Monday, July 7, 2014

Tannat...A Little Piece of Uruguay You Don't Want To Miss

Would I have paid attention to the fact that Uruguay is the wine world's rising star a year ago? Hardly.

I'm a wine snob of sorts. I love Kendall Jackson... that was until I moved to Mexico where I was forced to step out of my wine comfort zone. Why? Kendall Jackson is not sold here.

Tannat is the national red grape of Uruguay and accounts for one-third of all the wine produced in that country. In fact, more Tannat is grown in Uruguay than in France where the grape originated from.

Tannat is definitely a food lovers wine.

According to my friend Cesar, who is the wine expert in our group, it's robust with definite aromas of plum and has a smoky finish.

Me? A very deep, purple-red wine was set in front of me, I took in the aromas, had one sip and knew that it was a wine that I would order again.

Like most people, I just know what I like.

My first experience tasting a Tannat was at a new restaurant in San Miguel de Allende by that name on Ancha de San Antonio # 67.

The owners, Jose Manuel, whose credentials list both Cumpano and the Restaurant, and his wife Monica from Uruguay have transformed a tiny space into a food and wine sanctuary complete with their own varieties of herbs and grapes.

What I loved most about this restaurant besides the great staff was the fact that they use only the best, seasonal ingredients.

I had the luncheon special, a pizza with delicious Mexican mushrooms and ricotta, which was cooked to perfection. The toppings did not overwhelm the pizza, which I really like since many restaurants overload the pizza and forget that the crust is the star and can make or break the pizza.

Although some of the menu items are pricey, you can come in under 100 pesos because many of the dishes are large enough to share. The $125 peso pizza is suddenly $63 pesos when you split it with a friend.

Wines? They only work with small-batch, family owned wineries so expect a slightly higher price point...but you can taste the difference.

Steve, a wine maker from California turned me on to this place. It's a San Miguel moment you can't afford to miss if you love food and wine like I do.

And savor the Tannat... 

It convinced this white wine drinker that you need to get out of your wine comfort zone more often.

Buen Apetito!