April 26 – W – Wine (Vino)
Ah, yes, at last the wine blog! There has been a long-standing joke that I like my man like I like my coffee, chocolate, and wine: strong and dark – rich would be nice too! These are my favourite indulgences in life and all I have managed to incorporate into my A to Z Blogging Challenge. Basically, how can I not love being in Argentina when life abounds with these great loves!
For a long while now, before meeting my beloved Argentinian hubby, I have been a huge fan of Argentinian Malbec – well before it was on the Canadian radar and was dirt cheap. Back then there was no “Argentina” section in the New World area of the wine store, only “Chile” had a small section on the shelf. I did enjoy Chilean wine, so one day I stumbled on an Argentinian Malbec in the mix. And I was hooked! Given its delicious wealth of flavour, I would pick it up on every occasion that required a wine and soon enough all my friends were grabbing it too. I like to think that I was an essential part of popularizing the Malbec in Canada. 😉
Essentially, Malbec grapes originated from France more than 150 years ago. A Malbec is a strong, robust wine that denotes fruity flavours from black cherry, raspberry, plums and blackberries with hits of cocoa, coffee, violet flowers, and sometimes a bit of a peppery bite. Of course I’ll drink it with anything, but it is particularly pleasing when paired with our famous Argentinian beef asados!
Now, for the lover that I am of wine, I have never been on a wine tour despite the fact that on many occasions I have been so near! Not in Niagara or Point Pelee of Ontario, nor the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, nor the Sonoma Valley near San Francisco, and when in France I was too young, and certainly never in Argentina, although I so desperately want to go! In fact, I’d love a meandering tour that travels the wineries from the South to the North, more than 600 miles of wine country to enjoy! Here’s my basic itinerary with the Malbecs that I love best from each area (the links are to summaries of each wine and to the winery) and this site Malbec Symphony is a great resources for touring about too:
- Rio Negro High Valley = Marcus Gran Reserve
- This wine is from the winery Humberto Canale and is a beautifully smooth and strong wine. I can’t really afford this one, but a sale in pesos made me try it out once! It is delicious and desired!
- – A side note, I’ve always desired to try the Malbec from Bodega Noemía de Patagonia, but I don’t believe that I’ll ever try a $150 bottle of wine!
- Patagonia’s Rio Neuguen Valley = SAURUS
- This wine is from the winery the Familia Schroeder and the family named this wine Saurus for when they were constructing the winery they discovered dinosaur bones! There is magic in these fields and it results in a heavenly flavour! This is one wine that I have local wine stores in Calgary hunt down for me.
- Mendoza – the classic region for wineries = there are too many choices, so here are a few favourites from the region:
- Of course, the Mendoza area is a place of some great romantic places to stay, so here are a couple on my bucket list:
- San Juan – oh how I’ve come to love the San Juan region for wines! = Garaffigna Centenario Malbec
- Garaffigna is a winery that I’m so longing to visit as the wine is a favourite!
- Salta – the beautiful North = Michel Torino’s Cuma Organic Malbec
- Patios de Cafayate is a dream wine hotel to stay in to enjoy the end of my tour.
You know when you have those fantasies of paths not taken from “your other life”, well being a sommelier/vineyard owner and really knowing wine is something I fantasize about. At some point, I’ll take it on as a serious hobby. I like to think that someday I would own a really funky cafe filled with books, art, and music and we’d serve delicious gourmet food and desserts, chic coffees, and fine wines! I’d model my cafe after this feast for the senses, Casa Margot! Although Casa Margot focuses on Champagne – I don’t care, as I too love champagne and the place itself looks divine!
Well, the dreaming will continue. In the meantime, a toast with a fine Emilia Malbec – “ching ching” as they say in Argentina!