My husband and I recently spent a week in New Orleans visiting his family and eating our way through the city's iconic foods: shrimp po’boys, seafood gumbo, fried catfish, red beans and rice, muffalettas, fried gator, beignets, snowballs, doberge cake and more. Amid all this, I felt the overwhelming need for a salad, and so we stopped at the Whole Foods Market in the old bus barn to pick up fresh greens for dinner at home.
Being from the New York/New Jersey area, grocery stores that sell wine are something of a novelty to me, so I was curious to see what they had in the way of ecofriendly "supermarket wines.” We picked up the Cono Sur Pinot Noir Colchagua Valley 2008, a Chilean wine appealing for its $12 price tag, sustainably farmed grapes and CarbonNeutral® delivery to offset the emissions of shipping. Plus, my cycling-fanatic husband liked the bicycle on the label.
We had the wine with boudin one night and then, to use up the leftover sausage, with boudin empanadas, a Cajun-Latin fusion creation of my in-laws. Crisp and light, the Pinot Noir offered pleasant red cherry, sour cherry and plum aromas and flavors, with just a touch of toast and spice on the finish. I put it at 84 points, non-blind. The acidity helped cut the fat of the boudin, though I felt the wine could have used a bit more heft to stand up to the food. No one else at the table was nitpicking about the pairing though; everyone went back for a second glass.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Viña Cono Sur Pinot Noir Colchagua Valley 2008 (83, $13).