I have been asked by numerous times “How was Argentina?” My answer is simple: “I tasted 42 wineries, ate gourmet meals both lunch and dinner every day and stayed in five star hotels. In others words, it was a very tough press assignment but I was up to the task!” :)

If you would like to be introduced to the culture and history of Argentina, along with great cuisine and wine, book Vendimia 2014: A Behind the Scenes Tour of Argentina’s Wine Harvest and Culture March 28- April 6, 2014. Far better than in a Cook’s tour version, this is an authentic insider’s VIP trip through Argentina.

Also if you have not read my first post: WINES OF ARGENTINA  PART I: TANGO & MALBEC OR?

I highly recommend that you do.  In the meantime I continue to work on my two forthcoming posts:



3. WINE 101



1.   Tokyo apartment building caters to wine lovers

Japan now has wine for cats

Truett Hurst’s California Square Flies in the Face of Convention with Retro-Chic, Eco- Friendly Square Wine Bottle

2. Bottled by You: Naked Wines' Crowdfunding

3. How to Beat an Overpriced Wine List

4. Nov 1 8th Annual New Jersey Harvest Wine Festival

Nov 6 8.30 pm Doña Paula Presents | Virtual Wine Tastings

Nov 9 NYC Autumn Wine Festival (2 sessions: 3-6pm & 8-11pm)

5. The 2013 Greenwich Wine & Food Show has always been a delightful day in the “country” for me.  This is a tented event on beautiful Long Island sound. The wine offerings were plentiful, but were limited to everyday wines. They were most definitely outclassed by the quality food tidbits from many excellent area restaurants. For foodies they feature many celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations and gourmet tastings. I attended both wine tastings: Great biodynamic wines from Spain and Laurie Forster’s standup comedy show Something to Wine About.  I enjoyed the “good taste” of both. Again I was disappointed  that no seminars on food and wine matching were offered.  Beyond that minor point, this is a MOST highly recommended event.  See you there next year!

The 2013 Food Network NYC Wine & Food Festival is far from leisurely. The biggest such event in NY, I went with a first timer who was giddily overwhelmed with the numerous food and wine choices. We both left stuffed and satiated. My advice is that this is always an event  for which you should skip breakfast beforehand. Their motto is everywhere: “Eat. Drink. End Hunger.” At one point in the afternoon I mused at  how this charity event might accomplish more if the hungry were also allowed to attend.  Like going to Time Square on New Year’s Eve,  this is an experience everyone interested in food and wine should have at least once.  Many no doubt will want to become regular event attendees. 

Note: The NYFWF Lamoreaux Landing (LL) wines were Irene’s favorite. The Dry Riesling was a perfect balance of fruit and minerality. While it may not have the complex bouquet of the German Rieslings, considering its retail price at $13.99, she felt it was definitely worth drinking the next time you order Chinese takeout.  LL Unoaked Chardonnay would also pair well with a wide variety of dishes and clearly displays similar terroir characteristics as the LL Riesling in its mineral notes. Here Citrus and apple notes and a slightly floral bouquet are quite simple, yet entice to have more than one glass.

6. The 12 Best Restaurants in New York for Wine

Explore the Vintage North Jersey Wine Trail
7.    At the Greenwich Wine & Food Festival, I discovered one interesting distributor 90 plus cellars. I tasted a range of their wines, but my clear favorite (and not surprisingly one of their two best sellers) was LOT 23 Malbec  2012 $11.95.  Lot 23 grapes from Lujan de Cuyo Mendoza are hand harvested from 100 year-old vines.
Note: I usually tend to favor “AARP” vines (age 50 and over).

At our recent investment luncheon, we were served  Colomé Torrontés, Argentina’s signature white wine, plus their Malbec. Torrontes from Salta which has unmistakable floral aromas.  More than bragging rights of being the highest vineyards in the world, their High-altitude vineyards delivers  delicious taste benefits (thanks to thicker skins and Longer hang time). 

Note: The Torrontés was so popular that this was the first time we ran out of white wine!

 I am in the process of retasting a number of wineries tasted in Argentina.  Why? Because while many wines are delicious in their homeland (in part due to the romantic winery setting), I am interested in writing about wines that I would DRINK and BUY in New York.  Recently I had the  pleasure of attending  Ruca Malen (RM) wines’ A MATCH MADE IN MENDOZA at the Malbec Wine Bar & Tango House. This tasting paired their Uco Valley wines from winemaker Pablo Cuneo, distinctive in part due to his using classical French vinification techniques with imaginative dishes from RM chef Lucas Bustos.  Yummy and on my to-do lunch list for my next trip to Argentina. 
Notes: The Tango show was very entertaining and highly recommended.

I found the RM Torrontés lacking the strong signature aromas I am accustomed to.  I am a traditionalist; however, should one require this “typlicity” association? I polled a number of female attendees with a first exposure to Torrontés who enjoyed this wine plus it  sells very well in Asia.

 I had the pleasure of dining at Aquavit this past week for an investment luncheon hosted by Marine Harvest - a Norwegian seafood company producing farmed salmon products worldwide.  I have been drinking Malbec so often these days that Irene, aka my personal sommelier, was surprised that I ordered Pinot Noir.  Given I was eating their delicious Scottish Salmon, naturally I ordered Pinot Noir- wouldn’t you?

Note: We believe Marine Harvest [MNHVF] is an excellent long term conservative investment.

I wonder how long  my Argentine phase will last. I believe this depends on both the progress of my tango lessons as well as whether I visit Argentina in 2014 or 2015/2016 next. Either way, Malbec has become my second favorite wine (Pinot Noir remains number one).

8.  Which wine matches best to steak?  A) Cabernet Sauvignon B) Malbec C) Tempranillo 

True/False? Patagonia Argentina has the same latitude as Marlborough New Zealand. 

The best wine to drink with Tango is ______ ?

9.  READER: Does Malbec go well with Pizza?
HW: Previously my automatic first response was Chianti with a red tomato sauce.  However, Argentina was highly influenced by Italian immigrants with Pizza everywhere.  So the answer is YES.  Remember there are three questions one must ask: 1)what sauce 2) toppings as well as 3) what cheese?  If for example, a meat topping, then Malbec would be a better choice!

READER: I really enjoyed this edition of your wine notes.  My all-time favorite Argentine wine is a Malbec/Cabernet blend called "Caro".  It's a collaboration between Baron Lafite Rothchild and Robert Catena…hence the name "Ca-Ro".    It's expensive ($58 at Sherry-Lehman) but for a special occasion, it's worth every penny.  A less-expensive, but still wonderful alternative is a Malbec/Cabernet blend called "Amancaya".  It's about $16 and gets the job done!!!
HW: Both good choices!

READER: Did you have good trip?
HW: A GREAT trip.  I tasted 42 wineries, gourmet meals lunch and dinner and stayed in five star hotels.
On top of that the people were friendly and the country beautiful. 
Bottom line? You betcha!

READER: Good review, good wines. When I was very much into tango I don't remember any of the dancers drinking much of anything other than some sparkling sodas or water. And as said, tango is not for watching but for dancing. When I listen to it, I am thinking of the moves with one of my favorite partners.
HW: Everyone I know has excellent memories of Argentina; I am now even a bigger fan than before!

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Henry Weingarten
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