Holiday Wine Shopping Made Easier with the 14th Annual Wines of Chile Awards
Industry: Food and Drink
13 Outstanding Wines Awarded in First-Ever US Competition
Washington, DC (PRUnderground) December 4th, 2017
This holiday season, Wines of Chile celebrated the announcement of the 14th Annual Wines of Chile Awards (AWOCA) with a pairing competition at the National Restaurant Association headquarters. The Best in Category selections, detailed below, are ideal gifts at any price for discerning wine lovers everywhere. For those familiar with Chilean wine, or those looking to learn more about the varietals the country produces from its diverse growing regions, this year’s AWOCA winners offer wines perfect for festive dinners, thoughtful hostess gifts, traditional holiday desserts, and celebratory toasts.
Winning wines were selected by 27 judges including wine writers, master sommeliers and professionals during a two-day blind tasting of more than 300 wines. The esteemed group awarded 82 gold medals to outstanding wines, two best in show winners, and 13 top placements in varietal categories including: Sparkling, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Carignan, Red Blends, Pinot Noir, Carmenere and Cabernet Sauvignon. All winning wines are available at retail locations throughout the US and abroad.
The winners of the 14th Annual Wines of Chile Awards are:
Best Sparkling: Viña Undurraga, Undurraga Rosé Royal N/V
Best Sauvignon Blanc: Viña Haras de Pirque, Albaclara Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Best Other White: Viña Casas del Bosque, Gran Reserva Late Harvest Riesling 2015
Best Chardonnay: Luis Felipe Edwards, Marea Valle de Leyda Chardonnay 2016
Best Pinot Noir: San Pedro, 1865 Selected Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016
Best Syrah; Best in Show: Viña Casas Del Bosque, Gran Reserva Syrah 2015
Best Carignan/Secano: Luis Felipe Edwards, LFE100 CIEN Carignan 2012
Best Carménère $25 and over: San José de Apalta, Carménère Blue Label 2015
Best Other Red: Viña Valdivieso, Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2013
Best Red Blend: Viña Cousiño Macul, Lota 2011
Best Cabernet Sauvignon under $20: Viña Requingua, Puerto Viejo Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Best Cabernet Sauvignon $20-$50: Viña Maipo, Protegido Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Best Cabernet Sauvignon over $50; Best in Show: SANTA EMA, Catalina 2014
During the announcement earlier this month, over 300 patrons tasted chef pairings with each wine and cast votes for favorites on social media using the hashtags #AWOCA17 and #ChileChefChallenge. Each dish was uniquely crafted to stand up to the flavor profile of the accompanying wines, and therefore offered a wide variety of tasting options throughout the event. There were three winners: favorite dish and wine pairing selected by a panel of judges, the people’s choice winner selected by guests via social media posts, and a randomly selected attending guest. Each winner received two round trip tickets to Chile courtesy of LATAM Airlines. The dishes represent a range of flavors and ingredients appropriate for any holiday meal.
JUDGES PAIRING CHOICE
Chef Jesse Miller of Bar Pilar created an Carignan & 5 Spice Beef Belly. Highlighting beef from Patagonia, Chef Miller used young sheep’s milk cheese stuffed prunes with oak smoked beef bacon, honey, honey & sumac yogurt, kabocha squash, merquen, and pickled plum. “It is an honor to be the Judge’s Choice for this year’s Chilean Chef Challenge here in DC,” says Bar Pilar Executive Chef Jesse Miller. “Both the beef and wine had such deep flavors and aromas to play off for the dish — I was inspired to work with such fine Chilean products. I can’t wait to go to Chile later this winter!”
PEOPLES PAIRING CHOICE
Daniel Morton from Del Frisco’s Grille took the people’s choice award for favorite dish of the night with his Empanadas de Pino. The traditional empanadas were stuffed with merquen spiced ribeye steak and prunes. Chef Morton commented after accepting his award, “to prepare a traditional Chilean dish and take home people’s choice was truly an honor.”
Participating chefs showcased the vast talent diners in Washington have at their disposal, and included last year’s People’s Choice Winner Chef Steve Mason of Grilled Oyster Co., Chef Victor Albisu of Del Campo, Chef Pablo Catalan of Pennsylvania 6, Chef Angel Roque of Cuba Libre, Chef Kaz Okochi of Kaz Sushi Bistro, Chef Rob Rubba of Hazel, Chef Kamal Chanaka of Smith Commons, Chef Bart Vandaele of Belga and B Too, Chef Brittany Todd of Quarter + Glory, Chef Jenn Flynn of Roofers Union, and Chef Susan Delbert of Fourth Estate.
“Our 4th Annual Chilean Chef Challenge was taken to new heights last night,” said Rodrigo Contreras, Trade Commissioner, ProChile. “By pairing Chile’s finest ingredients including free range beef, olive oil, and Patagonia mussels with some of the nation’s most renowned wines selected by Wines of Chile, the event was better than ever. Nothing pairs better with great food than great wine.”
“Increasing appreciation and a greater understanding of Chile’s fine wine category is the goal of the Wines of Chile Wine Awards,” said Mario Pablo Silva, President of Wines of Chile extolling the event. He added, “Our 14th annual Wines of Chile Wine Awards was one of the best programs we’ve executed in the United States. It reached two of our primary audiences – press and restaurant trade. These two channels are vital for US consumers to discover the best premium Chilean wines. Pairing our event with the Chile Chef Challenge and the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan DC was perfect match. Additionally, key wine retailers in DC are developing 2018 programs to bring these wines to their VIP customers.”
AWOCA underscores the excellence of Chile’s world class quality while shining a spotlight on a top strategic market. The Chilean wine industry has undergone a revolution in quality and innovation while literally expanding its horizons searching for ideal terroir and microclimates. More producers than ever before are producing and exporting wine from Chile to the US. Unique geographic conditions have provided ideal terrain for the wine industry while timely support from the governmental agencies like ProChile and Fundación Imagen have helped the wine industry to flourish and established the country as the leading exporter of New World wine. Consumers have a diversity of wine to select from and an awarded wine from AWOCA can guide them in exploring the best wines from Chile.
About Wines of Chile USA
Wines of Chile is an organization committed to promoting the quality and image of Chilean wine throughout the world. It has offices in Santiago, London and New York, as well as representatives in Canada, Ireland and Denmark. Wines of Chile also works closely with ProChile to develop and offer promotional and educational programs in Asia, Latin America and Europe. Wines of Chile’s 86 member wineries belong to Vinos de Chile and represent 88 percent of Chile’s bottled wine exports. More information is available at www.winesofchile.org.
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW)
The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is the regional trade association representing restaurants and the foodservice industry in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. Established in 1920, RAMW is an advocate, resource and community for its members. The Association works to promote and sustain the growth and development of the industry while providing its members legislative and regulatory representation, marketing and small business support, programming and events. RAMW strives to serve its members with professionalism and integrity, and provide them the training, education and support they need to grow a successful business.
Foods from Chile
Born from fjords, grown amid glaciers and harvested from exotic rainforests, the fruits, vegetables, seafood, meat and spirits represented by Foods from Chile are the unique and toothsome result of that country’s diverse terrain and rich natural resources. The Foods from Chile seeks to share this story, inviting to discover how Chile’s fertile mix of coastline, arid terrain, glacial mountains and rainforests produce an abundant and varied range of healthy natural foods.