Following a highly pleasurable visit to Bodegas RE, we re-boarded our passenger van, bound for House Casa del Vino. We are all in need of a proper meal at that point, given it was lunch time and we had each consumed the equivalent of 10 glasses of wine (thank you Kingston and Bodegas RE!). Lunch was the very next thing on the agenda and it was most welcome. I was stunned when we actually entered into House and were led through the indoor "tienda" area out to a massive covered patio looking out onto an olive orchard. This was a moment when I would sigh and think, "this is my life".
Once seated, I promptly detected the wine glasses at each place setting, indicating that this would be a paired meal. Si. Me gusta, mucho. The courses began coming out and I tried to snap photos of all but I missed a few, namely dessert, which was incredible. It was served with a late-harvest moscatel (Vistamar) which most everyone found to cloyingly sweet. I liked it, however I think a late-harvest Zinfandel would have paired better. It was a like a turtle cheese-cake situation, replete with chocolate and caramel. Super luxurious. I have tried to recover it on their current menu, but do not see it. Just believe me when I say, this is a tremendous place to dine. Makes sense. We were told that it ranks as one of the top 100 restaurants of Chilé.
It is important to note that my partner and I are both pescatarian, and the tour accommodated this. There was that question when we booked, about dietary restrictions, so we informed them well ahead of time and had no glitches. From what I could tell, it only impacted one dish, in which we had a fish, presumably with the exact same vegetables and plating as our co-tour attendees, wherein they had chicken (i think, maybe it was a different fowl, or pork). The wine paired was also appropriate for what we ate. Remember, you can pair lighter reds with fish. As for the dietary restrictions, I would imagine that House, being one of the finest restaurants in the region, is prepared to accommodate, but one would just want to let them know ahead of time.
More Tour? Follow the wine...
After our scrumptious paired meal, there was only one thing left to do: drink more wine! At this point we all seemed to be experiencing palate fatigue but "when in Rome"! We walked right off the dining patio into the vineyards and thus began another tour of sorts. House makes some of their own wine, while selling for purchase many other wines from Chilé. The wines that were paired with our lunch were not all necessarily from their winery. The wine made at House is under the label Tiraziš and is a cold climate Syrah.
We heard about their history in the vineyard and then headed inside to see where the wine is aged, and once again spotted the concrete eggs. So much learning happened on this day, despite the massive intake of fermented (in concrete eggs!) grape juice. It was very fun and a great way to experience one of Chile's most prominent wine regions. Before hopping back on the bus to head the hour or so back to Santiago, we stocked up on some great value wines from the "tienda" at House. The employees were not all that informed or helpful, as one even said to me, "I don't really drink wine." Oops. Kind of important to have people who can answer customer questions. Luckily José, our guide was nearby and stepped in to assist. He gave us some excellent recommendations.
Yeah, I thought grapes were toxic to dogs also, but check out Chico, eating right off the vine, like it's his job! My kinda dog (provided all is well with him).