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.
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…
While foodies come over all emotional trying to decide which Instagram filter to use on a tasting menu, we oenophiles get decidedly hot and bothered over wine cellars – and not just their contents. Wooden wine racks have given way to temperature-controlled fridges, which in turn have been eclipsed by bespoke storage facilities that rightly take centre stage in fine dining establishments. Let’s take a look at some of Buenos Aires’ sexiest wine cellars.
From the beaches of the Atlantic coast to the dizzyingly high Andean altiplano, by way of regions as diverse as the Pampas and Patagonia, Argentina folds in an incredible variety of landscapes along its 2,295 mile length. Think of the difference in habitats that are home, variously, to condors, cattle or penguins, and this gives a vivid idea of how the mix of terrain, climate and altitude changes as you travel about the eighth largest country in the world.
The world is awash with examples of inter-continental agricultural meddling, whereby opportunistically minded entrepreneurs and traders have transplanted plant species in the pursuit of profit and convenience, sustenance and sales. Of course vines are no different, with thirsty European immigrants taking them to almost every feasible corner of the world where they might successfully adapt and produce decent grapes for wine.
You know it’s almost spring in Buenos Aires when wine fair season kicks off – it’s either the jacaranda in bloom or a small glass of fermented grape juice. From wines with altitude to bubbles only, mix and match these wine fairs to suit your palate. Or simply rock up to them all! Here’s our rundown of Argentina’s wine affairs calendar for 2014.
As Argentina is a country made up of immigrants for the most part, it makes perfect sense that its grapes (excluding Torrontés) are also documented aliens. Take our dearly beloved Malbec. We all know it originates from Cahors in south-west France, don’t we? That’s right, the Old World has had its hand in defining Argentina’s viniculture, thanks to big hitters Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and of course Malbec – from Salta in the north to Patagonia in the south…
Buenos Aires is known for its bar and café scene, and of course Argentina is famous for its wines, so put these marvels together and what do you get? A godly nectar drink fest fit for a wine-ing king. Whether we are drinking by the glass, by the wine flight, by the bottle or by the case, let’s fill our copa to the brim and explore the city’s best wine-centric spots to drink our porteño lives away.
Following on from our ‘Take 5’ Argentine sommelier focus, The Real Argentina invited five leading sommeliers from around the world to each champion an Argentine grape and its food pairing potential. Andrew Catchpole samples the suggestions.
Argentina is a land of innumerable pleasures. That’s why you will find many who say, “Oh, I came here for a month to learn Spanish… That was 6 years ago.” People stay because, every time they think they’re done, something new turns up that just keeps them hanging on. It could be the meat, the people, the culture, or for many, including me, it could be the wine. Oh, the wine!! Purists may argue that, be it Malbec, Torrontés or Bonarda, wine is never to be touched, tampered with or tarred by any force other than age and temperature, but I beg to differ.