Wine Time

Dennis Sodomka is a guest columnist | Contact Dennis

Wine Time: Caminada Chardonnay 2010, Argentina

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COST: $10-12

WHAT: The Caminada Chardonnay is a lively, vibrant wine with creamy fruit flavors.

Teri and I rented a beachfront house at Edisto Beach, S.C., for our honeymoon, cooking seafood and drinking wine most evenings. We broke out the Caminada the night we pan-fried flounder and it was a perfect combination.

The apple, pineapple and vanilla flavors with just a touch of oak were a pleasant mouthful without overpowering the tender flounder. Citrus, especially lemon, aromas add to the experience.

The grapes are grown at 3,200 feet elevation in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, giving the wine an elegance and minerality found in mountain grapes. It was aged in small French oak barrels.

This is not a big, overblown Chardonnay, but one you can drink for all occasions. It’s simple, straightforward and pleasant. Serve it well chilled.

WINERY: Caminada is a Mendoza, Argentina-based winery that gets its fruit from the mountains above the Uco Valley. It was launched in the U.S. market in the summer of 2010.

The Uco Valley vineyards are the highest in Mendoza, reaching up to 5,500 feet. The poor, rocky soils are ideal for producing great grape vines, making the vines struggle for nutrients.

The winery’s name comes from a step in the tango, the national dance of Argentina. The Caminada is a walk, “a seemingly simple but key step in the tango,” according to the winery. The winery says it embodies a similar philosophy: “focus on perfecting the simple parts and the result will be great.”

The label has a pop art rendition of a couple doing a sexy tango move.

The winery says Argentina’s two greatest contributions to the world are wine and tango, “both art forms that require passion and focus.”

The winery also makes a wonderful Malbec for the same price. I had that with cheese, sitting on the deck of the rental house one evening, and it was strong, simple and elegant. They also make a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Shiraz.

GOES WITH: We loved the pairing with pan-fried flounder, twice-baked potatoes, hush puppies and raw veggies. The wine and the meal were a perfect match: simple, yet elegant. This wine also would pair well with mild seafood, pastas in cream sauce and mild cheese.

WINE EVENTS

MARCH 29
Wine and tapas tasting,
5-6:30 p.m., La Maison on Telfair, 404 Telfair St.; taste four wines and three tapas, $19.99 (706) 722-4805

MARCH 30
Wine and beer tasting,
4:30-6:30 p.m., Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans; (706) 922-9463

MARCH 31
Wine and beer tasting,
1-6 p.m., Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans; (706) 922-9463

APRIL 2
Wine tasting,
5 p.m., Ninth Street Wine Market, 12 Ninth St.; 10 wines and food to match; $10; reservations, (706) 724-1442

APRIL 6
Wine tasting,
5-8 p.m., Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; three white and three red wines and matching cheeses; $5 with $3 rebate on purchase of featured wines; (803) 279-9522

APRIL 13
Wine tasting seminar,
7 p.m., Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; featuring 10 J Lohr wines, including some single-vineyard wines; reservations, (803) 279-9522

APRIL 19
Wine tasting,
5-8 p.m., Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; three white wines and three reds, plus cheese; $5, with $3 rebate on purchase of bottle of featured wines; (803) 279-9522


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