Regional Feature – Argentinean Wines
Did you know that Argentina is the largest producer of wine in South America? The first grapevines were planted in 1534 by two European settlers, a priest named Father Cidrón and Juan Juffré. Today those wines are being exported more than ever.
Argentina is ideal for wine production, featuring reliable growing conditions and low productions costs, this means that these wines, which have been historically under-appreciated, are often priced very attractively when compared with wine from other countries.
Ninety percent of Argentina’s wine grapes are grown in the central-west regions, where the soil lacks organic matter for vigorous growth, but it is irrigated by snow melt from the mountains in dry seasons. Some of the most popular grapes from this region are Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Chardonnay. Malbec has recently been a favorite red grape among wine connoisseurs and novices alike for its drinkability without being too sweet. A new emerging white grape favorite is the Torrontés, the most planted white variety in Argentina.
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Seasonal Wine Pairings
Take advantage of Winter’s abundance of root vegetables and dark leafy greens by dressing up a meal with a well-paired wine.
For those hearty root vegetables, consider making this delicious roast recipe by Ree Drummond:
“Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Generously salt and pepper the chuck roast.
Heat olive oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add halved onions to the pot, browning them on both sides. Remove the onions to a plate.
Throw carrots into the same very hot pot and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so. Reserve the carrots with the onions.
If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pot. Place the meat in the pot and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.
With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom with a whisk. Place the roast back into the pot and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway.
Add in the onions and the carrots, along with fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme).
Roast with the lid on for 3 hours for a 3-pound roast. For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours. The roast is ready when it’s fall-apart tender.”
To find an ideal wine pairing, you’ll need to find a wine with a big enough flavor to keep up with the roast, but with enough tannins to cleanse the palette. With this recipe, consider a Merlot or Malbec, or if you like to up the spice, opt for a Shiraz.
If you prefer something light, or are vegetarian, try this recipe featuring dark leafy greens from Giada De Laurentiis:
“Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add chard and saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes with their juices; [add] wine, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the tomatoes begin to break down and the chard is very tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Season the chard mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring frequently, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the spaghetti. Add the spaghetti to the chard mixture and toss to combine.
Transfer the pasta to serving bowls. Sprinkle with olives, cheese, and pine nuts and serve.”
The lightness of the vegetables in this dish make a great pair with a fuller wine, such as a Chardonnay. Giada recommends pairing with 2001 Clerico Trevigne.
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Top App Picks for Sommeliers
Whether you’re one of the few wine experts who can officially call yourself a sommelier, or simply a connoisseur, these mobile apps are sure to help you find out about new wines, master the terms of the trade, or just get your hands on your favorite wine at the best price.
Wine Notes – Do you struggle to remember the nuances of wines you’ve tried and loved? This mobile app makes it easy for users to chronicle wines as they try them. Keep detailed descriptions of the subtle notes of each new wine your try, along with other wine profile information and ratings. Keep track of your favorites and use your comments to help you pick out wine in the future.
Mobile Wine Deals – This app is the link between wine merchants and wine consumers. By empowering merchants to deliver great wine deals to their customers via mobile devices, users can decide which merchants they want to receive wine deals from, thereby getting the best deals on their favorite wines.
Wine Expert Dictionary – This app is the practical users guide to wine. As described in the Google Play store, this app will help you: “Understand more about wines before you buy. Search through grape varieties for descriptions and use the glossary to interpret expert terms. Choose a food wine pairing and select the right wine for each course.”
Whether you’re planning a party or building your cellar, these apps will help you find the wines you want at the best prices.