Friday, December 11, 2009

Malbec Mavens Articulating Argentina

Holiday season in the desert means a steady stream of invitations to white elephant cocktail parties and celebrations with friends and business associates alike. Last night, I had the great honor to be invited to one of these fetes by the mavens of two of the valley's best restaurants: Zin America Bistro and Copley's. In true spirit of giving and collaboration, Mindy Reed and Juliana Copley opened up the home for a trip to Argentina, including a special tasting of Malbec wines--five luscious varieties to choose from. The rich red went perfectly with an amazing charcuterie spread of hard salamis, exquisite brie, roquefort and assorted cheeses, pickled carrots and baby green olives, and thin, crusty slices of crunchy bread. Of course the pieces de resistance were the dishes made, one by each lady, of insanely rich blue cheese and mushroom empanadas and a cut-with-the-fork-able pork loin covered in a skin of soy sauce, brown sugar, cinammon and light grain Dijon served with mango apricot and cranberry relishes.

Malbec can be a highly misunderstood wine and like stinky cheeses, okra, spinach and squid, is either vehemenently loved or extravagantly despised. My friend Robert recently likened Malbec to swill only meritable as a blending wine, but after trying the lush, bloody Argentinian varieties, I think I am now a serious Malbec fan, placing it up with Shiraz as one of my beloved reds. Inky dark in color and full of robust tannins, it is the perfect accompaniment to sweet meats and strong cheeses.

1 comment:

  1. Here here, girl! Malbec is yummy. Red wine is the side dish to only the most flavorful of foods. All I can say is....yum.