Argentina, the Land of Tango, Beef and Wine
Argentina is a large country, but most grapes grow at the foot of the Andes. Here, the weather is dry and the sun unforgiving, but it’s precisely the conditions grapevines love. There’s history here, and tradition. Every label tells a story, and passion runs through the local winemaker’s veins.
Argentina’s Love Story With Wine
Wine in Argentina goes back to 1551. The first vines arrived from Chile as part of the Spanish conquerors’ quest to spread their favorite fermented grape juice in the newly discovered lands.
Interestingly, it was not until 1853 when viticulturist Aimé Pouget brought French vines to the beautiful mountainous country. Amongst them, the now famous Malbec.
Building railroads from the thriving capital city of Buenos Aires to the verdant vineyards in Mendoza unleashed the country’s vinous potential, and the rest is history. Argentine wine is sold on the finest restaurants in all four corners of the earth.
Mendoza is Argentina’s largest wine region by far, with over 70%, and its vineyards are almost exclusively planted with the juicy Malbec. Sure, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and others are also represented and they’re marvelous, but you can’t beat the inky red wine made from Malbec.
Malbec was once a popular grape in Bordeaux, France, and it’s still grown in the small town of Cahors in the French South West. The grape sure has made a name for itself in Argentina, though, and its Andean spirit is stronger than ever.
The secret behind these gorgeous wines is altitude. The finest wines come from 2600 and 3900ft above sea level and it’s because of the cool breezes really thickening those grape skins, awarding the wine with fragrant complexity and lots of flavor.
As for Argentina’s white wines, they’re lovely too. Chardonnays are creamy and lush, but the brightest white wines are made with Torrontés, an aromatic grape brimming with white flower and ripe apricot aromas and the loveliest tangy palate. This picky grape thrives in the some of the highest vineyards on the planet!
Pairing Argentina’s Wine With Food
Argentina is home to the most delicious charcoal-grilled beef traditions, and they go back to the Argentine cowboys or gauchos, who still raise some hearty beef. Grilling meat and sausages over the open flame is as Argentine as Tango music, and it comes as no surprise that red meat is the perfect partner for Malbec.
Malbec is a rich, concentrated red wine with purple hues. The nose is reminiscent of ripe blackberries, black raspberries, and hints of chocolate. The palate is full-bodied but round, structured, but juicy and generous, extending into a vanilla-scented aftertaste hard to overlook. Paired with a thick steak, you’re up for a treat!
Visit Argentina, You Just Can’t Miss it
Argentina’s wine and food are worth visiting the splendid country alone, but it’s the warm, friendly people that make you want to go back time and again. There are over 1250 wineries in Argentina, and the people behind every one of them is waiting for you with open arms and a glass of wine.
There’s magic in these southern lands, but you’ll have to come down and see it for yourself. Argentina is an experience you’ll find hard to forget.
If you’ve ever gone wine tasting and heard all these different wine terms, words and phrases, but had no idea what any of it meant, don’t worry about it,