Friday, December 31, 2010

Graffiti and Wine

What does graffiti have to do with wines? We wondered that too, but we're going to keep you guessing for a minute or two.

First, there are two new wines from Argentina, both just listed at the LCB and some local stores. While this isn't normally noteworthy, the way these wines are being put to market is a little unusual. Think: graffiti on a wall in Toronto and you're on the right track.

Both these wines are made by
Graffigna, Argentina's second oldest winery. Established in 1870, Graffigna is located north of Mendoza in the San Juan Valley and bordering on Chile - high altitude and a hot dry climate.

The 100% Malbec is a deal at the price and is aged in both French and American oak. Here are the tasting notes from the winery:

Color: deep red with violet highlights
Aromas: of great complexity with very ripe dark berries, a touch of black pepper and spicy fragrances.
Palate: well integrated delicate ripe tannins and complex finish with hints of coffee, vanilla and toast.
Suggested Retail around $14.00.

Next up is a Pinot Grigio. The following tasting note is from the LCB site, and we've included the SKU to make it easier to find. Another great value Argentinean wine with spice, pear, and ripe citrus aromas on the nose. It's slightly fuller bodied than most Italian versions too, which makes it a great white wine for meat.
SKU: #915918 in the government liquor stores and also available at Legacy Liquor Store.

Okay, now for the fun stuff - the graffiti part. To commemorate this wine, the importer and winery have hired Jaz, a local street artist, to paint a wall mural in Toronto. To quote the press release, “Jaz’s vibrant work can be seen on the streets of cities around the world from Madrid to Montevideo. With this launch event, Graffigna brings together two of Argentina’s most powerful cultural expressions for Canadians to enjoy."

The importer toured the country with paintings from this artist to showcase both the wines and the art. We're going to let the art speak for itself as we really couldn't decide how many points to give it. Wait a minute. Oh right, you don't give points to works of art.

Susan was out of town (lazying about on a Mexican beach apparently, the lucky woman) for the official launch which took place in the wine room at Cin Cin on Robson. A good time was had by all, and for the benefit of anyone else who missed it, here's a video clip of an interview with the artist.

Vino Argentino: An Insider's Guide to the Wines and Wine Country of ArgentinaThe Wines of Argentina, Chile and Latin America (Classic Wine Library)Fodor's Argentina, 6th Edition: with Wine Country and Chilean Patagonia (Full-Color Gold Guides)

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