VV | Ulmen Malbec Dulce
Imagine you have a “favorite.” A favorite something. It’s the thing
that’s always faithful when you need a “fix;” a loyal, non-threatening
option that you can count on. You frequent this favorite quite often
and it is always pleasing to you, as well as the ones you share it
Now, imagine your beloved favorite has been reduced…put on the
back-burner…lowered on the proverbial “chain.” Not replaced or
defeated, just set back a little.
Friends, tonight I have experienced this. In a recent trip to the
store in hopes of finding a great new bottle of wine to review, I was
practicing my now normal “stand and gawk” routine in front of the
shelves. I had decided upon another bottle of dry red, due to the
number of sweet wines I have written about thus far. I sure don’t
want to be bored and neither do my readers! Besides, Zen of Zin
(February 9) was so lovely, such a mood-lifter…why stray from this
trend now? Red wine and cold weather go together extremely well. And
since it’s been 420,917,306 degrees below zero every day for the past
260 days (or so it seems), there’s no time like the present to explore
more bottles of red. My eyes drifted across the second-to-top shelf
and landed on a handsome bottle with a simple red and white label.
ULMEN Malbec Dulce. Nice. I reached up and grabbed it. $12.99. A
good price for a high shelf placement.
I’d not heard of it nor seen it before, so I turned the bottle over and read,
“Ulmen Malbec is a semi-sweet wine made from 100% Malbec grapes. This
elegant wine is fashioned through a cold fermentation process. Cold
fermentation is the most effective method for allowing the natural
sugars to be exposed in a wine.”
Not much information about the nose or taste…but that’s all right;
let’s investigate! So, tonight before opening the bottle, I logged on
to the producer’s website, hoping to find more information.
No habla espanol, amigo! The entire website is in SPANISH. Rats!!
“Maybe the site for the importing location will help,” I thought. It
did. It describes Ulmen as “in a category all its own…classic Malbec
black fruit palate…naturally sweet…sweet cherry, plums, floral on the
I brought it home and decided to try it alongside one of my classic
man-pleaser suppers…baked chicken and stuffing. I love having a glass
of wine alongside dinner prep, so that’s just what I did. The
mysterious Ulmen was sampled with my normal method: pour, hold up to
light, swirl, sniff, swirl, sniff, sip.
Now this is when I imagine my poor little green-bottled friends, my
ever-so-loyal bottles of go-to red wines…shrinking slowly into the
distance as this new one emerges out of the clouds and mist of, well,
Hy-Vee wine and spirits. Wow. WOW, it’s great.
Let’s go deep into this description process. After pouring, you MUST
take a good whiff of this wine. The scent is enough to go out and buy
a bottle right now. At wine-tasting class, you will learn that you
must “bury your nose in the glass, and inhale deeply.” Upon following
this direction, I found that it smells like, well, normal red wine…but
only for a second or two. Once it gets into your lungs, it smells
like a beautiful, perfect, fresh red ROSE!! What a thrill! I feel as
though my nose has been kicked! In a good way, of course.
Next, take a taste. With the scent of the rose still in my system, I
found it actually tastes very much what a rose SHOULD taste like. But
it quickly melts away and all of the sudden, it’s dry and fruity…but
without the weird “tannin” feel. Ahhh. It’s bliss. I will most
definitely be picking this one up again.
I feel like this wine deserves more respect than the normal “weekly”
reds I’ve grown so accustomed to. Sure, my tried-and-true [yellow
tail], Woodbridge and Columbia Crest will always be around for a
Thursday night meal in front of the TV, or a lazy nightcap after one
of my concerts. But a wine like this needs to be saved for a truly
special occasion. Perhaps a holiday or anniversary dinner, or a
family gathering with that judgmental cousin who thinks she is an
all-knowing goddess of food and drink. Or maybe a party with friends,
where the last bottle is reserved for the late party dwellers…usually
friends who are the nearest and dearest to your hearts. It’s an
impressive wine—so use it to make impressions!
Ulmen Malbec is special. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have (or,
AM)! Until next time…cheers and love!
Vino Vednesday is vritten by our Team Wine-o Betsy. Her column appears ever Vednesday right here on Eat.Drink.Repeat.