Thursday, October 30, 2008


Last week, our good friends at Cutting Edge Selections, a Cincinnati-based distributor and importer, invited us to dinner to taste through a small selection of wines from Jorge Ordonez, undoubtedly the premier importer of Spanish wines in this country, and meet Jorge’s Master Sommelier, Sara Floyd. The night out – a rarity for yours truly – was to be held at Chalk, one of Northern Kentucky’s finest new restaurants.

I have a soft spot for Chalk – the former Pho Paris that had moved from its original location in Oakley to the former Scalea’s (and other places) across the river in Covington (the last restaurant I would ever work in, moonlighting there to train for my first-level M.S.) The menu is well-suited for just about any type of wine, and proved more than compatible with the wines of Spain.

Sara is a well-traveled, very lovely woman at first meeting, yet whatever intimidating veneer is supposed, she proves to be a very approachable, down-to-earth soul with an extraordinary passion for the wines she represents, and her passion is more than rivaled by her knowledge. Orchestrating this intimate event, which was only myself, Jesse, Shannon, Tom (our Cutting Edge sales rep), Mark Maher (one of my mentors in this biz and the owner of Cutting Edge), and two of the managers at Jeff Ruby’s new Bootsy’s in Downtown, Sara proceeded to show us during the course of appetizers, entrees and desserts, nearly 20 wines from all over the Spanish map, including spectacular Garnachas from Campo de Borja’s Bodegas Borsao (the Monte Oton 2007) and Bodegas Ateca’s Garnacha de Fuego 2007, the amazing Vina Godeval 2007, some fantastic Riojas from Finca Allende and the white Rioja from Bodegas Muga, the ethereal Mas de Can Blau 2005 from Montsant, and some beautiful dessert wines from Malaga.

With such a vast portfolio of wines from Spain, the wines of Jorge Ordonez would take days to try everything, yet this sampling of his portfolio more than showed my cohorts just how amazing Spanish wines can be.

I’d like to thank Sara for taking time out of her busy schedule, and Tom and Mark as well, for showing us the level of passion that goes into bringing these wines to the states, as well as to Jared, Summer, Bryant, Tina and Jeremiah for a great evening full of decadent food, wine, and conversation.

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