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.
This is a sauce to be taken seriously. Surely the most popular condiment in the country, chimichurri is a succulent parsley, oregano, garlic and chili concoction beloved of all Argentines. It can be bright green or a murky brown, but the best chimichurri is chock full of chunky, herby goodness and bursting with flavor. You’ll want to get the grill going because chimichurri is perfect with an asado. Here’s how to get a tangy, garlicky flavor of Argentina in a sauce that’s so simple to make, you’ll wonder how you lived without it.
As you slowly inch your way up the congested Avenida Corrientes — the wide avenue that cuts through the middle of the small neighborhood of Chacarita — it is hard to imagine that this ‘barrio’ derived its name for the quechua for ‘farm’. In the 18th century the area was used by the Jesuits as a vast farmland to feed the children and staff that attended their schools. Although the neighborhood bustles with activity, open green spaces are still the main theme of the zona’s personality, with the long Parque Los Andes and Chacarita Cemetery taking up nearly half of the hood. Chacarita is largely overlooked for its popular neighbors like Palermo Hollywood to the north or Villa Crespo to the south. Here is a list of favorites, both old and new, of the best of history, art, food and drink that Chacarita has to offer.
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.
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!
Would you like to live the harvest (vendimia) in Mendoza, meet Bodega Argento, harvesting in one of our vineyard estates, enjoy a wine tasting and participate in the National Harvest Festival? Imagine all that, plus: eat at the best restaurants in Mendoza, stay at one of the most luxurious hotels in the city and share all the activities together with Argento team. Participate in this photo contest and if your photo achieves the most votes, you will be the winner of this fabulous prize, for you and a companion.
Buenos Aires barrios are famously chaotic, crowded and completely captivating. But one new neighbourhood projects a totally different vibe. Want water, wide open space and traffic-free wandering? Puerto Madero is right on the dockside; it’s so far removed from the hustle of the crazy city it provides a breath of fresh air. Check Puerto Madero out in the summer sunshine with our guide to the most un-Buenos Aires barrio in BA.
Buenos Aires’ food scene has been evolving at an unprecedented rate over the last couple of years, visible not only in the increasing breadth of dining options available, with new culinary outfits inaugurating on a weekly basis, but also with ever more sophisticated and experimental dishes and bold ingredients and culinary influences on offer. This…