Chile Photo Essay 7: The Really, Really Good Life—Lunching in Wine Country (Viñas Haras de Pirque, Montes, Estampa)
What, then, is the meaning of life, besides 42? The answer to that question, my friends, is not to be found in philosophy class (especially not if it’s a Walter Benjamin seminar) or at Sunday mass or blowing in the wind. It is to be savored leisurely over lunch in the vineyards of Chile.
Perhaps you will make your way to Maipo Valley winery & stud farm Haras de Pirque,
where you’ll nibble on estate-grown walnuts between sips of Syrah in the gorgeous skylit tasting room
ensalada de camarones,
& mixed berry mousse.
Or maybe you’ll while away the afternoon with the affable Dennis Murray of Colchagaua Valley’s Montes Winery, discussing something like a dozen wines in full view of the Apalta foothills,
then joining him on the patio of the estate’s own eatery, Café Alfredo, for more domestic cheeses—
which I heartily wish were more easily available in the States; they’re lovely, generally mild & creamy, buttery on 1 end & nutty on the other—as well as fine luncheon-style stuff like the salad with mixed lettuces, turkey, cream cheese & chive rolls, dried tomatoes, avocado & quail eggs plus honey-mustard dressing or the baguette with serrano ham, camembert, mushrooms & dried tomatoes,
in which you can see the reflection of your own glass of rosé, getting a tweak from a cherub.
Or maybe, just maybe, you & your cohorts—Wines of Chile‘s Sam Kass on the far left; Ariel Lacayo of New York’s Havana Alma de Cuba & master sommelier Alpana Singh on the right—will be joined in a Colchagua Valley grove by your hosts from Estampa,
of yet more local cheeses—these made by a group of nearby townswomen—along with crackers & nuts & salads,
all centered around a pie of pork, corn & peppers
Now that’s what I call 42.