Review: Best Time Wine 6/13/03 Father's Day Tasting
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 Chardonnay $5.50, 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 2000 $16. 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. Thanks, Michael.
- Hello Leo,
Just wanted to say thanks for the review of BTW's Friday tasting. I
thought you hit the mark exactly in your observations and you
expressed the review in a fair and generous manner. Gives me great
confidence in the opinions you express in future reviews.
I enjoyed meeting you and hope to bump into you again as I make my
way to more of the tastings posted here. I plan to attend many more
events to refine my tastes and improve my ability to accurately
describe what I am tasting!