Sometimes it feels that I have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to writing about events and about wines. I try not to cover too much information in any one article anymore, since I am trying to write an article for every other day for publication, so some events tend to get stretched out. As I have stated earlier the food was stellar at the Culinary Extravaganza and that is how it should have been. The wines were a hit and a miss, because of how the wine distributors felt about the event. I do concede that all of the wines were donated for the cause, which is a great benefit, but I still think that they could have had one representative from each distributor volunteer to do service at a table, as it would enhance the quality of information for the paying guests.
There were two Italian wines that I feel that I should write about that I encountered, only because I had mixed reactions to the guests attending the event. At one table I saw people go up and request a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and the volunteers (and bless them that did volunteer, even if there wine knowledge was scant) and they had to apologize that they did not have a wine to pour for the guest. Actually they did, but because of a lack of knowledge they missed out, though while I was at the table, I did call the people back to let them know that they could try a Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Italy. At this table they were serving Banfi Centine Toscana 2011. Since the advent of the “Super Tuscany” wines, it seems every winery and distributor is getting on the band wagon to have a Tuscany wine, instead of the DOC wines that are the tradition from this area. This particular wine was a blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and I suggested this wine to those that were asking for a Cab, as I felt that they would miss out, because they were only looking for Cab on the label, and the label only said “A pleasingly smooth cuvee of red grape varieties.”
The other Italian wine that I had to try was also from the Tuscan region. Villa d” Rosso Toscano 2012, as it was a lighter wine made from the Sangiovese varietal as well. This wine is from Siema Wines and they refer to this wine on the label as “a boutique estate just under the walls of Montepulciano in Tuscany.” This caught my eye, as first I have enjoyed most of the wines that I have encountered from Tuscany, and not only that I am very partial to wines from Montepulciano. It was very pleasant and I found it to pair with several of the food tastings that I had that afternoon, as I did go and have “seconds” on some of the dishes.
The third wine that caught my attention was from France and it was a new one for me. Terre de Causan 2008 was a Cotes du Rhone rose wine. I do not recall having a rose wine from this area and it was a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah, all grape varietals that I have come to enjoy in blends. My only complaint was that this wine was not as crisp as it could be, as I think it was donated because of the age and it had lost some of it’s luster; it could have been a real find as far as I was concerned, but I cannot say for sure at this time, so I may have to continue looking for this wine or something similar being offered in a more youthful wine.
I think that I have covered the event as well as possible, and I shall now leave the Culinary Extravaganza until next year. I do think the event is a wonderful way to acquire funds to enable future chefs a chance to get scholarship money, especially if they show a real talent. After all would doesn’t like a great dish of food while they are enjoying wine?