What a great find considering I was just searching on the web for a place to do an interesting wine tasting and this place fortuitously came up. I later found out that it is listed on guia oleo as one of the best places too eat in Buenos Aires.
First of all, Santiago and Inés are gracious and welcoming hosts who definitely have a passion for both great wine and great food (our favourite combination). As you make your way to Casa Coupage, the unassuming door you walk up to in Palermo hides a gem. This Argentinian couple invites you right into their lovely home which is up a beautiful marble staircase into a lovely restored turn-of-the-century apartment with vaulted ceilings and beautiful photos of Argentina.
Every Wednesday, Casa Coupage hosts a blind tasting of 3 wines paired with food for $30 US. This is an endeavour clearly created from passion and Casa Coupage is both a private wine club and dining establishment. Reservations are a must. In fact, Casa Coupage usually serves dinner only on Thursdays and Fridays by reservatin only although private dining events can be arranged for other days of the week.
The Blind wine tsatinng The tables are set up for true wine connoisseurs with lighting along the length of each table (2 different settings depending on whether it is a red or a white) just to appreciate the color and intensity of the each wine. Lucky for us, not only do Santiago and Inés speak English but they also have a member who is an English and Italian interpreter who happened to be there that night who graciously translated simultaneously for us. For a second, I thought I was in the United Nations. Sheets are provided to rate each wine, and although only in Spanish, not hard to figure out. Although points are totalled and everyone is genuinely interested in your opinion on the wine – do not worry if you are not an expert (we are definitely not) – there is no pressure. In fact, the table next to us were a few couples who were just learning about wine and, although I have a limited understanding of Spanish, it seemed like Santiago and Inés were giving them a mini-lesson in wine appreciation. The atmosphere was great – people ranged in knowledge from oenophiles such as the two ladies sitting across from studying to be sommeliers to your average Joe. Everyone is welcome and I think Casa Coupage makes a point of making everyone feel welcome and tailoring the talk to the level of knowledge. Some people are guests (such as us) or members of the wine club.
This particular Wednesday was our lucky day. Casa Coupage was celebrating their 4th anniversary with blind-tastings of 3 ultra-premium wines. I would like to divide the night into the smelling, the tasting and then the eating.
SMELL – We started off with trying to identify 4 different bottles from the Nez de Vin (like a master set of multiple tiny bottles of different scents which are commonly used in wines). Everyone takes sniffs and whiffs and tries to identify what they are semelling. I could not believe how hard it is to put a name to a scent which is so familiar (i.e. fruit, trees) yet not be able to name it. For instance, two of the bottles were cedar and mulberry – we got neither of them right.
TASTE – This is then followed by a tasting of the 3 wines. All activities are optional but after the tasting of the 3 wines – people can rate them, makes comments, picks a favourite and guess the number and type varietals (types of grapes).
EAT – Finally, you are served 3 dishes followed by a dessert. The owners work closely with their chef to create food pairings for each of the wines. However, it is up to the individual to decide which wine goes best with which dish and, at the end, they reveal which combination they thought was best but that does not mean that your thoughts are wrong.
Summary of our night:
Miguel Escorihuela Gascon Malbec 2004 – foccacia with sundried tomatoes, cheese, fresh tomatoes, basil
Trapiche Iscay Merlot Malbec 2006 – tenderloin with worcestershire sauce and black bean/cilantro mash
Susana B. Brioso 2005 – white bean stew with smoked pancetta and brussel sprouts
Dessert – Rice pudding with peanut butter and chocolate shavings
Guemes 4382, Buenos Aires
54 11 4833 6354
Price: $30 US includes 3 blind wine tastings + generous portions of food pairings
Would we go back: Definitely