If you’re not wanting to drop serious money on a bottle of red wine and yet want a good wine, then head straight to the Malbecs. One of the five red grapes allowed currently by law in Bordeaux (and used in the blend of some of Bordeaux’s priciest bottles), Malbec is vinified as a separate varietal in Argentina. An Argentine Malbec is normally the best value red on a wine list.
In addition to their high quality/price ratio, I especially love Malbecs because they typically have soft tannins…this means the wine is approachable when young. Another reason to choose a Malbec from Argentina is that Argentina rarely has poor vintages. Regardless of the year, you’ll get a good vintage. (Take for example Robert Parker’s Vintage chart---he has rated 10 out of 10 of the past vintages in Argentina in the 90’s). There’s no other spot on earth that has received these consistent scores for the quality of the vintage from Parker, or probably from any other wine critic.
An Argentinean Malbec is often a terrific choice because it can pair well with a wide group of foods. Naturally, it’s a great red meat wine, but it can also work with spicy food. Case in point: Argentina’s traditional chimichurri sauce is often served with the country’s famous steaks (chimichurri is an addictive high-octane spicy condiment). This means that Malbec also goes well with Mexican food, in addition as spicy Asian dishes. But, take it from this almost-vegetarian, Malbec is so not a one trick pony. It can pair perfectly with grilled veggies, frittatas, and polenta. The wine also works well with a pesto-pasta, or even a tomato-sauced pasta.
Malbec from Argentina is an unsung hero. To learn more about this terrific varietal why not join Wine-Knows on our trip to Argentina and Chile next year? There are four seats remaining on this harvest tour to South America. Check out this trip’s details: http://www.wineknowstravel.com/