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.
Argentines are known to drink mate, a tea-like infusion adopted from the Guarani people, but what some visitors may not know is that 19th century British immigrants brought with them the afternoon tea tradition, which developed with a local twist.
Vendimia or “grape harvest” holds huge importance in all 18 corners of the province, bringing together mendocinos from Malargüe in the south to Rivadavia in the east and Luján de Cuyo in the west. Named one of the top 10 harvest celebrations in the world by National Geographic, the main aim is to give thanks to the patron saint of grape harvests, the Virgen de la Carrodilla.
You thought you knew how to speak Spanish in your language class, with a teacher that seemed to come from Spain (olé!) or even worse, learned from one. Then you come to Argentina and discover that “cana” doesn’t mean what you thought – instead of “a person with grey hair,” it means “the police!” Don’t despair! Here is a list of Porteño slang terms that you can use to quickly sound like a local in Buenos Aires.
Let’s be honest. Part of the reason gauchos hold such fascination is because they look so damn cool. Driving to an estancia one day I saw two gauchos trotting alongside the country road lazily flicking up their leather whips and smiling briefly as we sped past. They are wearing traditional beret-like boinas and fastened around their midriffs we glimpse hefty knifes in silver sheaths.
In the city of good airs, love always seems to be floating around. Passion, sensuality, public displays of affection and an overall vibrant sexual energy, there’s no doubt that Buenos Aires is the romance capital of South America. In a city that celebrates so much love, lust, and all those complications in between, it’s only natural that many have started to embrace Valentine’s Day, getting in the starry eyed mood with chocolates, flowers, romantic dinners, or just a freaky romp fest.
It’s a well-known fact that some die-hard vegetarians have returned to the dark side after scenting the meaty whiff of a perfectly seared Argentine steak. Caught between righteous beliefs and the urge to just, try, a, little sliver of lomo (because you’re only in Argentina once, right?), many have fallen at the first hurdle when faced with a parrilla. But for those beef eaters who have no such qualms, how do you choose from the hundreds of steakhouses in Buenos Aires? Here’s our indispensable guide to steaks in the city.
Ever wondered what makes the Palermo area of Buenos Aires – where fashionable porteños enjoy the excellent shopping, art and cafe culture – the hottest travel destination in Argentina? In the latest video in our “My Argentina” series, The Real Argentina, brought to you by Argento Wine, hits the streets of Palermo to find out what life is all about in Buenos Aires’ most stylish barrio.