Wine Hackaton: Pinot vs Bonarda

Have you ever met a wine hacker? I have. Last week I found myself in a narrow, brightly-lit room in a far-flung corner of the city, rubbing glasses with Argentina’s hippest wine bloggers at the grandiosely-named PinotBonarda Wine Hackaton. Now let me be clear; there were no geeky, unwashed techies in ironic oversized T-shirts here (ok,…

Please take a bao: Tierra Club opens for business

How do you choose the wine you buy? Do you go for grape varieties you know you love, or do you try to pick something you’ve never tried before? Or are you simply a sucker for a great label? (Maybe that’s just me…) Back in the UK, where I’m from, wine shops and supermarket shelves…

The Little Green Wine: Petit Verdot

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of sampling the rather nice Erdità blend from Clos de Chacras at my new favourite Buenos Aires wine bar. It’s a wine dominated by two of this country’s usual suspects, Malbec (50%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (35%). This is a common combination here in Argentina; the Malbec…

Hache Almacén: The Best Wine Bar in Buenos Aires?

My dear winelover friends, I must confess that the journey to this moment has been extremely difficult. After weeks of sleepless nights I’ve finally decided to share with you one of my most precious secrets. I just take consolation in the fact that most of you don’t live in Buenos Aires, so hopefully there won’t…

From the Loire to the Ends of the Earth: Cabernet Franc Untamed

“A forest after a rainstorm” – Cabernet Franc from Chinon Cabernet Franc is traditionally associated with the Loire Valley and red Bordeaux blends, but in recent years the grape has found a distant new home in the wild deserts of Patagonia. For this month’s Loire Valley #Winophiles challenge, I set out to investigate how this…

World Malbec Day #2: An Adoption Success Story

If you’ve been anywhere in earshot of me in the past week you’ll know that Saturday 17th April is Malbec World Day. It’s the one day of the year entirely dedicated to the great red wine variety which flourishes all over the vast country of Argentina, from Cafayate in Salta province in the north to…

World Malbec Day #1: Wine Safari Finds

Since April 17th is officially designated World Malbec Day, I’ve decided to begin a roundup of some of the great Argentine Malbecs I’ve tasted over the past few weeks and a series of posts dedicated to this rather spiffing grape variety. Hopefully this will inspire your Malbec choices for the big day itself! (And, just…

Incan High Mountain Wine: El Porvenir’s Amauta Inspiración 2014

El Porvenir is a gorgeous family-run winery situated in Cafayate in the arid province of Salta in northern Argentina. The unique conditions here are perfect for their wickedly fragrant Laborum Torrontés (Argentina’s flagship white variety) and they’ve also received abundant praise for reds like their Laborum Single Vineyard Tannat 2015 which was named one of Argentina’s top 100…

The World’s Best Red? Famiglia Bianchi Malbec 20

Yes, you did read that right. Every year the Union of French Oenologists organises the Vinalies Internacionales competition in Paris. An expert jury drawn from all over the world blind tastes some 3500 wines from 41 wine producing countries. At the 2014 edition Familia Bianchi’s 2012 Malbec was given a rather special (and probably shiny) Grand…

Alamos Malbec 2015: The cheap and charming everyday drinker

Famous big wine producers often produce low-end wines to bulk out their production and increase profits. Very often these wines are worthy only to be sloshed into that underwhelming casserole your other half made last night or palmed off on chain-smoking relatives who don’t care what they drink as long as it’s wet and strong….

Beauty Queens, Gay Pride and Wine: Mendoza’s Vendimia Festival

Bizarrely, the central event of Mendoza’s annual Grape Harvest Festival, the Vendimia, doesn’t actually have anything to do with wine at all. The grand finale of the two weeks of festivities is an extravaganza of music and dance which culminates with the selection of the “Reina Nacional de la Vendimia” (The National Queen of the Vendimia)….