Blue Skies, Hunks of Meat, and a Bottle of Wine: Concha Y Toro Carmenere Gran Reserva

It was this kind of day.

Brilliant blue skies served as a bright backdrop to tender, new spring leaves.

I think everyone in our town with a grill or a smoker, a hunk of meat and a dream, was outside, beer in hand, cooking their favorite cut.

Of course I showed up to the party with wine! I chose this Carmenere from Chile, feeling sure it would partner well with meat and fire!

Even the wine itself reflected the beauty of the spring day.

The Concha Y Toro Winery is headquartered in Santiago, Chile. It was established in 1883 and has grown to be the largest producer of wines from Latin America. They have a range of brands that covers every price point.

This Gran Reserva Serie Riberas (Riverbank Series) Carmenere comes in at a mid-price point. The Carmenere grapes, sometimes referred to as Chile’s signature red grape, are sourced from the Peumo Vineyard on the banks of the Cachapoal River.  Grapes are fermented over 8-10 days in stainless steel tanks then aged 13 months in barrels.


The color is a deep, dark red, hinting at the intensity of the wine.

Aromas are also intense with gobs of dark berries and black cherry along with leather and smoky cedar notes.

The flavors show concentrated ripe dark berries, savory dried herbs and black olives. Mocha mingles in with the berries and herbs. The rich flavors are held in a generous feel on the palate. Pepper spice notes finish up with gentle tannins.

We drank this alongside piles of smoked ribs. I mean, piles of smoked ribs!

Spring veggies were served too.

But the wine and rib pairing was pure pleasure. The concentrated style of the wine was big enough to stand up with the big meaty, smoky flavors of the ribs.  The juicy fat layer in the ribs helped to soften any tannins in the wine. Pepper spices of both the wine and the ribs mingled together happily.

The chef was happy.

And I was happy with a perfect pairing on this gorgeous spring day.


Drinking with grilled or smoked meats;

A red wine drinker who wants a full-bodied red wine with ripe fruit and savory flavors in a drinkable style.

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