Exploring The Best of South American Wines

Exploring The Best of South American WinesSouth America is a huge region with a long history of viticulture and wine making that has experienced ups and downs since the 1500’s when it started, but with influence from Europe and the US, quality wine production has since taken off in the region.

Separated by the Andean mountains, Chile and Argentina currently dominate the industry with the most advanced and largest world market penetration. This is because majority of the vineyards producing highest quality grapes are located at the foothills of the Andes, only distinguished by differing climates.

As such, most wine lovers are familiar with the tastes of the characteristic grapes that produce the Chilean Carménère or Argentinean Malbec but there are several other stellar wines from this region that may not be as popular are worth trying. Here are 4 we recommend:

Colomé Torrontés (Argentina)

Torrontés are nearly exclusively grown along the naked, dusty landscape of Argentina’s North-West border. Torrontés is native to this desert region that possesses the highest altitude vines in the world, giving it a longer growing season.  Here is a video of the wine region.

The aromatic white wine is produced from a fresh and fruity grape, that gives a mildly sweet sensation and is 100% Argentinean, though experts agree it tastes a crossing between Criolla Chica and Muscat of Alexandria.

Don David Reserve Tannat (Argentina)

Tannat is a deep red-wine grape which is native to Basque County, in Southwest France along the Spanish border. The grape made is way to South America and has become increasingly popular in the region’s wine producing countries, particular Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina. The tannat vineyards are also at high altitude in the Calchaqui Valley, Argentina and the reserve label we recommend, Don David, is owned by Michel Torino and named after its founder.

Bodega Garzon Albariño (Uruguay)

Not to be left out from the list, although Uruguay is mostly famous for its stellar Tannats, the less popular Uruguayan Albariño grape is one of the very few white wine grapes to make its mark in South America, other than the Torrontés. A confirmed crowd-pleaser, the Albariño is a classic crisp white, with a similar aroma to Viognier and a fresh, peachy finish.

Gillmore Vigno Carignan (Chile)

Old vine Carignan is Chile’s wine industry’s often neglected jewel. The red wine grape, native to the Spanish/French was first planted in Chile’s Maule Valley in the 1940s. Though the grape never really took off as much as Chile’s signature Carménère its potential was recently tapped into and the organization, Vignadores de Carignan (VIGNO) was formed in 2011 to advocate and market these Chilean wines. The Chilean Carignan is as warm and rich as the Carménère and is making its way to wine shelves everywhere.

Calories in Wine – White Vs Red

Calories in WineYou might be good when it comes to checking labels for everything you pick. However, when it comes to a liquor store when shopping for a wine, nutrition facts and figures are nowhere to be found. Fortunately, if you are armed with some basic knowledge concerning ingredients and calories, it’s simple figuring out the kind of wines best suited to maintaining your waistline. This article is going to compare and contrast calories found in both white and red wines. Read on.

Calories in white and red wine

White wines, when compared to red wines are considered to be lower in calories and alcohol content. Light wines approximately have 140 calories, or less for 6-ounce/175ml glass, and on the other hand, a light red wine has between 135 and 165 calories. Higher -alcohol red wines such as Syrah have up to 200 calories/ glass. However, sweet wines such as Trockenbeerenauslese or Sauternes may go over 200 calories/glass because of their high sugar content ( 100g of sugar contains 400 calories, and a bottle of Trockenbeerenauslese may have up to 300g/l).

Perhaps, you may be wondering the number of glasses of wine you drank last night to complement your meal. Well, you shouldn’t worry much. Red wine is perfect for your skin and health. However, make sure this does not turn you into some heavy drinker of wine.

Calorie-count in Red and White Wine

Red Wine

The United States Department of Agriculture and Nutrient Database states that on average, red wine has 125 calories, and with less than 4 grams of carbs, 1 gram of protein, and 15g of alcohol.

Red wines range between 550 and 660 calories/bottle. Lemberger, Gamay, and Carignane are usually on lower end of the 550 to 660 calories.

Popular red wines such as Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot are little higher up in calorie count, with between 614 and 619 calories/bottle. Burgundy and Zinfandel have high content of alcohol, and low sugar content with between 640 and 650 calories. Note that exact calorie count may vary from one brand to another brand, and the grapes used in making the wine.

White Wine

Sweet white wines such as Riesling and Moscato d’Asti have low alcohol, plus high sugar count, and less than 600 calories. On the other hand, Dry , Full Bodied white wines such as Chardonnay as well as Pinot Grigio have between 604 and 615 calories/bottle Gewurztraminer contains 812 calories and this makes it a white wine having the most amount of calories.

White wines normally have fewer calories when compared with red ones having high ABVs. Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay are perfect choices over sweet ones such as Moscato and Riesling.

You might have this habit of sipping your wine, without noticing the number of calories you take. The quantity of calories normally depends on alcohol content, inherent sweetness, and serving size. Sweet wines, surprisingly, have more calories despite their color. Well, next time you are raising a toast, you are aware the amount of calories you are about to take.
Cheers!