A Taste of Argentina at iYellow Wine School, Toronto

20131120_192350 (2) (800x600)As a self-described wino, I jumped at the chance to participate in the iYellow Wines of Argentina wine school.  In case you haven’t heard, Toronto Life recently included iYellow Wine School in their “The Best of the City” series.

But what isn’t publicized is that iYellow avoids all the usual wine snobbery in their classes. Owner Angela Aiello emphasizes that “no one knows everything” about wine. It’s a chilled out environment where you can taste wines from all over the world, learn about the wines you love and meet other wine lovers. Membership is free, and the club plans regular events, tours and classes.

20131120_185226 (2) (800x600)So for those of us who aren’t “wine snobs,” an iYellow class offers an easy way to learn about wines – how to taste it, analyze its colour, scent, legs (streaks left on the glass after wine is swirled), and finish.   Ever wonder why wine is described as having notes of fruit, tobacco, or being earthy or nutty? Such flavours are often detected in the scent of the wine, which Aiello takes great care in teaching participants how to do.

This particular class piqued my interest because travelling to Argentina is on my bucket list.  I highly recommend a visit to iYellow prior to engaging in wine tourism because it provides the opportunity to learn what types of wine you like so that you can plan your itinerary accordingly.  This is especially helpful in a country as large as Argentina, as different areas of the country produce different types of wine. 

20131120_185433 (2) (800x600)Argentina has a history of over 400 years of wine making that is influenced by mostly Spanish and Italian immigrants who brought various wine making techniques with them.  I enjoyed 6 samples of wine from different regions of the country.  All Argentine wine producing regions are located in the valleys along the Andes, and the wines are known for their delicious taste and good value.  The warm climate allows for consistent full bodied reds and distinctive whites. 

The high altitudes permit winegrowers in the north of Argentina to specialize in Torrontes.  My pick for the whites was the 2012 Crios Torrontes for its unique and delicious flavour.   This medium-bodied dry wine has a floral fragrance and long finish.  What I liked best was the aromatic character of this wine.  It could pair well with seafood, but I felt that it was delicious enough to enjoy on its own.  Impress your friends at your next dinner party because this wine is available for purchase in the Vintages section of the LCBO for $12.95.

I usually look for a full-bodied and flavourful red, something that can be difficult to find in Ontario because our cold climate means that, on average, only 3 of 10 summers will produce a good, bold red.  Argentina’s warm climate allows its wine producers to consistently produce delicious reds.  The 2012 Trapiche Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon featured exactly what I look for in a good red.  This full bodied wine is accompanied with fruity and tobacco notes and a long finish that would pair well with steak.  It comes from Mendoza, the main wine producing Argentine province. Trapiche Cab Sauv is available at the LCBO for, get this, $9.45!

20131120_201048 (800x600)iYellow offered a selection of cheeses and light fare that allowed the wine to be the focal point of the evening. The selection of wines varied to accommodate different tastes and illustrated a wide spectrum of Argentine wines that are delicious and affordable. When I eventually book Argentina, a voyage to the north of the country is a must as I am now hooked on wine from Torrontes!

For a listing of upcoming iYellow wine classes and events, visit the site here.



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