I'm encouraging you to tune in on Sunday, September 28 to the Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen episode "Tos-ta-da" and cheer on Chef Oz from Cueva Bar.
Chef Oz is a friend of mine. At the suggestion of his patrons and my friends, he tried the first set of wines I'm imported in and we began working together. While I'm grateful he was an early believer and still pouring OWOC wines at Cueva Bar, I'm more proud to call him my friend.
Five reasons to cheer on Oz:
1. He was born in Mexico and as a child learned to cook from his mother
2. He's a family man who cares deeply about his wife (pictured with him), two children and others in his family
3. He gives back to the San Diego community - often giving time and talent to education causes as well as the San Diego Food Bank
4. He passionately prepares foods using the healthiest ingredients available
5. He tries to create the best experience for everyone who walks into Cueva Bar
I hope you will join me on #teamchefoz
Uruguay wines were trending on Wednesday, March 5 during #winechat hosted by Protocol Wine Studio. We were chatting about Bodegas Carrau 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Sur Lie and 2010 Tannat Reserva.
There were 40 active participants from around the world on Twitter with more than 300 messages in the hour. In San Diego, a group of us paired the wines from Uruguay with incredible food of Pamplona and for Lent Pascualina at Cueva Bar.
While Uruguay wines are still new to most Americans, we were fortunate to have some excited tasters who had learned about the region at the 2013 Wine Blogger Conference. According to Wines of Uruguay, the country has 3,500 growers, 270 wineries, 22,000 acres of vines and 10 million cases of wine produced annually. The signature wine is Tannat with 22% of the vineyard plantings.
Our focus was on Bodegas Carrau with five siblings working to honor more than 260 years of winemaking by their ancestors. The family has two vineyards, 1) in Cerro Chapeau in northern Uruguay and 2) in Las Violetas in southern Uruguay.
The 2013 Bodegas Carrau Sauvignon Blanc is in Cerro Chapeau with an elevation of more than 1,000 feet over sea level, the highest vineyard in Uruguay. Here were the responses to this Sauvignon Blanc:
@JamesTheWineGuy B. Carrau Uruguay Sauv Blanc Sur Lie 13 > delicate notes of quince, yellow-pink citrus, fennel, tea, and white peach -> absolute delight
@winegrapestone found very good acidity in the Sauv. Blanc. Surprising for the latitude. Mellow passion fruit from the sur lie.
@SLHousman 2013 Bodegas Carrau Sauvignon Blanc Uruguay Tastes of green apples & pineapple slight floral finish
@themarymaynard The Sauvignon Blanc is buttery and mineral and I have a friend drinking it with me who say she will be buying it soon!!
@thewinecompass I think its cool they produce the Sauvignon Blanc sur lie. I remember a little yeastiness with the citrus
@themarymaynard I loved the sur lie also!!
@winegrapestone reminds me of the way merryedwards makes SB in Sonoma. Goes for $40+/bottle
@SacredDrop I agree! The SauvBlanc is smooth yet has a great amount of acidity and finishes strong.
@alawine 2013 Bodegas Carrau Sauvignon Blanc: Apple, pineapple, grapefruit, smooth, round, bright acidity. #7wordwinereview
@artpredator Wow so surprised & pleased by crisp yet rich& very aromatic 2013 bodegas carrau sauv blanc Uruguay! Love that its sur lies!
@amylieberfarb Clear white wine w/ green hues, Herbal bouquet reminds me of honeysuckle
@themarymaynard Buttery, smooth, refreshing, mineral #bodegascarrau Sauvignon Blanc
@artpredator As it opens, sauv blanc Bodegas Carrau moves from bright stone fruit to more citrus. It also changes a lot as it warms
The 2010 Bodegas Carrau Tannat is in the Las Violeta regions with an elevation of only 150 feet over sea level. Here were the responses to this Tannat.
@SacredDrop Tannat from Uruguay, tobacco, cigar box with dark berries, dry with good acidity and length.
@winegrapestone Tannat lots of plum and earth/leaves. Also good acidity. Well managed tannins.
@SacredDrop Tannat Reserva- Tobacco, licorice, candied cherries and red berries- Med-Full body.
@artpredator Lovely & unexpected complexity in nose of Bodegas Carrau 2010 tannat Las Violetas Uruguay & of course deep ruby red violet rim
@50StatesofWine Bodegas Carrau 2010 Tannat Reserva - vineyard grapevines are 25 years old on average
@JamesTheWineGuy B. Carrau Las Violetas Uruguay Tannat de Reserva 2010 - 13.5% ABV - alluringly dry - loving it.
