As the second biggest wine region in Argentina, San Juan is the source of one in five bottles of Argentine wine and has around 50,000 hectares (120,000 acres) of vineyards. The first plantings were made by the Spanish soon after the city of San Juan de la Frontera was founded in 1562, and probably a few decades before vines spread further south. Its longest surviving winery…
Tag: Red Wine
Putting the Magic in Malbec – the Art of Microclimatic Blending
Fresh from a recent trip to Mendoza, Andrew Catchpole looks at the innovative Argentine art of microclimatic blending. An amusing and revealing tweet recently did the rounds from a satirical would-be-sommelier tweeter. Hashtagged #LessonsInService, the twittersphere was advised: “When writing wine descriptions on a menu: You can write “crisp, crispy or Malbec” on anything and it will sell.”…
Cabernet Sauvignon – Argentina’s Next Big Red
There’s a serious rival for Malbec’s quality crown in the shape of Cabernet Sauvignon. This scion of the great vineyards of Bordeaux has proved a happy émigré to Mendoza and elsewhere in Argentina. And, like Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon has taken to the high altitudes, ample sun and rocky soils with gusto, producing similarly aromatic and generous wines, packed with ample fruit and spicy notes, well-structured yet drinking well when relatively young.
Mendoza – The Napa of the South
Mendoza has been described as ‘the Napa of the South’ and it’s easy to understand why such parallels are drawn. With both sitting at 33 degrees of latitude there’s a neat symmetry at work for anyone with a smidgeon of interest in how the world’s great vineyards lie. Add to this the regional eminence of both Napa Valley and Mendoza, each celebrated as the most famous quality wine producer in their respective American hemispheres, and such comparisons seem almost inevitable.
Argentinian Pasta: Recipes, Restaurants and Wine Pairings
It is estimated that up to 25 million Argentines can trace their family roots back to Italy and so it is no surprise that, aside from the great asado, the country’s most popular cuisine takes its influence from this part of the world. One of the great things about Buenos Aires is the abundance of fresh pasta – in supermarkets, listed on the chalkboard at your local bodegón, or in your neighbourhood pasta store.
Argentinian Malbecs vs. The World
Mention Argentina to the average wine drinker and Malbec is the variety that everyone knows. Argentina’s vignerons have managed the neat trick of taking this relatively obscure French variety and, in their high altitude, sun-blessed vineyards, creating a new world-class style of wine.
Buenos Aires Supper Clubs: Go Underground, or Go Home
When in Buenos Aires, open your eyes – and bellies – to the craze that keeps evolving: underground supper clubs. Last week I dined with an ousted cult from Alabama, a brain surgeon on sabbatical and an ex-prostitute from Amsterdam – complete with mini-me poodle (still a poodle). Welcome to the puerta cerrada (closed-door) dining…
All the Fun of the Feria: Vinos y Bodegas 2010
Late September in Buenos Aires – the jacaranda trees will be clothed in purple blossom, the football season will be in full swing and around 50,000 producers, traders and keen drinkers of Argentina wine will be converging on the La Rural exhibition centre for the city’s annual Feria Vinos y Bodegas (Wines and Wineries Fair).
Putting the ‘Tude in Altitude – Argentina Winemaking
Millions of years ago the Highlands of Scotland were as high as the Himalayas until steadily worn down by winter snow, ice and rain. Today they peak at a modest 4,409 feet in the shape of Ben Nevis whose summit is a relatively easy climb that does not require oxygen. Still it’s more impressive than Holland’s highest point which is apparently somewhere in the middle of a supermarket car-park. If you live in a comparatively flat country like Britain, it is hard to really imagine the effect of altitude, unless you travel. For me it hit home when back-packing through Bolivia years ago. I will never forget…
Bonarda Wine – Argentina’s Best Kept Red Wine Secret
Argentina’s second most planted grape variety is a bit of a mystery. Bonarda, which may be the same as a Californian grape called Charbono, is believed to have slipped into the country during the 19th century, brought here by immigrants from northern Italy. In Piedmont, home of Barolo and Barbaresco, there are three different grapes of this name and no-one really knows which one travelled to the Argentine…