Tag: wine

Something new, something

Stagnari Blue wine

Stagnari Blue - component wines

Well, of course I had to try it. And—? Since I’m not a wine reviewer, I’ll defer to the experts:

Wicked and extra-ripe. Whispers of fruit punch, acidic monster melon and aggressive lemon rind. Drink now through April.

Actually pleasant enough to drink, despite visual whispers of

this Windex, from Target web site or this. Swimming pool anti-freeze from watsons.com

I shouldn’t have been surprised to see that Blue contains artificial coloring. But I was surprised to learn it comprises only 10%.

Aunque el 90% del color se obtiene de forma natural, se añadió un 10% de colorante, para conseguir un tono más turquesa, deseado por los responsables de la bodega. (source) — Although 90% of the color is obtained naturally, 10% of dye was added, to achieve a more turquoise tone, desired by those in charge of the cellar.

From the same article:

Young people and people who like to try new things are the target audience for the product, said the director of fine wines at H. Stagnari, Virginia Moreira. She added that the product was born for a personal reason: “In part, having four teenage children wanted to seek a change of habit to choose a natural wine instead of other stronger drinks.”

I hope they like it. I don’t expect I’ll be tempted to buy it again.



Beautiful new winery

Guest post by Syd Blackwell

map, Punta to El Edén

Ruta 12 carves an up-and-down path through the hills of Maldonado, northwest of the resort area of Punta del Este. It is a most beautiful road for a scenic drive. Just four kilometers south of the tiny village of Pueblo Edén, high on one of those hills, is Viña Edén, a winery. The owner is Brazilian, and a passionate oenophile.

The property is huge, but a mere seven hectares are devoted to grapes. The rest has been, and will continue to be, displayed in the natural beauty of this greenest of Uruguayan areas. The views are magnificent. The emphasis here is on quality, not quantity.

We had not pre-booked a visit. We only learned of the winery during a visit to Lote 8, an olive oil farm, located just north of Pueblo Edén. Naturally, we seized the opportunity to see the winery. They are open from 11:00 to 20:30 daily and can easily accommodate unannounced arrivals.

Viña Edén, Maldonado, Uruguay

The road that has been created to reach the operations, is already quite a marvel, as it steeply climbs the rocky hillside. The stunning building at the top is sheathed in a deliberately rusting metal, a very natural-looking colour. The windows are immense, maximizing the views. We were immediately greeted by an employee, on the wide terrace in front of the building that looks across the beautiful landscape.

Viña Edén, Depto Maldonado, Uruguay

We were offered a tasting tour, a tasting tour with a meal, or, a simple tour without tastings or meal. We chose the last. The tours with tastings or meal are, we think, quite expensive. We are used to free tastings at wineries. Our tour cost US$45 for a party of four, with nothing offered but words. At the end of our tour, we received an IVA discount, that reduced the price down to approximately $8 per person. The tasting tour, with snacks, costs $45 per person and the tasting + meal tour is priced at $65 per person. If one were attracted to the menu, and the idea of a chef-prepared mid-day meal, I suppose the last choice is a better value than the tasting tour, where the snacks did not look impressive or plentiful. However, when we had a chance to peruse the menu at the end of our tour, we did not think it remarkable enough to fit the asking price. Of course, we had not tasted the wines that would be offered with the meal.

Viña Edén, Depto Maldonado, Uruguay

The wines they produce are, as is the operation, of unique and excellent quality. As listed on their website, they are: Tannat Reserva 2015 for $1080 pesos (USD 38), Chardonnay 2015 for $810 (USD29), Cerro Negro Gran Reserva 2013, and Methode Champenoise, both priced at $1350 (USD48). Without a tasting, we were unwilling to buy any of these expensive products. However, other visitors at the winery clearly were partaking of both the tasting tour or the dining tour, and were purchasing bottles of wine following their tours.

Viña Edén, Depto Maldonado, Uruguay

The workings of the winery are all sparkling and new. It only opened for the public in this format in December 2016. On the night before our visit, they had a social event with live music at the winery. They are planning on more events in the future.

Viña Edén, Depto Maldonado, Uruguay

We were impressed with the incredible cleanliness and on the emphasis to deliver a pure product with the minimum of evasive processes or ingredients. For example, the flow through the system fully utilizes gravity and not pumps, which they told us, traumatize the wine. They are also completely aware of the soils and climate that contribute to their wines.

While we were not purchasers, the visit was well worth our time. We think this valley and this winery are beautiful. We will bring other visitors.

Further information can be found at the website: http://www.vinaeden.com/

Photos by Syd Blackwell

Ah, America

Ah, America:
the visual jingoism of
omnipresent flapping flags.
Shiny cars, beseeching churches;
smooth roads and ads for shiny
vehicles, tank-like or claustrophobic:
sometimes both.

My people: fun to help, make laugh,
cheer along. That I can do so easily,
waitress or Walmart Greeter.
Casually conversational, easygoing,
but so must I bear
the oppressive banality
of overheard conversations.

And not indulge intellect, perception,
nor reveal observation, awareness.
My son says they’re stupid:
given two days, I cannot disagree.

Triscuits, flavor rosemary
and olive oil; cheese a combo:
monterrey jack and cheddar.
Chardonnays not Southern Cone:
cheap good California Barefoot;
Onduraga from Oz. Not special,
just not Southern Cone.

In the hotel, we offer to leave
carry-on unfriendly corkscrew
for future guests. Two wine glasses and
real — not-plastic — knife appear
to carry upstairs
for our evening snack.


(from November 2014)

Another cold feast and wine tasting


A few kilometers from here, we have a vineyard and winery that produces exquisite wines: Viñedo de los Vientos (Vineyard of the Winds). Once a year they serve a gourmet meal with their wines, and it always seems to be very cold. Last year it was in April, at night, and they had huge and welcome bonfire and heaters in the covered area. This year it happened at noon, and not only was there no bonfire, neither did the propane heaters inside work, nor did they have the plastic windows that used to block the wind, and it was rainy and windy.

This picture, taken from where I sat, looking into the wind, illustrates the absence of at least five people who apparently made reservations and thought better of it, given the nastiness of the day. Fortunately I had a couple of knit caps in the car.


As usual, the menu was themed, meaning the same thing was served over several coarses, in this case lamb (cordero). It was delicious, and the company—a gringo and Uruguayan couple at our table—fun.