A toast to art and wine

Tortuga Liquors has been busy showcasing local artists in recent months at their Governors Square location, as well as highlighting some of the excellent value-for-money wines they have on offer.

Tortuga’s popular Art, Food & Wine Tasting events always draw an interested crowd, pleased to try something different when it comes to their choice of wine while sampling delicious appetizers from local restaurants, all enhanced by a background of fabulous art painted by local artists. Having the artists themselves on hand to discuss their art enhances the interest and makes such events a really special affair.

Monique Hamaty-Simmonds, Assistant Managing Director of Tortuga Rum Company, whose father founded the company 25 years ago, says: “We appreciate the great turnout each month and invite everyone in the community to join in the festivities.”

The colourful art of Nasaria Suckoo was recently on display, to the delight of those who already have her unique artwork on display in their homes. Nasaria managed to sell several pieces at the event, which of course is always an added bonus for the artists.  Ristorante Pappagallo furnished the appetisers and the wine selection was Toasted Head Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from California.

Massimo Consolini is the Manager at the Governor’s Square store and describes the wines: “Toasted Head, with its distinctive fire-breathing bear label was established in 1995. From a winery tucked away in the Dunnigan Hills of Yolo County (just east of California’s Napa Valley) they set out to spread the word of toasted barrels and their distinctive influence on wine. Toasted Head is named for the age-old practice of toasting barrel heads and staves that imparts a mellow, toasted flavor to barrel-aged wines.”

Max says the Cabernet Sauvignon offers fragrant cherry and cassis aromas framed by toasty, spicy oak scents. On the mouth filling palate, the wine’s juicy, red-fruit flavours are balanced by firm, supple tannins and a savoury, toasted oak tone.”

He says look out for fresh, ripe pear and tropical fruit aromas on the Chardonnay’s nose that carries hints of mango and vanilla. “The round, smooth palate features luscious stone fruit and tropical fruit flavours complemented by toasty oak tones,” he says. “It’s a round and smooth wine with a lingering, toasty-vanilla finish.”

The following month Tortuga showcased the talented work of artist/photographer Dubadah Boldeau, while wines came from as far away as Spain and Argentina, in the shape of a Finca Flichman Chardonnay & Malbec Roble and a Volteo Tempranillo Shiraz. Appetisers were provided by everyone’s favourite Mexican restaurant, Agave Grill.

Max describes the wines: “Tempranillo is the primary grape used in Rioja, a well-known wine growing region in Spain. For this particular wine, the nose is strawberry jam and vanilla. It is medium-bodied on the palate with sour cherry and raspberries. The finish is coffee and chocolate, with a dash of cloves.  The acidity adds just the right amount of bite and it is fresh, light, and fruity on the palate. The wine will pair well with most food, including pasta dishes, or with hamburgers and BBQ food.”

The Finca Flichman wines in the range come from Barrancas and also the high-altitude region of Tupungato, Argentina, considered especially suitable for white wine production. Max explains: “The Varietal Range is made using modern winemaking techniques and is clean-cut, with up-front fruit flavours and minimal use of oak. This is a wine that is made to be enjoyed young with no further maturation necessary.

The Chardonnay is fresh and creamy with a nice spicy aroma, ripe tropical fruit flavours and rich mouth filling palate. 10 per cent Riesling is added to the final blend.”

The deep violet, cherry flavoured Malbac, is a concentrated black fruit wine.  Max suggests trying it with tomato-sauce pasta dishes and adds: “This wine has remarkable complexity and length due to the careful selection of grapes in the vineyard and on entry into the winery. Flichman have some superb sites around the city of Mendoza and get tremendous quality into the bottle.”