Sun | Sep 23, 2018

A 'Simply Red' wine experience

Published:Thursday | October 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM
From left: Karene Rae, wine consultant; Marilyn Bennett, Grace brand manager; Sharice Fernander and Rasheda Beckford holding the Vina Maipo Reserva Carmenere at last Friday's Simply Red. Background photo: Hob Nob Wicked Red

Jason Clarke, Contributor

Wine, food and friends all coming together for charity is the absolutely perfect combination for a lovely evening. Last week's Heart Foundation wine and food festival, Simply Red, was such an event. I camped out at the JMMB booth in partnership with BETCO Premier and poured a few crowd favourites while talking and sharing about wine.

Talking with a number of persons, their preferences varied, as is to be expected, which was also reflected in the diverse range of available wines that were on hand to complement all the foods that were present.

Some booths poured just wine, and then there were those that paired wine with food for an added touch.

The absolute crowd-pleaser, especially with women, was the Capasaldo Sweet Moscato and its Sparkingly Red. I find that this is a great starting wine if you are new to wine and looking for something to tickle your taste buds that is not too overpowering and complex - perfect to enjoy by itself.

Throughout the night I managed to pass through other booths and tasted a few other wines, some of which I have mentioned before - Hob Nob Wicked Red, Apothic Red, both blends I absolutely enjoy, Little Penguine Merlot, Red Diamond Shiraz and Chardonnay. What was nice about the range of wines available was where they came from - France, California, Australia, Washington State, and Chile, which really made for a great wine-tasting experience.

Of all the things that I had that night, the one I enjoyed the most was the Vina Maipo Reserva Carmenere. This particular varietal stood out simply because it's not among the more popular that you tend to see in restaurants and supermarkets, which is why I left it for last. This beautiful deep red wine is a signature of Chile, just like Malbec is to Argentina. It has such an intense aroma of plums, and how it feels on your tongue gives the impression of it melting in your mouth, with an earthy kind of taste to it which I guess might be attributed to the presence of oak and hints of chocolate. A truly magnificent wine, particularly when paired with meats. You really get a rich wholesome feeling with each sip as you enjoy with food, but more so over the deeply intense political discussion that ensued.The event was a great wine experience and I'm looking forward to the next one.

I am not an expert, merely a wine enthusiast sharing my thoughts and experiences. Feel free to share your own experiences at