Santa Ana Homage – Not everyone’s glass of wine

Disclaimer: Don’t drink if you’re under 21, don’t buy alcohol for minors and always drink responsibly. 

In this week’s vineyard, we are exploring Argentina and the Malbec grape.

The Santa Ana Homage is this week’s wine, and can be found at Total Wine & More for just $7.99 but at the time of writing this review, it is on sale for just $5.99. The quality of Homage is far exceeding the price!

Homage gives off aromas of black plum and lavender. Interestingly, the taste is quite different; it is more reminiscent of sour cherries and dry red berries. If you remember issue seven’s column, I mentioned acidity and tannins.

This wine has a higher level of tannins which for some might feel like your mouth drying out and curling together, very similar to the feeling after you bite into a sour candy. Therefore, this might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Because of its tannin levels and the fruit complementing the body, I have a hard time picturing most people, even yours truly, enjoying this wine by itself. This would be a good wine to pair with most red meats, because of the balance between the tannins and the fruitiness of the body.

The Malbec grape is known for producing flavorful and full body wines. While it is an Argentinian grape, its home country is France and Cahors in the southwest, where the grape is known as Cot. In Argentina where Malbec is mostly grown, the wine usually has a flavor of ripe dark berries, fruit, spices, flowers and sometimes ink. This is a relatively fresh flavor which leaves a dry feeling in the mouth.

On the other hand, in the south of France where Cot is grown, the sun doesn’t shine as intensely and the temperatures are lower. Therefore, the wine has more herbal and mountain berry characteristics. Due to the high level of tannins, wine enthusiasts who store their wine for a time would probably enjoy this more than most. It’s the combination of the alcohol content, tannins and sometimes the sugar that makes the wine suitable for storing. If these qualities aren’t found in the wine it will spoil and go sour (usually a taste of vinegar). You might even think of the alcohol and tannins as acting as a natural preservative, you sometimes find in food.

The Cot grape is mixed with either the Tannat grape or the Merlot, which makes the wine resemble a good Bordeaux wine, except it’s for a fraction of the price!

In order to get the most enjoyment out of the wine, I would advise that you chill it, especially on a warm day. Yes, you read that correctly, even if it’s a red wine!

Both the flavor and aromas of a wine are impacted by the temperature it is served at, therefore, you should always remember to chill your wine. About half an hour in the fridge before serving it should do the trick.

With these tips, you might end up having a different flavor experience the next time you enjoy a glass.


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