Best Time Wine 6/13/03 Father's Day Tasting
I had heard about the Best Time Wine shop (4765 SW 8 Street, 305-443-6070)
from my brother but had never stepped into the store until last week when
I also found out there would be a tasting on the 13th. The tasting proved
to be an interesting experience.
It felt more like a party than a tasting, not because there was a DJ outside
the store spinning some standards and Latin tunes, but because of the crowd.
It wasn't the music or the food. I have been to a tasting with a Reggae
band and lots of food (the American Institute of Wine and Food at Turnburry
last year) but that one did not give me the feel of being at my uncle's house
party; yesterday's tasting did.
I did not go out of my way to document the demographics, but the crowd seemed
mostly Latin and age-diverse. The shop's website's [http://besttimewine.com/
news page indicates a crowd of more than 150 people attended; it was definitely
a large crowd. I only saw a couple of the folk I usually see at the tastings
I go to around town. This got me thinking that the crowd at this tasting
was made up of fans of this shop. I also got the idea that folk who go to
tastings tend to aggregate into their own cliques. Hey, this is where this
group (miamiWINE) comes in: we are here to unite all South Florida tasters!
The $10 tasting fee included hors d'oeuvres (or, horses' ovaries, as a former
co-worker used to say). The potato omelets were good; the house sandwiches
[see menu at http://besttimewine.com/menu.htm
] were fantastic (there was
french bread and olives also).
While I am on the subject of munchies at wine tastings, I urge hosts to remember
to use snacks that don't overpower the wines and suggest that tasters stay
away from those that do. This has happened at a couple of tastings in the
last few weeks. At one, there was an otherwise good spice-sauce-covered
bread. The problem was that the spice flavor was too darn intense. At another,
we also had potato omelets, but those had onions, which killed the taste
and stepped on the smell of the wines.
OK, enough, claptrap from me, let's talk wine.
Although there were some wines from Chile and France, the bulk of the featured
wines were from Spain's Rioja and Ribera del Duero. This was primarily a
value wine tasting. Prices ranged from $5.50 to $13 per bottle.
I counted at least 19 wines. Did not try them all and did not taste blind
to prices, which were prominently displayed on the tasting sheets and at
the wine stations. Of the wines I tasted, the best values were:
LUBERRI (Rioja) $7.00
LOS PORCILLOS Sauvignon Blanc $5.50
LOS PORCILLOS Cabernet Sauvignon $5.50
The MARQUES DE VALPARAISO Crianza $12
had the traditional oaky Spanish
taste. I did not get a chance to compare notes about the LOS PORCILLOS
, but my sample had a nutty taste reminiscent of dry
Sherry, which I understand to mean that it was oxidized.
Here is what I did not like about this tasting:
1. The glasses had decorations on them.
2. The DJ or the idea of even having a DJ at a tasting.
3. The room temperature was too hot.
4. The suppliers did not pour a couple of the wines listed on the tasting
sheet, even though they had them available for sale.
P.S.: The shop's webmaster, Michael, popped a bottle of DOLIUM Malbec
. Those of us who happened to be hanging around him when the
cork went off got a chance to sample a good wine (a step up in class from
the value products featured at the tasting). As I have mentioned before,
I generally have had bad experiences with Argentinean Malbecs: either they
have been low in quality or high in price. I have to admit that the DOLIUM
was a good wine at a good price, robust and ready to drink, but can mellow
with time since it is a young wine. Perhaps Malbecs and I can get along
after all. Maybe, as Rick said to Captain Renault in Casablanca, "this
could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship" between Leo and Malbecs.