Tag Archives: Chilean wine

Visit the devil’s cellar for this ‘deviled’ wine pairing

We have a devil of a wine recommendation for Ann Vogel’s deviled dishes. As Vogel points out in her recipe column, “deviling” in the culinary sense means to highly season the food you are preparing.

This has the potential to make wine pairing tricky, depending on what seasons are chosen when preparing the food.

For Vogel’s deviled eggs, chicken and ham, mustard and cayenne make up the spiciness, which means we need a fruity wine to offset the heat.

The other ingredients — capers, mustard, celery seed and paprika — get along great with sauvignon blanc, and riesling or a sparkling Saumur would also pair perfectly as well.

But we’re not going to recommend these latter wines.

Instead we’ve opted to stick with Vogel’s “devil” theme and want to introduce you to Chilean winemaker Don Melchor’s Casillero del Diablo.

Founder of Chilean winery Concha y Toro, in 1891 Melchor reserved some of his best wines produced only for his private cellar. Concerned about thieves trying to get their hands on the crème de la crème of his collection, Melchor spread a rumor that the devil lived in his cellar.

Since then those wines have been called “Casillero del Diablo”, or the Devil’s cellar.

From the Casablanca Valley Appellation of Chile comes the subtly green-hued Casillero del Diablo Reserva Privada Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is made from a selection of grapes from the Limarí Valley, one of Chile’s most northerly wine regions. Cool mornings and warm summer days help to produce grapes with fruity flavors and crisp acidity.

This wine is the quintessential sauvignon blanc with citrus and herb aromas and mouthwatering flavors of grapefruit and lime. It is 100 percent fermented in stainless steel and aged for 4 to 6 months sur lies. This means it’s crisp, while the sur lies aging gives it body.

The perfect pair for any of Vogel’s deviled dishes this Easter.

What we’re drinking: Root 1

Brynn writes:

Earlier this year my husband went on a wine buying kick thanks to his subscription to Consumer Reports.

Listed inside the magazine were wine selections that CR tasters felt were a good value, both in price and in flavor. After a quick run through of our “cellar” (aka our wine rack in our dinning room), we made a list of CR-tested wines and set out to find some great deals.

One of those on our list was Root: 1 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon.

This wine is made in Chile’s Colchagua Valley. We recently had it with grilled cheeseburgers. This might be the first Chilean Cab I’ve had. I enjoyed it — it was a nice change from the Cabs I’ve had recently from Napa that I’ve found to be very dry.

Napa Cab makers would probably be insulted that I’m comparing this “value wine” to their masterful creations, but I enjoyed this wine because it didn’t leave my mouth puckering (that’s probably because there’s a little Syrah blended with the Cab, giving it a slight jamminess).

The wine wasn’t amazing; it didn’t leave me thinking for hours about what I just tasted. But it was approachable, food friendly and overall a drinkable wine. This is one that would be safe to bring to a party as a hostess gift for someone you might not know too well, or one to bring to a party where you don’t know what everyone likes to drink.

Here’s what the winery says about its 2008 Cab:

Rich ruby color with aromas of ripe berries and soft plum are followed by tastes of black cherry, soft vanilla and dark chocolate. The silky tannins, strong balance and good structure support a long complex finish.

Artfully accompanies grilled meats, ripe cheeses, Italian and Mediterranean cuisine and chocolate.

APPELLATION: Colchagua Valley, Chile
WINEMAKER: Felipe Tosso
WINERY: Viña Ventisquero
VARIETAL: 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Syrah
ALCOHOL: 14.2%

All lots were aged for 12 months in American (50 percent) and French (50 percent) oak.