Cheers September 2013

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Experts weigh in on the continent's leading regions, varietals and wineries By Kelly A. Magyarics hanks to its vast terrain of varied microclimates and an adventurous spirit that inspires experimentation with both local and well-known grapes, South America is producing some exceptional wines. And the wines are a terrific value, though many oenophiles now focus on the high quality. Roger Dagorn, master sommelier/beverage director of the New York-based One Five Hospitality, which owns and operates five concepts in Manhattan, cites several reasons why South American wines are crowd pleasers. One is the propensity of the continent's countries to gravitate toward signature grapes, with easy-to-pronounce names and regions. Then there's the quality-to-value ratio, food friendliness and accessibility at all price points that all help make these wines never-fail options, Dagorn says. The wine list for One Five 28 | SEPTEMBER 2013 Hospitality's latest concept, the 100-seat Brazilian restaurant Botequim, sources 75% of its offerings from South America. THE NEW MERLOT Mention South American wines, and thoughts are sure to quickly turn to malbec, Argentina's signature red varietal. One of the six permitted red grapes allowed in red Bordeaux, and made into rustic wines in Cahors in southwest France, malbec produced in Mendoza and other Argentinian regions has seen its sales surge in the past five or so years. "Malbec has replaced merlot as the go-to choice for a red wine that offers great density and concentration without excessive tannin or dryness," says Jeffrey Gregory, general manager/wine director for FT33, a 74-seat, seasonal-inspired modern cuisine

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