Ica is the main area in Peru for distilling pisco, the national spirit.
Pisco is made in a similar way to some types of brandy, but the final product is clear instead of dark. The grape juice is first fermented until it becomes a young wine. This means pisco is actually made from wine, not from the leftovers of wine production. After the fermentation has taken place, it is distilled and then rested in an odourless, non-reactive container (no wood) for a minimum of three months until it can be bottled. Pisco production is very strictly regulated and each producer must follow these same rules.
Pisco is absolutely delicious, especially when you buy it from a great producer.
This event is but one of a million reasons why I love Wong.
Wong is one of the supermarkets here in Lima and to be honest it is by far the best. The staff, the food, their customer service, and the fact that I can buy and consume an ice cream while I shop, is what gives me such a high opinion of them.
Every year they put on an event to showcase the best wines in Latin America and also wines from the rest of the world that are available in Peru. This year it was from the 16th-18th October (last weekend) and there were over 800 wines and 200 kinds of pisco to try. Each vineyard or label has a stand showcasing the best of their wines and you are invited to taste a sample from whichever bottles tempt you in. Having lived in Lima for almost 2 years now I have tried a fair amount of South American wine and I was also lucky enough to attend the event last year too. Both of these things meant that this year I could really focus in on the wines I had yet to try, or wines that are perhaps not as widely available or normally too expensive to purchase by the bottle.
The selection of wines is enormous and it is absolutely impossible to be able to try everything, so it’s best to try and narrow them down. You would think that perhaps reducing your choices to some of the wines that had won medals would be a good place to start. However, we found that some of the bottles that had won the higher prizes were not for tasting (including one bottle that cost S/1000). Also, some of the popular wines only had display bottles, and none for us to actually taste, although they had been available in the previous days, perhaps suggesting that the vineyard had only provided a small selection of bottles for tasting.
We tasted a lot of wines (red, white, rose and sparkling), so in this article I am just going to talk about some of the wines that really stood out for us as being some of the best, and a sparkling wine that we thought would be perfect for summer. I will also mention some great options that have been tried and tested during my stay here and are also readily available in Wong.
I’d like to point out that these are my opinions and therefore just an idea of what to expect. After all, I am not a sommelier!