.A Taste of Uruguay in Artesana Tannat 2015

Every time I taste an interesting Tannat wine from Uruguay, I am so glad it’s available locally at Soif.

The Santa Cruz restaurant and wine bar is not just about good food and enjoying a glass of wine to go with your dinner. This well-stocked establishment also carries a select inventory of wines from all over the world, including the Tannat 2015 ($24) from Uruguay. Blended with 30% Merlot and 15% Zinfandel, these two robust wines add an abundance of flavor and depth.

Considered the “national grape” of Uruguay, Tannat is less familiar in the U.S., and many people haven’t even heard of it. Grown historically in southwest France, it is now one of the most prominent grapes in Uruguay. Deeply aromatic, this delicious Tannat blend is suffused with black raspberry, cedar and spice—coalescing in a velvety mouthfeel. It is handcrafted by award-winning women winemakers.

Artesana is a small-production estate winery in the acclaimed Canelones region of Uruguay specializing in Tannat, Tannat blends and Zinfandel (the only Zinfandel produced in Uruguay). It is imported by Leslie Fellows (one of the owners), who has family at the winery. Although she lives locally, she heads to Uruguay often. Artesana is just outside the capital city of Montevideo and well worth a visit.

Available at Soif Wine Bar & Merchants, 105 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz. artesanawinery.com.

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Farmhouse Culture

Kathryn Lukas is the guru of sauerkraut. Her Central Coast company Farmhouse Culture is extremely successful, and her products sell far and wide. The organic “gut shot” health drinks are superb. I especially love the Classic Caraway and the Ginger Beet. 

Lukas has now co-authored a book with her son, master fermenter Shane Peterson, titled The Farmhouse Culture Guide to Fermenting: Crafting Live-Cultured Foods and Drinks with 100 Recipes from Kimchi to Kombucha. Lukas and Peterson will be presenting their new book at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12, at Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. 423-0900, bookshopsantacruz.com


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