Friday, February 8, 2019

Bodega Garzon Tannat with Sausage Stew

What I love about wine is that it’s a never ending learning process and this months Wine Pairing Weekend group takes us to Uruguay to discover these South American wines.  This is actually my first go around at tasting a wine from Uruguay.  It is always tough to not want to judge wines from a particular country once you’ve tried some and make an overall judgment on the quality produced there.  Luckily the wine I’m sharing today from Bodega Garzon left a positive impression, but I have been on the opposite side of the spectrum many years ago with South African wines.  I had tried a couple at a tasting and they were not to my liking at all.  I never tried them again for years until my trip to South African back in about 2012.  I ventured to the wine region of Stellenbosch.  To make a long story short my first impression previously was no longer valid and I’ve really come to appreciate the wines produced in South Africa.  So push yourself to try something new and keep exploring as you may be pleasantly surprised.  Let’s begin to explore Uruguay and all it has to offer. 

The Land 
Uruguay is located in South America and is situated between Argentina and Brazil close to the Adriatic Ocean that provides a cooling breeze over the land.  Their temperate climate is very favorable to winegrowing and is on the same latitude of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.   What was so interesting to learn about this country is the large influx of Italian immigrants there in the late 19th century to early 20th century.  I've read that about 1/3 to 1/2 of the population is Italian so there is a large influence of the Italian way of life, especially via food and wine.

The Winery 
Bodega Garzon immediately makes taking a trip to Uruguay enticing from the amazing pictures and information they share on their website not only about their winery itself, but the land and attractions of what Uruguay has to offer.  The newly established winery looks like a vacation in and of itself with cooking classes, helicopter rides and a restaurant onsite.  You got me sold!  Plus, it was rated in 2018 by Wine Enthusiast as New World Winery of the Year!
Wines of Bodega Garzon in Uruguay
Copyright of Bodega Gardon
The winery was founded by Alejandro Bulgheroni and their pride lies in operating as a sustainable winery that through its practices produces wines that truly show an expression of the land.  According to their website they are “the first sustainable LEED certified winery (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) outside of North America” which was established by the US Green Building Council.  
wines of uruguay with bodega garzon
Copyright of Bodega Garzon
Bodega Garzon makes sure all their grapes are also hand harvested so the utmost quality grapes are used in their production.  They actually have 1,000 plots of with varying climates, exposures to sun, land orientations and soils.  What’s unique about their soil is that it contains crystalline basement, which dates back to 2500 million years ago.  This soil is further broken down into what they call ballast, which is the weathered rock.  It’s great for drainage, which makes the roots strive for the nutrients they need and it also provides a lot of minerals. 

The Grape 
Tannat is a grape that shines in Uruguay and is the primary grape they are known for.  It’s a grape that originates from the southwestern part of France, specifically Madiran.  Tannat grapes produce wines with great structure, depth that are dark in the glass and filled mostly with black fruits and even some spice.  Between the sagrantino last week and tannat this week I guess my recent wines haven’t been for the light hearted wine lovers.  Plus, as if you needed a reason to drink more wine this grape is known to be higher in antioxidants!     

The Wine 
2016 Bodega Garzon Single Vineyard TannatI enjoyed the 2016 Bodega Garzon Single Vineyard Tannat.  Deep, dark ruby in the glass with an intense nose of mostly black fruits.  A dry wine on the palette full of body and earth with good acid and firm tannins.  Again with black fruits on the palette combined with vanilla notes.  There was a dark, rustic side to this wine that I truly enjoyed.  ABV 14.5% SRP $30 

food and wine pairing with Uruguay tannat
The Pairing: Since food from Uruguay is very much focused on meat I felt that the tannat would pair best with a sausage stew I recently made.  It’s simple as anything to prepare and flavorful to warm up these cold winter nights in New England.  Combined with diced tomatoes, spinach and tortellini I combined these ingredients with the sausage dashed with some oregano, salt, pepper and garlic.  The sausage seemed to be a natural pairing with the tannat and I can imagine many other meats and BBQ would as well. 

Have any of my readers been to Uruguay?  I unfortunately have yet to venture to South America, but it’s on my list of places to visit.  

Join the rest of my fellow food and wine bloggers as they share their amazing pairings of Uruguay wines with food.  If you catch us in time we’ll be chatting live on Twitter this Saturday February 9th at 11am EST at #WinePW.  

*These wines were provided as samples, but opinions are always my own.


  1. I, too, bought a wine from Bodega Garzon and was very pleased with it. I'll bet this tannat paired perfectly with that stew.

  2. I think your sausage stew was a spot-on pairing for the Tannat. And perfect for a winter night by the fire. Stay warm!

  3. Great idea to to regions another try. Love your pairing, too, Jen. Can't wait to try...I still have another bottle of Tannat.

  4. That winery looks amazing! Sounds like a good pairing.

  5. That sausage stew looks awesome! I also wrote about this winery, but love the pics you've added as well as all the information you've added about the soil. Really interesting.

  6. Your sausage stew looks delicious and I bet it was excellent with the Garzon Tannat

  7. Garzón is founded by an Argentine, but there is so much Italian influence in Uruguay. You’d find that aspect fascinating.