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Off to Chile to Taste Some Wine

I'm an incredibly lucky guy.

If you'd told me six years ago when I started dribbling out my thoughts on wine on some little web site I set up that one day people would want to fly me to foreign countries and pick up the tab just with the hopes that I'd write something about it, I'd have told you that you were nuts.

But here I go, off to Chile for a week of wandering and wine tasting. Hot damn.

Increasingly, I get asked to go on a lot of these kinds of wine trips. Unfortunately, I can't accept most of them. Many are offered by individual wineries or wine companies, and I don't feel comfortable taking such trips for the inherent conflict of interest they pose. My pesky day job and need to pay the bills rule out most of the others.

On occasion, however, the right combination of sponsor and timing coincide, and I get the chance to jet off somewhere in the world and pretend, just for a few days, that I actually write about wine for a living.

The folks at Wines of Chile have been trying to get me down to Chile for almost two years. I was originally scheduled to head down last January to be a judge at the annual Chilean wine competition, but my schedule got fouled up and so my trip today is a bit of a second chance.

I'll be spending 7 days traveling through Chile's central and northern wine regions of Casablanca, San Antonio, Cachapoal, Maipo, Colchagua, and a brief stop in Aconcagua. Sadly I won't make it down to Bio Bio which was high on my list. Barring the lack of connectivity in the Andes, I'll be blogging along the way, so look for updates as I go.

I'll have several nights in Santiago, and plan on checking out the food scene there, so if anyone has suggestions on not-to-be-missed restaurants I'd appreciate them. My shortlist includes: Astrid y Gaston, Puerto Fuy, Akarana, Miraolas, and Rai.

Hasta a la mañana.

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.