This was the view outside of my window on my trip to Brazil last January. It is of the Miolo winery. The Miolo family hails from Italy, as do so many people in the Brazilian wine industry. Many moved to Brazil in the late 1800s. Most come from two specific regions in Italy, either the Veneto or Trentino. Many of their descendants who run the wineries speak regional dialects. They all also consider themselves both Brazilian and Italian and many are seeking Italian citizenship, interestingly enough.
Giuseppe Miolo, the patriarch of the Miolo family arrived in Brazil in 1897. They are one of the two largest producers in the country, together with the Salton family and produce about 12 million liters a year on over 1,000 hectares divided among four wineries.
The wine I tried was from the Miolo winery in the Vale dos Vinhedos, the only Appellation of Origin in Brazil. This property is 100 hectares and makes 800,000 bottles a year. The soils in this area have clay with some sandy soil as well. The climate is temperate. This wine is hand harvested and matures in oak for 12 months and then spends another six months in the bottle before release. In January I tried the 2015 which was luscious and juicy and very fruit forward with a hint of mint. The 2012 which I tried for this tasting, had the same notes. It was very fresh and still had a lot of life in it which I found impressive. Already in its 7th year, I think it could go another 3-5 years. Merlot is really a surprise in Brazil, refreshing with depth, I wish I could try an even older version of this wine. Together with Sparkling wine, these wines are Brazil’s future.
Taking a tour around the winery, one would be surprised at the size of the winery. At times during our visit I felt like I was both in the Napa Valley and in Italy at the same time.
One funny thing on our tour was that we discovered a host of scooters and bicycles in the winery. It is so big that apparently they can use all of these methods of transportation to get around.
I loved finding this quirky grouping of scooters in the winery.
For my pairing, I choose a recipe that I found for Brazilian Skirt Steak with Garlic Butter. I found the recipe on the site, Fine Cooking by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz
It was an easy dish to cook. Lucky for me, my local butcher had a delicious skirt steak on hand and sliced it for me. Here’s a nice recipe:
6 medium cloves garlic
1-1/2 lb. skirt steak, trimmed and cut into 4 pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. canola oil or vegetable oil
2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter
1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Peel the garlic cloves and smash them with the side of a chef’s knife.
Sprinkle the garlic lightly with salt and mince it.
Pat the steak dry and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper.
In a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering hot.
Add the steak and brown well on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium rare.
Transfer the steak to a plate and let rest while you make the garlic butter.
In an 8-inch skillet, melt the butter over low heat. Add the garlic and cook, swirling the pan frequently, until lightly golden, about 4 minutes. Lightly salt to taste.
Slice the steak, if you like, and transfer to 4 plates. Spoon the garlic butter over the steak, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve
The pairing was a lovely combination. The tannins in the wine did not over power the steak but they did cut through the butter and make the whole dish very balanced. For a steak and big red wine dinner, it felt much less heavy than I might have imagined. Perhaps it was the particular cut of meat or perhaps the elegance of the wine or both.
I loved revisiting my photos and remembering my trip to Brazil. I hope to go back and encourage all to make it your next a wine destination.
Please join me, Wines of Brasil and my fellow bloggers and #winelovers while we share our wine pairing suggestions for Brazilian wines. It is easy to join along, even if you don’t have a blog. Just tune in and follow #winePW. In the meantime, check out my friends suggestions for meals to pair with Brazilian wines.
David of Cooking Chat will be pairing “Brazilian Beans, Greens and Bacon with Sparkling Wine“
Pinny of Chinese Food and Wine Pairing will be serving “Miolo Alisios Pinot Grigio/Riesling and Raw Ahi Tuna 3 Ways“
Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm will be adding “Enjoying Indian Summer with Alma Sparkling Brut from Brazil“
Cynthia and Pierre of Traveling Wine Profs will be sharing “Friends, Seafood, Bubbly and Chardonnay:Our Brazilian Wine Pairing Dinner“
Sarah of The Curious Cuisiniere showcases “Pastel de Queijo and Brazilian Sparkling Wine Pairing“
while here at Avvinare , I’ll post about “Miolo Merlot Paired with Brazilian Skirt Steak with Golden Garlic Butter.”
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