I don’t think anyone would disagree that every country, to varying extents, seems to have its own preferred alcohol or alcohols. Whether it’s a unique characteristic of the country’s geography which makes for special ingredients or agriculture capabilities, a particular tendency or cultural habit of the people, or perhaps the mere presence of certain alcohol from immigration, you find different drinks in different areas.

Argentina certainly has a little of each of the above characteristics when it comes to their alcohol. The wine industry and culture is especially unique and beginning to flourish worldwide. This of course is due to its incredible geography with the Andes Mountains and varying temperature ranges as well as the impressive influence form Italian and French immigrants.

Immigration and lifestyle hasn’t’ just influenced wine, however. Sometime in the 19th century Italian immigrants brought a very particular hard liquor known as Fernet Branca. This dark, black licorice flavored drink is certainly not found all over the world. Argentines in Buenos Aires and all other provinces gravitate toward it and identify with it as a distinct symbol of their country. It is entirely a product of immigration, as is Argentine culture in general.

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While wine certainly maintains its elegancy, craftsmanship, and diversity over Fernet, some would say its not as ideal for a social, bar-type setting. Mixed almost exclusively with Coke, Fernet for many offers a tastier alternative to the harsh flavors of Vodka and Whiskey. On the other hand, many find it incredibly bitter and unbearable. Personally, a cool wine tasting in Buenos Aires beats a Fernet sampling (the factory is just outside of Buenos Aires) any day of the week. Wine tastings demonstrate the art and complexity in delicious wine. While Fernet may be ideal in certain scenarios, it is just one drink and one brand. Wine is an entire industry and culture in Argentina, which churns out thousands of brands and makes tastings special and useful opportunities.