An unfortunate part of our job here is that in order to be able to accurately recommend activities to you all we have to experience them ourselves firsthand. This is obviously a crying shame as it means we have to do all of the amazing things Buenos Aires has to offer together as a team; It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it! So for our first team activity together since we expanded we took a trip around the corner to Anuva Wines to take part in one of their wine tasting courses.
For those unaware, Anuva Wines operate a wine tasting evening coupled with a distributing service, allowing you to order crates of your favourite wine from the tasting and have them shipped back home. It was founded by an American traveller, Daniel Karlin, who found love not only in the incredible wines Argentina has to offer but also with his wife, Lourdes. Together they have created a business that revolves around showcasing wines that are not well known outside of Argentina and making them easily obtainable to the rest of the world.
So we set off, desperate for a day off work and ready to enjoy great wine. Upon arrival we were greeted with a smile by our guide for the evening, Cara, and led upstairs to join the other guests. The venue was set with 2 tables of 8 guests each, with 5 glasses per person, an unenviable number of glasses to polish! We introduced ourselves and sat down and were soon underway. Firstly we were told about how the evening would pan out, as each wine was poured into our glass we would get a brief description including information about the grapes used, the vineyard and area it comes from and its aromas and tastes. Each wine was also paired with a food accompaniment to showcase further subtleties of the wines.
The wines moved from sparkling whites to heavier Malbecs, we tasted 5 in total paired with appropriate foods from meaty empanadas to fruit sorbets. The guide was clearly very knowledgeable about her wines and had a great demeanour and way of explaining things, which was vital as I had no idea what I tasted. It’s slightly embarrassing when someone asks “is this sweet or sour?” – 2 complete opposite tastes, and you get it wrong. That’s not even asking if you can detect the vague hint of chocolate in the after taste if you breathe over the wine, this is getting your wine tasting ABC wrong! From the offset it was obvious I was well out of my depth but thankfully our guide was at hand to make sure I understood everything.
By the 3rd or 4th glass we were considerably rowdier and fully engaged in conversations between ourselves and the other guests on our table but the guide expertly deflected our stupid questions and drunken sniggering about wines “leaving a masculine taste in your mouth”. I imagine, particularly with bigger groups and plenty of wine, it could be difficult for the guides to retain control of everybody but Cara seemed very experienced in making herself heard.
After our 5th and final glass we left with a much better appreciation for Argentine wines. I won’t pretend I have any natural instinct when it comes to wine tasting or apparently, any taste buds or sense of smell at all, but it was a great evening out and exactly what we needed. Everyone was amazingly knowledgeable and approachable; the wines were very tasty even if I couldn’t identify any of the aromas they described. I would thoroughly recommend Anuva Wines for an evening out whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a complete novice, you won’t regret it.
By Richard Porter. Richard works for The Argentine Experience.