For our first official tasting in the apartment, Zoe, Hilary and I ventured to the local liquor store, which actually has a pretty good wine selection. In order to make tasting simpler, we decided to narrow our search down to bottles under $10, and to concentrate on one region. My parents are big fans of Malbecs, practically the national wine of Argentina. These usually pair very well with steak (although they were pretty good with tofu as well). We tried three wines, all from the Mendoza region, and while we all had some different opinions, we could mostly come to a consensus. Overall, an excellent first tasting.
Cabrini Malbec, 2007: Dry and fruity without being overly sweet, with lovely deep burgundy color. Rachel thought it was kind of bitter, but it was actually my favorite. $7.99.
Bodega Norton, 2008: Dryer, thinner, and more acidic than the first. Still good, but definitely not as full bodied as the Cabrini. As Zoe said, "I drank it without even realizing I was drinking". However, her friend Ida actually liked it better, and I thought it did open up more as it sat out. $8.99
Pascual Toso, 2007:Probably the most subtle of the three, this one had more complex flavors than the other two and has actually won a lot of awards. Rachel thought it was quite sweet, with an almost sparkling quality. I thought that it had really nice fruity qaulities, but the finish was a little acidic. A good buy for $9.99 though.
In conclusion, our favorite was actually the Caprini, which by chance was the cheapest of the three. Of course, each person has their own individual tastes, and it also helps to pair wine with certain kinds of food to bring out the flavors. However, cheese and bread are usually a safe bet, especially for reds. I think that tasting is the best way to find your own tastes.
Hopefully we will be able to try to do this every couple of weeks (it helps to have willing friends), and maybe next time we can venture to Italy (my favorite, although perhaps I am biased from studying in Bologna for a semester!).