Over the holidays, for the enticing price of $20, I attended a wine tasting event in Panama, where I vacationed. The event was hosted by “J” as he’s fondly known in the wine circles, a Certified Sommelier from the US, but now living in Panama. It was held at a small Caribbean restaurant, La Parada, owned by a Haitian dude together with his Panamanian spouse. La Parada is located in Nueva Gorgona, in the Chame District, which is about 75 km from Panama City.
There were 5 tastings; very generous pours, plus a 5 ounce welcome glass of Pinot Grigio. Welcomed for a sultry Panamanian evening.
The tasting wines were from France, Spain, Germany, Italy and the United States, in that order.
“Jacqueline, the delicate line of sparkling wines from the Bordeaux region. It is a sparkling white wine with a pleasant, subtle and well-balanced taste and fresh fruit bouquet. The wine is made from a blend of grape varieties, Airen, Ugni Blanc and Colombard, grown on plots in Bordeaux. Each grape variety is carefully selected before use. Brut is produced by the traditional method of natural champagne”
“This is the type of Rueda that most white wine fans seek. The bouquet gives a mix of sassy lime and passionfruit, while the mouthfeel is zesty and fresh, with pithy citrus, grapefruit and lime flavors. A minerally finish that’s angular yet smooth is welcome. Vina Mayor Verdejo is perfect as a companion for all kinds of fish, shellfish, pastas and salads”
“Made from grapes grown in slate soil, it has racy (very lively) acidity. Acid balances the flavors. It is very aromatic with a distinct floral aroma. Off-dry, fruit-driven, juicy and crisp. Flavor profile of green apple, apricot, peach, and pear.”
“Fresh, lively and frizzante with a soft lingering finish. Roscato Rosso Dolce is an irresistible, delicately sweet, gently fizzy red wine from the northern Italian region of Lombardy. Made from three native grape varieties grown in this beautiful region for centuries.“
The mighty buffalo is an iconic symbol of American heritage, a heritage woven with a thousand stories, unique traditions and a pioneering spirit. Exceptionally smooth, with a ripe raspberry character indicative of Mendocino County’s sundrenched Zinfandel vines. The bramble and berry palette is accented by a savory richness, layered over bourbon barrel notes of dry herbs, and vanilla.
The bonus was when Sommelier, “J”, performed the sabrage.
“Sabrage is a technique for opening a champagne bottle with a saber, used for ceremonial occasions. The wielder slides the saber along the body seam of the bottle to the lip to break the top of the neck away, leaving the neck of the bottle open and ready to pour. The force of the blunt side of the blade hitting the lip breaks the glass to separate the collar from the neck of the bottle. One does not use the sharp side of the blade. The cork and collar remain together after separating from the neck.”
The descriptions of the wines in this blog post, were from a handout distributed by the organizers of the event.
My favorite white wine for the evening was the 2020 Vina Mayor Verdejo. I also liked the 2018 1000 Stories Zinfandel.
How many wine tastings do you attend on an average per year and do they enhance your knowledge and appreciation for wine?
The blogger, Glenda Jack has received her Level 1 Certificate from Wine Education and Spirits Trust (WSET) and intends to attend many wine tastings where she currently resides in Bermuda and also abroad.