Category: The Real Argentina: Wine

When you think of Argentina, wine may not be the first thing that springs to mind, but making and drinking wine is deeply rooted in the Argentine soul. Though considered part of the “New World”, Argentina’s winemaking industry dates back almost 500 years and the country is now the world’s 5th largest wine producer.

We hope our ever-evolving guide to Argentinian wine will help you learn more about Argentina’s unique viticultural qualities (including its climate, geography, and altitude), its key vineyard regions, and distinctive style of wines. Enjoy!

THE BEST SOMMELIER OF THE WORLD 2016 IS…

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Swedish sommelier Arvid Rosengren clinched the coveted title of world’s best in the fifteenth A.S.I. Meilleur Sommelier du Monde competition in Mendoza last night. It was a double scoop for the New York-based somm, who had taken Europe’s top title in 2013. Competition in the 15-strong semifinal came from Argentina’s very own Paz Levinson, who was anointed Best Sommelier in the Americas in 2015, and Japan’s Hiroshi Ishida, Asia and Oceania’s top taster, also in 2015, as well as a string of candidates from Europe.

April 21st, 2016

INSIDE THE SOMMELIER OLYMPICS

Paz Levinson compitiendo en la semifinal 1

MENDOZA – Huddled together in small groups, mentors rub backs and mop their wards’ brows, sommeliers easily distinguished from other revellers at a cocktail party thanks to perfectly pressed black suits and aprons. The tension and nerves crackled like an Andean electric storm around the Park Hyatt Mendoza hotel as 60 competitors from around the world chewed down cuticles, waiting to find out whether they’d earned one of 15 coveted places in the Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World Argentina 2016 semifinal.

April 18th, 2016

ARGENTINA’S GREAT SOMM HOPE #2: PAZ LEVINSON

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In part five of The Real Argentina’s somms series, we meet Paz Levinson, the second of two Argentine sommeliers competing in the A.S.I. Concours du Meilleur Sommelier du Monde 2016 (A.S.I. Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World). Currently ranked number one in both the Americas and Argentina, and the only Argentine to qualify as an Advanced Sommelier from the UK’s Court of Master Sommeliers, Paz will be going for a titles hat-trick at the world championship, which is being held in Mendoza for the first time on 15-20 April 2016.

April 5th, 2016

ARGENTINA’S GREAT SOMM HOPE #1: MARTÍN BRUNO

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One of two Argentine sommeliers who will compete in the A.S.I. Concours du Meilleur Sommelier du Monde (A.S.I. Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World), we meet Martín Bruno, sommelier at top Buenos Aires restaurant Tegui, in part four of The Real Argentina’s somms series. Martín spills the beans on how he’s been diligently preparing for this prestigious competition, which is being held in Mendoza for the first time on 15-20 April 2016.

April 3rd, 2016

AN ARGENTINE FIRST: BACKSTAGE AT THE CONTEST OF THE BEST SOMMELIER OF THE WORLD

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Sixty competitors, five days, one title; the world’s best sommelier.
Although the immediate thought is ‘football’ when mentioning Argentina and World Cup in the same breath, the world’s fifth-largest wine producer is about to host a very different championship next month: the 15th A.S.I. Concours du Meilleur Sommelier du Monde (Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World).

March 17th, 2016

Top Argentine sommeliers share their professional love

Juan Giacalone. Argento's Sommelier. PH courtesy of Fabian Morassut

As the countdown to the Concours du Meilleur Sommelier du Monde (A.S.I. Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World) ticks away, The Real Argentina continues with part two of its somms series. Given that it’s the first time that Argentina will host this prestigious competition, it’s the perfect time to find out more about this exciting profession.

Here, we meet some of Argentina’s most respected sommeliers who impart eonological wisdom around the country. Introducing Gabriela Lafuente from El Baqueano, ranked 15th in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015; Juan Giacalone, Argento’s sommelier; Mariano Braga from Pampa Roja; Matías Chiesa from Restó, ranked 43rd in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015; and Valeria Mortara from Faena.

March 2nd, 2016

YOUNG SOMMS RISE THROUGH THE RANKS

Ph courtesy of Andrea Donadio at Oporto

The world of wine will turn its attention to Mendoza in April, not because of its bottled goods for a change, but because Argentina’s principal wine-producing province is hosting the prestigious Concours du Meilleur Sommelier du Monde (A.S.I. Contest of the Best Sommelier of the World) for the first time.
Around 50 sommeliers, each who has already succeeded in national and regional competitions to reach this crucial point, will head to Mendoza for the Argentine Sommelier Association organised event. And Argentina proudly has two top noses – Paz Levinson and Martín Bruno – in the final, which comes around every two years. Over the next few weeks, various Argentine sommeliers talk to The Real Argentina about their industry and this competition.
In part one, we meet some young somms who are coming through the ranks: Andrea Donadio from Oporto Almacén; Gabriella Gera from Don Julio; Marco Scolnik from Chila; and María Laura Nuñez from Aldo’s Vinoteca & Restorán.

February 23rd, 2016

BURGERS AND WINE: THE 2016 PAIRING

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Along the last ten months, Buenos Aires has seen the inauguration of around 50 gourmet fast food stores that have nothing to do with the large chains, beyond the fact that they share the star dish. Among the alcoholic beverages served in these establishments, initially it was beer that took over the scene. Yet, wine is steadily proving to be the ideal match for gourmet burgers, due to the sophisticated proposals and diversity of sensations that only wine can offer. This will be, then, the 2016 pairing in Argentina, no doubt about it!

February 14th, 2016

Think Outside the Glass: Other Ways to Enjoy Malbec

Image by Wines of Argentina.

Given its big, bouncy personality, Malbec naturally throws a party for itself every year – and why shouldn’t it? Every 17th of April we celebrate Argentina’s most popular adopted grape with Malbec World Day. But what if you’re pregnant, or under doctor’s orders to give booze the red light? Here are some alternative ways to celebrate Malbec without the alcohol.

April 15th, 2015

Argentina’s Sommelier Class of 2014-15

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For the past two academic years, dozens of trainee sommeliers have religiously been spitting (not swallowing) vino in the quest to become the next generation of Argentina’s professional wine stewards. While several schools offer sommellerie degrees in Buenos Aires, the academic choice of a photographer, wait staff, a rock star, lawyers, a wine seller, cooks, bartenders and a journalist (me) was the…

December 11th, 2014