Omnivore - Wine find of the week: Espiritu de Chile Carmenere

A deal from Chile available only at a retail location we're ashamed to mention

I had an interesting email exchange last week after posting my first wine find of the week. Our friend Hardy over at Dirty South Wine was horrified that I would send folks to the Tinder Box in Lenox Mall - he felt as though I should be promoting local, locally owned wine merchants rather than chains that have no connection to the community. Point taken, but part of my goal here is to give people all kinds of options from all kinds of retailers. I had to admit, as much as I'd love to get to the smaller shops for all my wine, I buy a lot of wine at the supermarket - I'm there already, it's convenient, it's on my way home. I think a lot of people shop like that.

It was not my intention to blaspheme even more outrageously this week, but it turns out the wine I decided to feature is only available in one spot in Atlanta right now - WalMart. I know - reprehensible (since when did WalMart sell booze, anyway?), but again, I think that's part of the problem of writing about wine without a retail component. I didn't buy this wine, I tasted it randomly, and I wanted to write about it. If it's only available at WalMart I'd rather say that straight up than leave you with no way to find a bottle. Next week, a local retailer, I promise...

2006 Espiritu de Chile Carmenère

$11, Available at the Howell Mill Road WalMart

Wines from Chile are some of the best deals around these days, and this one is no exception. Carmenère is a grape traditionally used in Bordeaux blends, but on its own it makes for a meduim-bodied red with soft tannins. The Espiritu de Chile would make for a great Christmas wine because it's round and fruity but also has enough black pepper and darker accents to keep it lively and balanced. At $11 this is one of the better deals I've come across recently.

(Photo courtesy Espiritu de Chile)

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