South American Wines

Posted by Keith Wallace

Where did you first discover the wines of South America? For me, it was years ago (2004, to be more or less precise) when the Wine School hosted a charity wine tasting event for the Senior Law Center. It was one of the first South American wine tastings done in Philadelphia.

Over the course of the evening, we poured everything from the usual suspects (malbec, sauvignon blanc) to less-known varietals and blends (Torrontes, Bonarda), and what struck me most–what always strikes me about tastings that allow us to delve a bit deeper into a specific part of the world–was how rich and varied these wines can be.

Indeed, if you can get past the temptation to taste only what’s familiar, you will find your wine life enriched in ways you never thought possible. A Syrah-Bonarda, for example, tasted like nothing so much as super-ripe black fruit dipped in pepper and sipped while chewing Bazooka bubble gum–strange, sure, but also delicious.

The point is this: Drink outside the box, delve into regions and varietals you may not be familiar with, expose yourself to the unusual. The rewards are tremendous. It’s been a long time since South American wines have been a staple for the American wine drinker. Keep in mind that all great things were new, and keep trying new things. That is something you can do (you guessed it) by taking a wine tasting class. We offer both in-person and virtual tasting classes.

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