Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cavas Wine Lodge and thoughts on wine

After visiting Vino Cobos we met another American couple from Naples, Florida who were staying at Cavas Wine Lodge and invited the four of us to come back with them and share in, you’ve guessed it, more wine. Well, that kind of invitation is impossible to turn down. Debatably, but in my book the best place to stay if you want to experience wine producing Mendoza – without an RV, that is - is Cavas Lodge. The boutique hotel set amid vineyards against the backdrop of the snow-capped Andes, is gorgeous in its simplicity. There is a slight Moorish feel to the whole place with curved stucco stone walls and rounded roofs which blend nicely into the landscape. The main building has a reception area, lounge, dining room and outdoor pool. All of the rooms are actually small villas set slightly apart from the lodge and one another along lighted pathways winding through the vineyard. We were shown into the airy lounge which is filled with striking sculptures, modern paintings and comfortable chairs and sofas. After consulting with us, Bob ordered a bottle of chilled Rosé wine, which was perfect for the warm weather day. Owner Cecilia Diaz Chuit came by and was delighted by the gift of a bottle of wine from Vino Cobos which they had bought for her. As we chatted she, like many people, were astonished by our journey and she promised to stay in contact with us. After two bottles of the Rosé, followed as the evening wore on by a beautiful Malbec, the six of us chatted and shared stories as comfortable with each other as long time friends. It was with regret on all sides that we called it an evening and we drove Tim and Naomi to town again. In the next couple of days, we catch up on some RV chores and have Tim and Naomi over for a traditional Argentinean assado. We drank copious amounts of wine from our now blooming collection, while Tom cooked sausages and 2 different cuts of beef over the wood fire. It was then time for fond goodbyes with our new Australian friends as the next day we are leaving to head north for the Chilean border. All in all, we can honestly say that we have had a fabulous time in Mendoza and just in case there is any doubt left in anyone’s mind, let me clarify. I love wine. It is just about the only alcohol I consume. I like wine by itself and on occasion by myself. I love having a glass of wine to enjoy an interesting talk, to celebrate a great moment or to share with good company. There is no doubt that whenever we drink wine, we are absorbing the smells and tastes of the earth around us, from the soils in which the vine was grown to the tannins and spices and color that the grapes have when grown in a specific microclimate. Wine drunk without food tastes different than wine which is accompanied with food. Food can amplify the enjoyment of the wine and vice versa. Wine reacts with food in the same way that an herb or spice might. A good pairing will bring out the nuances enhancing the flavors and distinctive characteristics of both the food and the wine. However, the best pairing is the combination of good food, great wine and excellent company. Wine in its best context is a mix of people, smiles, music, landscapes, smells and food. Well, in this past week, in the amazing province of Mendoza, we have had it all!

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