It shocked the world – or, at least, it shocked the good people of the United States – when the city of Chicago was eliminated in the very first round of voting to decide the host of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Most observers believed that Chicago was one of two cities with the best shot at securing those Games. But the International Olympic Committee ultimately gave the nod to the other favorite, Rio de Janeiro – the first South American city ever so selected.
So, in a few years, be prepared for a barrage of publicity about all things Rio. The city best known for its annual Carnival soon will have a REAL coming-out party, and you can bet that wine will be flowing freely at that bash.
Wine? From Brazil? You bet. A little known fact is that Brazil is the fifth-largest wine producer in the entire Southern Hemisphere, trailing only Argentina, Australia, South Africa and Chile.
And now that its capital city has secured the 2016 Summer Games, Brazil may begin to climb that ladder, since the Olympics almost always attracts a great deal of investment, both domestic and foreign. It’s foreign investment, largely from the United States, that has driven the growth of the wine industry in both Argentina and Chile.
But enough about business. Let’s cut to the chase: Is Brazilian wine any good?
At present, a vast majority of Brazil’s vineyards can be found in the extreme southern sector of the country, southwest of Rio. Much of the production is earmarked for sparkling wines, although that is changing and table wines are becoming more prevalent.
As a whole, the wines are good – not great, but good. They’re also getting better, and I’d expect that trend to accelerate now that Brazil has a chance to shine on the world stage.
By 2016, don’t be surprised if Brazilian wines are bringing home lots of gold medals.