This is pretty simple: if there is a wine geek in your life, and they do not already know about Master the World™ you now have the perfect gift to get them this year. A few weeks ago, I took part in seven tastings with the great people at Master the World™ and I can’t express enough how valuable the experience was. I learned so much about wine in general, the regions explored, the individual wines and wineries included.
The concept is really brilliant, in my opinion, as the fine folks at Master the World™ take wines from around the world and, after verifying that the wines are not flawed in any way, transfer the wines into smaller, 187ml bottles which they then group six bottles together under a common theme. It might be a region, a variety, a producer, you name it, Evan Goldstein (Master Sommelier) and Limeng Stroh (Co-founder and CEO) have found myriad ways to link wines to make very compelling tasting kits.
On top of all of that, the wines arrive blind–their identities are hidden so you can taste the wines without any preconceived notions or bias. “But wait, there’s more.” Master the World™ also provides both a video where industry leaders, including several Master Sommeliers, discuss the wines and an online evaluation tool that walks you through the entire process.
It really is rather remarkable, incredibly educational, and a ton of fun (as long as you don’t mind being humbled). Individual kits cost $90 and include shipping, and the cost goes down if you agree to buy multiple kits.
One of the seven tastings focused on one variety, Antão Vaz, that really only comes from one region in the world, Alentejo, Portugal. While I would guess that many out there had not even heard of Antão Vaz, must less tried any, this was a great experience as I learned a ton about one of my favorite wine regions in the world and was able to continue to hone my tasting skills (which need a ton of honing, apparently).
2018 Herdade do Rocim Alentejo Olho de Mocho Reserva, Alentejo, Portugal: Retail $25. 100% Antão Vaz. Master the World Tasting (from 187ml). Brilliant, light straw (with subtle green highlights) in the glass with aromas of ripe Meyer lemon, lime as well as apple and pear (both yellow). It exudes floral (lime blossom) and herbal qualities (oregano?), as well as being a bit nutty (cashew) with almost a caramel aspect to it. The palate is bright and acid driven, but loaded with fruit (baked apple) and that nutty aspect. Lovely. Excellent. 91 Points.
2019 Herdade dos Coelheiros Alentejo Coelheiros, Alentejo, Portugal: Retail $15. 50% Antão Vaz, 50% Arinto. Master the World Tasting (from 187ml). There is plenty of fresh ripe fruit emanating from this bright, medium-yellow wine, primarily Meyer lemon, Key lime, and yellow apple, accented by apple blossom, honeysuckle, and even a hint of caper. The palate is lean and tart with the aforementioned attributes along with some cashew and roasted peanut that comes in right before the finish. Nice. Excellent. 90 Points.
2019 Adega da Cartuxa Évora Cartuxa Branco, Alentejo, Portugal: Retail $15. Antão Vaz, Roupeiro, Arinto. Master the World Tasting (from 187ml). From one of my favorite Alentejano producers, the bright, medium straw wine has lovely Meyer lemon, tangerine, and pear notes in the glass. The palate exhibits much the same along with an herbal quality and considerable minerality. Very nice. Very Good. 89 Points.
2019 Herdade de São Miguel Colheita Seleccionada Branco, Alentejo, Portugal: Retail $18. Master the World Tasting (from 187ml). Antão Vaz, Verdelho, Viognier. A bright medium yellow color in the glass with Meyer lemon, Key lime, Asian pear, pretty much the classic fruit salad of wines associated with Antão Vaz. Throw in a bit of tea and tobacco leaf and, well, here we are. Another Alentajano white for which I am head-over-heels. Wonderful. Very Good. 88 Points.
2019 Luís Duarte Vinho Regional Alentejano Rubrica, Alentejo, Portugal: Retail $17. Master the World Tasting (from 187ml). 51% Antão Vaz, 30% Verdehlo, 19% Viognier. A deep yellow but bright color with yellow apple and pear, lime blossom, ginger, and just a touch of white mushroom. On the palate, it is quite mineral with just a hint of oak and a well above average finish. Very nice. Very Good. 89 Points.
2018 Paulo Laureano Alentejo Private Selection Vinhas Velhas, Alentejo, Portugal: Retail $25. Master the World Tasting (from 187ml). 100% Antão Vaz. A bit more tropical than others in this flight with tangerine and grapefruit tagging alongside the more conventional Meyer lemon and Key lime. Throw in a bit of white peach, kiwi, apple blossom, a bit of lanolin/oxidative aspect, and we are all pretty much on the same page. The palate adds a vegetal/herbal note (sage, green olive) and the above average acidity lingers all the way past the finish. Fantastic. Excellent. 92 Points.