During my trip to Moldova, we met with the President and owner of Lion Gri winery. Lion Gri operates from a free trade zone at the edge of the city limits of Chisinau, the capital city. Lion Gri is impressively expanding into emerging markets like China and India. While we visited with the owner during our project evaluation, we were able to sample some wines. Upon leaving the production center, our generous host not only let us sample a number of wines but handed my colleagues and me a gift bag containing two bottles, one white and one red – both unlabeled. We had no idea what they were.
I brought the red home to the US. My father-in-law enjoys wine and a story. So, explained how I had received this wine from the production facility and had no idea what it was. What made the story more interesting was the recounting of meeting the winery president. She was an hour late and resplendent in high heels, a suit with shoulder pads and a ruffle collar shirt that would make Prince blush. It was a grand entrance.
We opened the wine sitting around the dinner table with my wife’s family. We ate pasta puttanesca with the mystery red along with salad and roasted vegetables as a side dish. By this time, Slava, my friend and colleague in Moldova informed me he thought the wine was a cabernet.
Anyway, we tasted it and we all enjoyed it. It went well with the puttanesca. I don’t think it was a straight Cabernet but a Cabernet/Merlot mix. The wine had a Cabernet taste but had low tannins, a soft aroma and seemed a bit too light in body to be a Cabernet. The wine was gentle but had enough taste to stand up to the capers. Everyone at the table seemed to enjoy the wine and the story. We managed to finish the bottle … the unlabeled bottle.
The moral of the story is if you receive an unlabeled bottle from Lion Gri, try it.