Do It Uruguay: South American Wines Ready
To Make Splash in the States

Argentinian wines make good sense in Texas.

Like Texas, Argentina is big and dry and hot. Most important, it's a beef-eating country -- the average Argentinian annually eats more than 150 pounds of beef -- and the wines are made to pair with steak.

But the leaders of a session on South America's emerging wine regions at the Texas Sommelier Conference this afternoon urged their listeners to explore wines associated with other South American countries, including Brazil and Uruguay.

"Brazil right now is going wine crazy," master sommelier Keith Goldston said, comparing the evolution of the nation's wine-drinking culture to the United States, where wine fans have gradually turned away from super-sweet fruit bombs. Goldston says Brazil is producing some very exciting dry wines that are poised to make a splash in the States.

Goldston thinks Bolivian wines will also "be on our radar," but suspects Uruguay is fated to become a geeky darling of wine hobbyists, much like Austria.

Still, the Uruguayan wine Goldston and Josh Raynolds poured was among the most interesting of the eight featured South American wines. A 2008 old-vine Tannat from Bouza, a sideline winery launched by the nation's frozen empanada king, was firm and complex.

"Does everyone remember the King Kong movie, not the newest one, but the one with Jeff Bridges?," Goldston asked, preparing audience members who were tucking their noses into their glasses. "This is a monster. I love this wine."

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