It’s an hour to go before you’re due to arrive at a friend’s place for a Christmas dinner. You’re at the supermarket trying to pick out a good wine as a gift.
As with supermarket wine, it’s always a hit or miss. One tip to get past that is to download this excellent wine app Vivinio on your mobile phone for free. It allows you to read a variety of reviews from wine drinkers around the world. The other tip, is to continue reading this blog. ; )
Now this wine recommendation is based on three assumptions.
a) Your dinner host is of the non-judgy type. If your host is down-to-earth, a good friend who is not too particular with the type of wine he/she drinks, this will be a good recommendation.
b) You’re not heading to a fancy party, in which a large proportion of the attendees know their wine and have specific preferences
c) You’re not using this bottle of wine as food pairing during dinner. It’s a wine to sip on while having Kettle chips and light conversation.
* * *
Therefore, the wine in question is… the Casillero del Diablo Carmenere.
Unlike the more common grape varietals such as Merlot and Pinot Noir, the grape varietal ‘Carmenere’ is a grape which originated in Bordeaux, France. Unfortunately it was unable to survive an epidemic in 1867 and only very small amounts can be found in France today. Carmenere is largely grown in Chile and it’s a popular blending partner with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The Travelling Squid’s Take
The Casillero del Diablo Carmenere is a medium bodied red wine with a good balance of tannins. It is not harsh to drink, but does not have the complexity, rich flavours or spice notes which can be found in more sophisticated bottles.
If I could alliterate, the Casillero del Diablo Carmenere is decent, drinkable, but not divine. The perfect affordable wine for Christmas parties and dinners, especially if attendees of that particular dinner are not really that into fine wine.
Be clear on the outcomes of the party. If it’s set to be a mingling, catch up session, with party food and games to go with it, the Casillero del Diablo Carmenere is a suitably decent wine to bring along.
If you know friends who are bringing good bottles, the Casillero del Diablo Carmenere could be a wine that comes after, especially after the first bottle of good wine has set in… It’s a time when taste buds are less sensitive and conversation flows more freely.
The vineyard Casillero del Diablo also makes other grape varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir, but according to reviews on Vivinio, the Carmenere is consistently the best throughout the vintages (years).
*Casillero del Diablo Carmenere retails for approximately SGD32 at major supermarkets in Singapore.
Have you tried the Casillero del Diablo Carmenere? Do share your reviews in the comments section below.