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.
On the average seven-day visit to Buenos Aires, dining at a parrilla between two and five times is a likely scenario. And as there’s seemingly a steakhouse on every other corner offering up high-protein experiences, it can be often overwhelming to know what the best steak on the menu is. This TRA guide trims the excess fat so you know exactly which cut to order and where.
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.
We’re just weeks away from the perfect moment to visit Mendoza: vendimia. Harvest time is the busiest in the province, and offers up the most fun, too. The vines have kept to their side of the bargain and it’s the turn of grape pickers, agronomists and oenologists to get the latest vintages rolling. You don’t have to be a wine fan to enjoy Argentina’s second-most visited region – though it helps. This TRA accommodation guide will help you choose where to stay in Mendoza’s glorious countryside complete with obligatory Andes panorama.
THE BEST WINE EXPERIENCE HOTELS IN MENDOZA
Rich pickings are easy to find in Argentine Patagonia. Prawns from Chubut’s waters, succulent lamb from both the Andean and coastal regions, fresh spider crab and toothfish from the depths of the southern Atlantic, smoked trout from the Lake District, and there’s even wine from Río Negro and Neuquén… And, as appetite demands, a brand-new food fest – Morfilandia, Kermesse de Sabores, which translates as Grubland, Flavours Bazaar – shook up a farm located between Trelew and Rawson, Chubut province, in November 14th and 15th.
TV chefs don’t just work in immaculate studios, they also film on location to tell Argentina’s culinary story. But away from the comfort of the studio or test kitchens, unexpected situations often arise in makeshift kitchens. From carparks to mountains, fields and rivers, Narda Lepes, Roberto Petersen, Dolli Irigoyen and Pedro Lambertini share the backstory to some curious kitchens.
When Felicitas Pizarro’s stuffed steak, green salad and chimichurri won Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube Search For A Star competition two years ago, it was more than a turning point for the young Argentine – it was life changing. Discover what this Argentinean young woman and Argento have in common… passion, dedication, creativity…
Although every Argentine wolfed down 59.4 kilos of beef in 2014 according to the CICCRA meat chamber (that’s 163 grams a day), beef consumption is actually in decline in Argentina. Surprised? Me too, given the number of parrillas lining the streets of, well, anywhere, and asado invitations I get each week.
Way back when, in 1998 to be more precise, I came to Argentina to volunteer for Aldeas Infantiles SOS for a year. And while I haven’t run a marathon for charity or anything like it since, the intervening years have seen me do my tiny bit for another local project called Todos Juntos. It was this Anglo-Argentine foundation that British soul singer Joss Stone teamed up with in March to hand out 100 rucksacks filled with school kit to kids…
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.