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August has arrived and, with it, the final stretch of winter in the southern hemisphere. One of the advantages of these cold and cloudy days is that they are an excellent excuse to serve rich, nutritious and filling preparations.

Max Weinlaub, chief winemaker of Viña Maipo, shares with us some of his favorite dishes for this time of the year, and recommends the best wines to pair them.

One of Max’s favorite winter foods are legumes. “Besides being a very good source of proteins of high biological value, they provide energy and a great variety of nutrients,” says the oenologist.  Although they are available throughout the year, for Max legumes acquire a special flavor in winter, “especially lentils and chickpeas, my favorite legumes.” And for those who like having some meat on their plate, legumes can also be a good option, because "they can be easily combined with a piece of sausage –chorizo or butifarra-, to give the dish even more flavor,” explains Max.

As expected, for this winemaker wine and food go hand in hand, so he do not hesitate to make some recommendations of good pairings: “The characteristic flavor of lentils and chickpeas, as well as their creamy texture, go very well with Carmenere’s spicy notes and the soft tannins.”

Viña Maipo offers three good Carmenere options, Max says: “A simple and friendly Mi Pueblo Carmenere; a juicy Vitral Camenere, full of fruit notes; and a robust and concentrated Gran Devoción Carmenere/Syrah.” The winemaker also enjoys a lot seafood soup or pescado sudado in winter; both dishes are very similar to each other, belonging to the Chilean and Peruvian cuisine respectively.“In both cases, the tasty and steaming broth served in a clay pot offers a wide range of aromas, flavors and textures,” says Max, and recommends: “A little Vitral Chardonnay is great for the preparation of these dishes, but it is also very good for pairing; I assure you that it will be a success on the palate.”

No doubt these reccomendations will help us to feel at home this winter, and to enjoy better those cold days with family and friends.

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Fongyee Walker tastes different vintages of Viña Maipo’s Superior Wines Limited Edition 2012 Gran Devoción Carmenere 2015 shine with Gold Medal