Chile Day 3 – Cerro San Cristobol

Today was touring of the trendy Bellavista neighbourhood and then take the funicular train up the Cerro San Cristobal to get panoramic view of the city, a peek at the Andes mountains and the large Virgin Mary statue overlooking the city. If you are looking for handicrafts and/or lapis lazuli jewelry, then Bellavista is a good place to look. Lunch time is good for fixed price menus for a reasonable price. This lunch it was a carrot fritatta type appetizer, followed by salmon topped with asparagus and cream sauce with mashed potatoes mixed with avocado and sausage, followed by a mango/chocolate mousse, and a Cristal beer. It should have been a nap after that big lunch, but I had to get up the funicular as it was a beautiful sunny day today. Dinner of course had wine. For dinner today it was pizza. I had the “portofino” pizza which had ground beef, chopped mushrooms, chopped heart of palm, and kernels of corn. Quite tasty. Maybe a new flavour for Panagopolus? What was the wine? I tried the Botalcura El Delirio Reserva. This is a Syrah / Malbec blend. I chose this specifically because Malbec is typically grown in Argentina, not Chile. This was a big wine, opaque purple in the glass. Ripe black fruit and tar nose but then opened up to show some oak, and further in the meal, chocolate, vanilla and black cherry. I attribute this wide range of aromas to be from the Malbec grape as i’ve tried many other malbecs and the wines continually evolve in your glass. Very nice. On the palate, it was ripe black fruit, ripe plums with medium spice and soft tannins. Tomorrow is my first official visit at a winery. Which one? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog entry.

Chile Day 2

Day 2 in Chile. Sunday is a day for families in Chile. Many go out to parks or restaurants. Took the subway from the Providencia neighbourhood to the Plaza de Armas, a central plaza downtown. Many street vendors in the surrounding streets selling books, scarfs, candies and more, Just north of the plaza is the Central Mercado which is a large building filled with fish mongers and seafood restaurants. I enjoyed a grilled conger eel with Kunstmann beer (sorry not wine). I did save wine for dinner. A small German style restaurant close to the hotel, serving traditional Chilean food and wine, of course. Dinner was Carne Mechada with french fries. The Atkins diet is in full force in Chile. Lots of protein everywhere for dinner. The carne was two thick slices of marinated slow roasted super tender beef brisket. To this I paired a Cousino Macul Don Luis Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. This wine was deep purple in the glass, Earthy, plum and leather nose. Lots of spice, tar black fruit, cassis flavours. Round mouthfeel with medium tannins. A very nice pairing. And served in a half bottle. All restaurants that i’ve visited so far offer a number of half bottles. They are a nice size for a meal for 1 or 2 people. it would be nice if more half bottles were available on restaurant lists in Vancouver. Tomorrow is a national holiday in Chile, so i’m hoping there are a few restaurants nearby. Saludos.

Chile Day 1

Day 1 in Santiago Chile. Landing in Santiago and getting through Customs was a breeze. Being able to speak a bit of Spanish helps though. Checking into the Hotel Orly around noon, and it is time for lunch. Lunch today was a Chilean style hotdog, which they add in their “Completo”, sauerkraut and avocado. Quite tasty. At 5pm a local snack of empanada pino, which is a small baked bread filled with ground meat, egg, and olives. That left me with enough energy to wait till early dinner at 8pm at “La Liguria” on Manuel Montt Street. My friend Alejandro recommended this restaurant to me, and the food was very good. My wife and I shared a grilled slice of Corvina fish, a lomo (beef) steak, Chilean salad (peeled tomatoes, sliced onions, cilantro, chile, and vinegar). And of course some wine for this dinner. My wine for the evening as a Terranoble Reserve Carmenere. Carmenere is of course the signature red grape of Chile. This wine was deep purple in the glass, very ripe fruit nose and very fruity with soft tannins, and not a hint of capsicum aroma or flavour. It went very nicely with dinner. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s adventures in Chile! Saludos!