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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Anuva Wine Tasting

We've been looking for interesting things to do with people while they visit, preferably involving food and wine. I've heard about a few people that run services out of their homes, cooking classes, dinners, but we had never booked anything until I heard of a local wine tasting put on by Anuva Wines. Anuva is an interesting concept, Daniel Karlin started a company that finds great wines on their own and then sells them to private buyers through a wine club, private tastings and home shipping. The US$40.00 tasting included all things that I find interesting, 5 wines, 5 food pairings and a chance to meet some new people in Bs.As., so I signed the four of us (Jon's parents, me and Jon) up for a Wednesday evening tasting.

Anuva Wines is located near/in the Las Canitas neighborhood of Palermo, so we immediately decided to go to Morelia afterward. We were at least 20 minutes late to our tasting reservation due to the crazy rush hour traffic when we arrived at a nondescript apartment building and pushed the appropriate buzzer. This was my moment of panic - Did I really just bring my in-laws to a stranger's apartment in a foreign country? I sure did. So I started the "If-it's-not-good-at-least-it-was-an-adventure" excuses. Luckily, we were greeted by a nice young lady that escorted us to the tasting apartment and she quickly put my mind at ease. When we arrived at the apartment, the table was set with 5 food bites that paired with our wines and 3 other people that had arrived on time to the tasting. We dove right in to the first tasting, a unique sparkling white called Hom (pictured), paired with 2 fresh sorbets served in adorable little shot glasses. I was loving the Hom, enough to buy a bottle at the end of the tasting. The wines were quite good (with the exception of one Malbec that I personally didn't like) and the food pairings were spot on to the point of impressive. We left with 4 bottles of take home wine and a case ordered for delivery to Jon's parents when they arrived back in Virginia (that's right, they ship to the States!). Daniel is extremely knowledgeable about wines and does a good job of explaining the wines as you're tasting them. It was a unique and fun night - and I recommend booking your own wine tasting or placing an order. We enjoyed our evening and are still contemplating joining the Anuva Wine Club where you can opt to receive up to 48 bottles per year.

Now for my two cents. Not that I'm any expert, but my years in the restaurant industry have made me cynical of these types of events. I have two recommendations for improvement:
1) Slow it down. It was a relatively rushed presentation that could have allowed for more conversation about the wines and between the customers that didn't. If we diverted from discussion about the wine, Daniel quickly brought us back to the task at hand. I think that slowing down the presentation would help the patrons feel more comfortable and help with the wine sales.
2) Keep everyone on the same level. As wine tasters we were all sitting around a table, tasting the food and wine while our presenter stood above us walking around the table. This gave the tasting a teacher/student feel, which would be better off played as a peer/peer feel. Sit down. Have a glass of wine. It would create a more comfortable and relaxing environment, holding true to the company's theme.

All in all, a great night with delicious food and wine. We enjoyed meeting the other people at the tasting, Daniel was a gracious host and we have a fun, unique evening under our belts. We found out that Daniel will do in-home events, so we're thinking that this may be our next party to host.

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