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I’m sure each and every winery and bodega in Mendoza, Argentina, will have something special and different about it. Some may be more economic than others, and some may be more cosy while others will have fluent English speakers working there. It really depends on many things and unfortunately I still haven’t been to all of them (this would take a LOT of time but would be great fun!).

wine tour

A great picture here of a group doing a wine tour. I love the focus on the grape bunch and the man in the background taking a picture in the sunshine!

So in the meantime, here’s a few gems I’ve picked out so you can start to get to know a few wineries. If you don’t like the look of these, maybe it will give you some starter tips to look out for others:

Cuvelier de los Andes

 

The bodega Cuvelier de los Andes is a winery that holds family values high. Started when Henri Cuvelier, from the north of France, started sharing his love of wine in the 19th century. With his son the successful family continued on to purchase Chataus’ around France. Paul Cuvelier had come to Argentina and thought the wines ‘pleasant to drink’ but not up to the standards of the French. So he decided to keep a watchful eye on them. And how right was to do so!

 

In 1998 Bertrand Cuvelier and Michel Rolland embarked on the adventure to Argentina. The website of Cuvelier de los Andes boasts its modern technology in the wine making process.

 

Their wines have exceeded their original hopes with a great harvest from 2003 and one can find a great selection of their ratings including a Robert Parker rating 92 for their 2009 CLA collections.

 

Their selection offers a range of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Blend amongst others.

http://www.cuvelierlosandes.com/newsite/index.php?lang=en

http://www.fincamevi.com.ar/?s=bodega&lang=en

Finca Mevi

 

Rolando Meninato and Oscar Vignart are both partners and the owners at the Mevi Bodega. They built their first winery in 2003 and went on from there! Their curriculums shine out impressively as both have been president of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States in Argentina and the Chemical and Petrochemical Chamber, members of the Union Industrial Argentina (UIA) and Asociación Empresaria Argentina (AEA). This is all great to write about as I really feel this is one factor that shows how hard working these men are. Rolando is an Agricultural Engineer and Oscar a Chemical Engineer.

The Mevi Bodega has re modernized itself, with the new winery being inaugurated in April of 2011. Mevi use stainless steel tanks with “a total capacity of 120 m3”. These tanks also have cooling and heating external coils.

 

However, it’s not just a line of certificates that can show off a life of hard work. I personally love the Mevi San Gimignano Cabernet Sauvignon. I love to have it with some cheese and red meats. They also offer a large range of wines from Malbec Rose, Bonarda to a great Torrontes.

 

In case the name of the line is seeming a little more Italian than Argentine…. you’re spot on! San Gimignano is a location in Tuscany, Italy, and the labels on the bottles show the town and it’s buildings.

Bodega La Azul

 

The bodega Azul is another small Mendoza winery. This bodega lies at the feet of the Andes mountain range (separating Chile from Argentina).

A beautiful photo of the Andes Mountain range.

 

Currently the bodega is run by Alejandro Fadel and Gustavo Larghi. The wines they offer are: Malbec, Cabernet, Azul Reserva and Azul Gran Reserva.

Carinae

The Carinae winery is definitely a gem worth discovering if going down to Mendoza. Run by Brigitte and Philippe Subra (two very lovely people) this winery has such a friendly feel to it!

The name Carinae is after a star constellation that can be seen from the south!

The Carinae star constellation – how beautiful!

 

The boutique winery has a vat capacity of 260,000 litres and concentrates all its efforts on producing high quality wines. When trying the great wines that Carinae have to offer, you can often pick up hints of the French oak casks they keep!

 

Carinae offer: The Carinae Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon blend, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Gran Reserva Malbec, Finca Denza Guarda, Gran Reserva Syrah and Passito de los Andes (just to name a few).

 

A great thing about many Carinae wines is that they are meant to be drunk young. This means there is no need to store away hoping for it to improve, not really knowing if this special occasion really is the right special occasion. Just go on and cork it open! We know you’ll love it.

I’ve only mentioned here a couple of wineries that I thought worth putting down, but in reality there are many great wineries to be visited.

Have you been? If so, where did you go? If not, which do you think you’ll be choosing, as seeing all would be virtually impossible!

 

Buenos Aires nightlife has a worldwide fame, from bars of many different kinds to partying up until 8am, it seems like options never run out in BA.

So for all the party lovers here is a list of the top 10 bars to get a fancy cocktail regardless the time!

