When 350 oenological revellers gather in a single room with the sole intention of making some serious juices flow, it can only mean one thing: Premium Tasting is back in Buenos Aires.
Most recently seen in Mendoza in August, and also having gone international at Santiago de Chile in June, this blind tasting of a wine orgy returns to La Rural in Palermo for its second porteño edition. While it’s ‘blind’, there’s no need to dig out your favorite silk blindfolds or any other bedroom accessories — it simply means the wines’ respective identities are revealed after each round.
The 35 reds, whites and bubbles served in rounds of four are legit Argentine movers and shakers that have topped the charts this year. Wines only qualify to participate if they have scored 93+ points from the Wine Advocate Robert Parker himself, 92+ points from top critic Stephen Tanzer, a Decanter World Wine Awards trophy in 2016, or are “Outstanding” or “Highly Recommended” in Decanter, the UK’s monthly wine bible.
The beauty of Premium Tasting – and I’m proud to confirm that I’m a spitter for life – is that you can get up close and personal with all the winemakers whose delectable fermented grape juices have made Premium Tasting’s final cut who will be fresh in from San Juan (yup, Mendoza airport is still temporarily closed) and other wine regions like Nequén and Cafayate, Salta.
Wine industry big cheeses such as Sebastián Zuccardi (Zuccardi Q, Concreto), Alejandro Sejanovich (Manos Negras, Tinto Negro), the Michelini clan (Zorzal, Alma de Gen, Passionate Wines, Super Uco) and Alejandro Vigil (Catena Zapata, Aleanna) among others will talk explicitly about pick dates, selection by hand, yeasts used and why they went French or American as well as a host of the saucy wine topics.
This is the one time in the calendar where you (that means ‘I’ and probably Bianca Fernet whose finest wit is certainly fueled by WINE) get to geek out with so many of Argentina’s oenological icons in one room. It’s sexy, certainly from where I’m sitting.
At the Mendoza edition, I had sommelier Bacchus AKA Mariano Braga (his restaurant Pampa Roja located in Santa Rosa in La Pampa province is popping up at Tegui this Monday, that’s how much of a wine god he is) to my right-hand side and sommelier goddesses Gabriela Lafuente from Argentina’s second-best restaurant El Baqueano and Mariana Onofri from The Vines of Mendoza and Onofri Wines to my left. It would be rude not to learn how to spit from the best. All around, oenologists, agronomists, men and women who aren’t afraid to get down and dirty in the field in their quest to create the perfect wine.
This ninth edition – BA’s second and as always organized by Nicolás Aleman – will be hosted by old presenting hand sommelier Aldo Graziani from Aldo’s and Casa Cruz, as well as sommeliers Marina Beltrame and Agustina de Alba. Blue FM presenter Joe Fernández, a fervent drinker, will also be on hand to tie wines in with his astute astrological predictions.
November 10, 6pm
La Rural, Av. Sarmiento 2704, Palermo
Tickets: AR $1,200 from [email protected]