Wine Pairing Weekend Meets Wines of Moldova
July brings our Wine Pairing Weekend blogging group to a virtual trip to Moldova, a small country in Eastern Europe. Moldova is working to raise awareness of the country as a wine region and a wine tourism destination. After attending a press trip to Moldova last summer, I was impressed with the progress they have made since the difficult Soviet years. I worked with my friends in the Wine of Moldova organization and they thoughtfully provided samples for our group. Take a look farther down in this post for links to all the posts and details to join our discussion on Twitter.
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Chateau Purcari – a Leading Winery and Destination
One of the wines we enjoyed for this post came from Chateau Purcari. One of the largest wineries in Moldova today, Chateau Purcari provides a good example of the efforts the wineries are making to welcome international visitors.
Cabin Life in Minnesota – Simple but Not Too Simple
We planned to enjoy our Moldovan wines at our family cabin over the July 4th week. When we’re at the cabin, we like to keep meals pretty simple but still delicious. Appetizers by the water and dinner on the screen porch is pretty much a perfect dinnertime routine.
Disclosure: the wines for this post were provided as samples. All opinions expressed are my own.
Pinot Grigio de Purcari 2018 (sample, $23 SRP) 13.5% abv
Eye: Clear, pale gold.
Nose: Clean with medium intensity aromas of white blossom and white rose, fresh yellow apple, pear, lemon and apricot. Subtle notes of wet stones and brie cheese.
Mouth: Dry with pronounced fruitiness with medium intensity flavors emphasizing the fruits noted above. The acidity was medium, with medium alcohol, medium body, a creamy texture. The wine had a medium finish with a touch of almond bitterness in the finish (note this is typical for Pinot Grigio)
Observations: Everyone enjoyed this wine out at the dock. It has more aroma and flavor than many Pinot Grigio’s with pretty floral and fruit aromas and pronounced fruit flavor. We enjoyed it on a late summer afternoon and it paired well with cheese, fruit and charcuterie.
Radacini “Ampre” Saperavi, Feteasca Neagra & Merlot 2018 (sample, $20 SRP) 13% abv
Eye: Clear, medium ruby color.
Nose: Clean with pronounced intensity aromas of dried blackberries, blueberries, black plums and raisins. Along with the fruit, pronounced aromas of caramel, vanilla, cloves, cedar.
Mouth: The wine is dry with pronounced intensity of dried blue and black fruits as noted above along with the oak related notes of vanilla, caramel, cedar and cloves. The wine had medium acidity, medium+ fine grained tannins with medium alcohol, medium+ body and a medium+ fruit filled finish.
Observations: Radacini’s self-proclaimed goal is to provide wines with expressive bouquet, and they have succeeded here. If you love a red wine that jumps out of the glass, you’ll love Radacini Ampre.
Dinner on the Porch with Moldovan Wine
Our dinner was delicious and the Radacini Ampre paired nicely with the steak, simply grilled over charcoal. The side dish of grilled carrots with avocado and mint was absolutely delicious, but it was a bit of a mismatch with the wine. The dish is built on a marinade/dressing with serrano peppers which didn’t cooperate so well with the intense fruit of the wine. Still, we enjoyed the dinner, the wine and the company.
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