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A Taste of World Malbec Day

In late April we attended a marvelous tasting of Argentinean Malbec, hosted by Wines of Argentina at Balvanera restaurant in NYC. This celebration of the well-known varietal frames Malbec as the heart of Argentina. Tasting different kinds of Malbec from around the country opened our eyes to how different the variety can be – and how delicious.

photo by Joyce Mendoza

The Malbec grape originated from Southwest France. In 1852, it was brought to Argentina by Michel Pouget and thrived there, even though its ancestral grape, Cot, did not survive the influx of phylloxera. April 17 was later chosen as World Malbec Day, first celebrated in 2011.

photo by Joyce Mendoza

Although the Mendoza region is likely the best known for Malbec (and for good reason, as its vineyards produce 86% of all Malbec), it's made all over the country in various styles. Malbec accounts for about 35% of the red wine made in Argentina, and 17.6% of all the wine produced in the country.

Led by winemaker Santiago Mayorga, we first tried three pairs of Malbec. Each wine in each pair had such different and interesting properties, it was impressive! We tasted spicy Malbec, round Malbec with strong tannins, and light and fruity Malbec. We even had the honor of tasting a bottle from 1977.

photo by Joyce Mendoza

After the tasting, we were treated to some hors d'ouevres by Balvanera's chef, Fernando Navas.

photo by Joyce Mendoza

The event has inspired us to seek out more unique and interesting types of Malbec. Try Tasting Room's version of this versatile red, the 2016 Joyce Eloise Mendoza Malbec, for yourself!