The nation of Chile has long enjoyed not only outstanding cuisine but also some of the world's most amazing wines.
Chilean wine history begins with the arrival of Spanish conquerors and the introduction of the vines to produce wine for Catholic Communion service.
Chilean wine exports increased quickly between 1784 and 1789, competing in the international market with European wines. By 1831 it had a total of more than 19 million of vines planted in Chile.
After Chilean Independence the wine industry began to blossom because of quality and the fact that Chile was the only large scale wine producer that never had an outbreak of the dreaded Phylloxera infestation.
In the mid-1880s, Chilean wines are exported and were again marketed successfully in European markets. The quality of the wines were recognized at fairs and competitions, culminating in 1889 when they won the “Grand Prix” in Paris.
World War II marked the beginning of a decline in the Chilean wine industry. The industry entered a period of recess, which lasted until the 1980s.
In the 1970s and 1980s there was a decline in domestic demand for Chilean wine, causing a dramatic drop in the price of grapes. About half of the Chilean vines were uprooted. The political climate of the time was another factor that weakened the Chilean wine industry.
Upon the return to democracy in 1990, the Chilean wine industry began a slow but steady recovery. Today the wines of Chile are among some of the world's best.
Dishes such Gratinated Mussels or Mejillones Gratinados are perfect with these fine wines... glass after glass.
- 12 Taylor Shellfish Farms Mussels, steamed
- 2 cloves Garlic, chopped very fine
- 3 tablespoons Parsley, chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons Bread Crumbs
- Pinch of Sea Salt
- Dash of Olive Oil
- Dash of Cooking Liquid of the Mussels, strained
- Steam the mussels.
- Allow mussels to cool.
- Remove mussels from shells being sure to retain whole shells.
- Preheat the oven to 430F (220C).
- Chop the garlic very fine.
- Mix the chopped garlic, parsley and bread crumbs.
- Arrange the mussels in sells in a shallow dish.
- Sprinkle gratin over each of the mussels.
- Sprinkle olive oil and some of the cooking liquid over each of the mussels.
- Place the dish with the mussels in the preheated oven.
- Cook for approximately 8 minutes.
- Sprinkle lemon juice or lime juice over the mussels.