Saturday, May 08, 2004

Fermented grape juice

Jackie over at Gastroblog talks about having a wonderful bottle of Argentinian red wine, but doesn't remember what it was. Do find out and tell us Jackie. Argentinian wine has long been one of the great secrets of the winemaking world. The wine is often wonderful - it's a far greater winemaking country than Chile - but it has not traditionally been an exporting country, as the Spanish and Italian descended locals are great consumers of fine wine as well. (Chile lacks a substantial domestic market, so Chilean winemakers turned into exporters). However, the collapse of the peso a year or so ago meant that it became much more attractive to winemakers to export their produce, and we have seen substantially more Argentinian wine in Britain and America. The best wines seem to be mostly made from the Malbec grape in the Mendoza region. This is interesting. Malbec is grown in France, Australia and other places, but there it is mainly a blending grape, being one of the minor grape varieties in wines dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. But in Argentina it is used as the dominant (or only) grape variety. And it makes beautiful wines when used this way.

Jackie's wine was brought back from Argentina for her directly rather than bought here, so this change perhaps doesn't really apply. Come to think of it, my friends should treat me really nicely, because I brought some stupendous wine back from Australia with me.

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