Who doesn’t love Wine Wednesday? Well it’s fair to say that me and my friends like it more than most, so when an invite to the Santa Rita wine tasting popped into my inbox I grabbed my friend Maureen and off we went!

Hosted in the grand surroundings of Belfast Castle, this casual summer gathering saw a mix of media types, customers from Gap Wines (where you can pick up the wine), representatives from Santa Rita and United Wines – all looking forward to trying out the six wines on the menu.

Being mostly a white wine drinker, I was thinking I’d be a cheap date as most of the wines were of the red grape variety. However, by the end of the night, I actually think I was somewhat of a convert. Enjoying Santa Rita 120 Reserva Sauvignon Blanc in picturesque gardens is how every summer party should start in my book! And always one to appreciate a good gadget – the bottles of it, as well as the 120 Chardonnay now come in a box that transforms into a handy ice cooler to keep your drink perfectly chilled! 

The wine to accompany our starter, oh yes we were also treated to a yummy caesar salad, was Santa Rita 120 Pinot Grigio – which was light and crisp and a perfect accompaniment. I’m a big fan of Pinot as an alternative to Sauvignon and this particular bottle is one of the new varieties added to the Santa Rita range – with grapes grown from vineyards in Curico.

There was one other new introduction to the range, a Malbec from Colchagua, which matched our chicken main perfectly and was personally described by Oscar Salas, the Santa Rita 120 winemaker, making his first visit to Ireland in his new role.

His passion for the wines was infectious and it’s always great to get first hand knowledge about the grape and its origins.  I also learned that the Santa Rita 120 series of wines are named in honour of the 120 patriot soldiers who, in 1814 during the war for Chile’s independence, found refuge in Santa Rita’s hacienda after the battle of Rancagua. The cellars where they were hidden are still used for maturation of Santa Rita’s wines to this day. Wow – always like soaking up a bit of culture on a night out!

Oscar said, ‘Santa Rita has the enviable reputation of being one of the most admired Chilean wine brands in the world and the 120 brand is one of Chile’s most successful global wine exports. It is an honour to be working for this brand and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing the brand’s ‘Living la Vida 120’ ethos whilst visiting Ireland.’

It was a great night meeting the team and introducing myself to the Santa Rita wine range. I know white is typically the wine of choice for the summer, but with the temperamental Northern Irish weather it looks like I’ll need to have a full-bodied red on stand-by…and of course a raincoat!

Learn more about Santa Rita here or @SantaRitaEst

   

 

Spotting local hidden gems from the world of beauty, health, fashion, tourism and hospitality. I have my ear to the ground (quite literally) to keep you up to date about the new or interesting products and services from our neck of the woods. If you know one – get in touch @GSpotsBlog, gspots_blog on Insta or grainne@gspots.biz