I’m rather lucky at the moment because my selection of wine on my wine rack is rather varied. An Italian Amarone lies next to a Tapiz Torrentes from Argentina and a favourite of mine, Chablis Premier Cru. But recently I cracked open a bottle of Estampilla de Genio Sauvignon Blanc (12.5%) from Chile, a wine that made the list at Casa Tapas Bar & Grill.
It gives a pale citrus green colour once poured and aromas of citrus and lime dominate the senses. A slight floral scent lingers behind that gives a rather ‘clean’ smell. On taste, the palate enjoys a short, crisp citrus flavour that mellows out with hints of herbs being pushed through upon after-taste. The finish is a rather well-balanced white wine which would go well with a range of sea food dishes like Calamari or King Prawns.
I’m a sucker for Chilean and Argentinian wines at the moment, with the Estampilla de Genio range (a Merlot is also available) being a contributing factor when I was first offered the chance to sample. This is a great wine to have on both your wine list and your wine rack at home, although unfortunately it’s not widely available to the public.
Frangelico is one of those liqueurs you see all the time on the back bars of trendy cocktails places or sophisticated restaurants, yet you never seem to know what it is. Well I’ll tell you, it’s a hazelnut liqueur that can go well with a wide range of drinks including coffee, orange juice, on its own with fresh lime and can be drizzled on top of desserts too. A wide range of uses for a bottle that is usually seen languishing on the side of back bars. I use to have my own bottle of Frangelico at Casa Tapas Bar & Grill and used it as part of my range of liqueur coffee’s, and with its oddly shaped bottle and friar like rope wrapped around it, it was a great talking point for promotion.
Frangelico is produced in Italy and has a ABV of 24% and as you can see by the bottle, has a history of produce by the Italian monks nearly 300 years ago.
The nose of Frangelico gives an instant hit of hazelnut, a reminder of digestive biscuits also crossed my mind, although on taste, the hazelnut becomes very subtle. It’s a light, almost creamy liqueur that leaves only a hint of nut in your mouth. It’s a short, sharp drink that I think will surprise you. Great for a sweet tooth like myself!
Its rrp is around the £20 bracket, but it’s a worthy price for a liqueur that has many surprising uses.
From the Castilla la Mancha region, this 3-year-old white gave off a subtle golden-yellow colour once poured. On the nose it gave off small amounts of floral extracts, an almost summer garden feeling. A buttery taste slowly hits your senses once you sip, with that floral sensation being slowly released as a gentle after-taste. It gives a slight dryness to your mouth after an initial watering sensation, and its relatively low acidity (the wine is marked at 12.5%) doesn’t give any harsh tones to the overall quality.
This is a great wine to have as both with a fish or seafood platter or as a social drink to share with friends. It’s relatively cheap (around £4 for a bottle) and wouldn’t look out-of-place on your wine rack.
There is a Tempranillo Rose available (unfortunately my bottle has been well and truly drunk over a year ago now).
I had the 3 Las Corazas types available as the house wine in the Spanish restaurant Casa Tapas. They accompanied a wide selection of dishes that we served including chorizo, seafood and meat paella, fried manchego and serrano ham. They were always a popular addition to any event that we organised and had some great feedback from customers. Give them a try!