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Vina Araucano

Mention the word “fest” to me in conjunction with any kind of alcohol and I am there, so when my kind grocer at the local Whole Foods alerted me that a “Beer and wine fest” was happening, I had to hold myself back from hugging him.

$15 bought my entry and samples. A very good deal if I say so myself. As I perused the aisles, making my way through fine cheeses and organic vegetables, I sipped on shiraz, cabernet… if it was red wine it was mine for the taking. I may have snuck in a Belgian beer or two, but mainly I stuck to reds. Although most sips were good, one stopped me in my tracks. What was this one jewel-toned drink that beat out all the rest? Araucano Pinot Noir 2006.

This Chilean wine had a little something that set it apart from the others. In fact, I went back for a second sample and purchased a bottle. It was THAT good. A bit earthy for a Pinot Noir, which I prefer, this wine lingered on the palette just long enough to taste the berry and cola flavors and light acidity.

Selling for $13 a bottle at the market, this mid-priced Pinot Noir was a pleasant surprise and worth the purchase. I would pair this wine with a rich chicken dish such as marsala or primavera. Typically sticking to Pinot Noirs hailing from the Northwest United States, I would recommend this Chilean red to anyone looking for something different. I would also recommend making small talk with your