabernet has lovely aromas of ripe plums, ripe cherries and strawberries with a hint of dry soil from the terroir. The Private Selection Cabernet needs time for the aromas to open up but keeps revealing lovely ripe fruit as one drinks it.

On the palate, this wine has a medium plus mouth feel with medium plus tannins and high racy acidity that keeps one salivating for more. The finish is a medium plus showing signs of a great food wine that would definitely stand up to a delicious fatty steak (to balance out the tannins in the wine).

All in all, I think the Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is a lovely choice that all your guests will enjoy. In Florida, one may find this wine at many places, the easiest being Publix Supermarkets which are everywhere. Retailing at a price starting from $9-$13, this wine is a must try and one to keep at home for pairing with a great meal. Cin Cin!

Wine and Cheese Pairing Chart


Some people still have the misconception that all wines and all cheeses pair well together. That is definitely not the case… For example creamy cheeses usually pair well with sparkling wine and white wines. Many people pair these creamy cheeses with all red varietals and this is not the ideal pairing for the ultimate wine and food experience. Follow this chart for a helpful guideline in your next in home entertaining. Everyone will enjoy I promise! First try the wine alone, then take a bite of the cheese and try the wine… You will definitely notice how food compliments a wine vs drinking it alone. Hope this helps.