 

For a long night… Mundo Bizarro

 

Mundo Bizarro is also very well know for our unique ambience, music selection and visuals. MB is the home of Kustom Kulture and the Bizarre. If you dig the spirit of American Cocktail Lounges of the 40’s and 50’s, you found the place to get your “drink on” in Palermo viejo. This bar has been around since 1997, they have a wide menu with all classics and “custom creation”

cocktails by bartender extraordinaire Pablo Pignatta!



To enjoy the evening… Million

 

This beautiful bar is located in the heart of Recoleta, and it is a stunning Resto bar, with a little of a 20’s vibe. Opened in 1999 and the bar, built over 120 years ago, has an exquisite menu and all classics when it comes to cocketelerie, the house itself will take you all the way back to the past and you can enjoy every part of it, from some drinks at the garden, to a delightful brunch at the living room, perfect for a calm elegant evening!

When it comes to pairing food and wine, the secret lies in using all the right ingredients. We all know chocolate and wine are an amazing duo since both have complex flavors, notes, and have similar components and nuances in common. Find the right wine to complement the right chocolate and you will get a winning combo that proves there is a heaven somewhere to be found, and if it exists it´s filled with wine & chocolate. So here are some great tips for whenever you want to match these two gastronomy deities:

When pairing wines with chocolate, try to match light, subtle, elegant flavored chocolates with lighter-bodied wines. Likewise the stronger and bitter the chocolate gets, the more full-bodied the wine should be. The darker the chocolate the more tannins it will display. However, when you pair this darker chocolate with a wine that has stout tannins, the chocolate will often overshadow or cancel out the wine’s tannins on the palate and allow more fruit flavors show through the wine.

But also keep in mind that wine and chocolate  are not a straightforward pairing. Sometimes finding the best wine and chocolate combinations can take some time and a bit of experimenting as well. Remember palate impressions differ from person to person. And your individual perception can be very different from those you are tasting (and testing) with. For some they prefer the wine to be as sweet as the chocolate, for others they might want to find contrast/balance between the two.

White chocolates….
tend to be soft, mellow and buttery in flavor, making it an ideal candidate for a Sherry, Muscats or even a floral/fruity but dry wine like a Torrontes! These sweet wines will pick up the creaminess of the chocolates and the fruity dry ones will pick up any fruit tones on the scene. Another route, for pairing wine with white chocolate is going for the contrast pairing approach which is a little riskier, but when you find a match it can be exceptional. Take a wine like a Zinfandel or a Rose which tend to have a heavier acidic content and often a higher alcohol level, and partner it with a creamy, buttered white chocolate and you might experience an unusually exciting effect.

When traveling through Argentina, you will notice many Argentines will gather for a big steak dinner and endless bottles of Argentina wine at their local parrilla (steak restaurant).  When not eating dinner and drinking a delicious Malbec, Argentines will exchange their wine glass for a tiny gourd filled with herbs and hot water also known as Mate (pronounced “MAH-tay”).  Whether from Buenos Aires or Mendoza, Argentines enjoy this herbal drink throughout the day.  If you are looking for a traditional Argentine drink to enjoy before noon, try the mate!

Mate comes from the yerba plant, which is grown Argentina and other countries in South America.  The leaves are harvested and then dried to create the “yerba” used for the tea.   The “yerba” is placed in a traditional calabash gourd and then infused with hot water.  Some other mate gourd styles include those made of wood, ceramic, or metal.  When traveling in Buenos Aires you can visit the fairs in Recoleta or San Telmo and you will see endless stands full of different styles of mate gourds to choose from.

Although it is probably not the main reason Argentines drink it, mate has many health benefits.  It has many vitamins including A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin and minerals such as Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Selenium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Zinc.  It is also a natural source of caffeine.  Studies have shown that the caffeine in mate is unique.  Unlike caffeine found in coffee, which is a stimulant, the caffeine in mate has been shown to have some relaxing properties on muscle tissues.

Mate is a very social drink.  When friends meet in the beautiful parks in Palermo or are hanging out in Tigre for a long summer weekend, mate is almost always involved.  One Mate is shared and passed around the circle of friends.  One person is responsible for preparing the mate (called the “cebador”) and refilling it with hot water after each person drinks.  So before you head off to your Buenos Aires wine tasting that evening, grab a gourd and a few friends and enjoy some mate!

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