Wine & Food in Argentina
With some of the best wines, the best pizza and, without dispute, the best steaks...
Of all the great loves and passions in life, none can be more inspiring and evocative than that of food and wine. For many there is nothing better than selecting the finest produce and paring it with the finest wine for an explosion and indulgence of the senses! Nowhere is this truer than in Argentina, where the Malbec is sublime, the Torrontes exquisite and the beef like butter…
Most of the grape varieties that have been introduced into Argentina, such as the Torrontes varietal, or the infamous Malbec, were done so by the settlers who had moved over from Europe. Generally seen as two grape varieties that were not overly successful in the more temperate European climes, they were introduced into the dry and relatively barren slopes of the Andes, to the west of Argentina. Here, they quickly began to flourish, producing a rich and earthy variety of wine.
Over the years, as the vines have matured and the techniques been honed, the world and the rest of Argentina has started to take notice. With big names from the European vineyards, such as the Rothschilds, investing into the valleys around Mendoza, there is no doubt that Argentina is a wine-growing nation on the rise. Today, Argentina wine and food can be found all over the world, but there definitely is nothing like drinking it in the valley where it was grown.
The main growing regions of Argentina are around the Uco Valley, outside Mendoza, for Malbec and a few other grape varieties, and up around Cafayate in the very north for the famous Torrontes grape. The two areas are very unique in that they have year round sunshine and a very dry climate that allows the grape to grow much quicker and for the wine to also mature that much quicker, making most of the wines produced drinkable within a couple of years.
Combined with this blossoming love of wine, the Argentina has an almost obsessive love of its food…in particular beef and lamb. Eating approximately 70kgs of beef a year, the bar has always been raised very high for the quality of meat that the average Argentine will permit. It is, therefore, almost impossible to find a steak or piece of lamb that has not had the utmost care taken in its upbringing and production.
There are a few companies that are now beginning to specialize in Argentina wine and food tours and also in inviting guest chefs to accompany you on a trip, but it is also a great idea to head out to the vineyards themselves to have a tour and a tasting menu for lunch with up to 7 courses, all served in accompaniment with the wine. If you are a connoisseur, or even if you are a total layman, a trip to these fantastic areas of Argentina is an absolute delight and it is hard not to come back with an avid interest in Argentina's wine and food.