THE CONCEPT OF WINE BY THE GLASS
There are various machines that allow wine to be kept in perfect condition for well over a week, so there is no worry about wastage. So, restaurants can, and should be able to offer several wines by the glass.
However, at Flavors Wine Bar, in Javea Pueblo (near to the Correos) the concept of wine by the glass has been taken to the next level, and some! When I went to meet Flavors’ Argentinean sommelier, Mariano Toscano there were 24 different wines to be tasted by the glass – and for three weeks too. Yes, that’s two dozen wines which visitors can taste, without having to buy the whole bottle! Fantastic.
And what about those wines?
Well, haling from Argentina, you’d expect there to be some of Mariano’s homeland wines – Malbec, of course, but others too. Also Chile is well represented, with South Africa, France and Spain, of course. The list is far from finished, with new wines being introduced over time too.
Also, if you look behind the bar, you’ll see the kitchen, from where all the hot and cold wine pairing tapas come, and a perfectly chilled and humidity controlled ‘cellar’, where all the bottles that are to replace those in use in the machines, are happily kept, along with some extras too.
Mariano had opened just for me, so we had Flavors to ourselves to taste some wines, with me learning from him as there weren’t many that I knew – though lots that I fancied! Each machine has a number of bottles displayed, ready for clients to taste – it’s a great idea, you can spend the same amount of money that you would normally spend on one bottle, trying several different wines!
Clients collect a card to use in the machines having placed on it however much they want to spend. They then simply insert the card in the machine of their choice and order either a small glass, a medium glass or a large one of the wine of their choice, this time. Repeat! Prices are clearly posted so you can spend as much or as little as you like.
On the day I visited, small glasses ranged from 1·10€ up to 9·30€; medium from 1·80€ to 15€; with large glasses actually representing the best saving. Mariano spoiled me with a small glass firstly, priced at 4·80€, an Alsace white made with Riesling, and a cracker!
Kastelberg Grand Cru 2012 is an elderly dry Riesling, though it remains a vibrant and fresh white wine. We discussed foods with which it might pair – I immediately thought of lobster, the dryness of the wine cutting through the slight sweetness of the lobster meat. Mariano went for seafood too, but prawns with a green salad and a little mango, to go along with the exotic fruit, pineapple, and floral aspects on the wine’s nose.
We went Spanish next, tasting the excellent value for money DO Montsant Celler Masroig Les Sorts Blanc 2017 made from barrel fermented white Garnacha. This wine has white stones fruits on the nose, with a little refreshing lemon zest in their too. As the wine warmed a little, I picked up the faint whiff of coconut milk – I wonder how this wine would be with Thai cooking?
Well, I kinda knew we’d be tasting some Malbec – but it was a blend from Argentina, rather than a monovarietal! That said, the Puma’s share was given to Malbec, the originally French variety, well known for its Cahors wines, but re-born in Argentina, where it’s clearly perfectly at home. Made by that country’s first female winemaker there are notes of slightly burning plum jam on the nose initially, developing into ripe fresh plum fruit with a touch of pencil lead minerality. Benmarco Expresio comes from the Valle de Uco, Argentina’s highest vine growing area.
Origin, Grand Vin Du Mas Miel is a Garnacha, Carignan and Syrah blend from France’s Languedoc area, where there are some super wines and not too expensive either. This was a very fruit driven red wine with a little spice, rounded tannins and a lovely bouquet. We agreed that here we have a wine to drink on its own, pairing perfectly with cheese.
Finally, I was quite astonished by the 100% Carménère wine, Antu, from Chile. On the first sniff there were minty notes, making me think of a roast lamb pairing, a eucalyptus element joined the party – fine. But then, as the wine breathed and warmed a little I picked out, above this, the unusual, for a red wine, aromas of exotic fruits – some peach, a little pineapple, though under-ripe and maybe some mango, fragrances usually associated with white wines! On the palate though, it morphed back into rounded red!
NB Wine Tasting with tapa @ Flavors Fri. 12th Oct. 20€, starts 8pm. Places limited – please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 629 388 159 to reserve! Get to know the true WBTG (Wines By The Glass) Concept!