If you’re as old as I am (old as dirt for the record), you may recall the sports television program Wide World of Sports that ran on ABC-TV (no relation to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits) for much of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s (check that: it actually ran for thirty-seven seasons from 1961 to 1998!)
The show famously opened each week with a stirring musical montage played over brief images of sporting events, locations and peoples. Narrated by long-time host Jim McKay, always with the catchphrase “spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat…”
The premise behind the program was to cover sporting events great and small in every far reaching corner of world. The gamut of televised events ran from the noteworthy to the bizarre. You might tune in each week to catch the Grand Prix of Monaco for instance, or the Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbuhel. Maybe witness the Harlem Globetrotters in Hong Kong, the very first Little League World Series or Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race. There was even a live rattlesnake hunt in Oklahoma featured in the 1960’s.
So how does this all tie in with our mission to bring new and exciting wines to you? Well, at ABC, we do a bit of “spanning the globe” ourselves. We search far and wide to bring you a constant variety of wines.
How varied? Well, how about the obscure red grape, Tannat, from Uruguay. Wine from Uruguay? Yes indeed! Believe it or not, Uruguay is the 4th largest wine producing nation in South America and its signature grape is Tannat. Tannat vines were initially introduced into Uruguay back in the 1870’s by Basque immigrants. Its ancestral home is the southwest of France in a place called Madiran. The varietal has the distinction of being high in procyanidins (natural compounds beneficial to blood vessels), which means that Tannat may be the most heart healthy wine grape out there.
Established in 1999, Bodegas Garzón is the brainchild of vintner Alejandro Bulgheroni and his family. Their state-of-the-art facility is located near Uruguay’s Atlantic coast and benefits from the region’s maritime climate and varied terroir. Plantings under vine currently exceed 500 acres. The focus is on estate grown fruit utilizing sustainable viticulture. Since its inception, noted Italian enologist Alberto Antonini has been associated with the project.
Bodegas Garzón Tannat ($18) is a full-bodied expression of dark berries, chocolate, plum sauce, loam and mineral with inviting freshness and round but ripe tannins. It’s perfectly suited to hearty stews or grilled meats, especially well-marbled cuts of beef or lamb.
Jim Greeley, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits wine & spirits supervisor
Follow me on Twitter @ABCwineJimG