in the Cape St. Claire shopping center hosts monthly wine tastings with food pairings. The new tasting season got underway this past Saturday where Tilia wines from the Mendoza Valley of Argentina were featured.
The monthly wine tastings are usually held on the third Saturday of the month from 5 to 7 p.m. Val Sullivan, one of several family members who own and manage Bella’s, does a wonderful job selecting tasty wines at reasonable price points. All of the wines featured during the tastings are or sale at a special discounted price the evening of the tasting. Sullivan plans in December to host special Champagne and sparkling wine tastings, which is always a big hit!
Mike Regimenti has been pouring the wines for Bellas’s tastings for many years. He greets each taster with a glass, a smile and a brief description of the next wine they are about to sip. Recently, Regimenti has been using an aerator to “open up” the red wines, and help soften the tannins in the wine, making the wines smoother on the palate. Bella’s sells a variety of wine aerators in different sizes and price points.
Art Lewis, a local caterer, and his wife match the wines with small bites of delicious food. The horseradish cheddar spread is always quite popular. Lewis grows his own horseradish and likes to control how “hot” he can get it. Some of the other yummy samples Lewis prepared on Saturday included a yummy Carolina pulled chicken BBQ with beet sauce, homemade “pigs in a blanket” and even a delicious chocolate and raspberry mini dessert.
Some of the Tilia wines featured at Saturday’s tasting included a Torrontes, which is a light and crisp aromatic white wine. Another interesting Tilia varietal available for tasting was the Bonarda. This wine had a deep purple color and has big red fruit flavors with a hint of licorice on the finish.
Bella’s also uses the wine tasting events as an opportunity to coordinate donations for important causes such as supporting the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more recently for the Erin Leigh Sullivan scholarship fund that was started in memory of Val Sullivan's granddaughter.
The monthly wine tastings at Bella’s are a fun way to try new wines, pair them with delicious food, and meet and mingle with friends and neighbors.