The Federal's Women Who Wine Summer Series With Alejandro Ortiz
The first Women Who Wine, a new summer series at the Federal Food Drink and Provisions, wasn't just any ol' gender-specific, stuffy winetasting.
As the female attendees sipped on complimentary Aperol Spritz, a bitter and refreshing cocktail made from the Italian aperitif topped with Prosecco, the Federal's Alejandro Ortiz asked the question that set the tone for the afternoon. "What's the most important thing to think about when drinking wine?"
One of the attendees half-raised her hand. "Taste?"
"Yes!" Ortiz beamed. "Do you like it? That's it! That's all that matters!" Ortiz explained that all those wine snobs who talk about smelling "rain forest with a hint of baby powder" are just putting into words what we're all experiencing -- and that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to wine. It's just a matter of personal experience -- and taste.
The ice broken, Ortiz then explained he wouldn't get into terroir and long histories of the wines -- unless we were interested. We weren't. So he walked us through five incredibly sippable wines, perfect for a sultry summer in Miami.
The Federal's Aniece Meinhold calls these wines "patio pounders," her
term for wines that are light and bright. These wines are high in
acidity and go down smoothly -- sometimes too smoothly, as Ortiz noted.
the wines sampled were a Blanc de Noirs, a sparkling wine from
California made from 100 percent Pinot Noir grapes that rivals some damn fine
French champagne; a Washington Pinot Gris (that pairs well with seafood,
cheese, and gossip); and a Sancerre from France with heavy grapefruit
and citrus notes. Two "oddball" wines were included in the tasting: a
Toh-Kai by Quattro, Slovenia that, around $10 to $15 a bottle retail,
would make an impressive yet inexpensive bottle to bring to the next
barbecue invite; and a California Gamay, a light red wine best served
The wines were paired with bites from the Federal's
kitchen, including mac 'n' cheese balls, Arctic char tartare, and grilled
Brussels sprouts. The afternoon sped by as the wine was poured, making
for a fun afternoon -- with a touch of knowledge thrown in.
Women Who Wine series will take place every other Saturday from 4:30 to
6:30 p.m., with the next one scheduled for July 7. Five wines, five
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