Americans are hot, hot, hot for the spicy food, wine, tango dancing and culture of Argentina. In fact, Argentina has been on the No. 1 tourist destination list for sometime according to the travel guide company Lonely Planet. Often referred to as the “Paris of Latin America,” Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital, is an up-and-coming hub for fashion, cuisine and design. And Mendoza, the country’s world-class wine growing region, has been dubbed “the new Napa Valley.”
Boasting more than a thousand wineries, Mendoza builds on the model of Napa Valley’s success as a tourist destination by celebrating the fruits of its vineyards – rich wines at value prices – with culture and cuisine to complement the best of the region’s offerings. A trip to Mendoza might involve an outdoor “asado,” or barbecue, with friends and family gathered around an outdoor fire to share a meal. Here, lively conversation, grilled meats and full-bodied wines spice up Argentine nights.
Naturally, few things pair better with Argentine grilled meats than the signature red wine of Argentina: Malbec. The Mendoza region is known for the Malbec grape varietal, which was brought from France in the mid-19th century but has truly found a home in Argentina.
Bodega Norton, producer of the best-selling Argentine wines in the U.S., creates bold Malbec wines that offer rich, ripe fruit, soft tannins and peppery notes. One of Bodega Norton’s newest releases, the Reserva Malbec 2005, is expressive with black fruit, violet and tobacco and a long, elegant finish.
Pair your Argentine wine with this authentic Argentine dish:
ARGENTINE ASADO WITH CHIMICHURRI SAUCE – Beef tenderloin, New York strip steak, (1 per person), Chorizo (1 link per person), Chicken, quartered (1 quarter per person),
FOR THE CHIMICHURRI: 1 cup fresh Italian parsley, 6 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, Pinch dried chile flakes, Salt and pepper, 1/4 cup malt or red wine vinegar, 1 cup olive oil
In a food processor, combine parsley, cloves, oregano, chile flakes, salt and pepper. Puree until fine. Transfer to a bowl and add vinegar and oil until blended.
Cook meat slowly on a grill over medium heat, basting with chimichurri until done.