Food

Larga Vida a Argentina: A Little Wine Convo

Bar None

Thursday, October 24, 2019

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Recently, I had the pleasure of sipping some of the most amazing wines with my new-found friend, winemaker and oenologist Rafael Miranda of Trivento Winery, during his inaugural visit to The Rock. It was indeed a great occasion as we sat and discussed the happenings in the wine region of Argentina and the potential that abounds for wine.

Miranda began his sojourn into winemaking after leaving college some 22 years ago. He recalled that upon completion of his double master's degree in viticulture and oenology, he was hired directly by Trivento. His career began as an analyst working in the labs and testing the quality of the wines, as well as checking the alcohol proofs and the stability of the liquid. Fast-forward to 2003, Miranda is appointed winemaker responsible for the varietals, entry-level sweet wines and innovation. This immediately made sense to me, as Miranda continues to scout the globe meeting distributors and listening to consumers on possible opportunities for his wine business.

I asked him to provide his honest assessment of the Jamaican market for wines. He explained that 10 years ago, sweet wines dominated the market, and sweet equated to success. Today, Jamaican consumers have shifted to enjoying more premium wines. “I find that the consumers are more knowledgeable and are open to appreciating new wines as can be observed in the trade [supermarkets and restaurants],” explained Miranda. He hastened to add that sweet wines continue to account for the principal volumes; however, premium wines are certainly on the rise.

I asked him what his expectations were of the future and he indicated that he was looking forward to experiencing the growth and evolution of varietals. “Many persons are unaware of the different varietals of grapes; for example, the grape of Argentina is Malbec. I would love to see more individuals recognising the grapes from the particular regions and be bold enough to try. I want to encourage persons to not be afraid of wine. There is a perception that wines are only for a certain segment of the market. However, wine is a way of life!”

As I have never actually visited the Mendoza wine region, I wanted to get an understanding of how wines are consumed and with what meals. Miranda reacted quite passionately about the beautiful Argentinian Malbec that could complement any meal. As Malbec is a red varietal our basic instinct says try with red meat. Miranda confirmed this, but recommended a good Argentinean steak. Surprisingly, he also recommended the Malbec with warm seafood – that sure is an interesting pair that I cannot wait to try. He graciously explained that even though Malbec will complement the meals, be careful of the level of spice used in the sauce of the meals as spice causes red wine to taste drier and also intensifies the spicy notes of the wine. Our talk continued with a showcase of most of the Trivento portfolio available here in Jamaica and the future development of varietals like Criolla as he advances the innovation agenda for the new consumer. Cheers, and larga vida a Argentina!

 

Readers' Feedback:

Imagine if we embraced life's moments big and small, without reservation. Together, we might fill the world with contagious joy. Please share with meyour wines, spirits and cocktail experiences or comments on the above article at debbiansm@gmail.com, or follow me on IG @debbiansm #barnoneja.

 

Debbian Spence-Minott

An Alumna of the US Sommelier Association

CEO of the Academy of Bartending, Spirits & Wines

President, Jamaica Union of Bartenders and Mixologists (JUBAM) Limited

Marketing Studies Lecturer – The University of Technology Jamaica


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