Episode 413 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Patricio Tapia, the author of the “Descorchados” guide to South American wine, and a senior correspondent for Wine & Spirits Magazine.
If you are looking to move past the generalizations that abound around South American wine, Patricio Tapia is a knowledgeable guide. Patricio hunts down the specifics, searching out the varying characteristics of different regions, looking for farmers instead of brands, and keeping perspective on how historical developments can affect a wine culture. Patricio points out that the differences in the wines of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Brazil can be attributed as much to differences in immigration to those countries as to geographical differences, which he also details. And Patricio draws a convincing portrait of Chilean and Argentinian wine scenes that are changing with generational patterns, as different winemakers come of age with new priorities. Something that may surprise listeners is his description of contemporary winemakers in South American more influenced by the wines of the Jura than by Bordeaux. He describes winemakers looking for less ripeness, less wood, and more terroir influence in their wines, as well as experimenting with different zones, historical winemaking methods, and a diversity of grape varieties beyond the Bordeaux grapes. While he is conscious of the fact that Cabernet and Malbec produced in a fruit-forward style have been the calling card of South American wines in the recent past, he says that a different reality is already in place on the ground for those who might be searching for it.
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I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @leviopenswine