@alawine 2010 Bodegas Carrau Tannat Reserva: medium body, whole plum, long dry nish #7wordwinereview very satisfying
@SLHousman Bottle #2 2010 Bodegas Carrau Tannat Tastes of dark plums & toasty oak
@amylieberfarb I'm used to Fruit forward Pinot Noir & this pleasantly surprising...no fruit notes but great oak
@wild4wawine Believe Tannat a great conversation starter and would please/surprise friends
We just took a selection of the Tweets for this recap. We are grateful for all the participants and for the following bloggers in spreading the word on Uruguay wines!
@wild4wawine Bodegas Carrau Winemaking Passion in Uruguay @OWOCwines
@winecompass The Unique Wines of Uruguay Tasting Tour 2013: Tannat and White Impress
@themarymaynard Bodegas Carrau Sauvignon Blanc "Sur Lie"
Join us on Wednesday, March 5 from 6-7 pm (PST) on Twitter for #winechat and in person in San Diego at Cueva Bar.
#Winechat was created by Marie Sanderson Payton, then wine lovers enjoyed the weekly event via Bill Eyer and it is now led by Protocol Wine Studio. We're fans of Protocol Wine Studio as they believe in a true wine culture: taste it, share it, live it.
If you have a Twitter account, it's easy to participate in #Winechat. Add us to your calendar for March 5 from 6- 7pm (PST) and type in #winechat to follow the conversation. Join the conversation by using the hashtag so everyone can see your question or comment. If you out about #winechat too late to get the wines, I’d encourage you to still join us as it’s a great way to learn new things about wine.
During this #winechat we'll be focused on Bodegas Carrau wines from Uruguay: providing information on the Uruguay wine industry, tasting a Sauvignon Blanc and Tannat Reserva and sharing the stories of the Carrau family that has 260 years of contributing to winemaking.
#Hashtag in person featuring Uruguay Wine
We will have participants from around the world via Twitter and for those in San Diego there is a special opportunity. Oz, the owner of Cueva Bar invites you to get out from beyond your computer and join #winechat in person with a tasting of the wines. There will be special pricing for the evening on Bodegas Carrau Sauvignon Blanc and Tannat Reserve.
Cueva Bar features Latin American menu on Adams Avenue in the University Heights neighborhood at 2123 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116. Oz and the team at Cueva Bar specialize in preparing food from the heart with creativity to cook delicious food including tapas and gluten-free items.
We look forward to you joining the conversation on #winechat via Twitter and in San Diego at Cueva Bar on Wednesday, March 5 at 6pm (PST).
Today I'm reflecting on the strength of the triangle of small business. The triangle is used as the building blocks of many structures. It's one of those things that now that it's been put in your head you'll see triangles in everything throughout your day like in this palapa.
So how what is the triangle of small business? Let's begin with Bodega La Azul a winery about the size of a two-car garage based in the Uco Valley in Mendoza, Argentina. It's a family-owned winery with a poem of love as part of the label. Bodega La Azul produces 833 cases of their Reserva a blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. They are side one of our triangle.
Side two of the triangle is us. We work with small wineries like Bodega La Azul to bring their excellent wines to the United States. We share the cool stories behind these small wineries to provide you with a connection when drinking these great wines. Because of the small production you won't find our wines in the larger restaurants or stores, which leads us to third side of the triangle.
We work with small restaurants, retailers and wine bars. These are the places that you frequent enough that they know your name and what you like. They are the places that you want to go when you want to celebrate. Here are two examples of this third side as others are recognizing their hard work:
Oz the incredible chef at Cueva Bar is featured in the current edition of San Diego Home and Garden, plus pictured with one of our favorite foods...empanadas.
Also, The Rose Wine Pub on 30th is recognized by a local blogger with a description of one of our
wines and suggested pairing with their scrumptious food.
Experience the triangle of small business. The people behind them have cool stories and want to
In Mendoza, Argentina the first weekend in March is the "Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia" meaning the National Grape Harvest Festival.
In March in the Northern Hemisphere bud break will begin while in the Southern Hemisphere harvest is underway. We enjoy wine from Argentina, let's celebrate when and as they do. We are very excited as it is a great way to taste wine from all three wineries we work with in Mendoza. Please join us in celebrating Argentina's harvest with traditional food and wines.
Cueva Bar and Our World, Our Community present "Celebracion de Vendimia de la Argentina" (Celebration of Argentina's Harvest)
Sunday, March 3
Reservations between:5-8 pm
Paired with 2008 Bodega La Azul Reserva
Grilled Bife with grilled seasoned tomato and parsnip puree
Paired with 2007 Vina 1924 Malbec de Angeles
Make your reservations now via email at email@example.com or by calling 619-269-6612.