He takes a sip of wine, pushes his upper front teeth over his lower lip and slowly he literally slurps it up. He slurps a few times. We can see the wine dancing on his lips. He starts swooshing it around in his mouth. Almost like he is chewing it, he rolls the wine carefully around the various taste buds as he goes. His fingers are counting in the air, eyes opening wider at every count, allowing all of his taste buds enough time to open up to the wine. The trick is not to spill a drop, nor choke when a slurp takes the wine straight to your throat. It takes several attempts and even more wine stains before we get the hang of it.
"Slurping" super Tuscans in the shadows of the magical towers of San Gimigniano is an experience not ever to forget. Especially when Luigi announces: "now, we taste olive oil," and our jaws drop when he starts to slurp once again, only this time it is estate-made olive oil. As we try and slurp the viscous green-hued liquid, he tells us he is planning to open a tasting room on Tiananmen Square. Tiananmen Square? As in Beijing? This is years ago, but even now, China is not a country I associate with wines, at least not the grape variety. How wrong can you be. I don't know if Luigi ever did open his tasting room on Tiananmen Square, but today China is the fifth largest wine producing country in the world.
Followed closely by Argentina, both facts were pointed out at a recent wine tasting in one of the private tasting rooms of Asado, the Argentinean grill restaurant in The Palace/Downtown Dubai. Some five months ago, Asado initiated the Wine Club. It offers wine tasting events for a minimum of 6 participants, highlighting the wines of Argentina. We are seated at a long table in comfortable chairs. There are cheese platters with Stilton and Brie de Meaux, walnuts and apricots, fruit platters, and plates with fresh baguettes and crackers. Four wine glasses and a water glass, a small plate and a napkin with cutlery are set in front of each participant. "This is our standard setting for a wine tasting," explains sommelier Sarah Belanger.
In a smaller group, we move on to the restaurant for dinner, drawn in by the sights and smells of meat being grilled on the parrilla and al asador. Both words indicating "barbecue", the first one refers to the grill, the second to the open fire. It is this latter one that truly is a sight to behold at Asado: surrounding a round, open fire pit, split-open carcasses held up by metal cross bars (asadores) are slowly roasting in the heat that comes from the charcoal fire below. Specialty of the restaurant is baby goat al asador. Sweet and lush meat, you can order it as appetizer, main course, as part of the mixed grill, or for a group: a whole roasted baby goat. Over dinner we have a Torrontés, and another Malbec. My tasting palate done with slurping at this point, I simply enjoy the wines with the beautiful grilled meat.
For more information on the wine tasting events: email@example.com
Note: the wine tasting was courtesy of Asado for a group of UAE-based food bloggers (see Fooderati Arabia)
|goodies included in the gift bag that you receive as part of the wine tasting. |
The cork in the box is not a key chain: it is the cutest memory stick