Chile squares off against Brazil in the Round of 16 of the World Cup today... a tough match for any nation. Pretty much all South American sides have looked dominant in the Cup, but today one of them will have to go home. As for Bite and Booze, Chilean cuisine stems mainly from the combination of Spanish cuisine with traditional Chilean ingredients, with later influences from other European cuisines, particularly from Germany, Italy, Croatia, France and the Middle East. The food tradition and recipes in Chile stand out due to the varieties in flavors and colors. The country's long coastline and the Chilean peoples' relationship with the sea adds an immense array of ocean products to the variety of the food in Chile. The country's waters are home to unique species of fish and shellfish such as the Chilean sea bass, loco and picoroco. In addition, many Chilean recipes are enhanced and accompanied by wine, owing to the fact that Chile is one of the world's largest producers of wine. The country's immense geographical diversity allows for a wide range of crops and fruits to be present in Chilean food.
Chile has a long viticultural history for a New World wine region dating to the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors brought Vitis vinifera vines with them as they colonized the region. In the mid-18th century, French wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were introduced. In the early 1980s, a renaissance began with the introduction of stainless steel fermentation tanks and the use of oak barrels for aging. Wine exports grew very quickly as quality wine production increased. The number of wineries has grown from 12 in 1995 to over 70 in 2005. Chile is now the fifth largest exporter of wines in the world, and the ninth largest producer. The climate has been described as midway between that of California and France. The most common grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère.
For some info on Chilean micro brews, check the BR Beer Scene!